Hot Monarchs on road tonight, home Saturday
Time for Manchester Monarchs coach Mark Morris to start working on his next 300 professional wins.
Morris, who earned his 300th pro victory behind the bench on Wednesday against the Norfolk Admirals — a unique coaching accomplishment coupled with his 300 college wins while at Clarkson — takes his club on the road tonight for a matchup with the Portland Pirates. The Pirates are playing their home games this season at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston. Game time is 7:30 p.m.
The Monarchs return home to battle the Admirals on Saturday at 7 p.m. That game is billed as "Mullets in Movember" night, with the first 3,000 fans to receive mullet wigs and moustaches.
The Monarchs (10-2-1-2, 23 points) sport the second-best record in the 30-team AHL, trailing only Western Conference leader Abbotsford (12-4-0-1, 25 points).
But as the Monarchs have prospered on the ice, they have been losing players to their NHL parent team, the Los Angeles Kings. On Wednesday, the Kings called up goalie Martin Jones to replace former Monarch Jonathan Quick, who suffered a Grade 2 groin strain. Jones, who led the AHL in wins (nine), will serve as backup to Ben Scrivens in L.A. Meanwhile, rookie J.F. Berube will handle the bulk of the netminding duties in Manchester.
Also on Wednesday, the Kings recalled forward Tanner Pearson from Manchester. Pearson, 21, had 11 points in 15 games in Manchester this season. Aside from Quick, who is out indefinitely, the Kings are dealing with injuries to defenseman Matt Greene and forward Kyle Clifford, both of whom are on the Injured Reserve list.
Manchester has played fellow Eastern Division member Portland once thus far this season, beating the Pirates 3-2 in a shootout on Oct. 9 in Lewiston. Portland, the AHL affiliate of the Phoenix Coyotes, is playing three games in three days this weekend, beginning with tonight's clash against Manchester.