Well, I was going to write about Stingrays forward Andrew Cherniwchan being named the ECHL Player of the Week, but that changed this afternoon when Providence recalled Scott Campbell, Jack Downing and defenseman Steve Spinell.
Injuries and sickness in Boston and Providence have taken their toll in the last two weeks. The Bruins are hurt and evidently there’s a case of the flu going through the team. In the last couple of days, Boston called up Nick Johnson, Ryan Spooner and Matt Fraser from Providence. Defenseman Kevan Miller was called up to Boston this past Friday night.
That depleted Providence’s lineup and they called for reinforcements from South Carolina.
Like they say, when Boston is hurt, Providence and South Carolina feel the pain.
“It’s almost comical how many injuries that Boston and Providence have had over the last couple of weeks,” said Stingrays coach Spencer Carbery. “They are really banged up and eventually you know it’s going to trickle down to the ECHL. I kind of anticipated it, so it’s not a huge shock to lose three players. Hopefully, we’ll have some guys step up like we’ve had all season and keep this thing rolling.”
The Stingrays now have six guys in the AHL, Campbell, Downing, Spinell, plus Jordan Owens (Hamilton), Chris Langkow (Bridgeport), and Chad Painchaud (Norfolk). Carbery doesn’t expect any to return this weekend.
He said that Langkow has played well since joining Bridgeport and might not return to the Stingrays during the regular-season. Langkow has two assists in 11 games for the Sound Tigers.
“Chris has been their third-line centerman and has been one of their top penalty killers,” Carbery said. “He’s probably played his way into a contract.”
Including defenseman Ryan Grimshaw, who broke his nose a couple of weeks ago in Kalamazoo, the Stingrays have 14 skates in practice this week. Carbery said he’s going to sign a couple of guys from the SPHL for the weekend.
“We hope to have them in by Thursday,” Carbery said.
Someone asked me earlier how the Stingrays were able to sign goalie David LeNeveu.
LeNeveu had made it clear during the summer that he wasn’t going back to Europe and was looking for an AHL contract. When that didn’t happen, he started to get a little nervous and just wanted to get back on the ice.
Cabery had been in contact with LeNeveu’s agent over the summer and when Adam Morrison’s injury turned out to be more serious than previously thought, he called LeNeveu’s agent to see if he was interesting in playing.
The rest as they say, is history. LeNeveu is 2-0-0 with two shutouts. Can’t get any better than that.
Here are some particulars on Cherniwchan, Downing, Campbell and Spinell as provided by Joey Z.
Cherniwchan, 24, scored four goals, added two assists and was a +4 last week helping the Stingrays defeat the division-rival Orlando Solar Bears in a pair of contests at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. The Hinton, Alberta, native scored two goals, including the game-winner and a shorthanded goal, and had an assist in a 3-0 win on Friday before scoring two more goals, including his second-straight game-winning tally, and adding another assist, in a 5-1 victory on Saturday.
Cherniwchan is tied for third on the Stingrays with 16 points (8 goals, 8 assists) in 17 games this season, is tied for the team lead with three game-winning goals and leads the team with a +12 rating. In 72 career ECHL games with South Carolina, Cherniwchan has 44 points (22 goals, 22 assists). Prior to turning pro, he skated four seasons at Northern Michigan University totaling 84 points (35 goals, 49 assists) in 146 career games.
“Andrew has really taken advantage of his opportunity,” Carbery said. “With all the guys we’ve had out of the lineup, we’ve asked him to become more involved offensively and he’s answered the bell.”
Downing, 24, scored six goals and five assists for 11 points in 16 games with the Stingrays this season. The New Canaan, Connecticut, native appeared in 34 games with the Elmira Jackals (ECHL) last season adding 14 goals and 14 assists for 28 points and netted four points (1 goal, 3 assists) in 19 contests with their AHL affiliate, the Binghamton Senators. In three professional seasons, Downing skated in 66 AHL games, all with Binghamton, totaling 21 points (12 goals, 9 assists).
Campbell, 27, appeared in 21 games with the Stingrays this season registering eight goals and eight assists for 16 points. Last season, the Navan, Ontario, product split time between the Las Vegas Wranglers of the ECHL and Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL). In Las Vegas, Campbell acquired 10 points (4 goals, 6 assists) in 24 contests and added 18 points (7 goals, 11 assists) in 46 games with the Sound Tigers. Currently in his third full professional campaign, Campbell saw 65 games of AHL action with the Houston Aeros, Texas Stars, Rochester Americans and Sound Tigers, only picking up points with Bridgeport.
A rookie this season, Spinell, 23, buried five points (1 goal, 4 assists) in 21 contests with the Stingrays. Prior to turning pro, the Vernon Hills, Illinois, native completed a four-year collegiate career at Miami University (Ohio) totaling 36 points (4 goals, 32 assists) in 149 games and served as team captain his senior year.