Manchester Monarchs Win First (And Last) Calder Cup


Well, if you’re gonna go out, go out with a bang.

That must have been the mindset of the Manchester Monarchs, who captured their first ever Calder Cup this weekend. The only catch was that it will also be their last Calder Cup trophy.

The Monarchs will be dissolved and moved out west to Ontario, California, as a part of the American Hockey League’s California movement in the AHL (who only have to play 68 games). The Los Angeles Kings, the parent club of the Monarchs, will keep an affiliate in Manchester, its just that they will be relegated to the lower tiered ECHL.

Despite these outside factors, the play on the ice remained top notch as the Monarchs were able to capture the title. The Monarchs took just five games to finish off the Utica Comets, the AHL affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks.

Their game five victory was by the score of 2-1 with goals from Adrian Kempe and Nic Dowd. Kempe is one of the Kings top prospects, an 18 year old first round pick from last season. He scored his fourth goal in three games during game five.

It was center Jordan Weal who was named the AHL playoffs MVP after the game. The Jack A. Butterfield Trophy was awarded to Weal thanks to his 22 points in 19 playoff games, ten of them goals.

Two players on the Monarchs had previously captured Calder Cups, and those are forward Josh Gratton, who won it with the Philadelphia Phantoms in 2005, and defenseman Jeff Schultz who won it with the Hershey Bears in 2006.

According to the Union paper in New Hampshire, the Monarchs are the 31st different city to win the Calder Cup since it was established in 1938.

Manchester has been the pipeline for several NHL players moving up to the Kings as they themselves have been making championship runs. This includes Jonathan Quick, Dustin Brown, Alec Martinez, and more.

New Hampshire, and New England in general, took a major hit when the AHL decided to move out west. The region also lost the Worcester Sharks, who are not being replaced. However, the Monarchs went out on top, which is the most they could have asked for.

The Monarchs will now become the only New England region team in the ECHL and they will try to recreate their brand there. Maybe next season, they’ll be battling it out for a Kelly Cup championship.

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