Who are these guys?
Two weekends into the 2014-2015 season and the expansion MC Monarchs are the feel-good story in the eight-team Midwest Jr. Hockey League.
After beginning their MWJHL voyage with a two-game, opening-weekend sweep of the Berkley Bruins, the Monarchs continue to create a league-wide buzz.
Playing at their Fraser Hockeyland home rink this past weekend, the Monarchs took three straight games from the Soo Firehawks, upending the visitors by 4-3, 7-5 and 4-2 scores.
Thus, MC takes a perfect 5-0 record into a Wednesday night (8:15 p.m.) road game against the Detroit Fighting Irish at the Ice Box Sports Center in Brownstown.
The MC sweep of the Soo is even more startling in that the Firehawks represented the MWJHL (along with the Traverse City Hounds) at last spring’s United Hockey Union national championship tournament and took a 2-0-1 record into the weekend series just past.
Monarchs owner-general manager Mark Gilman had much to say to HockeyNewsNorth.com about the 5-0 start of his expansion MC crew.
“The funny thing about this past weekend was that many of our kids had no idea what they had accomplished and how young expansion teams aren’t supposed to beat league powerhouses,” Gilman began.
“(Coach) Jason (McCrimmon) had a ridiculously-effective game plan and it got the most out of our guys. Many of our kids have never played junior hockey before this season so they were clueless about what they had just accomplished. I’m not sure the Firehawks have ever dropped three games in a weekend series.
“The Soo is a great team that ran into a bunch of kids who had no idea who they were. I went into the locker room after (Adam) Jonak’s game winning goal with one second left Friday night expecting them to be jumping up and down but they were all casually sitting around and talking with each other.
“Jarrad Vroman, our captain who played for the Fighting Irish last year and didn’t beat the Soo once, said, ‘Don’t you guys realize what a big deal this was?’ They looked at him like he was speaking Russian.
“I personally had no idea what to expect and never imagined a three-game sweep. Those kids just went out and expected to win. No fear. No nervousness. One of the many things I love about these guys,” gushed an effervescent Gilman.
So, as it stands now, MC tops the MWJHL standings with its 5-0 record, though both Detroit and Traverse City are also unbeaten.
The Fighting Irish has a record of 4-0 and the Hounds are 3-0.
PHOTO: Members of the MC Monarchs salute their fans at Fraser Hockeyland following a three-game weekend sweep of the visiting Soo Firehawks.