AHLer Carter Camper dekes through offensive zone for highlight-reel Game 7 goal

Jared Clinton
Carter Camper (via Hershey Bears/YouTube)

Carter Camper has spent all but three of his 348 professional games in the AHL, and the 27-year-old center has carved out quite the niche for himself in the NHL-affiliated league. And in his fifth season in the AHL, Camper is seeing some post-season success as a member of one of the league’s most famous teams, the Hershey Bears.

Camper came into Sunday night’s Game 7 against the rival Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins riding one of the best point streaks of the season, and it couldn’t come at a more crucial time. From Game 2 onward, Camper had picked up at least a point in each contest while helping the Bears push the series to a seventh game. Late in the second period, Camper extended his point streak and put Hershey ahead with some slick moves.

After breaking into the Penguins’ zone, Camper cut to the middle of the ice with winger Riley Barber driving the Wilkes-Barre defense back by pushing towards the Penguins’ net. Following Barber, Camper dipped into the middle of the zone before slipping the puck to his backhand and going around Wilkes-Barre blueliner Jean-Sebastien Dea to get one-on-one with Penguins netminder Casey DeSmith. Camper made his partial breakaway look easy: Read more

American League means business when dealing with headshots

Ken Campbell
Andreas Johnson (via HockeyWebcast)

Dan Kelly of the Albany Devils made it oh-so-easy for the American League to toss the book at him. In fact, Andreas Johnson of the Toronto Marlies hadn’t even gotten up off the ice from the vicious headshot Kelly laid on him Tuesday night before people were predicting a double-digit suspension for him.

Clearly, Mr. Kelly has a difficult time learning to keep from hitting other players in the head, since he had already been suspending a game in December and another game last season for the same offense. Johnson, on the other hand, got almost no time to get accustomed to the learning curve when it comes to violence in North American professional hockey. After playing three years in the Swedish Elite League, he came over after the playoffs this year and was playing in just his second AHL game. The idea for him was to get a taste of the league before coming over to play full-time next season, not to get his head almost taken off.

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Vicious elbow hospitalizes Marlies’ Johnson, Devils’ Kelly likely facing suspension

Jared Clinton
Andreas Johnson (via HockeyWebcast)

The second-round Calder Cup playoff series between the Toronto Marlies and Albany Devils has been feisty. Through four games, the Marlies and Devils have traded wins and unpleasantries, leading to the teams combining for 136 penalty minutes in a series that is still at least two games away from deciding a winner.

But the aggressiveness between the two sides went too far in Tuesday’s Game 4. Midway through the second period of a game the Marlies were leading 3-1, Toronto winger Andreas Johnson collected a short pass from defenseman Connor Carrick and cut across the blueline. As Johnson turned his head to work his way into the Albany zone, he was met with a stiff elbow and forearm shot to the head from Devils defenseman Dan Kelly.

The result of the hit was frightening. Johnson, playing in only his second North American contest, was left laying flat on the ice, motionless, as the medical staff from the Marlies rushed onto the ice to attend to him: Read more

Blue Jackets prospect Milano busts out spin-o-rama, fires backhand to score must-see goal

Jared Clinton
Sonny Milano (Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

Blue Jackets fans may not have a vested interest in what happens during the NHL post-season, but down in the AHL, Columbus’ AHL affiliate, the Lake Erie Monsters, are looking like a team to keep an eye on. Especially if 19-year-old top prospect Sonny Milano is going to keep putting up highlight-reel goal.

The Monsters entered Game 4 of their second-round series against the Grand Rapids Griffins, the Detroit Red Wings’ affiliate, leading 3-0 with a chance to complete the sweep, and while a three-goal third frame from the Griffins stopped the Monsters from sending home their divisional rivals in four games, it was a Lake Erie goal that stood out most about the game.

With the score knotted at one in the first period, Milano took a pass while crossing into the Grand Rapids zone and went to work. Breaking in on Griffins defenseman Xavier Ouellet, who spent a handful of games with the Red Wings this season, Milano opened up his body as if to show pass or shot before corralling the puck on his backhand, pulling off a perfect spin-o-rama and letting go a backhand in one motion. Griffins goaltender Tom McCollum was baffled and beaten by the shot: Read more

Lightning hire Benoit Groulx to coach AHL team, Rob Zettler relieved of duties

Jared Clinton
Benoit Groulx coached Team Canada at the 2015 World Junior Championship (Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

Scratch another name off of the list of potential NHL bench bosses.

The Syracuse Crunch announced Tuesday that they’ve relieved coach Rob Zettler of his duties as coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning AHL affiliate, and Benoit Groulx, who was considered a candidate for one of the NHL openings, will take over behind the Crunch bench.

Zettler had coached the Crunch for the past four seasons after taking over behind the bench during the back half of the 2012-13 campaign. Under Zettler, the Crunch had a 108-90-41 record, but after he led the team to the Calder Cup final in his first year behind the bench after taking over from Jon Cooper, the Crunch had failed to recapture the same level of success. Syracuse missed the playoffs in 2013-14, exited in the first round in 2014-15 and missed the post-season again this past season.

His replacement, Groulx, comes on as Crunch coach after six successful seasons as coach and GM of the QMJHL’s Gatineau Olympiques, as well as a gold medal as coach of Team Canada at the 2015 World Junior Championship. Read more

How the Dallas Stars gambled on Mattias Janmark – and won

Mattias Janmark (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Before the season began, Mattias Janmark had a pretty heavy choice ahead of him. According to his contract, he could head back to Sweden if the Dallas Stars couldn’t find a roster spot for him. Sure, Janmark was familiar with AHL Texas from a brief visit the previous season, but the ball was in his court and it was either Frolunda or The Show.

Luckily for Dallas, Janmark earned his way into The Show.

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