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10/30 Recap: Adam keeps rolling

Written By Kris Baker on Saturday, October 31, 2009 | 10/31/2009

Luke Adam scored his 11th goal of the year on Friday as Cape Breton defeated Halifax, 4-1. Adam, who was nmed the game's #3 star, helped pace the Eagles attack with a game-best six shots on goal. The reliable center is currently 7th in QMJHL scoring with 26 points. Elsewhere in the Q, Maxime Legault scored two goals including an empty netter as Shawinigan outlasted Gatineau, 5-3. On Thursday, Legault was held without a point in the Cataractes' 4-1 loss to Rouyn-Noranda. Jordon Southorn had an assist as PEI dropped a 4-3 overtime decision to Quebec. In the WHL, Brayden McNabb picked up a power play assist in Kootenay's 2-1 win over Brandon. The big lefty has three goals and 16 points for the Ice (6-11). In Friday night OHL play, Marcus Foligno had a pair of first period assists as Sudbury edged Niagara, 5-4. The gritty winger caused a major scrum to earn two of his eight penalty minutes late in the second period after he was hit from behind. On Wednesday, Foligno was +1 in a loss at Soo. Zack Kassian earned a checking to the head minor and a misconduct for abuse of officials as Peterborough lost at Mississauga-St. Mike's, 4-3. As expected, Kassian returned to the Petes lineup on Thursday, picking up checking to the head and cross-checking minors in 6-4 win over Oshawa. Nick Crawford was +1 in Saginaw's 6-1 win over Sarnia. In NCAA play, Drew MacKenzie assisted on the only Catamount goal as Vermont lost at Maine, 4-1. Alex Biega was +1 with a shot on goal as Harvard opened their regular season scehdule with a 5-3 win over Dartmouth. Entering the night as the nation's leading scorer, Corey Tropp finished even as Michigan State defeated Western Michigan, 2-1. Nick Eno watched as Bowling Green played to a 3-3 tie with Nebraska-Omaha. In Denver, Justin Jokinen was -1 as Mankato lost to the Pioneers, 4-3. Jokinen was involved in an unfortunate play in the third period that saw Denver goalie Marc Cheverie taken off the ice on a stretcher with a severe cut to his calf. Breaking towards the goal, Jokinen was taken down by defenseman Patrick Wiercioch, at which point he slid backwards into the Pio crease where his skate caught the goaltender on his back of his lower leg. In USHL play, Mark Adams was even as Chicago was blanked by Cedar Rapids, 2-0.
10/31/2009 | 0 comments | Read More

Kassian, Lagacé eye return

Written By Kris Baker on Tuesday, October 27, 2009 | 10/27/2009

Injured Sabres prospects Zack Kassian and Jacob Lagacé appear set for a return to their junior lineups when their teams hit the ice later this week. Kassian, who was recently named to Team OHL for next month's Subway Super Series against the Russian Selects, has been out since October 2nd when he suffered a separated shoulder against the Soo Greyhounds. The 6'3 banger has been skating for the past week, and is likely to return to his captain's duties on either Thursday against Oshawa or Friday at Mississauga. Kassian had scored three goals and eight points through his first seven games before getting hurt. Lagacé, who was leveled with his head down last Friday by Quebec's Danick Paquette, was held out of Chicoutimi's game with Rimouski on Sunday due to lingering consussion-like symptoms. Doctors have not ruled it a concussion however, making a Thursday return a real possibility for the Sags leading scorer.
10/27/2009 | 3 comments | Read More

CCHA honors for Tropp

On Monday, Michigan State right wing Corey Tropp was rewarded for his recent hot streak by being named CCHA Offensive Player of the week. From the Sabres:
Michigan State’s top-line winger has been an offensive force in the first three weeks of the season; in last weekend’s action, he had a goal and a pair of assists on the split with Miami (2-1 loss, 3-2 win (OT). Tropp assisted on MSU’s lone goal on Friday, then had a goal and an assist in Saturday’s win. Defensively, Tropp was not on the ice for any of Miami’s four goals against in the two games, and all of his points came with Michigan State skating on the man advantage. Tropp’s 12 points is a current national and CCHA lead, and he leads the conference in goals (6), assists (6), and power-play goals (4) and points (8) as well. The 20-year-old Tropp was selected by the Sabres in the third round (89th overall) in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.
10/27/2009 | 0 comments | Read More

