DULUTH - Two days after posting a dramatic game-winning goal in overtime and setting a new team record for points in a season, Jeff Campbell received his first American Hockey League callup.
Campbell, the Gwinnett Gladiators two-time All-Star and leading scorer, left for Lowell of the AHL on Tuesday. Campbell is the 15th Gwinnett player to be promoted this season.
Gladiators head coach Jeff Pyle expected the 25-year-old to be gone for at least this week while the Lock Monsters battle for a playoff spot. Lowell, the AHL affiliate of the Florida Everblades, trails Providence in the race for the division's final postseason berth by 11 points.
Providence, currently enjoying the play of former Gladiator Pascal Pelletier, has also played four fewer games than the Lock Monsters.
"If (Lowell) struggles this weekend, there's a good chance he'll come back," Pyle said. "But I'm glad for Soupy. He deserves it."
Campbell, who joins Gwinnett teammate Scott Kelman in Lowell, was the overtime hero on Sunday at the Arena at Gwinnett Center.
The Western Michigan University product banged home a rebound on the power play 1:50 into overtime.
With a shout and a few Tiger Woods-like arm pumps, Campbell celebrated his seventh game-winning goal of the season. The win over South Carolina increased Gwinnett's division lead to 14 points and ensured that the Gladiators (42-11-7) can finish no worse than third in the race for playoff position. (Greenville and Florida won Tuesday to shave two points off Gwinnett's division lead.)
It was also Campbell's 77th point of the season. He surpassed Kevin Doell's prior team-best mark of 73 during the game and is close to the franchise record of 88 set when the team was still in Mobile, Ala.
The Gladiators, aiming for the conference's top seed, don't have a game until Friday. They are on the road at Greenville then return home for a meeting with Charlotte on Saturday.
"I'm happy for him," Pyle said. "It shouldn't affect anything (here). He's a good player, but we just have to be smart."
Note: ECHL teams have until today at 3 p.m. to make trades. AHL teams are still permitted to assign players to ECHL teams and affiliate may continue to make callups.