Foligno's hard work paid off when he was sprung by Lomas to bury a short-handed breakaway to give the Wolves a 5-2 lead in the third period. A crisp highlight came as the buzzer sounded to end the first period when the newly appointed leader finished a check and proceeded to deliver a highlight reel pounding to the Whalers' R.J. Mahalak. He received two, five, and ten on the play, but the message was sent and his teammates responded.
I played this video on my phone last night to a bunch of dejected Sabres fans ranting about the team's shortcomings. It drew quite a response, including a 'Mike Tyson's Punch Out' style "body blow!" comment from one riled up spectator.
Foligno, who now has 20 points (11+9) in 14 games this season, will again lead the pack when his Wolves (5-10-1-0) host Oshawa on Saturday.
Elsewhere in the OHL, Zack Kassian was -3 with an assist as Windsor lost to Guelph, 5-3. The Spits cut the Storm's lead to 4-3 when Kassian entered the zone down the wing and made a drop-pass to Tom Kuhnhackl, who fed Alex Khokhlachev for a power play tally. The Spits (9-2-0-1) will travel to division-leading Saginaw on Saturday.
Gregg Sutch was held off the scoresheet as Mississauga defeated Brampton, 3-1. The hard-driving forward continued his energy-laced effort with a checking from behind penalty in the third period. The first place Majors (14-2-0-0) will host Erie on Sunday.
In the WHL, Kevin Sundher had two assists as Chilliwack lost to Everett, 4-3. Continuing to get it clicking after a slow start, the 6'0 center will head into next week with a streak of four consecutive multi-point efforts. Sundher will look to keep it going Tuesday when the Bruins (9-6-0-0) battle the Oil Kings.
Brayden McNabb posted a pair assists and a +3 rating as Kootenay lost in the shootout to Lethbridge, 4-3. Despite projecting to be a sturdy stay-at-homer as pro, McNabb now has eight points in seven games this season since being returned to juniors. The Ice (11-4-0-2) move on to face the Calgary Hitmen on Saturday.
Riley Boychuk picked up an assist as Portland needed overtime to defeat Red Deer, 4-3. The assist was Boychuk's first of the season to go along with three goals through the season's first 25-game block. The Winterhawks (13-2-0-1) will take a seven-game winning streak into Saturday night's match-up with Everett.
Corey Fienhage finished +2 with an assist as Kamloops downed Calgary, 5-4. The helper was Fienhage's third WHL point after spending two WCHA seasons in North Dakota. Fellow third-round pick Matt MacKenzie (-1) earned a power-play helper just 2:37 in for the Hitmen, who have now lost eight straight games. Fienhage and the Blazers square off with Lethbridge on Saturday.
Mark Pysyk was scratched as Edmonton got doubled-up by Prince George, 6-3. More to follow on Pysyk's absence. The OK's (5-10-0-1) and Cougars will play it back on Saturday.
In the Q, Jerome Gauthier-Leduc recorded a shot on goal as Rimouski ended a seven-game losing streak with a 5-3 win over his former club, Rouyn-Noranda. The Nics (10-12-0-0) will look to keep their momentum going when they play a rematch with the Huskies on Saturday. EDIT: Gauthier-Leduc was injured in the game, and will miss Saturday's rematch and likely the QMJHL leg of the CAN/RUS Challenge. (tap on the pads to Jerome from NHLDraftVideo.com for the heads up).
In NCAA action, Nick Eno made 30 saves, including a spectacular diving stop that drew a standing ovation, as Bowling Green defeated #11 Notre Dame, 3-2. After stopping all 18 shots faced through two periods, Eno made the save of the season when he sprawled right-to-left to block an Anders Lee shot after a rebound left the Irish forward with a wide open net. With a goaltending rotation in place for the Falcons (4-5-0), it's hard to say if Eno will return to the pipes for Saturday's rematch. You can watch his postgame interview here.
Justin Jokinen (-2) earned an assist as Minnesota State lost at #8 Nebraska-Omaha, 5-1. The helper ends a six-game point drought for the junior forward. The Mavericks (2-3-4) will look to get to .500 mark when the clubs close their weekend set on Saturday.
Drew MacKenzie skated even as Vermont lost to Lowell, 3-1. The Catamounts held a 1-0 lead before surrendering three unanswered goals in the third period to move to 0-3-2 on the year.
Also from Hockey East, Mark Adams was +1 was Providence shut out Merrimack, 2-0. The Friars (3-4-1) will look to keep MacKenzie and UVM among the winless when they host the Cats on Saturday.
Connor Knapp took his usual Friday post on the bench as #1 Miami suffered their first CCHA defeat of the season, 3-2 to Ferris State. The 6'5 netminder will be in net when the RedHawks (5-2-2) look to gain the split on Saturday.
Brad Eidsness did not play as Aaron Dell backstopped #9 North Dakota to a 4-2 win over #2 Minnesota-Duluth. The junior stopper is expected to get the nod when the Sioux (5-3-1) look for the sweep on Saturday.
In the USHL, Christian Isackson (-1) posted two shots on goal as Sioux Falls fell to Lincoln, 3-1. The Stampede (9-6-3-0) will host Youngstown on Saturday.
On Thursday, Sutch did not record a point as the Majors blanked Niagara, 3-0. Steven Shipley failed to hit the scoresheet for the IceDogs, who will suit up on Saturday against Peterborough.
In the lone humpday affair on the Sabres prospect slate, Corey Fienhage was even with a holding minor as Kamloops lost to Kelowna, 5-3.
In other news, Val-d'Or forward Cedrick Henley has continued to miss time after having surgery to repair a genetic wrist defect. He's expected to make a 100% recovery, but could still miss a total of eight weeks of action while on the mend.