Leduc, who finished last season on a tear with an impressive 18 points in his final 10 games to wind up as the QMJHL's #2 scorer among defensemen, is certainly out to stake an early offensive claim as Team Canada starts weeding out their 2012 World Junior hopefuls. The multi-goal game is the fourth in his last eight regular season contests (going back to 2010-11), a span that has seen the 6'2 defender convert nine of his last 15 shots on goal (remember five of those came Friday). Rimouski will next hit the ice Sunday when they host Shawinigan.
Also from the Q, Cedrick Henley collected an assist and eight hits as Val-d'Or lost a 5-4 shootout to the defending Memorial Cup champions, Saint John. The 6'5 wing's physical effort comes one night removed from a three-assist outing in his season debut. The Foreurs return to action Saturday in PEI.
Dan Catenacci continued his warm OHL start, scoring the game's first goal on the power play and adding an assist as Owen Sound closed out Guelph, 6-4. The 5'10 center now has four points (2+2) in his first two games as a member of the Attack. Catenacci, who scored just six goals in his final 30 games of 2010-11, will look to maintain his current 136-point pace Saturday when the Attack take on Saginaw.
Alex Lepkowski (+1) assisted on an empty-net goal as Barrie got past Brampton, 3-1. Colts forward Gregg Sutch played even with a cross-checking minor in the win. The Colts are now off until Thursday when they meet up with Owen Sound.
Kevin Sundher finished -1 as the Victoria Royals lost their inaugural WHL contest to Vancouver, 5-2. Earlier in the day, the Royals announced that Sundher would serve as an alternate captain for the 2011-12 season. The Royals and Giants will head back to Victoria Saturday for the Royals home opener -- the first WHL home game in Victoria since the Cougars fled for Prince George back in 1994.
Nathan Lieuwen earned the start in Kootenay's 2011-12 opener, making 27 saves as the ICE fell in the shootout to Red Deer, 3-2. The 6'5 netminder, who played well in helping the Sabres to the Traverse City title, surrendered three goals in the six-round shootout to put the ICE in a 0-1 hole to begin the year. Kootenay will look for the first win Saturday against Calgary.
In SM-liiga action, Joel Armia earned the primary assist on the game winning goal as Assat defeated the Blues, 3-1. The big wing dumped the puck off and pushed to the net as a screen to earn his second point in as many games. Assat returns to action Saturday versus HPK.
Earlier Friday, the Sabres dispatched the first eleven players to their AHL affiliate, the Rochester Americans.
F: Riley Boychuk, Jacob Lagace, Maxime Legault, Shawn Szydlowski, Mark Voakes, Travis Turnbull
D: Matt MacKenzie, Corey Fienhage, Nick Crawford, Alex Biega
G: Jeff Jakaitis
Unsigned draft picks Matt MacKenzie, 19, and Riley Boychuk, 20, are AHL eligible this season and worth the look in Amerks camp, but the Sabres could still elect to return the pair to their WHL clubs.