|The Associated Press|
Carter wasn't the only former Mav celebrating on Wednesday night. In the ECHL, Trevor Bruess' and Rylan Galiardi's Florida Everblades won the Kelly Cup as that league's champions, beating the Las Vegas Wranglers (with Channing Boe and Joe Schiller).
Meanwhile in the USHL, the Green Bay Gamblers won the Clark Cup on Wednesday night, beating the Waterloo Black Hawks in the decisive fifth game. Waterloo goalie and future Maverick Stephon Williams stopped 28 of 32 shots in the 5-2 loss.
|The Free Press|
Carter left MSU following his sophomore season. It was the same year All-American David Backes departed. The difference was Backes, a junior, was a high draft pick of the St. Louis Blues, and leaving early seemed inevitable. Carter's signing was a shocker. At the time, MSU coach Troy Jutting called it a "punch to the gut."
But it was hard to blame Carter for leaving.
He was coming off a 19-goal, 35-point season (34 goals, 58 points in 76 career games), and was good in all areas of the ice. He had a cannon shot on the power play, was good on the kill and I'm trying to think if the Mavericks have had a better faceoff man since he left. After playing two years of junior hockey and two years of college hockey, the undrafted forward was 22 years old. He admittedly never thought he'd have such a chance after two seasons and had to wonder if another opportunity like the Anaheim Ducks offered him would come along again.
|The Free Press|
Carter has carved out an identity as a fourth-line grinder and sometimes fighter. But he played in a career-high 65 NHL games during the regular season. He had four goals and four assists and 84 penalty minutes. In the playoffs, he has five points, including three goals, including a big game-tying goal a week ago in an eventual Game 2 win against the Rangers.
Of course, none was bigger than the one he scored Wednesday night.