1/25 Recap: Gerbe Disturbs; Amerks Continue Slide

#6 Michigan State opened the weekend's marquee match-up by escaping a hostile Yost Arena with a 1-0 win over #1 Michigan. The line of Justin Abdelkader (DET) centering Sabres prospects Tim Kennedy and Corey Tropp generated ten shots on goal, but could not connect. The Munn will rocking tomorrow as the clubs head back to E. Lansing to complete another installment of the biter rivalry.

With Hobey Baker front-runner Kevin Porter of Michigan posting blanks for just the fourth time all season, Nathan Gerbe had a chance to ease the gap in a showdown against old-friend Ben Bishop and Maine. Instead, the left wing himself put up zeros as the Eagles and Black Bears played to a 3-3 tie. BC banger Andrew Orpik was also in action, but did not register a point for the tenth consecutive game.

Despite going pointless, Gerbe still managed to make some noise on the ice. Midway through the third, the goaltender Bishop took exception as he skated into the crease after the whistle. The netminder shot right at the smaller Gerbe, setting off a slight melee. Gerbe ended up with the extra penalty for his efforts, and Maine would proceed to score on the ensuing power play to earn the tie.

Seeing Bishop lose his cool is not surprising when recalling the 5'5 agitator's attempt to show him up last February. After scoring a goal, Gerbe taunted the Blues draft pick instead of celebrating with teammates, leading Bishop to drop Gerbe to the ice. Needless to say, the two are not fans of each other.

Regardless of your opinion on Gerbe's methods, you have to admire his taste for larger targets. At 6'7, 210 pounds, Ben Bishop is an oak tree in the crease. Two seasons ago, Gerbe blew a fuse in a fight with 6'2, 200-pound Jordan Hart of Merrimack. Gerbe's fearlessness is an uncommon trait in the Sabres' prospect stable.

Elsewhere, Nick Eno got his third consecutive start as #21 Bowling Green traveled to South Bend to take on #9 Notre Dame. Outshot 16-2 in the first period, the freshman was buzzed for three goals while making several tough saves against the hungry Irish. Eno would let two more past him in the second, eventually giving way to Jimmy Spratt to finish out the 6-1 ugly loss. The loss lowers the Howell, MI native's record to 8-4 on the season.

Rounding out NCAA play, Matt Generous was +1 in the Saints' 3-1 loss to Union. A stabilizing cog on the Saint Lawrence blueline, the Cheshire, CT native is now a team-best +14 with the next best total being a distant +5. Generous is the only drafted player on the SLU roster.

Moving north, Benjamin Breault scored a pair of goals as Q pace-setters Baie-Comeau defeated Acadie-Bathurst, 4-3 in a shootout. The game's #1 star has six points in his last three games, and looks to add to his total Sunday against a Victoriaville club that has given up the third most goals in the league.

The other Sabrecentric game on the Q slate featured Paul Byron, who had a power play assist in Gatineau's 6-0 shutout of Val d'Or.

In Omaha, Drew MacKenzie assisted on the only Black Hawks goal in their 3-1 loss to the Lancers. The Taft product has doubled his production of late with seven points in his last 14 games after posting five points through his first twenty.

Drew Schiestel was +1 as Niagara rode a five-point night from Jordan Foreman to a 6-3 win over last place Kingston.

In Germany, Philip Gogulla was quiet as the third-ranked Cologne Sharks lost to Augsburger, 2-1. Felix Schutz was equally quiet in Ingolstadt's 4-3 loss to Berlin.

Also of note, more Russian Super League stats were recently posted. Artem Kriukov, the infamous first round pick of the 2000 draft, has cooled after his nice start for SKA. Now age 25, the center has scored seven goals for 15 points - a total he seems to have been stuck at for the past fifteen games. All in all, it's an improvement over the four points he had all of last season.

Also in Russia, defenseman Vjacheslav Buravchikov has gone pointless with a -4 in 34 games for Ak Bars.

***

Finally, the sinking ship that is the 2007-08 Rochester Americans season endured another loss last night against Lake Erie. The Amerks started quickly, sprinting out to a 3-0 lead after one. Dylan Hunter had two assists in the opening frame, with Marc-Andre Gragnani, Rej Sekera, and Michael Funk also picking up helpers.

The Avalanche affiliate would claw their way back, scoring three goals of their own in the second. Still deadlocked through the end of OT, the Amerks failed on all five shootout attempts against Tyler Weiman. Meanwhile, Jamie Lundmark beat Tyler Plante to seal the 4-3 Monsters win.

Marek Zagrapan
remained out of the lineup as he clears himself of illness, while Marc-Andre Gragnani (+2) shifted back to defense for the entire game.

On a happier note in Rochester, congratulations go out to Mark Mancari, who today was named to his first AHL All-Star game in place of the near-graduated Clarke MacArthur.
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