action:article | category:SPORTS0702 | adString:SPORTS0702 | zoneID:40

Home » Sports » Hockey » Monarchs

April 04. 2013 10:15PM

Now or never for Monarchs

Mark Morris called his team's quest for an American Hockey League playoff berth a "daunting task," but he also remembers last season when the Manchester Monarchs managed to squeak into the post-season.

"Last year was a great example of overcoming the odds when we won our last three regular-season games to qualify for the playoffs," said Morris. "This year, we don't have a whole lot of flexibility, but I'm hopeful our guys will approach the last three weekends with the same type of attitude last year's team had to make the playoffs."?Manchester begins an important stretch of five home tilts in six games today when it hosts the Portland Pirates at 7 p.m. at Verizon Wireless Arena.

On Saturday, the Providence Bruins invade the Queen City for a 7 p.m. game before the Monarchs conclude the weekend with a road game at the DCU Center Sunday against the Worcester Sharks at 3 p.m.

The Monarchs will host Connecticut (7 p.m., April 12), Hershey (7 p.m., April 13) and Worcester (3 p.m., April 14) the following weekend at Verizon Wireless Arena. Their last three regular-season games are on the road.

Manchester (31-29-3-4, 69 points, 67 games played), with nine regular season games remaining, is currently in 11th place in the Eastern Conference. They trail eighth place Hershey (32-26-3-6, 73 points, 67 GP), ninth place Norfolk (33-30-4-1, 71 points, 68 GP) and 10th place Albany (29-26-1-11, 70 points, 67 GP) in the standings.

"We can't let the big picture get in the way," said Morris. "We have to concentrate on one game at a time. I mean literally one shift, one period, one game at a time."

Morris said he's very passionate about qualifying for the Calder Cup playoffs and doesn't want this team to miss it for only the second time in the franchise's 12-year history. The one time Manchester missed the playoffs was the 2008-09 season.

Morris said goalie Peter Mannino (10-7-0, 2.47 GAA) will be sidelined for the remainder of the year. "He still hasn't been able to get full leg extension after taking a hard shot to the inside of his leg," said Morris. "We decided to shut him down and it's too bad. He's a character guy, a level-headed season pro and we miss his presence in the locker room."

Ty Rimmer, a 21-year-old from Edmonton, Alberta, was signed to back up Martin Jones (21-23-4-4, 48GP, 2.64 GAA) for the remainder of the year. Rimmer played for the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the Western Hockey league and in 65 games this season, he posted a 24-30-10 record for a 3.19 GAA and one shutout.

Jean-Francois Berube, who was backing up Jones, was sent to the ECHL to play for the Ontario Reign. "He just needs to play more," said Morris of Berube.

Tonight marks the 12th and final regular season meeting between Manchester and Portland who will decide the inaugural VIP Cup that goes to the winning team based on head-to-head points. Portland (6-4-1-0 against Manchester) currently leads the series, 13-12.

"The Monarchs have to win in regulation in order to win the VIP Cup," said Kimberly Mueller, Vice President of Public Affair for the Monarchs. "Portland has the goal differential tie-breaker (202-193) if Manchester wins in overtime or a shootout. The VIP Cup will be awarded to a winner (tonight) as it's the last game between the two teams this season."

In an effort to raise money to help increase the awareness of autism and other developmental disabilities, the Manchester Monarchs are teaming up with Play4Autism and The American Special Hockey Association.

Today at 4 p.m. at Verizon Wireless Arena the Battle of the Badges championship game between the Manchester Police Dept. and the Connecticut Police and Fire will face-off. A portion of the proceeds from every ticket sold for tonight's two games will benefit Play4Autism and the ASHA.

To purchase tickets online, visit www.monarchsjungle.com/play4autism. For more information, contact Alan Fritch at 626-7825 ext. 6135 or Greg Vasicek at 347-738-6324.

One may also go online to afritch@Manchestermonarchs.com or info@play4autism.org.


 NH Sports Angle more
Links to news and happenings around the world of sports with a Granite State connection, updated daily.

NHMS, Miller Lite extend deal for another 3 years

NASCAR: Who the Vegas wise guys like heading into Loudon

Goalie Danny Tirone to enroll at UNH for second semester after star's suspension for domestic violence

'Smoke' blows into New Hampshire with the law in his rear-view mirror

Man found unconscious at Winchester Speedpark Saturday

Too young to drive, but old enough for NHMS

Police examine speed, possible horseplay in golf cart fatality

Mass. man, 27, dies in golf cart accident at The Links at Outlook

Hanover's Sarah Groff competes in the women's triathlon final during the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Hanover Olympian in spotlight at Las Vegas Super Sprint

FHL makes it official, team planned for Berlin will play in North Adams, Mass. instead

Can NH soccer star Charlie Davies make a comeback?

Inside NIKEs secret sports lab; born in Exeter, now located in Oregon.

Concord Monitor decries gender pay gap in professional tennis

FHL franchise slated for Berlin may go to North Adams, Mass. instead

Eagles' Kelly says he learned his offense by studying defense while at UNH

Former Concord area youth baseball coach sentenced to 30 more years in prison

Maine boxer Brandon Berry making Fight to Educate history

Hudson family, classmates working to keep Alvirne soccer standout Raul Stedile in U.S.

Israel unrest moves meet for NH swim star

Race date for Oxford 250 moved from July to Aug. 30 next year

NH's Groff a highlight for U.S. at ITU World Triathlon Series Grand Final

Maine fighters Lamour, Berry on New Hampshire boxing card

Q&A with Matt Bonner as he weighs free agency

MORE

 New Hampshire Events Calendar
    

    SHARE EVENTS FOR PUBLICATION, IT'S FREE!

Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory

  

    ADD YOUR BUSINESS TODAY!