Manchester Monarchs Start Calder Cup Finals Saturday


Unfortunately this year the Los Angeles Kings aren’t playing in the NHL Stanley Cup Finals.

However, the franchise is having success as the American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs, have made their way through the playoffs and into the AHL Calder Cup Finals.

The Monarchs will start the final series on Saturday, when they take on the Utica Comets in Manchester.

It was a great season for the Monarchs who finished 1st in the Eastern Conference and 1st overall in the AHL standings.  Manchester won an incredible 50 games, going 50-17-6-3 for 109 points.

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A number of Manchester’s players have already brought home some hardware.

Forward Brian O’Neill won the AHL scoring title after finishing 71 games with 22 goals, 58 assists, 80 points, a whopping +30 plus/minus, 9 power-play goals and 2 short-handed goals.

For that performance O’Neill was also awarded the Les Cunningham award – which is the AHL’s Most Valuable Player award.

Monarchs head coach Mark Stothers was voted the winner of the Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award – the AHL’s award for the most outstanding coach.

In his rookie year goaltender Patrick Bartosak played 28 games and finished 6th overall in the AHL in goals against average (GAA), with a 2.14.

The Monarchs other goaltender Jean-Francois Berube led the AHL in wins with a 37-9-4 record, 2.18 GAA and a .913 save percentage.

The team earned, for the first time in their history, the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy – the AHL’s version of the Presidents Trophy, which is awarded to the team that amasses the most points in the regular season.

In the first round – best of five games – the Monarchs beat the Portland Pirates three games to two.  After winning the first two games by a combined score of 11-4, the Monarchs dropped the next two, losing 3-2 and 5-0.  In Game 5 Manchester showed up and beat the Pirates 5-3.  Monarchs forward Micheal Mersch score two goals in Game 5, and finished the series with a goal per game average.

In a second round – best of seven games – Manchester eliminated the 4th ranked Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in five games.  Manchester won Game 1, a triple-OT thriller, 4-3 on a Zach O’Brian goal.  The W-B/Scranton Penguins won Game 3 2-1, but Manchester’s power-house offensive took care of the other three contests, winning by a combined score of 12-5.

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This is a big year for Alex Turcotte and the Los Angeles Kings
This is a big year for Alex Turcotte and the Los Angeles Kings /

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  • In the best of seven games, Eastern Conference Final the Monarchs faced the 3rd ranked Hartford Wolf Pack.

    Hartford never stood a chance.  Manchester swept the Wolf Pack out of the playoffs, winning four games in a row.  The combined score of the games was 18-10, including a 7-4 run-and-gun Game 2.

    Manchester will start the AHL Finals hosting the Utica Comets on Saturday, June 6th at 6:00 p.m. (EST) in Manchester.

    Game 2 is scheduled for the next day, Sunday, June 7th at 5:00 p.m. (EST).

    For a full schedule of the games go to or the Monarchs website.

    The L.A. Kings future looks bright indeed.  With a core of stars under contract on the NHL roster and the next wave of Kings-developed prospects coming down the line who are cultivating their own championship pedigree.

    Good luck to the Monarchs in the Finals!

    Go Kings Go!