manchester monarchs

The Manchester Monarchs are ceasing operations after 18 years of professional hockey in New Hampshire's largest city.

The minor league hockey team made the announcement in a letter to fans posted to their website Wednesday morning.

The new-look Manchester Monarchs host their season opener Friday night.

This will be the Monarchs’ inaugural season in the ECHL, formerly known as the East Coast Hockey League.

That league is a tier below the American Hockey League, which the Monarchs played in for 15 years.

After the team won its first AHL Calder Cup championship last year, its parent team the Los Angeles Kings moved the franchise to Ontario, California.

That team was replaced by the Kings’ double-A affiliate, which kept the Monarchs’ name and logo.

The Manchester Monarchs will raise the team’s first Calder Cup championship banner Tuesday night.

The team clinched the title over the weekend, and will hold a celebration at Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester. The event kicks off at 6 and is open to the general public.

The Monarchs beat the Utica Comets 2-1 in Game 5 of the best-of-seven series Saturday night.

The team’s first championship will also be its last.

After 15 seasons in the Granite State, the Los Angeles Kings’ triple-A affiliate is moving to California.

Rich Tilton/

The Manchester Monarchs are two wins away from the team’s first Calder Cup championship.

An overtime goal Sunday gave the Manchester Monarchs a 2-1 victory in Game 2, and a commanding 2-0 lead in the series against the Utica Comets.

The Monarchs took Game 1 in overtime, as well.

In their final season in New Hampshire, the Manchester Monarchs could go out on a high note.

The team is headed to its first Calder Cup Finals. Game 1 is slated for Saturday night in Manchester against the Utica Comets.

Alex Hall covers the Monarchs for the New Hampshire Union Leader.

He joined NHPR's Morning Edition for a preview of the series.

Manchester Monarchs

For the first time in franchise history, the Manchester Monarchs are headed to the Calder Cup Finals.

The Monarchs finished off a sweep of the Hartford Wolf Pack with a 3-1 win Wednesday night, capturing the team’s first American Hockey League Eastern Conference title.

Manchester will take on the winner of the Western Conference finals. The Utica Comets and the Grand Rapids Griffins are tied at a game apiece.

Game 1 of the Calder Cup Finals will be June 6 at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester.