By Mike Miccoli
The list is quite extensive. Ryan Spooner, Matt Fraser, Nick Johnson, Craig Cunningham, Kevan Miller, David Warsofsky, Zach Trotman--all Providence Bruins that have seen time with the parent club in Boston due to the recent rash of injuries that hit the NHL roster. The one name inexplicably missing from the list is the leading scorer for Providence.
With many of the core Providence skaters taking spots in Boston, Carter Camper has resumed his responsibility of being an offensive contributor to the team. It’s paid off, too. Camper now leads all Providence skaters with seven goals and 18 assists for 25 points. This week, Camper scored three goals and assisted on three others in Providence’s three games, extending his point-streak to five games.
Camper has been one of the more consistent players for the Providence Bruins in their unusual season thus far. Between injuries to their own players and call-ups to replace hurt Boston skaters, the Providence roster has been capricious from the beginning of the season. Although Camper is one of the top forwards on the Providence roster who has yet to earn a call-up to Boston this season, he’s seen some NHL action before. Camper wore the Spoked-B during the 2011-12 season and tallied a goal in the three games he spent with the team.
Camper signed a one-year, two-way extension with the Boston Bruins this past offseason, continuing with the organization that inked him as an undrafted free agent in 2011. Although it’s almost certain Spooner will stick with the team, Camper becomes even more of an important cog for Providence as the top-line center. And if he continues to produce offensively, he could be the next call-up when the time comes.
New England Power Rankings
1) Springfield Falcons (21-5-1-3): Jonathan Marchessault’s offensive outburst of three goals and two assists in the Falcons’ three games this weekend is a big reason why the team continues to play solid hockey. Even with only one win this week, the Falcons remain one of the stingiest teams to play against in the AHL with a league-lowest five regulation losses.(Last week: 1-1-0-1)
2) Manchester Monarchs (22-7-1-4): Newly returned from Los Angeles, winger Linden Vey came back just in time to a Monarchs offense that was in need of more offense. Vey scored two and assisted on another in Saturday’s 5-2 win over the Hartford Wolfpack. (Last week: 1-2)
3) Providence Bruins (16-10-1-5): It has been more of the same for a Providence team that has seen many of its core players get recalled to Boston in the wake of the Bruins’ injuries. Still, the team continues to tread water with new players stepping up to take over the load in the absence of their teammates. See: Carter Camper. (Last week: 2-1)
4) Portland Pirates (12-11-1-4): After a big win over the Monarchs to start the week, the Pirates were unable to carry over the momentum against a similarly strong Albany Devils squad. Secondary scoring continues to be an issue for the Pirates, still relying on production of Andy Miele for points, though Lucas Lessio did step up with two goals in Thursday night’s win. (Last week: 1-1)
5) Worcester Sharks (13-12-2-1): Following back-to-back games where the Sharks offense was shutout, Worcester bounced back with a five-goal output in a win against the St. John’s IceCaps on Friday. The good feelings didn’t last too long after a heartbreaking overtime loss against a struggling Hartford Wolfpack club the next night. (Last week: 1-1-1)
6) Hartford Wolfpack (11-16-0-4): Aside from the Providence Bruins, the Hartford Wolfpack were the only other New England AHL team to have a winning record this week. Wins against Worcester and Bridgeport helped Hartford snap a season-high nine-game losing streak before coming out flat against the Monarchs to end the week. (Last week: 2-1)
7) Bridgeport Sound Tigers (13-16-1-3): With the void left by the Ryan Strome call-up, the Sound Tigers have struggled to put together any type of consistent effort throughout the weeks. More of the same this past week where the team scraped together an overtime win after dropping their first two games. (Last week: 1-2)
Games of the Week
Tuesday, December 31:
Providence Bruins @ Manchester Monarchs (7 pm)
Friday, January 3:
Springfield Falcons @ Albany Devils (7 pm)
Saturday, January 4:
Manchester Monarchs @ Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (7:05 pm)
Sunday, January 5:
Portland Pirates @ St. John’s IceCaps (4 pm)