Can the IceCaps cool off the Manchester Monarchs? Manchester will host Atlantic Division rival St. John's for a pair of games at Verizon Wireless Arena tonight (7 p.m.) and Saturday (3 p.m.). The Monarchs are 5-0-3 for 13 points, most in the AHL and have yet to lose in regulation.
The IceCaps, the Winnipeg Jets' AHL affiliate, bring in a record of 2-3-1 and have added Jerome Sampson (two goals, three assists), who has teamed with team scoring leader Eric O'Dell (4-1-5) on the top line.
"St. John's looks real tough based on the video work we've done to date," said Monarchs head coach Mark Morris. "They appear to have several returning players and they added Samson, who was a sniper they picked up from the Carolina organization. They look well-balanced and they are playing with confidence."
The Monarchs enter the game fresh off a 4-1 win at Worcester Wednesday night. In that game, last season's top line of Linden Vey, Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson were reunited for the first time this season.
The end result was a seven-point night for the trio, with two goals from Toffoli and one from Pearson and four assists among the line.
"Our young guns led the way," Morris said. "The Pearson and Toffoli goals were lasers. (Worcester goalies Harri) Sateri had no chance on either one. It was a good team win, much closer than the final 4-1 score. All four lines skated well and we got contributions up and down the lineup."
Goaltender Martin Jones continued his strong play as well, turning aside 32 shots, including a flurry in the final two minutes.