Monarchs on center stage at Staples Center

By David A. Rainer

A modest bit of history was made in Los Angeles on October 23, 2004. For the first time, an American Hockey League game was played at Staples Center. Dubbed “Hockey Day in LA,” the game was originally slated as a triple-header that would also include an NHL and a Midget AAA game. Due to the current work stoppage, the NHL game was taken off the schedule and the AHL match-up would take center stage.

The Utah Grizzlies faced off against Los Angeles affiliate Manchester Monarchs in a town starved for hockey. Lacking the college alternatives that the Midwest and East Coast markets enjoy, hockey fans flocked to Staples Center on Saturday night to see what could be their last high-level hockey game until the NHL work stoppage ends. An announced paid attendance of 10,074 witnessed the Monarchs continue their early season roll with a 5-0 win.

“Awesome to be back in LA,” a cheery Michael Cammalleri said after the game. “It’s a big win for us, it’s important. We’re playing a team that hasn’t won and we beat them earlier in the week. To win five to nothing like that and Hauser played a great game in net. We’re really happy with him.”

Adam Hauser continued his hot streak carried over from last season, stopping all 20 shots in route to his first shutout of the season. Hauser would face a two-man disadvantage in the first period that would test him against top prospects like Frederick Sjostrom and Keith Ballard.

“Every night, especially this league, this year, with as many great players as there are, it