Manchester Monarchs (5-2-1) vs. St. John's IceCaps (5-6-0): 7 p.m. ET/4 PT
Enemy reading: Arctic Ice Hockey's Preview
The Monarchs had been a high-scoring team in their first six games. Last weekend, they were held off the scoresheet twice.
The team believes that "not so pretty" goals rather than fancy plays will turn that around. From Ian Clark of the Union Leader:
"We've just got to keep working. We've been getting a little too fancy, I think," said forward Stefan Legein. "We had a couple games where we were successful offensively and we thought it was going to come easy and in this league any given night is a totally different game with any team so we've got to keep working hard and hopefully those bounces come."
Coach Mark Morris also wants to see better discipline from this club. Though they held the Worchester Sharks scoreless in regulation last Sunday, falling 1-0 in a shootout, they were lucky to get a point. They were heavily out-shot, especially in the third. Over time, killing penalties took its toll. Morris thought there were too many stick infractions; he thinks they're a sign a player's feet aren't moving.
Injuries are also piling up. Top line center Andrei Loktionov didn't play Sunday and won't play tonight, although it looks like he could return soon. On top of these challenges, the Monarchs will also have to deal with the loss of David Kolomatis and Andrew Campbell for six weeks. What was once an over-crowded roster has now thinned, making it necessary to bring back Mike Matczak. The 5'11" 185 lb. defenseman had participated in the Monarchs' training camp, and played his first game against the Sharks on emergency loan from the Kalamazoo Wings of the ECHL. He had 35 points in 61 games for the K-Wings last season, and is paired with Hickey.
The St. John's IceCaps (5-6-0), the AHL affiliate of the Winnipeg Jets, are also in a mini scoring slump of their own, but keep an eye out for leading scorer Alexander Burmistrov.
Here are tonight's juggled forward lines.
Backup goalie Peter Mannino will get his first start tonight against his old club.
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