Sabres Prospects Three Stars of the Week (10/30/11)

Written By Kris Baker on Monday, October 31, 2011 | 10/31/2011

10/31/2011 | 6 comments | Read More

10/30 Recap: Cat provides help in Attack win

Written By Kris Baker on Sunday, October 30, 2011 | 10/30/2011

Dan Catenacci (+2) extended his point streak to three games Sunday with a pair of assists as Owen Sound downed Windsor, 5-1. Both of Catenacci's helpers came on even-strength goals by 2012 eligible Jarrod Maidens. At the 18-game mark (just over a quarter of the OHL season), the flashy disher leads the Attack with 22 points (8+14), good for 10th overall in the OHL.

Jerome Gauthier-Leduc failed to get a point for the second straight game, finishing +1 as Rimouski needed a shootout to defeat Victoriaville, 3-2. Leduc, who was stopped in his shootout attempt, continues to lead all QMJHL defensemen this season with 11 goals and 26 points.
10/30/2011 | 0 comments | Read More

10/29 Recap: Sundher lays four of a kind; Armia scratched

Step aside, Leduc. There's a new sheriff in town and his name is Kevin Sundher.

Sundher potted four goals for his first ever WHL hat trick and added an assist as Victoria stomped to a 7-3 Saturday night shellacking of Seattle. The slick playmaker, who now has multiple points in 11 of 17 games this season, vaults into the WHL scoring lead with 32 points (11+21).

The four goals tie for second-most in a single game among recent Sabres prospects, equaling efforts from repeat offenders Luke Adam (11/9/07, 12/10/09) and Tyler Ennis (2/21/09). Ennis set the recent mark with a six-goal night for Medicine Hat on 2/27/09. Sundher will get some time to enjoy his recent roll before strapping it back on Friday for a tilt with rival Vancouver.

Nathan Lieuwen made 28 saves to guide Kootenay to a 4-1 win over Portland. The 6'5 Lieuwen, victorious in four straight for a league-best nine wins on the year, continues to lead the WHL with a 1.45 goals against average and .948 save percentage. The ICE will do battle with Everett on Friday.

In QMJHL action, Cedrick Henley scored his fifth goal of the year as Val-d'Or lost to Halifax, 5-2. Henley had zero goals in the season's first 10 games (and none in his last 20 going back to the end of 2010-11), but has five in his last six. Les Foreurs return to action Thursday at Cape Breton.

In the OHL, Dan Catenacci picked up a power play assist as Owen Sound downed Oshawa, 6-2. The 5'10 center continues to lead the Attack offense with 20 points (8+12). Owen Sound plays host to Windsor on Sunday.

Gregg Sutch logged a -1 in Barrie's 5-1 win over Windsor. After being paired with Mark Scheifele for two games, Sutch instead skated on a line with Zach Hall and Ivan Telegin. Alex Lepkowski (-1) returned to the Barrie blueline after an eight-game absence. The Colts will get a few days off before Thursday's tilt at Windsor.

Steven Shipley returned to the lineup after missing four games with a concussion, finishing -1 as Niagara lost in a shootout to Sudbury, 2-1. The IceDogs welcome Oshawa to St. Catharines on Thursday.

Mark Pysyk did not play due to illness as Edmonton lost at Brandon, 3-2. The Oil Kings will get a full week of rest before Saturday's games with Seattle.

In Finland, Joel Armia was a healthy scratch as Assat was blanked by JYP, 2-0. The 18-year old wing, who has steadily seen his minutes slide over the past couple of weeks, was relegated to fourth-line duty on Friday before the Saturday benching. He has just two goals through his first 17 games, a total that needs to be higher with World Juniors under two months away. We'll be keeping a close eye out Tuesday to see if Armia can re-enter the lineup when the Aces lace 'em up with HIFK.

In NCAA play, Brad Navin was even with a shot on goal as Wisconsin defeated Nebraska-Omaha, 6-3. The Badgers will travel to St. Cloud on Friday.

Brad Eidsness backed-up Aaron Dell as North Dakota earned the split by defeating St. Cloud State, 3-1. The Sioux tangle with Minnesota next weekend.

Christian Isackson was scratched in Minnesota's 3-1 sweeper over Alaska-Anchorage.

Drew MacKenzie missed his second game due to injury as Vermont was doubled by Merrimack, 4-2. The Catamounts continue their Hockey East schedule next weekend with a set against Providence.

Providence defenseman Mark Adams remained on the shelf with a lower body injury as the Friars lost at Maine, 3-1.
10/30/2011 | 0 comments | Read More

Amerks winless skid hits five

In Saturday AHL action, Corey Tropp scored his fourth goal of the season as Rochester's winless skid hit five games with a 3-1 loss to Binghamton.

Brayden McNabb and Phil Varone earned assists on Tropp's even-strength marker, while 2010-11 AHL All-Star Drew Schiestel returned to the lineup after missing eight games with a knee injury.

The Amerks missed an opportunity to enact some revenge on the group that knocked them out of the playoffs a season ago while wearing the colors of the Portland Pirates.

The Rundown:
Tropp: 1G, 7 SOG, 2 PIM
McNabb: 1A, -1, 2 PIM
Schiestel: +1, 3 SOG
Brennan: 3 SOG
Lagace: 2 SOG
Crawford: 1 SOG
Biega: 1 SOG
MacKenzie: even
Foligno: even
Kassian: -2
Parker: -2, 2 SOG
Szydlowski: DNP
Boychuk: DNP

The Amerks and Senators will go at it again Friday in Binghamton.
10/30/2011 | 0 comments | Read More

10/28 Recap: Leduc streak snapped; Sundher leads pack

Written By Kris Baker on Saturday, October 29, 2011 | 10/29/2011

Jerome Gauthier-Leduc saw his 12-game point streak come to an end Friday as Rimouski came up short against Shawinigan, 2-1. The 6'1 righty remains the QMJHL's top scoring defenseman, ranking fifth in the league with 26 points (11+15). Leduc's roll was the longest for a Sabres defensive prospect since Kootenay's Brayden McNabb ripped off an 11-gamer last year. Marc-Andre Gragnani posted a 10-game streak for PEI back in 2005-06. Leduc will look to start anew Sunday against Victoriaville.

Kevin Sundher scored a pair of regulation goals, his sixth and seventh of the year, as Victoria lost a 4-3 shootout to Seattle. The two clubs went scoreless for two periods before opening things up with a six-goal third. Sundher opened scoring 23-seconds in with an unassisted shorthanded goal. He'd later force overtime with just 1:25 to play to give him 27 points this season, overcoming Leduc for tops among all Sabres prospects. Per the WHL injury report, T-Birds center Colin Jacobs remains out for a month with an upper body injury. The two clubs will play it back on Saturday.

Gregg Sutch scored a goal and an assist while tossing his weight around throughout as Barrie lost at Brampton, 4-3. The 6'2 checker has four points (2+2) in his last three games, and it's fair to expect those numbers to keep spiking if he continues skating on a line with Winnipeg Jets property Mark Scheifele. Alex Lepkowski missed his eighth game with an upper body injury. The Colts host Windsor on Saturday.

Elsewhere, Cedrick Henley notched two assists as Val-d'Or lost to Halifax, 3-2. The 6'5 forward had five assists in his first 10 games, but has four goals and three assists in five game since. The teams will play a rematch on Saturday.

Dan Catenacci picked up a power play assist but finished a game-low -3 as Owen Sound was edged in overtime at London, 3-2. Seven of Catenacci's 11 helpers this season have come with the man advantage. The Attack host Oshawa on Saturday.

Mark Pysyk logged a -1 as Edmonton dropped their fourth game of the year, falling to the Regina Pats 4-1. Pysyk took a third period cross-checking penalty that resulted on a Dominik Volek ('12) goal to give the Pats a 3-1 lead. The Oil Kings travel to Brandon on Saturday.

In NCAA play, Connor Knapp was pulled after allowing four goals in 27-minutes of work as #16 Miami  lost for the second straight night to #18 Lake Superior, 5-3. Knapp had stopped 11 of 15 shots prior to getting the hook. The Redhawks (2-6-0), who were swept at home for the first time since 2006-07, will look to snap a five-game losing streak next weekend at Alaska.

Brad Navin (1 SOG) committed a costly hooking penalty late as Wisconsin lost to Nebraska-Omaha, 5-4. With Navin off to the box at 18:42 of the third, the Badgers gave up a power play goal with 21-seconds left in regulation to fall to 3-4-0 on the year. The series continues Saturday in Madison.

Christian Isackson was a scratch as #8 Minnesota cruised to a 5-0 win over Alaska-Anchorage. The Gophers and Seawolves will do it again Saturday.

Brad Eidsness served as backup as #12 North Dakota suffered a 4-0 home-ice defeat at the hands of St. Cloud State. It's unclear as of now, but Eidsness could get the nod Saturday as the Sioux (2-4-1) look to earn the split.

Drew MacKenzie did not play due to injury as Vermont opened their Hockey East schedule with a 4-1 loss to #9 Merrimack. The Catamounts and Warriors will rematch on Saturday.

Mark Adams remained out with a lower body injury as Providence lost in OT at Maine, 5-4. The sophomore is likely still multiple weeks away from returning to the Friars.

In the ECHL, Corey Fienhage tapped-in a 2x1 finish for his second professional goal as Gwinnett fell in overtime to Wheeling, 3-2. The 6'3 defenseman has two goals and an assist in six Coast League contests.
10/29/2011 | 0 comments | Read More

Amerks slide hits four

Written By Kris Baker on Friday, October 28, 2011 | 10/28/2011

T.J. Brennan and Marcus Foligno each earned assists Thursday as Rochester dropped a 3-2 overtime decision at Hamilton. Losers of four straight, the Amerks are now 0-3 versus the Bulldogs this season.

The Amerks didn't get on the board until a quarter of the way into the final period. Colin Stuart cut in from the right side and scored at 5:05. A few minutes later, the rebound of a Brennan point shot was potted by Derek Whitmore to force the OT session.

Harvard and Quebec Remparts product Louis Leblanc paced the Bulldogs with the overtime tally and two regulation assists.

The Rundown:
Brennan: 1A, 3 SOG, 2 PIM
Foligno: 1A, +1
Kassian: +1, 2 SOG
McNabb: +1, 2 SOG
Parker: +1
MacKenzie: +1, 2 SOG
Szydlowski: 2 SOG
Lagace: 2 SOG
Boychuk: 2 SOG, 2 PIM
Biega: -1
Crawford: -1, 2 PIM
Tropp: -2, 3 SOG

The Amerks swing back to New York for a Saturday battle at Binghamton.
10/28/2011 | 0 comments | Read More

Pysyk, Sundher to play for Team WHL

Written By Kris Baker on Thursday, October 27, 2011 | 10/27/2011

For the third consecutive season, Edmonton Oil Kings captain Mark Pysyk has been selected to represent the WHL at the 2011 Subway Super Series. The talented defender will not skate in the opening game of the WHL leg of the series, appearing in just the November 17th contest at Moose Jaw.

Pysyk attended the Team Canada Development Camp this August - it was the second time Pysyk has been invited to try out for the National U20 Squad and is still looking to solidify a spot on Team Canada this Christmas. The second year Oil Kings Captain played his 200th WHL career game last night in Edmonton and tallied a first star performance with 3 assists to help the Oil Kings to a 4-1 win over Everett. Pysyk, an Edmonton area local remains the face of the modern era franchise - He was the first WHL Bantam draft pick (3rd overall in 2007) and in 2010 became the modern franchise's first ever NHL 1st round draft pick (selected 23rd overall by the Buffalo Sabres). This last season he was awarded the Greg Tomalty MVP honour for the second straight season and the Oil Kings Top D-man honor for the third straight season.

Joining Pysyk on Team WHL will be fellow 2010 draft pick, Kevin Sundher. The six-foot center will not get to play in the same game as Pysyk, instead suiting up for the November 16th tilt in Regina.

Sundher, a 6’0”, 177-pound product of Surrey, BC, is ranked third in the WHL with 25 points (5G-20A) in 15 regular season games. Sundher, the seventh overall pick by the Chilliwack Bruins in the 2007 WHL Bantam Draft, leads the WHL with 20 assists. In the last six Royals’ games, Sundher has produced two goals and eight assists for 10 points, which includes a four-point game against the Kelowna Rockets on October 15. In 230 regular season WHL games, Sundher has recorded 73 goals and 129 assists for 202 points.

“The Royals’ organization is extremely proud of Kevin and what he has accomplished this season,” said Royals’ General Manager and Head Coach Marc Habscheid. “Kevin has earned the opportunity to showcase his ability as a skilled playmaker and his overall talents for Team WHL and we wish him the best when he faces Team Russia in Saskatchewan.”

10/27/2011 | 1 comments | Read More

10/26 Recap: Pysyk ties career best

Mark Pysyk tied a career high with three assists Wednesday as Edmonton got past Everett, 4-1. The OKs captain has eight assists in 14 games this season (his "first" goal of the year two weeks ago was later credited to another player). Last year, his first goal didn't come until December 3rd (game #23). Edmonton travels to Regina on Friday.

Nathan Lieuwen made 29 saves for his third straight win as Kootenay edged Red Deer, 3-2. The 6'5 netminder moves to 8-2-0-2 through his first dozen starts while leading the WHL with a 1.48 goals against average and .946 save percentage.

Gregg Sutch scored his second goal of the year as Barrie lost to Belleville, 5-3. Sutch's even strength tally was set-up by Mark Scheifele, who was playing his first game back in the OHL after a seven-game stint with the Winnipeg Jets. Alex Lepkowski missed his seventh straight game due to an upper body injury. The Colts are off until Saturday's tilt with Windsor.

Kevin Sundher was even with a roughing minor as Victoria got spanked by Spokane, 6-1. The Royals host Seattle on Friday.

Steven Shipley missed his third straight game with a concussion as Niagara defeated Erie, 6-4. The IceDogs have won all three games they've played without Shipley, who was said to have suffered a minor setback that will likely keep him out until next week.
10/27/2011 | 1 comments | Read More

Catenacci to face Russians

Written By Kris Baker on Wednesday, October 26, 2011 | 10/26/2011

Dan Catenacci of the Owen Sound Attack has been named to Team OHL for the 2011 Subway Super Series against Team Russia. The 5'10 center will appear in one of two OHL sponsored games, lacing them up November 14th in his former stomping grounds of Sault Ste. Marie.

The OHL leg of the six-game series begins in Ottawa, ON, on Thursday November 10 at the J. Benson Centre before moving north to the Essar Centre in Sault Ste. Marie, ON, Monday November 14. The series also includes two games in the QMJHL prior to both OHL games, and two games hosted by the WHL following the game in Sault Ste. Marie, ON.

“The players that have been selected to represent the OHL in the SUBWAY Super Series have been given an incredible opportunity to display their abilities against tough competition where they can show the coaching staff and Hockey Canada that they deserve a spot on Team Canada this winter,” said Team OHL Coach Scott Walker of the Guelph Storm. “The OHL has a history of success in this event, and I am confident that the players we have assembled for these games will compete hard against the Russians.”

A third round pick by the Sabres this past summer, Catenacci currently leads the Attack in scoring with eight goals and 18 points through his first 15 games. A tad more surprising is his 34 PIM, which puts him among the OHL's ten most penalized players.
10/26/2011 | 2 comments | Read More

10/25 Recap: Sundher's jump guides Royals

Kevin Sundher notched a goal and an assist Tuesday as Victoria edged Tri-City, 5-4. The game's #2 star thanks to the first period power play points, Sundher is currently tied for second on the WHL leaderboard with 25 points (5+20). The Royals battle Spokane on Wednesday.

In the QMJHL, Cedrick Henley saw his three-game goal streak snapped as Val-d'Or lost to Victoriaville, 5-1. Henley failed to get a shot on net, finishing the game with three hits and six minutes in penalties. Les Foreurs host Halifax on Friday.

In Finland, Joel Armia skated even in 13:33 of work as Assat fell in overtime to the Blues, 2-1. The Aces travel to Lukko on Friday.
10/26/2011 | 0 comments | Read More

Sabres Prospects Three Stars of the Week (10/23/11)

Written By Kris Baker on Monday, October 24, 2011 | 10/24/2011

10/24/2011 | 0 comments | Read More

Amerks drop third straight

Marcus Foligno scored his third goal of the year Sunday but Rochester couldn't capitalize on eight power plays in suffering a 3-1 setback to Adirondack.

The Amerks outshot the Phantoms by a 34-16 margin, but were victimized by a shorthanded goal late in the first period for what proved to be the game winner.

Brayden McNabb picked up an assist on the Foligno goal, his fourth point of the year.

The Rundown:
Foligno: 1G
McNabb: 1A, 4 SOG
Brennan: -2, 8 SOG
Tropp: 1 SOG
Crawford: -1, 3 SOG
Kassian: -1, 1 SOG
Lagace: -1
Szydlowski: even
MacKenzie: 2 SOG
Boychuk: even
Parker: 2 SOG

Losers of three straight, Rochester (3-3-2) sits one point back of Toronto for first place in the Western Conference's North Division.

The Amerks travel back to Hamilton on Thursday.
10/24/2011 | 0 comments | Read More

10/23 Recap: Henley heating up

Cedrick Henley scored a pair of goals Sunday as Val-d'Or earned a 5-1 victory over Rouyn-Noranda. Henley, who fired a game-best eight shots on goal, now has goals in three straight after beginning the year with a ten-game dry spell. The 6'5 wing will look to extend his streak when then Foreurs battle Victoriaville on Tuesday.

In WHL play, Nathan Lieuwen made 21 saves as Kootenay downed Calgary, 4-2. The WHL's top goaltender improves to 7-2-0-2 on the year while giving up a total of 16 goals in his eleven starts.

Drew MacKenzie registered a shot on goal as Vermont posted a 5-4 upset at #8 Minnesota. The senior defenseman saw a Nate Schmidt point-shot deflect off his stick for the third Gophers goal. Christian Isackson was re-inserted into the Minnesota lineup after a three-game absence, finishing -1 with an assist. Vermont will look to keep the momentum going next weekend against Merrimack. Minnesota will travel to Alaska-Anchorage before beginning a key series with North Dakota on November 4th.

Dan Catenacci skated even and was stopped in his shootout attempt as Owen Sound lost to Sudbury, 2-1. The Attack are off until Friday when they host London.
10/24/2011 | 0 comments | Read More

Fienhage getting going in Gwinnett

Written By Kris Baker on Sunday, October 23, 2011 | 10/23/2011

Congratulations to Sabres 2008 third-rounder Corey Fienhage, who on Friday scored his first professional goal as the ECHL's Gwinnett Gladiators cruised to a 6-1 win over Greenville.

The 6'3, 215-pound defenseman followed that up with his first assist the following evening when his slap shot from the point was tipped-in by Dartmouth product Scott Fleming in the Glads 4-2 loss to the Road Warriors.

Fienhage has two points in his first four games as pro. Last season in Kamloops, he didn't score his first major-junior goal until December 28th (his 35th game).

Buffalo signed Fienhage to an AHL contract during training camp.
10/23/2011 | 7 comments | Read More

10/22 Recap: Armia pots 2nd; Leduc stays at eight

Joel Armia scored his second goal of the season Saturday as Assat pitched a 4-0 shutout of Jokerit. The 6'3 wing, who may be feeling pressure to produce this season amidst increased expectations, has seven points through his first 15 games. Assat will next face the Blues on Tuesday.

In QMJHL play, Jerome Gauthier-Leduc earned an assist to extend his point streak to 12-games as Rimouski doubled Rouyn-Noranda, 4-2. The talented blueliner, who Friday set a QMJHL record for defensemen with goals in eight straight games, was unable to find the back of the net for the first time since October 1st. The Nics (10-7) are off all week before facing Shawinigan on Friday.

Nathan Lieuwen stopped 35 shots to backstop Kootenay to a 2-1 win over Moose Jaw. The ICE goaltender, who picked up his sixth win of the year, was cruising to his second shutout before being beaten by a slapshot with 27 seconds left in regulation. The ICE (8-3-0-2) have allowed a league-low 26 goals against this season. Lieuwen could get a rest Sunday when Kootenay travels to Calgary.

Kevin Sundher continued his productive early season pace, collecting two assists to help lead Victoria to a 3-2 win over Kelowna. The dynamic center is currently tied for the WHL lead with 19 assists, and ranks fourth overall with 23 points through his first 13 games. The Royals (7-6, 2nd place B.C. Division) return to action Tuesday at Tri-City.

Dan Catenacci saw his three-game point streak come to an end as Owen Sound was defeated by Sault Ste. Marie, 7-4. The game was Catenacci's first against his former 'mates after a late-summer trade landed him with the reigning OHL champs. He continues to lead his new club in scoring with eight goals and 18 points. The Attack (6-8) hosts Sudbury on Sunday.

Gregg Sutch recorded his fourth point of the year, an assist, as Barrie clubbed Kingston, 6-1. Alex Lepkowski remained out of the Colts lineup with an upper body injury. Barrie (6-4-0-1) gets back to work Wednesday at Belleville.

On the college sheet, Justin Jokinen was -2 with a team-best five shots on goal as injury-riddled Minnesota State got smoked by Denver, 10-2. The Mavericks (1-5-0, 0-2-1 WCHA) will take a weekend off before beginning a set at Michigan Tech on November 4th.

Brad Navin contributed a shot on goal as Wisconsin earned the weekend sweep with a 5-4 win over North Dakota. A night after giving up four goals on 18 shots in just over a period of work, Sioux senior Brad Eidsness served as backup while Aaron Dell allowed five goals on 15 shots. The Badgers (3-3-0, 2-2-0 WHCA) continue league play next weekend versus Nebraska-Omaha, while the Sioux (2-3-1, 0-2-0 WCHA) return home to host St. Cloud State.

Connor Knapp made 20 saves while surrendering a pair of power play goals as Miami was shut out by Ferris State, 2-0. Swept and shut out for the first time since January, the RedHawks are now 0-2 in the CCHA for the first time since 2000-01. Miami (2-4-2, 0-2-0 CCHA) will look to fix some things when it returns home to host Lake Superior State Thursday and Friday.
10/23/2011 | 3 comments | Read More

Tropp produces as Amerks drop pair

Corey Tropp and Jacob Lagace each scored a goal Saturday as Rochester lost to Toronto 5-4 in overtime. Derek Whitmore lit the lamp twice to pace the Amerks offense, while Zack Kassian garnered an assist to give him points in six of his first seven professional games.

David Leggio made 26 saves in defeat to slip to 2-2-0-1 on the year.

The Rundown:
Tropp: 1G, 3 SOG
Lagace: 1G
Kassian 1A, 5 SOG
MacKenzie: +1
Brennan: 3 SOG
Szydlowski: even
McNabb: even
Biega: 1 SOG
Crawford: -2, 2 SOG
Parker: -1
Boychuk: 2 PIM
Foligno (suspended)


On Friday, Tropp bagged  a pair of goals as the Amerks opened their three-games-in-three-nights run with a 3-2 shootout loss to Hamilton. Tropp's tallies, the first off a wrister and the second a rebound tap-in, were the first of the season for the second year man.

Tropp and Kassian, who along with Brayden McNabb earned assists in the loss, would later add shootout goals as the Bulldogs needed eight rounds to earn the extra point.

East Amherst native and former UNH standout Phil DeSimone scored a goal for Hamilton.

The Rundown:
Tropp: 2G, 4 SOG
Kassian: 1A, 3 SOG
McNabb: 1A, 1 SOG
MacKenzie: 2 SOG, 4 PIM
Crawford: 3 SOG
Brennan: 1 SOG
Biega: 1 SOG
Lagace: 1 SOG
Boychuk: 2 SOG
Szydlowski: even
Parker (suspended)
Foligno (suspended)

Drew Schiestel and Dennis Persson sat out both games due to injury.

Rochester closes the weekend with a Sunday night match-up with Adirondack.
10/23/2011 | 0 comments | Read More

10/21 Recap: Leduc breaks record; Henley goes Gordie

Written By Kris Baker on Saturday, October 22, 2011 | 10/22/2011

Jerome Gauthier-Leduc broke a 31-year old QMJHL record for defensemen Friday by scoring a goal in his eighth consecutive game as Rimouski downed Rouyn-Noranda, 5-2. Leduc has really got it cranking this year, potting 11 goals and 25 points through his first 11 games while catching the eye of Hockey Canada scouts. The goal mark mark was previous held by Gaetan Therrien of the Quebec Remparts, who went on to play 22 NHL games for the Quebec Nordiques in the early 1980's.

Cedrick Henley posted a Gordie Howe hat trick, the second of his career, as Val-d'Or doubled Drummondville, 6-3. Henley opened the game with his first fighting major of the year just 6:34 in before potting a goal and an assist in the third period. The 6'5 power forward, who now has goals in two straight games, repeats the Gordie feat first accomplished last October 2nd.

Elsewhere, Kevin Sundher logged a -2 as Victoria got smoked by Vancouver, 8-1.

Mark Pysyk was +1 with four penalty minutes in Edmonton's 8-4 hammering of Portland.

In NCAA play, Justin Jokinen assisted on the game's first goal as Minnesota State lost to Denver, 4-2.

Brad Eidsness made 14 saves before getting pulled early in the second period as North Dakota dropped a 5-3 decision at Wisconsin. Brad Navin was -1 for the Badgers but is gaining the confidence of his coaching staff in the early stages of his freshman season.

Drew MacKenzie finished -3 as Vermont was embarrassed by Minnesota, 6-0. It was the first-ever meeting between the two storied programs.

Connor Knapp served as backup as Miami lost to Ferris State, 4-2.

Mark Adams remained out of the lineup with a lower body injury in Providence's 5-2 loss to Minnesota-Duluth.
10/22/2011 | 0 comments | Read More

10/20 Recap: Cat powers Attack with Hounds on horizon

Written By Kris Baker on Friday, October 21, 2011 | 10/21/2011

Dan Catenacci picked up two assists to earn the game's #1 star Thursday as Owen Sound won at Barrie, 4-2. The power play helpers give Catenacci 18 points in 13 games, vaulting him into 5th on the OHL scoring list. The 5'10 center will take a three-game point streak into Saturday's match-up with his former club, the Soo Greyhounds. Gregg Sutch logged a -1 for the Colts, who will get back to work Saturday against Kingston. Alex Lepkowski missed his fifth game with an upper body injury.

In SM-liiga action, Joel Armia finished -1 with two shots on goal as Assat doubled SaiPA, 6-3. Armia, who was given 12:07 of work in the win, will look to end a seven-game goal drought Saturday versus Jokerit.

Steven Shipley missed his first game due to a concussion as Niagara downed Ottawa, 4-1. IceDogs defenseman Jesse Graham ('12) scored his first goal of the season.
10/21/2011 | 0 comments | Read More

10/19 Recap: Leduc ties mark

Written By Kris Baker on Wednesday, October 19, 2011 | 10/19/2011

Jerome Gauthier-Leduc tied a QMJHL record for defensemen Wednesday, scoring a goal for the seventh consecutive game and adding an assist to lead Rimouski to a 4-3 win over Val-d'Or. Tying the league mark set back in the 1979-80 season just adds style points to the impressive 10-game point streak Leduc has enjoyed since being sent back from Sabres training camp. Headlined by 10 goals in as many games, the dazzling defender currently places 4th on the QMJHL leaderboard with 23 points. He'll look to break the record Friday against his former team, the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies.

Overshadowed in all of the Leduc hoopla was the first goal of the year from the stick of Val-d'Or captain, Cedrick Henley. The 6'5 forward breaks the seal in game #11 of the young season, snapping a 20-game goal slump going back to last February. The Foreurs travel to Drummondville on Friday.

In WHL play, Mark Pysyk (-1) was cited for his first fighting major of the year as Edmonton scored late to overcome Moose Jaw, 2-1. The scrap with 6'2, 185-pound Jordan Wyron, which ensued in the crease just as the Warrior forward had given his club a 1-0 lead, was the fifth of the mild-mannered Pysyk's career. Standout defenseman Griffin Reinhardt ('12) scored both Edmonton goals. The Oil Kings play host to Portland Friday night at  Rexall.

10/19/2011 | 0 comments | Read More

10/18 Recap: Amerks win game, pair "feel shame"

In Tuesday AHL action, Nick Crawford notched his first goal of the year late in regulation before Jonathan Parker ended things in the shootout to lead Rochester to a 3-2 win over Syracuse.

Jacob Lagace scored his second goal in as many games for the Amerks. Riley Boychuk (his first career AHL point) and T.J. Brennan added assists.

Crawford's power play goal at 15:02 of the third period forced the OT, giving the second year defenseman points in three straight games since replacing the injured Drew Schiestel (knee) in the Amerks lineup.

Matt MacKenzie finished even with a shot on goal in his AHL debut.

The Rundown:
Lagace: 1G, +1
Crawford: 1G
Parker: SHOG, -1
Boychuk: 1A, +1
Brennan: 1A, 2 SOG
Szydlowski: +1
MacKenzie: 1 SOG
Kassian: even
McNabb: -1, 4 SOG
Foligno, -1, 2 SOG
Tropp: -1
Biega: -1

Following the game, the Amerks learned that two of their players have been suspended for actions in Sunday's 7-2 win over Grand Rapids.

Marcus Foligno will sit for two games after being whistled for boarding Garnet Exelby at the end of a foot race for a puck.

Parker was assessed a one-game punishment after cutting a Griffin forward with a high stick.


Elsewhere Tuesday, Nathan Lieuwen made 27 saves but suffered his second regulation defeat of the year as Kootenay came up short against Medicine Hat, 2-1. The ICE return to action Saturday when they host Moose Jaw.

Joel Armia snapped his three-game point drought with an assist as Assat downed HPK, 5-1. The 18-year old wing, who has been skating on the Aces third line for the past few contests, has scored just one goal on 62 shots this season (1.6%). Assat plays at SaiPA on Thursday.
10/19/2011 | 0 comments | Read More

Sundher in mix; Duo drop mitts

Written By Kris Baker on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 | 10/18/2011

Kevin Sundher's hot start is garnering notice among world junior pundits including, according to his local paper the Times Colonist, Hockey Canada's Kevin Prendergast.

“Kevin is in the mix [to make the team for the world juniors],” said Kevin Prendergast, Hockey Canada head scout for national team programs.

“It’s safe to say he will play in one of the games in the Subway Series in November [when the WHL all-stars meet the Russian junior all-stars] and we will reevaluate all the players after that.

“Kevin is a good skater and knows how to score. I liked what he did last season [24 goals and 52 assists when the Royals were known as the Chilliwack Bruins] and like what he’s done early this season.”

Sundher admitted he was crestfallen over the summer when he was not invited to the Canadian national team prospects camp.

“I was disappointed but that added a fire in my belly,” said Sundher.

Read nothing into the summer invitations, said Prendergast.

“You can only bring so many guys into those camps,” he said.

So the puck definitely is on Sundher’s stick. Whether he makes the national junior side is up to him.

Wearing an "A" as part of Victoria's leadership core, Sunder has four goals and a WHL-best 17 assists through his first eleven games.


Lastly for all you savages, here are the first professional scraps for Zack Kassian and Marcus Foligno - on the same shift - in Rochester's 7-2 win over Grand Rapids on Sunday. (courtesy of our friends at

Talk about a duo that needs a nickname. I would love to hear your ideas.
10/18/2011 | 6 comments | Read More

10/17 Recap: Lieuwen gets Monday win

Nathan Lieuwen made 27 saves Monday as Kootenay doubled Lethbridge, 4-2. The long-limbed netminder improves to 5-1-0-2 on the year with a 1.35 goals against average and .949 save percentage - all tops in the Western League. Look for Lieuwen between the pipes when the ICE go right back at it Tuesday in Medicine Hat.
10/18/2011 | 0 comments | Read More

Sabres Prospects Three Stars of the Week (10/16/11)

Written By Kris Baker on Monday, October 17, 2011 | 10/17/2011

10/17/2011 | 4 comments | Read More

10/16 Recap: Kassian, Parker power Amerks onslaught

Written By Kris Baker on Sunday, October 16, 2011 | 10/16/2011

Zack Kassian scored two goals and Jonathan Parker added a single and two assists Sunday to power the Rochester Americans to a 7-2 shellacking of Grand Rapids. Marcus Foligno and Jacob Lagace also had goals for the winners, while ookie rearguard Brayden McNabb earned his first professional points with a pair of assists.

Parker continued his early season success with all three of his points in the first period as the Amerks jumped out to a 3-1 lead. Not surprisingly, a Red Wings prospect from Sweden (Gustav Nyquist) was able to get the Griffins on the board.

The Amerks would duplicate their three-goal output in the second period beginning with a backhand finish from Kassian at 9:12 to take a 6-2 advantage into the second intermission.

Things got chippy in the third period with the Amerks holding a comfortable lead. Three fights broke out involving Sabres prospects, highlighted by the Sabres rookie duo of Kassian and Foligno throwing at the same time.

Remember how when the Sabres drafted the pair in 2009, then-Sudbury coach Mike Foligno said that "Buffalo got the two toughest kids in the Ontario League"?

Kassian went toe-to-toe with former NHL vet Garnet Exelby, while Foligno took a decision over ex-WHLer Travis Ehrhardt. A minute after that double-feature, Corey Tropp was called to battle with former Amerk Doug Janik.

Tropp was given an interference penalty in the second period when he collided with/blew over Griffins center Landon Ferraro on a backcheck in front of the Amerks net. Tropp's shoulder seemed to make contact with the side of Ferraro's head, sending the Wings prospect hard to the ice and off to the dressing room.

The Rundown:
Kassian: 2G, 3 SOG, 15 PIM
Parker: 1G, 2A, +1
Foligno: 1G, +1, 12 PIM
Lagace: 1G, +1
McNabb: 2A, +3
Biega: 1A, +3
Szydlowski: 1A, +1
Crawford: 1A, +1
Boychuk: +1
Tropp: 3 SOG, 7 PIM
Brennan: 2 PIM

The Amerks will remain in Rochester for a game with in-state rival Syracuse on Tuesday.


In the lone junior game Sunday, Cedrick Henley recorded three shots on goal and two hits as Val-d'Or earned a 3-2 overtime victory over Shawinigan. The 6'5 forward has yet to score in 10 games this season, and has just one goal in his last 20 since returning from wrist surgery last February.
10/16/2011 | 1 comments | Read More

10/15 Recap: Third-rounders shine

Kevin Sundher turned in a #1 star performance Saturday, netting a goal and three assists including a sensational pass on the game's final goal to lead Victoria to a 4-3 overtime win over Kelowna. The four-point night gives the Surrey, BC native an impressive 12 points in his last five games. Sundher, chosen in third round of the 2010 draft (75th overall), leads the WHL with 17 assists and is tied for the league scoring lead at 21 points with Brandon's Mark Stone and Medicine Hat's Emerson Etem. The Royals (6-5) return to action Friday at Vancouver.

Jerome Gauthier-Leduc continued to tear up the QMJHL, scoring a goal and two assists to earn the game's #1 star as Rimouski edged Baie-Comeau, 5-4. Leduc has now scored in a club-record six straight games en route to piling up an impressive nine goals and 21 points in his first nine games. The 2010 third-rounder (68th overall) will look to tie the QMJHL record for consecutive games with a goal for a defenseman on Wednesday when Rimouski (7-7) hosts Val-d'Or.

In the OHL, Dan Catenacci potted two goals and an assist for his first three-point night of the season as Owen Sound lost to Kitchener for the second straight night, 5-3. The 5'10 center currently ranks third in the OHL with eight goals, and eighth in the league with 16 points. The Attack (5-7) travel to Mississauga on Thursday.And yes, Cat was chosen by the Sabres in the third round (77th overall) of this past summer's draft.

Elsewhere, Gregg Sutch was +1 with a pair of minor penalties as  Barrie defeated Sault Ste. Marie, 5-4. Alex Lepkowski missed his fourth straight game due to injury. The Colts shoot out to a 5-3-0-1 mark after nine games, proving to be one of the most improved clubs in the Ontario League after just 15 wins a season ago.

Steven Shipley (-1) left the game with a mild concussion as Niagara lost at Saginaw, 6-4. The big center slips to -10 rating as part the Dogs slow start (17th out of 20 in the OHL), becoming the first Sabres prospect of the season to hit double-digits going the wrong way. Shipley is expected to miss a week of action, meaning he'll likely be absent when Niagara (3-7-0-1) hosts Ottawa on Thursday.

Cedrick Henley recorded a game-high five hits as Val-d'Or dropped a 4-1 home-ice decision to Saint John. The 6'5 wing, who has yet to score a goal through his first nine games, will look to break from his slumber Sunday when his Foreurs (6-6-0-2) against Shawinigan.

Nathan Lieuwen was given a rest as Kootenay downed Prince Albert, 3-1. The ICE (6-2-0-2) travel to Lethbridge on Monday.

In college play, Connor Knapp made 37 saves, the third-most of NCAA career, but #5 Miami was shocked by Colgate in overtime, 3-2. Knapp was spectacular throughout, weathering a slew of penalties and keeping the RedHawks in the game before a power-play deflection ended things in the OT. The RedHawks (2-2) are at Ferris State next weekend.

Brad Navin collected his first collegiate assist in Wisconsin's 3-2 overtime loss to Michigan Tech. An apparent goal by the Badgers during a third period power play was waved off when it was determined that Navin had interfered with the Tech goalie. Wisconsin (1-3) will look to shake off the sweep when they take on North Dakota.

Justin Jokinen scored his team's only goal, his first of the year, as Minnesota State was defeated by Lowell for the second straight night, 4-1. The 6'3 wing cleaned up a scrum to break the shutout midway through the third period. The Mavericks (1-3), who have now lost three straight games, will look to right the ship next week at #3 Denver.

Brad Eidsness gave way to Aaron Dell (25 saves) as #6 North Dakota played to a 3-3 tie with #17 Maine. Eidsness looked sharp in Friday's win over the Black Bears, and with another solid week of practice, should earn at least one start next weekend when the Sioux (2-1-1) host the Badgers

Christian Isackson was scratched for the second straight night as #14 Minnesota won an exciting 5-4 battle over rival #9 Minnesota-Duluth. Fresh off a sweep of the defending NCAA champs, the Gophers (4-0) will begin a set with Vermont on Friday.
10/16/2011 | 0 comments | Read More

Amerks get in win column

Written By Kris Baker on Saturday, October 15, 2011 | 10/15/2011

T.J. Brennan scored his first goal of the season and Corey Tropp notched two assists Friday to help lead Rochester to a 3-1 win over Lake Erie. The victory was the first of the year for the Amerks after two straight losses that saw them outscored by a 10-3 margin.

David Leggio made 34 saves to earn the game's #1 star. Dennis Persson and Drew Schiestel each missed their second consecutive game due to injury, while Matt MacKenzie was a healthy scratch.

The Rundown:
Brennan: 1G, +1, 2 SOG
Tropp: 2A, 4 SOG
Crawford: 1A, +1
Kassian: 4 SOG
Foligno: even
Biega: even
Parker: even
Lagace: even
Boychuk: 2 PIM
McNabb: -1, 2 PIM

Rochester D&C Game Recap

After Greg Mauldin scored a power-play goal for Lake Erie at 16:06 of the first, Leggio stood tall.

"He was outstanding," Amerks coach Ron Rolston said. "He was big. ... There were a lot of second effort saves."

Michael Ryan converted a pass from Corey Tropp at 5:08 of the second and T.J. Brennan scored off a broken play with the man advantage to give the Amerks their first lead of the season at 16:54.

Greece native Derek Whitmore provided some breathing room, deflecting home a shot by Nick Crawford at 7:38 of the third.

Rochester (1-2) will head back home for a Sunday tilt with Grand Rapids.
10/15/2011 | 0 comments | Read More

10/14 Recap: Eidsness earns nod, win

Brad Eidsness' recent hard work was rewarded Friday with his first start of the season as North Dakota downed Maine, 3-1. The 30-save victory comes in Eidsness' first home start since October of last year after spending the majority of 2010-11 as backup to All-WCHA first teamer, Aaron Dell. The win, the 51st of the senior's career, snaps the Sioux's four-game losing streak to the Black Bears.

In OHL play, Dan Catenacci (-1) scored his sixth goal of the year as Owen Sound lost at Kitchener, 5-3. The Attack's leading scorer with 13 points, Catenacci slid a puck five-hole at 13:26 of the second period to cut the Rangers lead to 3-2.

In the QMJHL, Jerome Gauthier-Leduc scored his eighth goal of the year as Rimouski lost to red hot Baie-Comeau, 5-3. Leduc, who marked with less than three minutes to play in the game, extends his season-starting point streak to eight games. His 18 points (8+10) lead all Q defenders while ranking 10th overall in the league.

In the WHL, Kevin Sundher had a pair of assists as Victoria stormed back with four third period goals to defeat Kelowna, 7-5. Sundher's first period helpers, the first a secondary and the second off a nifty backhand play in the slot, give the six-footer 17 points through his first ten games, good for second overall in the WHL. His 14 assists are tops in the league. Through his first ten games a season ago, Sundher had just six points (2+4).

Nathan Lieuwen had to make just 16 saves as Kootenay got past Lethbridge, 2-1. The 6'5 netminder improves to 4-1-0-2 on the year with 1.26 goals against average and .952 save percentage.

Mark Pysyk finished even with a boarding minor as Edmonton saw their three-game winning streak snapped in a 6-3 loss to Regina. Pysyk's excellent defensive play was displayed in the second period when he burned nearly a quarter of a Pats power play by controlling the puck along the boards.

In Finland, Joel Armia contributed four shots on goal in Assat's 5-2 win over Karpat. The 18-year old wing has just one goal in 12 games this season to go along with three assists. His icetime has dipped of late, so the big wing will need to up his effort level to boost those numbers.

Elsewhere, Gregg Sutch picked up a power play assist as Barrie lost to Sudbury, 3-2. Alex Lepkowski remained out of the lineup with an undisclosed injury (possibly an upper body deal).

Steven Shipley finished -2 as Niagara got doubled-up by Plymouth, 6-3. Despite his point-per-game pace, the 6'3 center has been a "minus player" in five of nine games this season, contributing to a cumulative -9 on the year.

In the college ranks, Drew MacKenzie scored Vermont's only goal as the Catamounts dropped a 2-1 exhibition tilt to Team USA U18. The senior rearguard found the net with a long wrister on the power play, but the Catamounts have plenty of things to work on before their season-opening series next weekend at Minnesota.

Justin Jokinen notched an assist, his first point of the year, as Minnesota State was defeated by Lowell, 4-2. The senior wing picked his point up as the Mavericks scraped away with the goalie pulled late in the game.

Brad Navin was -1 with a shot on goal in Wisconsin's 2-1 overtime loss at Michigan Tech. The freshman wing, who came close to scoring his first collegiate goal late in the second period, will continue his quest for his first point in Saturday's rematch.

Connor Knapp served as the #2 goaltender as Miami defeated Colgate, 4-3. Knapp is expected to get the start when the RedHawks look for the sweep at Starr on Saturday.

Christian Isackson was scratched as Minnesota edged Minnesota-Duluth, 5-4 in overtime.

Mark Adams sat injured as Providence downed Boston University, 5-3. The sophomore defenseman has been on crutches and is expected to be out of the lineup for the next couple of weeks.
10/15/2011 | 0 comments | Read More

10/13 Recap: Shipley dishes pair; Amerks again sloppy

Written By Kris Baker on Friday, October 14, 2011 | 10/14/2011

Steven Shipley collected a pair of power play assists Thursday as Niagara rode the momentum of Ryan Strome's return to a 5-0 shutout of Belleville. The 6'3 Shipley now has two goals and nine points in eight games this season. The Dogs return to action Friday at Plymouth.

Dan Catenacci saw a two-game point streak snapped as Owen Sound lost to Peterborough, 4-2. Owen Sound heads to Kitchener Friday.

In the AHL, the Sabres returned to the city of Rochester with great fanfare, but the Amerks were embarrassed by the Baby Pens, 5-1.

Marcus Foligno scored his first professional goal for the only Amerks marker. Zack Kassian, who earlier turned the puck over to create a shorthanded 5x3 goal against, picked up an assist for the second straight game.

The Rundown:
Foligno: 1G, -3, 2 SOG
Crawford: +1
Kassian: -1, 2 SOG
Boychuk: -1
Biega: -1, 4 SOG
Szydlowski: -1, 1 SOG
McNabb: -1
Tropp: -2, 1 SOG
Brennan: -2, 5 SOG
Parker: -2, 1 SOG

The Democrat & Chronicle recaps the fun:

The undercard was stirring and memorable, from the red-carpet entrance of players, and then some 50 alumni, to on-ice ceremonies before the opening faceoff with new owner Terry Pegula.
The main event was a colossal flop. The Amerks did their best to feed off the energy in the building by creating even more excitement with their play.
Instead, they made mistakes, flubbed passes, got carried away with trying to do too much, and were embarrassed. Again actually.

They were 5-2 losers at Hamilton on Saturday night in the season opener. So in two games they have been outscored 10-3.
"When you've got this many new faces on a team, one word comes to mind: Simplify," left winger Derek Whitmore said. "There's no reason to hit the panic button yet."

Jochen Hecht is expected to miss a few more games for the Sabres, but there's no question that Matt Ellis will make the Amerks a better team once he is sent back tp the AHL. The Amerks will continue looking for their first win on Friday at Lake Erie.
10/14/2011 | 0 comments | Read More

Eidsness pushing for playing time

Written By Kris Baker on Thursday, October 13, 2011 | 10/13/2011

A year after serving nearly the entire season as the #2 goaltender, North Dakota senior Brad Eidsness is prepared to battle his way back into to the Sioux crease on a regular basis.

The Grand Forks Herald has the converage entering #6 North Dakota's weekend match-up with #17 Maine.

“I think there’s been a pretty good battle going on the first two weeks,” UND coach Dave Hakstol said. “I think Aaron’s still our No. 1. That being said, there’s been good competition and pretty good level of play from both guys in practice.

“Brad went in on Saturday and did a good job. He plugged the dam when we were leaking a bit in the second. He’s earned himself some more playing time. He’s got to keep practicing hard. We’ll make the decision who starts on Friday.”

Eidsness was the No. 1 guy during his first two seasons at UND. He played 41 games as both a freshman and a sophomore, leading UND to a MacNaughton Cup and a Broadmoor Trophy. But Eidsness struggled at the start of last season, opening the door for Dell.

“I think (Eidsness) has come back and had a different frame of mind,” Hakstol said. “He’s practicing very well. He’s competing hard and at the end of the day, what matters most is stopping pucks. And he’s stopping a lot of pucks in practice.”

10/13/2011 | 0 comments | Read More

10/12 Recap: Pysyk pots first

Mark Pysyk scored his first goal of the season Wednesday as Edmonton hammered Kootenay, 6-1. The 2010 first-rounder flicked a wrister from the point that made it through traffic and into the back of the net for the OKs final goal of the night. After 10 games, the Edmonton native has a goal and four assists. Kootenay netminder Nathan Lieuwen was given the night off.

Joel Armia finished -1 with four shots on goal as Assat defeated HPK, 6-2. The 18-year old wing skated on the Aces third line, receiving 13:03 of work.

In Tuesday play, Pysyk was +1 with an assist as Edmonton downed Lethbridge, 5-1.
10/13/2011 | 0 comments | Read More

10/10 Recap: Cat on the Attack in Owen Sound win

Written By Kris Baker on Tuesday, October 11, 2011 | 10/11/2011

Dan Catenacci was firing on all cylinders Monday, scoring a goal and an assist to earn the game's #2 star in Owen Sound's 6-3 win over Saginaw. The 5'10 center now has five goals and 12 points in nine season games. The Attack will visit Peterborough on Thursday.

Kevin Sundher saw his three-game point streak come to an end as Victoria lost to Vancouver, 5-1. The Royals host Kelowna on Friday.
10/11/2011 | 3 comments | Read More

Schiestel to the shelf

Written By Kris Baker on Monday, October 10, 2011 | 10/10/2011

Rochester defenseman Drew Schiestel is expected to be out four-six weeks after spraining his left MCL in the Amerks' Saturday night loss to Hamilton.

The 22-year old was playing his first regular season game after blowing out his right knee back in January. Named an AHL All-Star before being shut down, a healthy Schiestel was widely considered the Sabres de facto "#8" defesneman heading into 2011-12.

Schiestel's hometown paper, The Hamilton Spectator, has the details on how it all went down.

After making an innocuous pass, he got bumped near his blue line. Not hammered. Not flattened. Just got involved in one of those thousand-times-a-game collisions.

Problem was, his toe was caught in the kind of malleable ice you get early in the season when temperatures outside are more reminiscent of the middle of summer than the onset of fall and the building isn’t deeply chilled.

“The ice is just so soft, the ruts are unbelievable,” he says. “There’s no way your skate’s coming out of it.”

As he twisted, his knee didn’t. Or maybe it was the other way around. Either way, something bent awkwardly, his kneecap slid out of place and a somewhat familiar pain kicked in.

When he got to the medical room, he sat quietly waiting for some word as the Dogs’ team doctor checked him out. Mainly hoping and praying to not hear the letters ACL.

He didn’t. That’s the good news. That, and the fact that it’s his left knee. The one that wasn’t already repaired once. The bad? It’s a second-degree sprain of the MCL. Even though surgery likely isn’t necessary, he’ll be sidelined for four weeks, maybe six.

10/10/2011 | 4 comments | Read More

SabresProspects Three Stars of the Week (10/9/11)

Written By Kris Baker on Sunday, October 9, 2011 | 10/09/2011

Please enjoy another installment of your weekly power minute.

10/09/2011 | 2 comments | Read More

10/9 Recap: Leduc-ulous streak continues

In Sunday QMJHL action, Jerome Gauthier-Leduc earned the game's #3 star with a goal and an assist as Rimouski ended a three-games-in-three-nights stretch with a 6-3 loss at Moncton. The steady producer has points in all seven games this season, and if you take into consideration the end of last year, a total of 17 consecutive QMJHL regular season contests. The Oceanic will host Baie-Comeau for a pair of games starting next Friday.

Cedrick Henley contributed a shot on goal as Val-d'Or pitched a 2-0 shutout victory in their first-ever visit to Blainville-Boisbriand. The BB Armada are playing their first season in the QMJHL after relocating from Montreal over the summer. The Foreurs are off until Saturday when they face Saint John.

In the WHL, Mark Pysyk picked up a power play assist in Edmonton's 4-1 win over Swift Current. The steady defender now has four assists through his first eight games. The Oil Kings continue their road trip Tuesday in Lethbridge.
10/09/2011 | 0 comments | Read More

10/8 Recap: Usual suspects stay warm; Lieuwen shines

Jerome Gauthier-Leduc scored a goal and an assist Saturday as Rimouski was delivered an 8-2 hammering by defending Memorial Cup champion Saint John. The 6'1 defender, who in defeat continued his streak of six consecutive multi-point games, is the QMJHL's top scorer among defenseman with 15 points (6+9). Leduc and Nics will play at Moncton on Sunday.

In the WHL, Nathan Lieuwen made 33 saves, many of the spectacular variety, to lead Kootenay to a 2-1 win over Red Deer. The game's #1 star, Lieuwen maintains his stature as the WHL's top netminder with a 3-1-0-2 record, 1.30 goals against average, and .953 save percentage. The ICE return to action Wednesday when they welcome Edmonton to Cranbrook.

Kevin Sundher notched a goal and an assist as Victoria skated to a 5-4 loss in Seattle. The center drifted into open space to beat Avalanche prospect Calvin Pickard at 10:52 of the third period. Sundher leads the WHL with 12 assists and is currently the league's #2 scorer with 15 total points. He'll look for points in four straight games Monday afternoon at Vancouver.

Mark Pysyk finished -1 as Edmonton lost at Saskatoon, 5-1. The Oil Kings continue their eastern swing Sunday at Swift Current.

In the OHL, Dan Catenacci scored his fourth goal of the year and added an empty-net assist as Owen Sound doubled Erie, 6-3. The goal came off a scramble in front of the net to give the Attack a 3-2 lead. Owen Sound out-shot the Otters by a 61-23 margin. The Attack will next host Saginaw for a Monday matinee.

More than a dozen goals were scored, but neither of Barrie's Gregg Sutch or Niagara's Steven Shipley were able to register a points as the Colts downed the IceDogs, 8-6. Barrie defenseman Alex Lepkowski was a scratch for the second straight game. Niagara will correct some things this week in practice before Thursday's game with Belleville. Sutch and the Colts are off until Friday's tilt at Sudbury.

In NCAA play, Connor Knapp made 19 saves to help #1/2 Miami avenge Friday's loss with a 3-2 come-from-behind win over Bemidji State. The victory was the 32nd of Knapp's career in Oxford. The 6'6 netminder will likely play the Saturday half of next weekend's set at the country club of Colgate University.

Brad Eidsness stopped seven of eight shots in relief as #3 North Dakota was handled by #5 Boston College in the IceBreaker championship, 6-2. Eidsness, who entered the game with under three minutes remaining in the second period, gave up a goal but generally looked sharp in his first attempt to win back time from Aaron Dell. A year ago at this time, the skate was on the other foot as Dell was the one chasing then-starter Eidsness. With the Dell allowing five goals on 15 shots Saturday, don't be surprised if Eidsness gets another look next weekend when the Sioux host Maine.

Justin Jokinen was -1 with two shots on goal as Minnesota State dropped a 4-1 decision to RPI. The Mavericks (1-1-0) return to action next weekend at home against Lowell.

