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February 06. 2014 10:55PM

Monarchs-Bruins is special on, off ice


Hockey sticks with pink tape await their owners at the start of the Monarchs Pink in the Rink night. The money raised will benefit the Monarchs Care Foundation. (/Union Leader file)

It’s time to think pink once again.

The Manchester Monarchs are holding their annual “Pink in the Rink” game Saturday night at 7 p.m. against Providence at Verizon Wireless Arena.

The ice will be dyed pink and Manchester players will wear special pink jerseys and sport pink hockey tape on their gear and sticks in the annual breast cancer awareness event, sponsored by the Monarchs Care Foundation and Catholic Medical Center.

The jerseys will be auctioned off and other proceeds from the night will also go toward breast cancer research and awareness efforts.

“It’s always a great time. Last year with the pink ice, I thought it was awesome,” said Monarchs leading scorer Jordan Weal. “It takes me back to my roller hockey days when you’re skating on blue tile or green tile. It’s for a great cause and getting as many fans in the building as we can really gets us fired up for the game.”

Both Manchester and Providence enter Saturday’s game having had Friday night off, but the Bruins were on the road in Newfoundland playing at St. John’s Tuesday and Wednesday nights.

The Monarchs remain the top team in the AHL with a record of 30-13-7. Manchester got veteran defenseman Jeff Schultz back on Wednesday when he was returned from a short stint in Los Angeles.

The Monarchs could be getting some other players back as well (such as Tyler Toffoli) with the NHL heading into a two-week break for the Olympics.

“We expect that we’ll have a little bit of lineup change due to the Olympic break and that’s going to make things a little crowded here,” Monarchs head coach Mark Morris said. “What we see for a lineup and what worked last weekend will undoubtedly be different to accommodate guys coming back. That will make for some interesting decisions on my part.”

The Bruins bring to town a varied scoring attack led by Nick Johnson with 16 goals and 21 assists for 37 points. Craig Cunningham (18-14-32) and Carter Camper (8-23-31) are right behind. Ryan Spooner, who has played 22 games with the parent Bruins this season is back with Providence and was held scoreless in the team’s 4-3 shootout loss at St. John’s on Wednesday.

The Monarchs will close the weekend with a visit from Albany Sunday at 3 p.m.

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The Kings also announced a trade on Thursday. Forward Robbie Czarnik, who had five points (1-4-5) in 29 games with the Monarchs this season, was dealt to Montreal for right wing Steve Quailer. A Northeastern University product, Quailer, 24, played 12 games and scored one goal with Hamilton of the AHL this season.


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