So far so good.
Two games do not a season make but the fact is the expansion MC Monarchs of the Midwest Jr. Hockey League are off to a 2-0 start to the 2014-2015 season.
The Monarchs swept a home-and-home, opening-weekend series from the established Berkley Bruins, cuffing their opponents by 4-0 and 12-3 scores.
Mark Gilman, who is the founder, owner and general manager of the Monarchs — who play out of Fraser Hockeyland, which is located north of Detroit off of 14 Mile Road — said the early success of the team begins with his hand-picked coach, Jason McCrimmon.
“Jason has been preaching all summer that he wanted a core of players to build around and he wanted known entities to start the process. Our acquisition of (goalie) Tyler Skulley, (defenceman) Jarrad Vroman and (forward) Adam Jonak (who were all obtained from rival MWJHL teams) started that process,” Gilman told HockeyNewsNorth.com.
“He was also looking for guys who were younger who could learn his system. Many of the kids he brought in here were not known entities but have surpassed any expectations we had for them initially.”
Gilman, a Detroit area businessman, stepped up and provided the 31-year old McCrimmon — who was a co-coach with the MWJHL’s Detroit Fighting Irish in 2013-2014 — with what he needed to get the Monarchs started.
“Jason has been like a kid in a candy store getting free reign from ownership to set up systems that best fit the type of talent we have instead of the other way around,” Gilman noted.
“He found not only skilled players but teachable players and I have to honestly say, one of the best set of kids I’ve ever seen in a hockey locker room. They all work hard, they listen and are respectful of what we’re trying to build here — with the emphasis on build. They like each other a lot and the chemistry has been enhanced because we actively signed some kids who have played together for years, growing up in Macomb County.
“We’ve got a long way to go and there are going to be some rough spots this season but when I see our kids bragging on Twitter about how awesome our power play is, then I know they’ve bought in to what we’re trying to do here,” Gilman added.
The 2-0 Monarchs are home for three games this weekend with the 2-0-1 Soo Firehawks visiting Fraser Hockeyland for matches on Friday (7:30 p.m.), Saturday (3 p.m.) and Sunday (11:45 a.m.)
PHOTO: MC Monarchs coach Jason McCrimmon.