It’s another showdown tonight — 7:30 at Fraser Hockeyland Arena — when the MC Monarchs play host to the Detroit Fighting Irish in the latest faceoff between the two Midwest Jr. Hockey League neighbours.
The two teams are tied for first place — technically at least — in the MWJHL standings, one point ahead of the Traverse City Hounds.
We say technically because the Monarchs (with a record of 15-7) and the Fighting Irish (with a record of 14-6-2) have each played 22 games as opposed to just 15 for Traverse City (which has a virtually-unblemished record of 14-0-1.)
In other words, Traverse City is just a point back of both MC and Detroit in the MWJHL standings but has seven games in hand on each.
At any rate, on to tonight’s Fighting Irish v. Monarchs matchup, which will be the fifth of the season between the two teams with MC having won three of the previous four, though Detroit took the most-recent decision.
Who will play goal for coach Dan Vasquez and his Irish mob tonight?
We ask this because Detroit has no less than four goalies on its active roster — Kory Dombrowski, George Hill, Austin Stefan and newcomer Jacob Gorzelski.
The Fighting Irish heads into tonight’s game with a record of 4-0-1 in its last five outings, including an 8-5 triumph over MC.
Five forwards top the Detroit scoring chart led by Ken Winter with 16 goals, 15 assists, 31 points.
Trailing Winter are James Smith with 9-19-28 totals followed by Jacob Hernandez at 15-7-22, Chuck Hicks at 12-7-19 and Eric Long at 3-15-18.
The first-year entry features MWJHL scoring leader Adam Jonak and his 28 goals, 40 assists, 68 points.
Trailing Jonak on the Monarchs scoring parade are forward Trevor Pode — who is currently injured — with 20-31-51 numbers, defenceman Jarrad Vroman at 7-24-31, forward Bryce Peplinski at 13-14-27 and defender Joe Gibbs at 9-18-27.
The lanky Vroman, who is just 17-years old, leads all MWJHL defencemen in scoring.
Tyler Skulley has been the go-to-guy between the pipes for MC and has a record of 9-5 to go with a 3.54 goals-against-average and .903 save percentage.
PHOTO: Co-captain Jarrad Vroman leads the MC Monarchs into a home game tonight against the arch-rival Detroit Fighting Irish.