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Posted: Thursday, March 22, 2012 4:34 pm

Former Rocky River icer Camper scores first NHL goal

Carter Camper, a Jewish hockey player from Rocky River, scored his first NHL goal after he was promoted to the Boston Bruins – the defending Stanley Cup champions – from the AHL’s Providence Bruins.

Camper, 23, said he was “just amazed” when he got the call from Peter Chiarelli, the Bruins’ general manager.

“I don’t even remember what he said to me when he told me to hop on the plane that night,” Camper said. “I was just ecstatic.”

Camper, a Miami of Ohio graduate, joined the team on the road against the St. Louis Blues and roomed with veteran David Krejci, who spent his entire six-season NHL career with the Bruins organization.

“It was an eye-opening moment for me,” Camper, a center, said of his fellow position player. “He’s a good guy. I picked his brain a bit. All those guys, really, any questions: They’re more than happy to answer you and help you out. For the most part, most of these guys have been in these situations where it’s their first time called up or their first NHL game. It’s something you have to kind of return the favor.”

Camper’s first NHL goal came three days after his promotion, against the Ottawa Senators. He said the impact of his feat didn’t strike him immediately.

“You score so many goals in your life,” said Camper, who’s played hockey for 20 years. “When you score, you raise your hand and you celebrate. Maybe a second or two after (I scored), I had a second celebration where I realized I just scored my first NHL goal.”

On February 27, the NHL trade deadline, Camper was sent back down to Providence when the Bruins acquired defensemen Greg Zanon and Mike Mottau and former Bruin Brian Rolston. Camper said he knew Boston would make some trades to make another run at the championship but wasn’t sure how it would affect him.

“When I got the call that day, I was just told I had made a good impression,” Camper said. “The coaches know they can trust me now. It’s just a numbers thing. I understand it. … I still have a long way to go to develop my game.”

He called his short-lived NHL experience a “dream.”

“I think just lately I realized how lucky I am, how lucky we all are, to play professional hockey,” he said. “I just can’t even think of it as a job. You get to do what you love every day and what you’ve been doing your whole life. There’s just nothing better than it.”

 NEW PREP CONFERENCE: Dennis Greenwald, athletic director at Fuchs Mizrachi School in Beachwood, said the school is in talks with seven other schools to create a new conference.

“It’s going through its infancy now,” Greenwald said. “It takes a lot of work to write up. We’re hoping to have it for the winter. We can’t do the fall because it’s too late.”

The new conference could potentially include Mizrachi, Lake Ridge Academy, Lutheran East High School, Open Door Christian High School, Cornerstone Christian Academy, Community Christian High School, Heritage Christian High School, and HEARTS for Jesus Christ Christian Education Institute.  

 ROTSKY HONORED: The Cleveland Touchdown Club Award Banquet honored Jeff Rotsky, the Cleveland Heights High School head football coach, with the Dr. Lee and Eloise Tressel Award at its annual awards banquet March 3.

The award honors a football coach who demonstrates sportsmanship on and off the field, inspires others, and shows dedication to the coaching and educating profession. Past winners include longtime St. Ignatius coach Chuck Kyle, Mentor coach Steve Trivisonno, and Glenville coach Ted Ginn Sr., who coached Heisman Trophy winner and former Ohio State University quarterback Troy Smith.

mdefaveri@cjn.org

 

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