Cunningham makes NHL debut

Warfield’s Craig Cunningham made his NHL debut for the Boston Bruins Tuesday night in a 2-0 shut out victory over the Calgary Flames.

Warfield’s Craig Cunningham made his NHL debut for the Boston Bruins Tuesday night in a 2-0 shut out victory over the Calgary Flames, but as an emergency call up he was promptly sent back to Providence on Wednesday.

Cunningham joined the Bruins for Monday’s practice in Wilmington, Mass. from their American Hockey League affiliate in Providence, where Cunningham has netted at least 20 goals in each of the last two seasons, and has scored nine goals and added five assists in 27 games this year.

Boston has been plagued by injury, illness, and recent suspensions, and it was uncertain whether first-line forward Jerome Iginla would suit up Tuesday. Iginla skipped practice Monday from a dislocated finger suffered against the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday in a fight with Ryan Kesler.

As it turns out, Iginla was indeed in the line up and he assisted on both Zdeno Chara’s power-play goals to lift the Bruins to their sixth win in a row at home.

But rather than sitting out, Cunningham also played in his first NHL game.

“I was a little nervous my first shift,” Cunningham said on the Bruins blog. “The pace is a little quicker than in the American League but after my first shift I thought I settled in.”

The 23-year-old played eight minutes and 16 seconds through three periods and registered four shots-on-goal skating on a line with Greg Campbell and Jordan Caron.

“First game jitters and I think you could see it in that first shift but he settled down and gave us what we wanted from him,” Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien said, following Cunningham’s debut. “A real good effort.”

The former Beaver Valley Nitehawk joins Ryan Spooner, Matt Fraser, and Nick Johnson as Providence Bruins forwards who have been recalled by the big club in the last two weeks, a stretch where the Bruins have five wins and one loss in six games.

The transition is made as easy as possible for call-ups like Cunningham who see the same strategy employed at both levels of professional hockey.

“The coaching staff down there really prides themselves in the same system up top and it makes it a lot easier,” said Cunningham.

His teammates also make it easy as well, and right now, Cunningham had plenty of support to fall back on, amidst his brief stay with the big club.

“They said you’re here for a reason and just go out and play your game, it’s just another game, it happens. I had a tough time believing it was just another game but they were great,” he added.

Cunningham may be headed back to the AHL for the time being, but chances are, he’s going there knowing he has what it takes to someday make the jump.

“You want to make sure you’re your best every night and you never know when they’re there watching or where there’s going to be an opportunity up top.”

Just Posted

Pedestrian killed on Highway 22 Saturday evening

Police say 51-year-old man died after being hit by car

UPDATE: DriveBC says highway re-opened after accident

Highway 22 closed for seven hours on Saturday

Forestry workers set to begin job action in Kootenays

Operations in Castlegar, Cranbrook, Galloway, Elko, Radium, Golden may see job action this week.

Métis Flag flies in Trail on Louis Riel Day

Area students, officials and public attend flag raising at Trail City Hall

Early Trail borrowed a couple of names from the U.S.

Place Names: Connection between Trail and Butte, Montana

Saving salmon: B.C. business man believes hatcheries can help bring back the fish

Tony Allard worked with a central coast First Nation to enhance salmon stocks

High-end B.C. house prices dropping, but no relief at lower levels

But experts say home ownership remains out of reach for many for middle- and lower-income families

Worker killed in collision at B.C. coal mine

Vehicle collision occurred at approximately 10:45 a.m. this morning

B.C. asking for tips on ‘dirty money’ in horse racing, real estate, luxury cars

Action follows a Peter German report on money laundering in B.C. casinos

Canadian dead more than a week after plane crash in Guyana: Global Affairs

Global Affairs said it couldn’t provide further details on the identity of the Canadian citizen

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Victoria spent $30,000 to remove John A. Macdonald statue

Contentious decision sparked controversy, apology from mayor

Privacy concerns over credit card use for legal online pot purchases

Worries follow privacy breaches at some Canadian cannabis retailers

NEB approves operating pressure increase to repaired Enbridge pipeline

The pipeline burst outside of Prince George on Oct. 9, now operating at 85 per cent

Most Read