Christian Isackson played his first NCAA contest, finishing even in Minnesota's 6-0 blanking of Sacred Heart. The Gophers open the WCHA schedule next weekend at Duluth.

Brad Navin was scratched in Wisconsin's 3-2 win over Northern Michigan. The Badgers travel to Michigan Tech on Friday.
10/09/2011 | 1 comments | Read More

Amerks fall in opener

Newly signed Jonathan Parker scarfed up a rebound for his first professional goal, but the highlights were few as Rochester opened the 2011-12 campaign with a 5-2 loss at Hamilton.

T.J. Brennan and Zack Kassian, his first AHL point, earned assists, while Corey Tropp also added a helper while logging his first fighting major of the year. Tropp topped all Sabres prospects last season with nine tussles.

Drew Schiestel, playing his first game since last January, appeared to have injured his knee in the third period after falling awkwardly but early signs suggest that no damage was done.

Defensemen Matt MacKenzie and Nick Crawford were among the healthy scratches.

The Rundown:
Parker - 1PPG, 2 SOG, -1
Kassian - 1A, 5 SOG
Tropp - 1A, 2 SOG, -1, fighting major
Brennan - 1A, 2 SOG, -1
McNabb - 2 SOG (paired w/ Morrisonn)
Biega - even
Persson - 1 SOG
Szydlowski - even
Boychuk - 1 SOG
Foligno - 2 SOG, -1
Schiestel - -2

We'll turn it over to Kevin O. of the Rochester D&C for the game story:

Rochester Amerks open season with 'sloppy loss'

"The easiest lesson from tonight: We've got a lot to work on," said veteran left winger Colin Stuart, who wore the captain's "C."

"In order to be the team we want to be, we need to do a lot of things better."

Of course, with eight rookies in the lineup and just one preseason game against a collegiate team from Canada, the Amerks weren't exactly in real-game mode.

"It was pretty sloppy, that's pretty safe to say," defenseman T. J. Brennan said. "We have a lot of guys still getting their feet wet. It's a change. That's why it's Game 1 of 76, not the Calder Cup already."

Rochester kicks off the home schedule Thursday against Wilke-Barre.
10/09/2011 | 0 comments | Read More

10/7 Recap: Sundher, Leduc add to early season resumes

Written By Kris Baker on Saturday, October 8, 2011 | 10/08/2011

Kevin Sundher stacked a career-best four assists Friday as Victoria won an exciting back-and-forth affair with Medicine Hat, 5-4. Tied for second overall in WHL scoring, Sundher dished two helpers on the power play and another shorthanded before setting up Hayden Rintoul for the game winning goal with just :24 to play in regulation. The Surrey, BC native has recorded multiple points in four of seven games this season, in stark contrast to his first seven a season ago when he posted just three assists (0+3). Ducks prospect Emerson Etem scored all four Tigers goals in defeat. The Royals will next take the ice Saturday at Seattle.

Jerome Gauthier-Leduc extended his early season point streak to five games, scoring the game winning goal and adding an assist in Rimouski's 4-1 win over PEI. Leduc is posting dominant offensive numbers at the major-junior level, piling up 13 points through his first five games, including five goals on 30 shots, while being the #1 star three times. To truly appreciate the five-game feat, take into consideration that defenseman Ryan Ellis, who last year marked in 50 of 58 skates en route to ringing up 101 points for Windsor, only had one five-game block all year (2-13-15) that was more productive than Leduc's start. JGL will look to continue his roll Saturday against Saint John.

Elsewhere, Mark Pysyk notched an assist, his third point of the year, as Edmonton defeated Moose Jaw, 3-1. The Oil Kings travel to Saskatoon on Saturday.

Cedrick Henley added kneeing, hooking, and roughing (two) minors to his season portfolio but was again unable to score as Val-d'Or edged Chicoutimi, 1-0. The Foreurs captain, who rounded out his effort with seven hits, has no goals and five assists in seven regular season contests. Val-d'Or will play their first-ever game in Boisbriand (formerly the Montreal Junior) on Sunday.

In the OHL, Steve Shipley (+1) saw his four-game point streak come to an end as Niagara was beaten in a shootout by Sudbury, 5-4. The former fourth-rounder amassed two goals and five assists over the productive stretch. Niagara returns to action Saturday versus Mississauga.

Dan Catenacci did not factor into the scoring as Owen Sound was bested by Erie, 7-5. The speedy center was whistled for tripping and roughing penalties in the loss, and now has more minors (12) than points (8) through the first 21 periods of his 2011-12 season. The Attack and Otters will do it again Saturday in Erie.

In Finland, Joel Armia saw his three-game point streak come to an end, finishing -1 with seven shots on goal as Assat was shut out by TPS, 1-0. Armia, who received 16:37 of work in the loss, will look to get into a goal scoring groove Wednesday at HPK. He's scored just once this season despite firing 47 shots on goal.

In NCAA action, Justin Jokinen failed to get a shot on net while on a line with J.P. Burkemper and Eli Zuck as Minnesota State took a 1-0 decision at #18 Renssalaer. Cheektowaga native Scott Diebold made 19 saves in his first start for RPI, holding off the Mavericks for 58:38 before Cameron Cooper beat him during a late 4x4. Mankato will go for the sweep Saturday in Troy.

Brad Navin was unable to get on the sheet in his NCAA debut as #17 Wisconsin lost to Northern Michigan, 3-2. The senior-less Badgers will look to earn the split Saturday night in Madison.

Connor Knapp served as the back-up to Cody Reichard as #2 Miami was upset by Bemidji State, 5-3. The 6'6 Knapp is expected to resume his role as "Mr. Saturday Night" when the RedHawks try breaking even on...Saturday.

Brad Eidsness backed-up as #3 North Dakota came from behind with two goals in the third to overcome Air Force, 4-3. The Sioux will square off with Boston College on Saturday in the IceBreaker championship.

Christian Isackson was a scratch as #19 Minnesota opened the 2011-12 season with a 9-0 thrashing of Sacred Heart.
10/08/2011 | 0 comments | Read More

10/6 Recap: Shipley connects as Dogs fall short

Written By Kris Baker on Friday, October 7, 2011 | 10/07/2011

Steven Shipley scored a goal and added a pair of assists Thursday as Niagara got throttled by London, 7-3. The game's #2 star, Shipley collected all of his points in the second period as the Dogs capitalized on a series of power plays to cut the Knights' lead to 4-3. Sabres scouts in attendance surely liked what they saw in that middle frame. The 6'3 center, who had just three three-point outings last season, is now on a four-game point streak heading into Friday's meeting with Sudbury. Development camp invite Michael Houser made 40 saves for London to move to 5-0 on the year.

Also from the OHL, Gregg Sutch registered his first fighting major of the season as Barrie gave up a late goal to lose to Mississauga, 4-3. Sutch, who dropped the mitts five times a season ago, got the best of former teammate Stuart Percy early in the third period. Sutch was traded from Mississauga to Barrie prior to the start of camp. Alex Lepkowski was a scratch for the Colts. Not sure of his status, but he wasn't discussed among the injured Colts throughout the week. The Colts tangle with Niagara on Friday.

In the WHL, Kevin Sundher picked up a primary assist, his ninth point of the young season, as Victoria lost to Medicine Hat, 4-2. The two clubs will play it back Friday night in Victoria.

10/07/2011 | 0 comments | Read More

Sutch enjoying new digs

Written By Kris Baker on Thursday, October 6, 2011 | 10/06/2011

The Barrie Examiner recently caught up with Colts forward Gregg Sutch, who is enjoying a change in scenery after a late summer trade that sent him north from Mississauga to Barrie.

A grinding forward who can produce moderate offensive numbers down low, Sutch is an affable player who could earn a contract by continuing to embrace the blue-collar role that he's likely to fill at the professional level.

Coming over to the Colts this year, Sutch is part of a different philosophy, one that he has enjoyed so far.

"I'm loving every moment of it," Sutch said. "It's been a great change for me, with good teammates and a great coaching staff. It's been a great experience so far and I'm looking forward to the long haul."

His talents have been appreciated in Barrie thus far.

"He's a big, strong, physical kid, who's a great team guy and understands the concept of thinking of the crest on the front first, and that'll take care of what's on the back," said Colts head coach Dale Hawerchuk.

"(Gregg) can bring a lot of good things, just understanding what it takes to win and the sacrifices you make."

10/06/2011 | 0 comments | Read More

10/5 Recap: Sabres ink trio to three-year deals

Mark Pysyk skated -1 Wednesday as Edmonton defeated Kootenay in a shootout, 2-1. Pysyk, who has two assists and a -2 rating through his first five games, will next take the ice Friday at Moose Jaw. ICE netminder Nathan Lieuwen made 26 saves in suffering his second defeat in a row. He enters Saturday’s tilt at Red Deer toting a 1.36 goals against average and .949 save percentage.

In the QMJHL, Cedrick Henley racked up three hits and two shots on goal as Val-d’Or lost a shootout to Rouyn-Noranda, 5-4. The 6’5 forward has yet to find the net through six regular season contests.

