Thursday, September 30, 2010

Providence Training Camp Begins

Providence Opens Camp Filled With Optimism
By T. Chace Jr.
September 29, 2010

After a disappointing 2009-10 season in which the Providence Bruins did not make the playoffs, optimism abounds this year. With so many injuries and call-ups to the big club in Boston last season, it seemed the AHL club never dressed the same team twice.

Training camp opened on September 28th at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Rhode Island’s capital city with 26 players, some of whom were on tryout agreements. Many of the players who expected to see action this year were still in camp with Boston. However, as of this writing, Joe Colborne, Zach Hamill, Steve Kampfer, Jeff LoVecchio, Wyatt Smith, and Jeremy Reich were sent down today, so the roster is still in flux. Providence plays the Worcester Sharks on September 29th in their first of two exhibition games and many of the established players will sit out.

Goaltending will be interesting to watch this year as Adam Courchaine, Matt Dalton, and Mike Hutchinson all saw action in net at training camp. All three looked impressive, calm, and seemed to relish their opportunity. The defense boasts returning players Andy Bodnarchuk, Alain Goulet, Jeff Penner, and Cody Wild. Training camp d-men included Russian Yury Alexandrov, veteran Nathan McIver and players on tryout agreements Jack Christian, Matt Delahy, Ryan Donald, Matt Generous, Brandon Gentile, and Todd Perry. Forwards on tryout agreements include Casey Haines, Devin Timberlake, and WHL goal scorer, Walker Wintoneak. Wintoneak had 31 goals in 2008-09 and 25 goals and 49 assists in 2009-10 for the Saskatoon Blades. Returning forwards include Jordan Knackstead, enforcer Lane MacDermid, veteran Kirk MacDonald, Levi Nelson, Yannick Riendeau, and Max Sauve. Newcomer Antoine Roussel and Jordan Smotherman rounded out camp. Training camp is missing Providence captain from last year, Trent Whitfield, who suffered an Achilles tendon injury while training for the new season.

The Providence coaching staff, led by Head Coach Rob Murray and Asst. Coach “Butch” Cassidy, was joined on the ice by Reading Royals Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations, Larry Courville. Many of the players in camp will end up in Reading, the ECHL affiliate of both Boston and the Toronto Maple Leafs. The whole Bruins organization and their fans are excited about the possibilities the 2010-11 season. Let the games begin!

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