MANCHESTER, NH — Below is a look at tonight’s match-up against the Elmira Jackals at the Verizon Wireless Arena. Game time: 7 p.m. Click here for tickets.
HEAD-TO-HEAD – The Monarchs open a two-game series with the Elmira Jackals Saturday, posting a 3-1-0-1 record against their East Division rivals this season. Tonight’s game will mark only the second time the Jackals have visited the Jungle all season, with the first meeting in Manchester taking place on Nov. 18, a 2-1 Elmira win.
The Jackals bring a respectable 12-6-1-0 road record into Manchester, but have been struggling of late, going 3-6-1-0 in their last 10 games.
WHERE WE STAND – The Monarchs enter tonight’s game in sole possession of first place in the East Division with 61 points, five points clear of the Adirondack Thunder, and 14 points better than Elmira. The Monarchs are in in second place in the Eastern Conference, trailing the Florida Everblades by two points.
PINK IS THE NEW RINK – The Monarchs will play in their most meaningful game of the season tonight, as the annual Pink in the Rink game will be played at the Verizon Wireless Arena. The Monarchs Care Foundation and Catholic Medical Center will be raising funds and awareness about breast cancer. The ice will be pink and so will the jerseys the Monarchs will wear, as the team pays tribute to those affected by breast cancer. Before the puck drops there will be many pre-game activities, including a tribute to breast cancer survivors on the ice.
LARRY RETURNS – The Monarchs welcome back forward, Zac Larraza, after an extended stint in the AHL. Larraza was loaned to the Milwaukee Admirals on Dec. 16 and played in 10 games, scoring three points on two goals and one assist. The first-year player was set to return to the Monarchs on Jan. 13, but was immediately loaned to the San Diego Gulls, where he appeared in seven games, scoring a goal and an assist.
The return of Larraza is key for the Monarchs, as the rookie from the University of Denver was the team’s leading goal-scorer before getting the call to the AHL. Larraza’s 11 goals in 21 games with the Monarchs has him finding the twine in 52.4 percent of games he has played in the ECHL, leading Manchester in that statistic.
FIRST IS A MUST – The team to score first in this series will be important, as both teams boast incredible records when lighting the lamp first. Manchester brings a 17-2-0-2 (0.857 percent) record when scoring first, while Elmira comes in with a 13-3-0-0 (0.813 percent) record.
RUNNING OUT OF GAS – The Monarchs have cleaned up in third period, scoring the third-most third period goals in the league (51). Elmira, however, has allowed the fourth-most third period goals in the ECHL, giving up 50 final frame markers.
STREAKING – Monarchs forward, Joey Diamond, has scored a point in nine-straight games (3g, 9a), the longest current streak in the ECHL. Jackals forward, Cason Hohmann, is riding a seven-game point streak (5g, 5a) entering tonight’s game.