10/24-25 Recap: Tropp sparks Spartans

Corey Tropp scored the first Spartan goal and added an assist as Michigan State continued to surprise the college hockey world on Saturday with a 3-2 overtime win over Miami. The junior right wing leads all NCAA icers with six goals and six assists for the 4-2 Spartans. State finished a miserable 10-23-5 in 2008-09. Sophomore Connor Knapp made 19 saves for the RedHawks to move to 1-1 as the Saturday starter. In the QMJHL, Luke Adam scored his eighth goal of the year in Cape Breton's 4-3 shootout loss to PEI. Adam, who was stopped as one the four Eagle shooters, is currently ranked seventh in league scoring with 22 points. Jordon Southorn was +1 with an assist for the winning Rocket. Maxime Legault scored his first goal of the season as Shawinigan stomped Drummondville, 7-3. The game's #3 star, Legault added four hits to help set an early tone for the Cataractes. The two clubs played it back on Sunday, with Legault earning a fighting major in a scrappy third period as the Cataractes lost to the Voltigeurs, 6-3. The big forward paced the losing side with a game-best seven shots on goal. In the OHL, Saginaw's Nick Crawford had an assist in Saturday's 5-2 win over Ottawa. The Spirit's shutdown dman, Crawford has three goals and 13 assists in his first 14 games. Out west, Brayden McNabb went without a point for just the third time this season as Kootenay was shutout by Moose Jaw, 1-0. The games marked the 150th WHL contest for the 6'4 defenseman. Returning after a one-game rest, Brad Eidsness stopped 18 shots as North Dakota suffered their first loss of the season to Alaska-Anchorage, 2-1. The sophomore netminder was beaten by a floating puck in tight for the first goal against, and later surrendered a long point shot on the power play. Defenseman Corey Fienhage was again a scratch for the Sioux as the six defensemen ahead of him continue to play well. After a 6-0 shelling at the hands of Wisconsin the night before, Justin Jokinen was left out of the lineup as Minnesota State bounced back to defeat the Badgers, 3-2. Nick Eno worked the door as Bowling Green lost a 3-1 decision to Providence. Bowling Green will be overmatched on many nights, creating a stiff challenge to Eno to improve on his current 9.15 goals against average and .818 save percentage. In the USHL, Mark Adams was -1 as Chicago edged Sioux Falls, 4-3.
10/27/2009 | 2 comments | Read More

10/23 Recap: Tropp atop; Lagace clocked

Written By Kris Baker on Saturday, October 24, 2009 | 10/24/2009

No where near being back in full, but here's the Friday tour... Corey Tropp continued his hot start on Friday, notching an assist on the Spartans only goal as Michgan State lost a 2-1 decision to top-ranked Miami. With five goals and five assists in five games, Tropp leads the nation in scoring heading into Saturday night's rematch. RedHawks netminder Connor Knapp is slotted for his regular Saturday start after getting pulled in last week's 5-5 tie with New Hampshire. In the QMJHL, Luke Adam had a goal and two assists as Cape Breton lost to PEI, 7-4. Adam currently ranks 9th in Q scoring wth seven goals and 14 assists. Rocket dman Jordon Southorn collected a five-minute major for a second period tussle with Eagles captain Nick MacNeil. Jacob Lagace was knocked out of action in the first period by a Danick Paquette (ATL) body check as Chicoutimi defeated Quebec, 4-2. Lagace, who was caught with his head down, could miss additional time as the Remparts forechecker left his feet to deliver the blow. Earlier in the week, Adam and Lagace were named to Team QMJHL for the 2009 Subway Super Series against Team Russia. Unable to reach terms on a deal with the Sabres that would have kept him in Portland, Maxime Legault returned to the QMJHL for Friday night action, finishing -1 with 2 PIM as Shawinigan bested Lewiston, 6-3. The 6'2 right wing was pointless with 4 PIM in five AHL games. In Russia, Marek Zagrapan scored his sixth goal of the year as Severstal lost to Spartak, 3-1. The Sabres first pick in 2005, Zagrapan is currently the team's second leading scorer with 10 points in 17 games. In the OHL, Marcus Foligno was +2 with a pair of even-strength assists as Sudbury downed Sarnia, 4-2. Nick Crawford was -3 with an assist as Saginaw dropped a 5-4 overtime decision to Kingston. Summer camper Michael Fine had three assists for Fronts. In WHL action, Brayden McNabb saw a slapshot from the point tipped in for the only Ice goal as Kootenay fell to Portland, 5-1. The defenseman's assist moves his point total to 15 on the year, while his game-low -4 finish lands him at a cumulative -3. Elsewhere in the NCAA, Drew MacKenzie finished -1 as Vermont lost to Merrimack, 5-2. Summer camper Brayden Irwin scored the second Catamounts goal. Starter Nick Eno surrendered four goals on 22 shots before getting pulled as Bowling Green was blown out by Providence, 8-2. Justin Jokinen was quiet as Mankato got thrashed on home-ice by Wisconsin, 6-0. Brad Eidsness took the night off for the first time in his WCHA career as North Dakota blanked Alaska-Anchorage, 5-0. Sophomore dman Corey Fienhage continued his press box streak dating back to last January. Alex Biega pumped home a power play goal as Harvard tied McGill, 3-3. The senior defenseman fired a total fo seven shots on goal in the Crimson's first exhibition game of the season. In the USHL, Mark Adams was -1 with a shot on goal as Chicago won at Lincoln, 7-5.
10/24/2009 | 2 comments | Read More

SabresProspects on IR

Written By Kris Baker on Monday, October 19, 2009 | 10/19/2009

SabresProspects will be out of commission indefintiely until further notice. Please send any and all questions to bakes@sabresprospects.com and follow on Twitter.
10/19/2009 | 14 comments | Read More

