– It all started with a quick poke check from forward Josh Hennessy
and a shot from defenseman Adam McQuaid
. The rebound fluttered in front of the net, and rookie Carter Camper
buried the puck past Ottawa Senators goaltender Alex Auld.
Just like that, in a matter of seconds, Camper notched his first NHL goal in his third game with the team.
"I've been dreaming about it ever since I was a little kid practicing in the back yard or on the ice by yourself picturing that first NHL goal," the 23-year old forward said. "Hennessy made a great play getting on the forecheck and knocking the puck loose. It went up to McQuaid on the point and I saw him shoot and the rebound was lying there and I just looked over my shoulder and saw the empty net and it just went in."
Camper's linemates began to celebrate, and the moment was surreal for the Rocky River, Ohio native, as he skated up the Bruins bench fist-bumping his teammates. It wasn't until he took a seat that it finally hit him.
When asked how it felt, Camper simply said, "It was cool."
Camper, who lead the Providence Bruins with 38 points before joining the Bruins Feb. 20, said he knew that the Bruins had a deep roster, so he was excited to contribute any way possible.
"I wanted to come in here and just contribute any way I could," Camper said. "They have a good team, they're deep, and whether it was one shift or five shifts or ten sifts, I just wanted to make a difference out there."
Camper skated alongside Providence teammate Hennessy and Benoit Pouliot
, and he said he was happy to be able to keep the offense going in the game.
"I think my first couple of shifts, we felt good out there," Camper said. [I was] talking to Hennessy on the bench, we were playing in the offensive zone a little bit more and that's where we need to be. And we got some pucks in deep and we were fortunate enough to make a play there and I was able to get the goal."
Camper's goal was instrumental in the team's win – an important one that slightly expanded the Bruins (37-20-3, 77 points) lead over the Senators (32-23-8, 72) in the Northeast division.
When asked how it felt to be playing in a playoff-like atmosphere, Camper was just excited to be in the NHL – period.
"I have nothing to compare it to," Camper said when asked about the intense atmosphere. "But every game is so exciting. The NHL is something you always want to be a part of and hopefully I can be around for a while."--- Anthony Gulizia