Monarchs Prepare for Calder Cup Opponent


The defending NHL Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings saw a disappointing end to their season. The Manchester Monarchs, the AHL affiliate of the Kings, have taken a different post season path.

This will be the last season of the American Hockey League in New Hampshire, and it has a chance to end on a high note. The Monarchs themselves will be relegated to the ECHL when the Kings take their affiliate west to Ontario, California.

The Monarchs had the most points in the AHL’s eastern conference for most of this season. They defeated the Hartford Wolfpack in a series sweep to advance to the Calder Cup.

Their opponent is yet to be determined. It will be either the Grand Rapids Griffins or Utuca Comets who are dead locked in the battle for the western conference crown. They still have game five to play of that series.

This will be the first ever Calder Cup apperence for the Monarchs, underneath the success of their NHL club these past years. It will also be their last attempt to bring the trophy to Manchester before they head west.

No matter their opponent, the Monarchs will host the first two games of the series from the Verizon Wireless Center.

The Monarchs dominated the Wolfpack in the eastern finals and have become far and away the best team of this tournament. They scored first in game four, which they have done every time in their past six contests.

Their sweeping victory of Hartford becomes even more impressive as they were without their second best scores Michael Mersch. He should be back in time for the Calder Cup Finals.

Mersch took a tough upper body shot early in game that left him injured. They attempted to have him suit up, but he was a late scratch before the game began.

Other players have also stepped up and elevated their game as the playoffs have gone on. Adrian Kempe scored his fourth playoff goal in the victory over Hartford.

Both the Griffins and Comets will be difficult tasks for the Monarchs. Utica knocked off the Oklahoma City Barons in a tough seven game series to advance, and the Griffins now host top Detroit Red Wings prospect Dylan Larkin.