10/13-16 Recap: Tropp, Lagacé get tricky; Eidsness blanks rival

Written By Kris Baker on Saturday, October 17, 2009 | 10/17/2009

Corey Tropp scored his first collegiate hat trick Friday as Michigan State posted a big win at Maine, 5-3. The junior right wing scored one goal at even strength, and one each on the power play and penalty kill. Tropp was excellent with the puck throughout, making sharp moves around defenders to earn six shots on goal to help push the Spartans to a 3-0 season start. In the QMJHL, Jacob Lagacé had three goals and an assist as Chicoutimi plowed their way to a 6-4 win over Halifax. The 5'11, 196-pound forward filled an empty net in the final minute to complete his second career hat trick. The game's #1 star, Lagacé becomes the first Sabres prospect to hit double-digit goals with 10 in 12 games. Brad Eidsness stopped all 22 shots sent his way as North Dakota defended home-ice with a 4-0 shutout of rival Minnesota. The sophomore made a few clutch stops along the way to move to 3-0 on the season. The shutout, Eidsness' second of his NCAA career, was sealed when the Sioux killed off a five minute major in the final minutes.
Sophomore Corey Fienhage was again a healthy scratch for the Fighting Sioux. In the WHL, Brayden McNabb continued his strong 2009-10 start, notching his third goal of the year and finishing +2 as Kootenay edged Spokane, 4-3. The 6'4 defenseman also earned a fighting major when he tangled with Chiefs disturber Kyle Beach (CHI) after the Ice scored the game's first goal.
Elsewhere, Luke Adam scored his fifth goal of the year and went 16 of 24 at the faceoff circle as Cape Breton defeated Shawinigan, 2-1. The consistent 6'2 center has five goals and 11 assists by collecting points in all but two of his 11 games this season. Jordon Southorn was -2 as PEI was shutout by Moncton, 4-0. Top 2009 prospect Kirill Kabanov had three assists for the victorious Wildcats. In the OHL, Nick Crawford scored a goal and finished +1 as Saginaw defeated Sault Ste. Marie, 4-1. Crawford's third goal of the year got the 7-2-1 Spirit on the board in the first period to help hand the Hounds their fourth straight defeat after being the hottest OHL club in the first two weeks of the season. Marcus Foligno was -1 with hooking and roughing minors as Sudbury lost to Oshawa, 3-1. In the WCHA, Justin Jokinen had four shots on goal as Mankato dropped a 5-2 decision at Duluth. The sophomore right wing missed a chance at this first goal of the year when a good opportunity went high with his club trailing 2-1 in the second period. Nick Eno made 14 saves and surrendered one goal against as three Bowling Green netminders split time in a 7-2 exhibition loss to the USA U18s. DU-bound Nick Shore banked a puck off Eno from behind the goal line to put the Falcons down 5-0 in the late second period. ------------------------------------------- Playing catch-up.... Jordon Southorn was +2 with an assist on Tuesday as PEI shutout a strong Saint John club by a 4-0 count. Marek Zagrapan was even with two shots on goal as Severstal lost a tough one to HC MVD, 2-1. On Wednesday, Luke Adam had a pair of assists as Cape Breton downed Montreal, 6-2. Jacob Lagacé scored his seventh goal of the year on the power play as Chicoutimi came up short in a 3-2 loss to Rimouski. Vjacheslav Buravchikov was even through 12:16 of work in Ak Bars' 3-1 win over Motorist. In Thursday Q action, Southorn was -2 as PEI defeated Moncton, 4-2.
10/17/2009 | 1 comments | Read More

Ennis explodes as Pirates pound 'Pack

Tyler Ennis exploded for his first professional points, scoring three goals and an assist to lead Portland past Hartford, 6-3. The center's production stemmed from clicking with linemates Jeff Cowan (2G, 1A) and Nathan Gerbe, who added a goal and three assists. The trio swept the game's three star selections. T.J. Brennan also collected his first AHL points with a pair of assists. Marc-Andre Gragnani, Mike Kostka, and Mark Mancari added single helpers. Jhonas Enroth made 27 saves to earn the W, while Drew Schiestel remained in the press box. The Rundown: Ennis: 3G, 1A, +2, 6 SOG Gerbe: 1G, 3A, +2, 4 SOG Brennan: 2A Kostka: 1A, +1 Gragnani: 1A Mancari: 1A Gogulla: 1 SOG Weber: 1 SOG Schutz: 2PIM Persson: -1 Byron: -1 Legault: -2, 3 SOG Enroth: 27 saves, W Schiestel: DNP The Pirates begin a five-game road swing on Saturday at Manchester.
10/17/2009 | 0 comments | Read More

10/12 Recap: McNabb lights lamp; Foligno goes down fighting

Written By Kris Baker on Monday, October 12, 2009 | 10/12/2009

A day removed from seeing the end of his nine-game point streak, Brayden McNabb (+1) started another by scoring his second goal of the year in Kootenay's 3-1 loss at Swift Current. Through 11 games this season, the 6'4, 210-pound defenseman co-leads the Ice in points (13), while ranking second in the league in assists (11), and third in penalty minutes (35). In 2008-09, McNabb posted a goal and four helpers through the first 11 games. In the OHL, Marcus Foligno finished -1 as Sudbury was blown out by Memorial Cup champion Windsor, 7-0. 2010 top dog Taylor Hall had a goal and an assist for the Spits, while Niagara Falls, Ontario native Justin Shugg ('10) had a goal and two assists. A chippy Foligno totaled 9 PIM in the turkey day battle, with the final five coming at 59:59 when he decided to take on Spits 6'4 captain, Harry Young. Young is a tough customer, racking up 50 fights over his five-year OHL career.
Like McNabb in the Dub, the 6'3, 216-pound Foligno is currently third in OHL PIM with 37. Despite toting one of the league's worst records (3-6-0-1), the Wolves are a difficult foe nightly thanks in part to his consistent carving and banging. In the KHL, Marek Zagrapan was even with a hooking minor as Severstal defeated Lada, 3-2. Vjacheslav Buravchikov continues a bumpy run, finishing -1 in 9:44 of work as Ak Bars lost to SKA, 4-3.
10/12/2009 | 0 comments | Read More

