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Ferraro having super season despite the snub by Boston
By BOB DICK
Journal Sports Writer
PROVIDENCE -- When the season began, P-Bruins winger Peter Ferraro wasn't the happiest of players. He thought he had a good training camp with Boston, but when it came time for the first cuts, Ferraro was on the list.
Ferraro, who two years ago played 46 games for Boston, felt he had played well in the early scrimmages and deserved a longer look.
Now, fast forward three months and Ferraro is an AHL All-Star and will play for the PlanetUSA squad in the All-Star Game Jan. 15.
To his credit, Ferraro didn't allow Boston's decision to affect his play for Providence. He has been terrific, tallying 16 goals in 26 games, and came into last night's game against Norfolk tied for second in the league in scoring.
"It is an exciting moment," said Ferraro, who will play in his third All-Star Game. He was chosen last year, but could not compete because of a sprained ankle.
"I'm a competitor and I'm serious about my career. I want to have as much success at this as I can," Ferraro said. "In terms of missing out in Boston, I was hoping to get more of an opportunity than I did. But, that's all in the past, and I just want to continue to have a good year with my team here."
Fans still love Downey
When former P-Bruin Aaron Downey gave visiting Norfolk a 1-0 lead at 16:58 of the first period last night, the Admirals must have thought they were in their own arena. When Downey's name was announced as the goal-scorer, the large crowd in the Civic Center gave Downey a huge ovation. The goal was Downey's third of the season. It was Downey's second ovation of the night. He received the loudest cheers when the starters were introduced.
Littering for a good cause
The script last night called for teddy bears to be thrown on the ice by the crowd after Providence scored its first goal.
That celebration occurred at 7:37 of the second period when Lee Goren scored his eighth goal of the season, tying the score at 1-1. Hundreds of teddy bears, distributed to the fans before the game, came flying out of the stands and littered the ice. They were then collected and will be donated to the Providence Journal Santa Claus Fund.
It was reported yesterday that Ferraro, Cameron Mann, Eric Manlow and Brandon Smith were selected as starters for the All-Star Game. That turned out to be incorrect. Mann, Manlow and Smith, who will play for the Canadian team, and Ferraro, were selected by AHL coaches, not by fan balloting. The fans selected only the starting units.
Chosen by fan-voting as starters for the PlanetUSA team, that will be coached by Providence's Bill Armstrong, were goaltender Mikka Kiprusoff (Kentucky), defensemen Mike Hurlbut (Rochester) and Chris O'Sullivan (Cincinnati), and forwards Billy Tibbetts (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton), Toby Petersen (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton) and Mike Peluso (Worcester).
Canadian starters are goaltender Frederic Cassivi (Hershey), defensemen Mike Gaul (Syracuse) and John Slaney (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton), and forwards Bobby House (St. John's), Brad Smyth (Hartford) and Daniel Corso (Worcester).
Zehr continues rehab
Winger Jeff Zehr continues to work hard in an effort to return to the Providence lineup. The 22-year-old Zehr, who played only 16 games last year (four with Boston), is still recovering from knee surgery. Zehr currently skates on his own after team practices.
"I know I'm going to play again and that will come from hard work," Zehr said.
Zehr's problem is a hole in his right kneecap. "I had to get my kneecap realigned because it kept dislocating on me. And I have most of my cartilage out , so it's pretty much bone-on-bone. But every day I'm getting stronger."
Zehr, who wears a knee brace, said he's in no rush to get back. "I'm going to make sure everything is 100 percent even if that means waiting an extra month. If everything goes well, I'll start some contact in practice around the first of the year and then we'll see what happens."
Goaltender Judd Lambert, who was released by Providence this week, says he'll stay with the club and continue rehabbing the sprained ankle which has kept him out of action for a month. Lambert said he'll probably return to Augusta (ECHL) after Christmas . . . In addition to leading the league in points with 38 and topping the league in assists with 30, Manlow is tied for second in the AHL at plus-15. P-Bruins defenseman Nick Boynton is right behind at plus-14.
© 2000 The Providence Journal Company