On Tuesday, Joel Armia posted an assist as Assat lost to Tappara, 3-2. Armia now has a goal and four assists with an even rating through his first nine games.

In case you missed it, the Sabres announced Wednesday that they have signed 2010 third-round draft pick, Matt MacKenzie.

The Buffalo Sabres signed Tri-City Americans defenseman Matt MacKenzie, the team's 2010 third-round draft pick, to a three-year entry-level contract worth $1.8 million.

Drafted 83rd overall, MacKenzie has 18 goals and 80 assists for 98 points, and 180 penalty minutes in 225 games split between the Western Hockey League's Calgary Hitmen and the Americans.

From New Westminster, British Columbia, MacKenzie, who will turn 20 on Oct. 15, was preparing for his second season with Tri-City, but he is scheduled to stay with the Rochester Americans (AHL).

On Thursday, the Sabres followed up the MacKenzie announcement by signing 2010 7th rounder Riley Boychuk and undrafted free agent winger Jonathan Parker to three-year entry level deals.

From the Sabres:

Boychuk (6’4”, 205 lbs., 2/20/91) picked up 30 points (14+16) and 157 penalty minutes with the Portland Winterhawks (WHL) in 2010-11. A native of Abbotsford, BC, Boychuk was the Sabres’ seventh round pick (208th overall) in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. In four seasons with the Winterhawks, Boychuk has accumulated 83 points (39+44) and 391 penalty minutes in 194 games.

Parker (5’10”, 195 lbs., 9/25/91) spent the 2010-11 season with the Prince Albert Raiders (WHL), leading the team in both goals (45) and points (86). In three WHL seasons with the Raiders and the Seattle Thunderbirds, the Solana Beach, CA native has totaled 155 points (77+78) and 140 penalty minutes in 205 games.

10/06/2011 | 0 comments | Read More

SabresProspects Three Stars of the Week (10/2/11)

Written By Kris Baker on Monday, October 3, 2011 | 10/03/2011

10/03/2011 | 0 comments | Read More

10/2 Recap: Leduc dominant as Nics roll

Written By Kris Baker on Sunday, October 2, 2011 | 10/02/2011

Jerome Gauthier-Leduc rang up two goals and two assists to earn the #1 star Sunday as Rimouski trounced Drummondville, 6-1. The 6'2 defenseman has been on a tear since returning from Buffalo, ripping off four goals and seven assists in four games, and currently sits as the Q's #2 blueline scorer despite playing half of his team's game's to date. Leduc will look to keep it rolling when Rimouski visits PEI on Friday.

Nathan Lieuwen made 23 saves as Kootenay lost to Calgary, 4-2. After a five-save opening frame, the 6'5 stopper had his shutout streak of 103:20 snapped at 14:06 of the second period. The Hitmen took control from there, closing it out with three third period goals in front of 7,866 fans at the Saddledome. Lieuwen, who skates away with a 1.47 GAA and .945 save percentage after four starts, will look to rebound on Wednesday when the ICE takes on Mark Pysyk and the Edmonton Oil Kings.

Kevin Sundher completed a three-games-in-three-nights run by logging a -1 as Victoria got dismantled by Kamloops, 8-2. The Royals are off until Thursday when they host Medicine Hat.

In NCAA exhibition play, Connor Knapp was called on to make five stops in half a game's work as Miami  won their exhibition opener against Windsor, 4-1. The Redhawks will host Bemidji for a weekend set beginning on Friday.

Christian Isackson had two shots on goal as Minnesota pitched a 3-0 exhibition shutout over British Columbia. The Gophers kick off their schedule on Friday versus Sacred Heart.
10/02/2011 | 0 comments | Read More

10/1 Recap: Sundher seals deal

Kevin Sundher continued his hot start Saturday, scoring the first Sabres prospects game winning goal of the year and adding two assists as Victoria held on for a 6-5 win over Prince George. The Royals jumped out to an early 5-0 lead, but Sundher's momentum breaker from the slot late in the second period (to make it a 6-2 game) proved to be the extra nudge to get the Royals to their third straight win. After getting blanked in the season opener, Sundher has his motor running with eight points in his last three games. He'll look to make it four games in a row when the Royals visit Kamloops on Sunday.

In SM-liiga play, Joel Armia set up the game winning goal in the final minute of regulation as Assat edged HIFK, 3-2. The 6'3 wing (#10 in red) used his size along the wall to create a turnover before sliding the puck to Tomas Zaborsky, who scored from beneath the goal line to keep Assat near the top of the SM-liiga standings.

Armia has a goal and three assists in his first eight games, but the numbers should increase as he's being given quality minutes while firing 33 shots on goal to-date. Assat next plays Tuesday at Tappara.

Jerome Gauthier-Leduc bagged a pair of assists as Rimouski pounded Moncton, 7-2. Leduc has produced multiple-point efforts in each of his first three games this season (2+5). To demonstrate growth and experience, note that his third multi-point game a season ago didn't come until mid-December. (He did finish the year with six multi-pointers in his final ten). Rimouski hosts Drummondville on Sunday.

In the OHL, Gregg Sutch scored his first goal of the season as Barrie won in overtime over Peterborough, 6-5. The 6'2 grinder buried a pass from behind the net midway through the second period to give the Colts a 3-1 lead. Top pair anchor Alex Lepkowski earned the secondary assist on the Sutch tally. The Colts lead 5-2 with 6:42 to play before the Petes stormed back with an amazing three goals in the final 1:21 of play. Barrie will battle Mississauga on Thursday.

Steven Shipley notched two assists as Niagara downed Belleville, 5-3. The fourth-year man has points in three straight games in an elevated role while the Dogs wait to see if 2011 first-rounder Ryan Strome is returned from the New York Islanders. Shipley will look to extend his point streak to four games on Thursday when the IceDogs welcome London.

Daniel Catenacci picked up two assists as Owen Sound saw the raising of their OHL Championship banner spoiled in a 5-3 loss to Guelph. The nifty center fed Jarrod Maidens ('12) in the slot at 17:20 of the first period and was later credited with a helper on another Maiden tally. Catenacci, who has three goals and five assists on the young season, will take a three-game point streak into Friday's game at Erie.

Elsewhere, Cedrick Henley logged a career-low -4 as Val-d'Or lost to Gatineau, 6-4. In his injury-shortened 22-game campaign a season ago, Henley was a "minus player" just four times with a -1 rating in each of those games. The Foreurs return to action Wednesday against Rouyn-Noranda.

Mark Pysyk finished +1 as Edmonton lost in a shootout to Medicine Hat, 4-3.The Oil Kings are off until Wednesday when they play host to Kootenay.

In an NCAA exhibition contest, Brad Eidsness saw just three shots on goal in a little over a period of work as North Dakota thumped Regina, 8-1.
10/02/2011 | 0 comments | Read More

9/30 Recap: Cat finds net; Sundher keys Royals win

Written By Kris Baker on Saturday, October 1, 2011 | 10/01/2011

Dan Catenacci scored a power play goal Friday as Owen Sound lost to Mississauga 5-3 in a rematch of the 2011 OHL Championship series. The productive center now has three goals and three assists in his first five games in an Attack sweater. Owen Sound hosts Guelph on Saturday.

In WHL play, Kevin Sundher dished two assists and scored a key shootout goal as Victoria edged Prince George, 5-4. The assists were fantastic hockey plays, with the first coming off a quick move before finding Robin Soudek and the second off a laser pass from behind the net. The six-foot Sundher now has a goal and four assists through his first three games for the Royals, who were outshot 52-25 en route to earning the victory. Victoria will take a two-game winning streak into Saturday's rematch with the Cougars.

Mark Pysyk (-1) notched a pair of power play assists as Edmonton dropped a 5-3 decision to Medicine Hat. The points, which came 1:30 apart in the middle of the third period, were the first of the year for the Oil Kings captain as he follows up on the six goals and 34 assists collected a season ago. The OKs and Tigers will complete the home-and-home Saturday in Medicine Hat.

Elsewhere, Steven Shipley earned a point for the second straight game, an assist, as Niagara defeated Barrie, 4-2. Going back to the end of last year, the Ilderton, Ontario native has gathered 10 points (3+7) in his last ten regular season games. Gregg Sutch (-1, 4 PIM) and defenseman Alex Lepkowski did not factor into the Colts goals.

Cedrick Henley recorded an assist as Val-d'Or downed Gatineau, 5-2. The 6'5 forward, who earlier in the week was named the Foreurs captain, has five assists through his first four games. The two clubs will rematch Saturday in Gatineau.

Nathan Lieuwen earned a night off after three straight starts as Kootenay defeated Regina, 5-2. The 6'5 netminder will take his 0.97 goals against average and .964 save percentage into Sunday's meeting with Calgary.

In AHL exhibition action, the Rochester Americans throttled CIS opponent Western Ontario, 9-1. Shawn Szydlowski and Jonathan Parker each potted two goals, while Marcus Foligno, Mark Voakes, Phil Varone, Brayden McNabb, and Derek Whitmore added singles for the Amerks.
10/01/2011 | 0 comments | Read More