10/11 Recap: Streaks get Sunday rest

Brayden McNabb saw his career-best nine-game point streak come to an end on Sunday as Kootenay lost to Moose Jaw, 5-2. McNabb, who was -1 with a minor in the loss, amassed one goal and 11 assists over his run that started on the opening night of league play. In the QMJHL, Luke Adam (-1) saw his career-best six-game point streak come to a halt in Cape Breton's 4-0 shutout loss to Saint John. The top line center continues to fare well at the dot, going 12-9 in the loss. Jacob Lagacé registered three shots on goal as Chicoutimi snuck past Montreal, 1-0. The 5'11 forward has scored six times on 40 shots on goal this season. Jordon Southorn had two shots on goal in PEI's 2-1 loss to Lewiston. In the USHL, Mark Adams did not dress in Chicago's 5-3 loss to league newcomer, Youngstown.
10/12/2009 | 0 comments | Read More

Byron keys Saturday win; Pirates sink on Sunday

Written By Kris Baker on Sunday, October 11, 2009 | 10/11/2009

On Saturday, Paul Byron scored the game winning goal and added an assist as Portland opened their home schedule with a 4-2 win over Providence. The game's #1 star, Byron scored his first AHL goal to cap the Pirates three-goal output within a span of 4:09 in the early stages of the second period. Nathan Gerbe started the roll on the power play with his second goal in as many games at 1:19. Moments later, Mark Mancari hit at even strength at 3:41 to tie the game 2-2. Mancari also picked up an assist on the night. Kyle Rank would score the final Pirates goal. Jhonas Enroth made 28 saves to earn his first win of the season, while Drew Schiestel was a scratch. The Rundown: Byron: 1G, 1A, +2 Gerbe: 1G Weber: 2A, +2 Turnbull: 1A, +1 Gragnani: 1A Brennan: +1, 5 SOG Persson: +2 Gogulla: 2 SOG Kostka: 4 SOG Schutz: 2 SOG Legault: 2 SOG Ennis: even Enroth: 28 saves The Pirates returned to the ice on Sunday in Lowell, where they came up short in 4-0 loss to the Devils. Enroth allowed four goals on 23 shots before giving way to J.P. Lamoureux at 12:15 of the second period. Lamoureux kicked away all 18 shots he faced the rest of the way. The Rundown: Ennis: 4 SOG Turnbull: 3 SOG Kostka: even Brennan: -1, 4 SOG, 16 PIM Weber: -1, 7 PIM Schiestel: -1 Gogulla: -2 Byron: -2 Legault: -2 Schutz: -2, 3 SOG Persson: -2 Enroth: 19 saves Visit the excellent Maine Hockey Journal for complete Pirates coverage.
10/11/2009 | 0 comments | Read More

10/10 Recap: Crawford piles helpers; Adam jamming

In the OHL, fourth-year defenseman Nick Crawford posted a career-best four assists on Saturday as Saginaw cruised past Belleville, 8-3. The 6'1 Crawford now has 12 points in nine games. Josh Shalla ('10) had a hat trick for the Spirit, while summer camper Adam Payerl connected on the power play for the Bulls. Marcus Foligno finished -1 as Sudbury was handed a 9-2 beatdown by Plymouth. Tyler Seguin ('10) had an even strength hat trick and two assists for the Whalers. At 6'1, 190 pounds, the 17-year old center leads the OHL with 14 goals, three hatties, and 11 assists in 10 games, and would be an ideal first-round target for the Sabres next June. In the QMJHL, Luke Adam extended a career-best six-game point streak with a pair of assists as Cape Breton lost to Saint John, 5-2. The big pivot paced the Eagles with six shots on goal and four hits, and continued to show improvement at the dot by taking 13 of 18 draws, but his club was forced into multiple turnovers by the hard skating Sea Dogs. Adam, who had a nice center ice collision with Dog dman Simon Despres (PIT), will enter Sunday's rematch as Cape Breton's leading scorer with 13 points (4+9) including eight in his last three games. Jordon Southorn (+2) assisted on both Rocket goals as PEI edged Rouyn-Noranda, 2-1 in OT. With Southorn putting forth a sound effort at both of the ice, Sabres Prospects continues to be impressed with undrafted Rocket, Adam Polasek. The import defenseman can skate with the puck, makes smart decisions, and likes the physical game. PEI was playing their first game under new head coach Eric Lavigne after the firing of Guy Chouinard earlier in the week. In Saturday college action, Corey Tropp had two power play assists as Michigan State swept Clarkson with a 4-3 win. The junior right wing had back-to-back multi-point efforts for the first time in his NCAA career, and seems to be clicking on the Spartans first line with Nick Sucharski and former BCHLer Derek Grant. Sophomore Connor Knapp was sharp in his first start of the year, stopping 20 shots to earn his third career shutout in Miami's 2-0 blanking of St. Cloud. Knapp directed the puck well, but was rarely tested by the Husky forwards. The #1 RedHawks will continue their Friday/Saturday goaltender rotation when they travel to New Hampshire next weekend. In Grand Forks, Brad Eidsness made 16 saves as North Dakota pushed off to a 2-0 season start with a 3-2 win over Merrimack. The Warriors were a little more active around the NoDak goalmouth, but Eidsness held his ground with good rebound cpntrol. Corey Fienhage was again a scratch for the Sioux as Dave Hakstol dressed a pair of freshmen ahead of him this weekend. Drew MacKenzie had an assist as Vermont defeated Denver, 6-4. Summer camper Brayden Irwin (#1 star) had two goals to lead the Catamounts, who earned the weekend split with the win. In the KHL, Vjacheslav Buravchikov was +1 as Ak Bars lost to Atlant, 4-3.
10/11/2009 | 2 comments | Read More

