April 13, 2014 5:04 pm

Monarchs claim East’s top seed; Campbell joins them

The Manchester Monarchs clinched home ice advantage throughout the American Hockey League’s Eastern Conference with a 3-2 road win over the Providence Bruins on Sunday afternoon. On Saturday night, the Monarchs claimed their third Atlantic Division title in the team’s 13-year history with 4-0 win over the Portland Pirates.

Though only one game remains on Manchester’s schedule – next Friday at Providence – the rest of the league will play anywhere between two and four games in the upcoming week.

For that game, and for the rest of the Calder Cup Playoffs barring any unforeseen circumstances, the Monarchs will have the services of team captain Andrew Campbell, who was assigned to Manchester by Los Angeles on Sunday. Campbell, 26, made his NHL debut on April 5 in Vancouver and averaged 12:42 of ice time in three games with the Kings, in which he was held scoreless.

That Campbell was recalled earlier – necessitated by Drew Doughty’s upper-body injury – was a nice acknowledgement by the Kings of the work Campbell, who is well-liked by his peers and coaches. Los Angeles had other options defensively – Jeff Schultz had already been recalled this season, and Brayden McNabb fits more squarely within the team’s future plans and has 37 games of NHL experience – yet it was Campbell, he of 444 regular season and playoff AHL games, and an unrestricted free agent on July 1, who the Kings chose to bring up at a time of the season when nothing could have been gained in the standings.

The assignment is further confirmation that Doughty will be able to play in Game 1 of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, which will open in San Jose next week. Sutter said last night that Doughty is “100%.”

The Monarchs also announced their team awards on Saturday in front of a crowd of 8,915 at Verizon Wireless Arena.

Ace Bailey Most Valuable Player Award

Jordan Weal
-as voted by the Monarchs players and coaches

Mark Bavis Unsung Hero Award
Andrew Campbell
-as voted by the Monarchs players

Monarchs Community Service Award
Andrew Campbell
-as voted by the Monarchs Care Foundation

Union Leader Fan Favorite Award
Hunter Bishop
-as voted by the fans

Manchester Monarchs Booster Club Player of the Year Award
Brian O’Neill
-as voted by the Monarchs Booster Club

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