3/15 Recap: Gerbe gains; Eno, Eidsness exit

Someday the Sabres will achieve synergy in all facets of the organization. On a night when the top club gave Toronto a licking to boost their playoff hopes, a few members of the prospect stable had their seasons derailed by key losses. Not all was bad, though. One name in the "good" column is that of Boston College LW Nathan Gerbe, who tonight continued to battle shadowing defenders with a one goal, one assist effort in a 5-1 win over Providence. Gerbe's goal, his 27th of the season, came on a dazzling penalty shot after he was hauled down on an end-to-end rush in the second period. Andrew Orpik remained at center, checking out for the night with a -1 rating. The Eagles will face #1 seed UNH next weekend. (Tip of the hat to Devo for finding the Gerbe penalty shot) Already thought to have a spot in the NCAA tourney locked up, Chris Butler and the Denver Pioneers closed out their WCHA series with a 1-0 win over Duluth. Paired with sophomore Cody Brookwell, the St. Louis native was even with a pair of minor penalties in the win. With a couple match-ups yet to be settled, the Pios next opponent will be determined tomorrow. As expected, Nick Eno got the start for Bowling Green, but the Falcons season ended with a 4-2 loss to Miami. A 7th round selection in 2007, Eno didn't have the greatest night against the strong Miami offense, allowing four goals on just 11 shots through the first two periods. His tentative play set-in after he was tripped up while skating out to play a puck in the mid-second period. Regardless, the loss completes a solid season that saw the freshman goaltender post a 12-10 record for the surprising Falcons. The battle for who will face Miami next weekend remains unsettled. Michigan State had their eyes on a sweep, but despite out-shooting the Wildcats by a 42-30 margin, instead fell to Northern Michigan, 2-1. The Spartans first line, made up of Buffalo natives Tim Kennedy and Chris Mueller flanking Detroit prospect Justin Abdelkader, was kept off the scoresheet in the loss. Freshman Corey Tropp again skated on the bottom unit for MSU, mustering two shots on goal. Harvard defenseman Alex Biega cranked out eight shots on goal, but the Crimson didn't have enough in a 7-4 loss to Quinnipiac. The series is now knotted at one game apiece, with the puck dropping on the deciding game three tomorrow night at 7:00. In the AJHL playoffs, the standout junior career of Okotoks goaltender Brad Eidsness came to an end with a 1-0 loss to underdog Drumheller. The league MVP stopped 29 Dragon shots, but the Oiler offense that scored just eight goals all series long failed to produce with their paltry 17 shots on the evening. As one chapter ends for Eidsness, a more prestigious one begins next fall as he enters the WCHA as a North Dakota frosh. A night after defeating the league's top team in Omaha, Drew Mackenzie was -1 as Waterloo downed Sioux City, 5-1. The streaking Black Hawks have now gone 9-1 in their last ten games, and sit in second place in the USHL Eastern Division. When we last left the RSL, Vjacheslav Buravchikov and #7 seed Ak-Bars were waiting for their quarterfinal opponent while Artem Kriukov and #6 SKA were heading to a first-round game five with Spartak. SKA pulled through, earning the right to face Kriukov's former team, Lokomotiv, in the second round. Meanwhile, Ak-Bars drew a match-up with #3 CSKA Moscow. In game one, Kriukov went scoreless as his club shutdown Alexei Yashin and the rest of the Yaroslavl attack in a 4-0 win. The following night, Yashin notched a hat trick as Lokomotiv evened the series with a 5-1 win. Kriukov was quiet in that contest as well. Buravchikov scored the third Kazan goal in their 6-0 game one rout of CSKA. The goal was his second of the entire 2007-08 campaign. In game two, Buravchikov did not hit the scoresheet as Kazan got a Petr Cjanek goal late to edge CSKA, 6-5. Game three results for both Russians will be available after their Sunday completion. Finally, the Rochester Americans put up a valiant come-from-behind effort with just 15 skaters in a 4-3 overtime loss at Binghamton. Mark Mancari fueled the comeback with a goal and two assists, and Dylan Hunter added a spark with a goal and an assist of his own. Adam Dennis did his part, making 40 saves to keep the game within reach. For the B-Sens, former Sabres prospect Denis Hamel had a goal and an assist, while Buffalo's fifth-round pick in 1999, Matt Kinch, set up the short-handed winner in overtime. The Rundown: Mancari - goal, two assists, -2, 5 SOG Hunter- goal, assist, -1, 5 SOG Gragnani - assist Zagrapan - 1 SOG, 2 PIM Dennis - 40 saves
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