Kassian on the mend

Written By Kris Baker on Saturday, October 10, 2009 | 10/10/2009

Peterborough forward Zack Kassian spoke to the Windsor Star this week regarding his recent shoulder injury.
"Right now, it is a bad (week)," said Kassian, who is the Petes' captain and the team's first-round pick in 2007. It started last Friday when Kassian, who is a Windsor Minor Hockey Association product, ran into Sault Ste. Marie defenceman Jake Muzzin and separated his shoulder. "I tried to absorb the hit and he caught me on the top," said Kassian, who was a first-round pick by the NHL's Buffalo Sabres in June. "It's a grade one separation, so it'll be two-to-four weeks and I'm already a week in."
With Kassian out, other teams are getting a little breathing room when they face the Petes. It sounds as if the dinged captain is likely making mental notes while watching in street clothes.
A day later, Puempel, who is a Sun County Minor Hockey Association product, suffered a concussion on a hit by Sudbury's Dan Maggio, who was a teammate of Kassian's in Windsor minor. "He got hit pretty good," Kassian said. "If I would have played, I probably would have done something about it." Both players were off to strong starts for the Petes, who are first in the East Division. Kassian had eight points in seven games while Puempel had two goals and three points in eight games.
10/10/2009 | 0 comments | Read More

10/9 Recap: McNabb hones edge; Tropp starts strong

Brayden McNabb extended his career-best point streak to nine games on Friday by picking up two assists in Kootenay's 7-3 dumping of Memorial Cup host Brandon. The rugged dman, who upped his season point number to 12, also picked up his third fighting major of the year as retribution after a teammate absorbed a hit from 5'10 Wheatie, Darren Bestland.
Instigator and misconduct included. Sure the Ice would prefer their #1 dman to stay out of the box, but McNabb continues to embrace a leadership role, and further demonstrate the traits that made him the subject of this post a couple of weeks back. His dozen points is only equaled by the number of punches he's landed on his WHL counterparts. Continuing to burn both ends can only advance him up the list of Sabres blueline properties. In the OHL, Nick Crawford (-1) assisted on the game winning goal as Saginaw outshot Sudbury 49-21 to earn the 5-3 win. Crawford has points in three straight games, and a total of eight on the year (2+6). Wolves forward Marcus Foligno (-1), who entered the game third in the OHL in PIM, had an assist, a minor penalty, and nearly scored his second goal of the year when he pinged a pipe in the opening stanza. In the early second period, the 6'3 grinder found the puck on his stick as soon as he exited the penalty box, and immediately pushed it to Jared Stall for Sudbury's second goal. It was Foligno's third point on the year. At Chicoutimi, Jacob Lagacé (+1) scored the game's only goal as the Sags blanked Shawinigan, 1-0. The tally, Lagacé's sixth of the season, came in the opening minute of the second period with both teams at even strength. In NCAA action, Corey Tropp scored a power play and added an assist as Michigan State throttled Clarkson, 6-1. It was a nice start for the once-proud Spartan program after a 2008-09 campaign that saw the team finish 10-23-5. Freshman Zach Josepher had two goals and two goal assists in his first D1 contest to lead the MSU attack. At the Ralph, Brad Eidsness had to make just 15 saves as North Dakota closed out Merrimack, 5-2. Both goals against came in the first period - one off a screen where he stood little chance against a waiting rebounder and the other on a breakway. The sophomore went fairly untested in the final 40-minutes as the Sioux forwards went in waves at the other end. Blueliner Corey Fienhage sat for the Sioux, with freshman Andrew MacWilliam and sophomore Ben Blood getting the early looks. Fienhage was a little shaky in Sunday's exhibition tilt, and will need a little more practice time to work his way back into the lineup. At Magness, defenseman Drew MacKenzie was -1 as Vermont coughed up a two-goal lead in a 5-4 loss to Denver. The Catamounts were leading 4-2 late in the second period when summer camper Brayden Irwin earned five and a game for a checking from behind penalty. The momentum shifted from there, as the Pios poured in three goals in the final twenty minutes to get the opening night W. Nick Eno made 32 saves as Bowling Green dropped a 3-2 decision to Minnesota State. The junior netminder made many excellent saves throughout, including stops on all 16 shots he faced in the middle period. Maverick right wing Justin Jokinen was even with a shot on goal. Connor Knapp worked the door as #1 Miami needed OT to defeat St. Cloud, 3-2. The 6'5 sophomore will get the Saturday start in the RedHawks net.. In the USHL, Roo Adams was even with two shots on goal as Chicago doubled-up Waterloo, 6-3. The Steel have started the season with three straight victories.
10/10/2009 | 0 comments | Read More

Pirates slowed by Rats

Nathan Gerbe coupled a late goal with an earlier assist as Portland lost to Albany, 5-2. Cody McCormick added the other goal for the Pirates, who moved to 0-2 on the season. Jhonas Enroth stopped 29 shots while allowing three power play goals. The Pirates will play their home opener on Saturday against Providence. Zach Boychuk had a goal and two assists to lead the Rats. The Rundown: Gerbe: 1G, 1A, +2, 4 SOG Schutz: 1A, +1 Schiestel: +1 Weber: 9 PIM Gragnani: E Kostka: E Ennis: E Brennan: 1 SOG Turnbull: 2 SOG Persson: -1 Byron: -1 Mancari: -2, 5 SOG Gogulla: -2 Enroth: 29 saves, L
10/10/2009 | 0 comments | Read More

