Isackson fitting in as Stampede eye opener

Christian Isackson, one of the Sabres' two seventh round picks this past June, reported to Sioux Falls early last week for a developmental season of Jr. A hockey before enrolling at the University of Minnesota in 2011. Isackson follows in the footsteps of Sabres prospects Drew MacKenzie (2007) and Mark Adams (2009) as picks who spent their post-draft season in the USHL before entering the NCAA.

The 6'0 forward appeared in his first pre-season contest last Friday, scoring a goal for the Stampede in their 4-3 shootout loss to Sioux City. Trailing 3-1 in the early third, Isackson broke to the net and backhanded a loose puck behind Musketeer netminder, Matt Skoff. (Skoff, while playing for the Pittsburgh Hornets, missed five months of action two seasons ago after breaking his ankle in Buffalo during a Midwest Elite League game with the Regals). The following night, Isackson finished -1 with two shots on net in a 2-1 loss to Des Moines.

With game shape setting in, the Stampede traveled to Sioux City this week for the USHL Fall classic, the heavily scouted gathering that serves as the close of the pre-season. Isackson took a rest on Wednesday as the Stampede opened the tourney with another loss to Des Moines, 3-2 in the shootout. On Friday, he and Buffalo native Anthony Day earned power play assists in a 4-2 loss to Youngstown.

Sioux Falls will look to close the exhibition schedule with a win on Saturday when they face Indiana before kicking off their regular season next Friday in Sioux City.
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