10/8 recap: Kassian remains out; NCAA on deck

Written By Kris Baker on Friday, October 9, 2009 | 10/09/2009

With a separated shoulder sidelining captain Zack Kassian for at least another week, Peterborough rallied together Thursday for a 7-1 pasting of Erie. Ryan Spooner ('10) paced the Petes with two goals and an assist. In Thursday KHL action, Marek Zagrapan was -1 as Severstal defeated Ak Bars, 3-1. Defenseman Vjacheslav Buravchikov was a scratch for Ak Bars. Friday will be a productive night in the prospectsphere, with the first batch of NCAA non-conference games getting added to the junior slate. Corey Tropp and Michigan State will host Clarkson for a weekend set, while North Dakota's Brad Eidsness and Corey Fienhage will be in action against Merrimack. Nick Eno should get the start when Bowling Green faces Justin Jokinen and Minnesota State. In Colorado, Drew MacKenzie and the University of Vermont will take on Denver. With Miami coach Enrico Blasi expected to use a Friday/Saturday rotation with his talented sophomore tandem, goaltender Connor Knapp is expected to get the Saturday nod as CCHA powerhouse Miami takes on St. Cloud. In junior play, Brayden McNabb and the Kootenay Ice will trek east to battle Brayden Schenn and the Brandon Wheat Kings. In the OHL, Marcus Foligno and Sudbury will take on Nick Crawford and Saginaw, while the Kassian-less Petes will battle Mississauga. In Quebec, Jacob Lagacé and Chicoutimi will host Shawinigan. Mark Adams will continue to get his USHL legs under him when Chicago hosts Waterloo.
10/09/2009 | 0 comments | Read More

10/7 Recap: Adam clicking on Cape

Written By Kris Baker on Thursday, October 8, 2009 | 10/08/2009

In Wednesday QMJHL action, Luke Adam collected three assists for his second straight three-point night as Cape Breton defeated Rouyn-Noranda, 3-1. Overager Nick MacNeil had the hat trick for the Eagles, but it was Adam's hard work and playmaking skills that created all three scoring plays. The 19-year old center led the way with six shots on net and was a dominating 21/27 at the dot, yet wasn't named a star of the game. Elsewhere, Jacob Lagacé was even with a shot on goal as Chicoutimi downed Montreal, 4-2. Lagacé remains the Sags' leading scorer with five goals and six assists.
10/08/2009 | 3 comments | Read More

10/6 recap: McNabb extends, plays Raider hater

Written By Kris Baker on Wednesday, October 7, 2009 | 10/07/2009

In the WHL, Brayden McNabb extended his point streak to seven games on Tuesday with an assist as Kootenay lost to Prince Albert, 4-3. The physical defender also raked in nine minutes in penalties in the loss, five of which he earned in a second period fight with Raiders forward Brandon Herrod.
McNabb's decision to pass up the middle as opposed to using the boards was questionable, but it's easy to appreciate the ornery manner in which he made up for the error. At 6'4, 210 pounds, the rugged Saskatchewan native has been laying big hits all season, and his disruptive play not only prevented a goal, but also continued his statement about how things are going to be in his zone. Aside from being a physical presence, MacNabb currently leads the Ice and all WHL defenseman with nine points (1+8). On Monday, Michigan State forward Corey Tropp scored a short-handed goal as Michigan State opened their exhibition schedule with a 5-2 win over Western Ontario. The junior skated on the Spartans first line with Derek Grant (OTT) and Nick Sucharski (CBS) in his first action since being suspended from the team in January. State begins their regular season schedule when they host Clarkson for a weekend set.
10/07/2009 | 5 comments | Read More

10/4 Recap: Adam takes advantage

Written By Kris Baker on Sunday, October 4, 2009 | 10/04/2009

On Sunday, Luke Adam had a pair of power play goals including the overtime winner to rally Cape Breton past Rimouski, 5-4. The game's #1 star, Adam scored his third of the year in the second period before again striking in the first minute of overtime. The 6'2, 203-pound center also had a power play assist in the win to take over the Eagles' scoring lead with eight points (4+4). Marek Zagrapan was even in 16:26 of work as Severstal lost to Minsk, 2-1. Severstal now sits in last place in the KHL's Western Conference. In Burlington, Drew MacKenzie was even with three shots on goal as Vermont lost their exhibition opener to CIS power University of New Brunswick, 3-2 in overtime. Cape Breton's #1 center last season, Chris Culligan, had a goal for the Reds. Brad Eidsness stopped 11 of 12 shots in over a period-and-a-half, and Corey Fienhage was +1 as North Dakota cruised past Manitoba, 7-1. Eidsness was poised in his first tune-up, while the rusty Fienhage was a little more tentative in his first game action since December 6th. Wrapping up the weekend, Mark Adams notched his first USHL point on Saturday, an assist, as Chicago stomped Team USA, 10-5. The Providence commit was also called for two roughing minors in the lopsided win. The Steel helped welcome the national program to the Jr "A" ranks, outscoring them 15-6 while earning the weekend victories.
10/04/2009 | 0 comments | Read More

10/3 Recap: McNabb main motor; Foligno steps in

In Saturday WHL action, Brayden McNabb assisted on the game winning goal as Kootenay battled to an exciting 5-4 overtime win over Medicine Hat. Logging major minutes (30/35+) and riding a six-game point streak, McNabb continues to be tied atop the WHL scoring list for dmen with eight points. 2010 eligible Emerson Etem (Long Beach, CA) scored a pair of goals for the Tigers in defeat. In the OHL, Marcus Foligno was even as Sudbury lost a hard-fought battle to Peterborough, 5-3. For the second straight weekend, the Wolves physical pacesetter earned a first period instigator and fighting major for coming in to defend teammate John Kurtz after he was checked from behind by Petes dman, Chad Lowry. Foligno quickly engaged and earned the takedown. Still no word on when Petes captain Zack Kassian will return from his upper body injury. Nick Crawford had an assist as Saginaw defeated Sarnia in a rough-and-tumble affair, 3-1. Josh Shalla ('10) scored a pair of goals to lead the Spirit. After a second period that featured three fights, hard feelings spilled into the third with a line brawl that involved a match penalty and the goalies squaring off at center ice. Jacob Lagacé posted an assist as Chicoutimi lost to defending QMJHL champion Drummondville, 3-2 in a shootout. The Sags' leading goal getter with five, Lagacé was not tabbed as a shooter in the deciding frame. Also from the Q, Jordon Southorn was even as PEI got trounced by Rouyn-Noranda, 7-2. The rearguard had a bumpy third period, earning minors on back-to-back shifts and a misconduct in the final 10-minutes. In Europe, Vjacheslav Buravchikov was -1 in 16:19 of play as Ak Bars was shutout by CKSA, 3-0. Connor Knapp greased up his NCAA exhibition season, relieving Cody Reichard and stopping 17 of 18 shots as #1 Miami defeated Windsor, 6-2. Nick Eno made 13 saves and gave up a goal before giving way to Andrew Hammond as Bowling Green defeated Wilfrid Laurier, 7-3. Justin Jokinen was +1 with an assist as Minnesota State needed overtime to edge Lethbridge, 4-3.
10/04/2009 | 0 comments | Read More

Gragnani goes for two in opening loss

The Portland Pirates began their 2009-10 campaign on Saturday with a 5-2 loss to Springfield. Marc-Andre Gragnani scored both goals for the Pirates, while Paul Byron and Dennis Persson had assists. Mike Kostka added six shots on goal from the blueline. Jhonas Enroth made 19 saves in defeat. T.J. Brennan was a healthy scratch. The Rundown: Gragnani: 2G, +2 Byron: 1A Persson: 1A, +1 Kostka: 6 SOG Ennis: +1, 4SOG Turnbull: +1 Gerbe: -1, 5 SOG Gogulla: 1 SOG Weber: -1 Schiestel: -1 Schutz: -1 Mancari: even Whitmore: 3 SOG Enroth: 19 saves, L Brennan: scratch
10/04/2009 | 6 comments | Read More

Sore wing postpones throwdown

Written By Kris Baker on Saturday, October 3, 2009 | 10/03/2009

Today's Peterborough Examiner has more to offer on what appears to be a shoulder injury sustained by Sabres 2009 first-rounder Zack Kassian in Friday's loss to Soo.
The Peterborough Petes lost more than a hockey game last night, they also lost their captain. Zack Kassian suffered an upper body injury midway through the second period after a big hit from Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds' defenceman Jacob Muzzin. Muzzin also hit the Petes on the scoreboard with a goal and two assists as the Greyhounds, the surprise of the young OHL season, improved to 6-0 with a 4-1 win over the Petes before 4,745 fans at the Essar Centre. Petes' coach Ken McRae said it's too early to know, yet, how long Kassian, whose arm was in a sling after the game, will be lost. "We'll re-evaluate it day-to-day here, but he likely won't be in the lineup (tonight in Sudbury)," said McRae. "That's a tough loss for our hockey club, but we'll see how he comes along the next couple of days."
The injury disappointment comes on the eve of a game that has been long circled on the SabresProspects calendar, as Kassian's Petes will square off against '09 classmate Marcus Foligno and Wolves on Saturday. The potential collision of two of the OHL's more hard-nosed players when both would be looking to lead their teams in a bounce-back capacity could have provided some fireworks, and most certainly sparked an exciting rivalry for the Sabres' future duo. Instead, Foligno gets to buzz around with reckless abandon sans the imposing threat of retribution from a thundering Kassian. The two clubs will next face each other on November 7th.
10/03/2009 | 2 comments | Read More

Will he stay or Legault?

October 3rd is the season opener for the Buffalo Sabres as well as their AHL farm club, but in the world of Maxime Legault it's a day of finality. After the last month has seen him make training camp stops in Shawinigan, Buffalo, and Portland, the 20-year old forward will learn his 2009-10 fate sometime on Saturday, as he will need to be signed to a professional contract by the Sabres or be returned to the QMJHL for the rest of the season where he will captain the Cataractes. Pirates coach Kevin Dineen has liked what he's seen from Legault in preseason, so it seems as if he'll be inked and in uniform when they drop the puck Saturday night at Springfield. At 6'2, 195-pounds, he skates hard, hits with authority, and has the requisite strength to start his professional career. The Ste. Agathe, QC native scored 28 goals last season in junior.
10/03/2009 | 0 comments | Read More

10/2: Kassian injured; Crawford pots pair

In Sault Ste. Marie, Zack Kassian suffered an upper body injury after a second period hit and did not return as Peterborough lost 4-1 to the undefeated Greyhounds. Outshot, out-fought, and outscored, the Petes were in the tough situation of back-to-back games with long travel in between. Kassian, who failed to notch a point for the first time this season, is thought to be day-to-day and likely out of the lineup for Saturday's meeting with Sudbury. Marcus Foligno (-2) had another strong physical performance as Sudbury coughed up a four-goal lead in a 6-5 shootout loss to Plymouth. Skating on the Wolves second line, Foligno was whistled for a misconduct after arguing a first period call, and later earned a checking from behind minor that led to Whalers goal. The Wolves were at one point up 5-1 in the second period before the Whalers captialized on defensive miscues to own the final 25-minutes. Stud 2010 prospect Tyler Seguin (6'1, 190 lbs) had a hat trick and an assist for the winning side, and now leads the OHL with 10 goals and 16 points in six games. Nick Crawford scored a pair of goals and an assist as Saginaw faltered at Kitchener, 6-5 in overtime. The goals, one each shorthanded and on the power play, were Crawford's first of the season, and came on a night when the Spirit sqaundered a 5-3 lead in the final 10:00 of play. The game's #2 star, Crawford's three point night was his first of the season after three such efforts in 2008-09. The 6'1 defenseman likely caught the attention of Sudbury GM Mike Foligno, who was rumored to be scouting blueliners in Kitchener's barn while his club suffered a breakdown on home ice. In the WHL, Brayden McNabb picked up an assist as Kootenay lost to Calgary, 2-1. McNabb currently leads all WHL defenseman with seven points (1+6) in five games. Also from Friday, Luke Adam scored his second goal of the season and was named the game's #2 star as Cape Breton came back to earn a 5-4 victory over Bathurst. The Eagles outshot the Titan 40-17 en route to overcoming a 4-0 deficit to move to 3-2-2 on the year. Jacob Lagacé registered an assist as Chicoutimi got squashed by Gatineau, 9-2. In Western Quebec, Jordon Southorn was +2 as PEI defeated Val-d'Or, 5-2. The Rocket was lucky to sneak away with a win despite being outshot 24-3 in the second period, and 51-22 overall. 2010 eligible Jordan Escott (6'1, 176 lbs) scored a hat trick and an assist to lead the Rocket. Mark Adams made his USHL debut, finishing -1 with two stick infractions as Chicago defeated Team USA, 5-1.
10/03/2009 | 0 comments | Read More

Zagrapan panning out early

Written By Kris Baker on Friday, October 2, 2009 | 10/02/2009

KHL rookie Marek Zagrapan seems to be getting the job done offensively in his new digs. On Wednesday, the former Rochester and Portland forward scored a goal and an assist as Severstal pushed past Dynamo, 4-2. The fresh start has seen Zagrapan net four goals and two assists through eight games thus far, placing him second on Severstal's scoring list for goals and points while averaging less than 12:00 of time per game. In Thursday KHL action, Vjacheslav Buravchikov played even as Ak Bars defeated Torpedo, 3-1. Buravchikov is -3 with an assist in eight games this season.
10/02/2009 | 0 comments | Read More

Myers in against Habs

Per a Mike Harrington (The Buffalo News) tweet, defenseman Tyler Myers will be in the starting lineup for the Sabres' opener on Saturday versus Montreal.
10/02/2009 | 0 comments | Read More

10/1 Recap: Kassian nets another; Ennis impressing

Zack Kassian scored a goal on Thursday as Peterborough defeated Oshawa, 5-4. The 6'3 Petes captain one-timed a Brett Theberge cross-ice feed 20-seconds into the second period for his third goal goal of the season. He now has points in six games for the Petes, who were outshot 50-33 by the visiting Generals. Michael Quesnele ('10) scored the game winner and picked up a fighting major. Nick Crawford finished -2 as Saginaw lost at Brampton, 4-3. Former Buffalo Jr. Sabre and Rochester, NY native Phil Lane ('10) notched his first OHL points for the Troops, scoring a goal and an assist in the win. Last season, the 6'2, 194-pound power forward scored 18 goals and 24 assists in 45 OJHL games. On Wednesday, Jordon Southorn posted a -2 as PEI stumbled in a 6-3 road loss at Montreal. The Rocket held a 2-1 lead midway through the second period before falling victim to sloppy play. Guillaume Asselin ('10) had a goal and an assist for the winners. Also on Wednesday, Tyler Ennis had a goal and two assists as Portland closed their exhibition schedule with 4-2 win over the University of New Brunswick. Ennis' output gives him impressive totals of two goals and five assists in three preseason contests. Marc-Andre Gragnani scored the game winner in the early third period, while Paul Byron and Derek Whitmore added singles. The Pirates will open the regular season on Saturday at Springfield. ----------------------------- For those who may have missed the news, the Sabres on Wednesday announced that F Nathan Gerbe and D Mike Weber have been assigned to Portland of the AHL. The transactions leave D Tyler Myers and F Tim Kennedy with the big club for Saturday's opener with the Canadiens. How long Myers stays with the Sabres could be determined by how well he performs (if called upon). Per the Buffalo News, Myers was skating as the extra dman in Thursday morning practice, but I wouldn't rule out him being in the Saturday night lineup despite some expectations that the team will ease him in. The situation is a little more black and white with Kennedy, who earned the right to stay after being creative and responsible from the center position since the beginning of camp. With Drew Stafford dinged with a minor concussion, the former Michigan State Spartan could see scoring line minutes early on in an attempt to fortify his role on an NHL roster. Gerbe, while disapponted with the move after scoring a pair of goals in the final preseason games, will retreat to Portland where it's possible to keep pressure on the remaining Sabres forwards. Joining him on the farm will be Weber, who was somewhat inconsistent with his puck decisions in exhibition work.
10/02/2009 | 3 comments | Read More