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3/29-30 Recap: A first for Pysyk

Written By Kris Baker on Saturday, March 31, 2012 | 3/31/2012

In Thursday action, Mark Pysyk scored his first career playoff goal as Edmonton swept defending champion Kootenay from the WHL playoffs with a 3-1 win. Pysyk's snap shot from the point rebounded high into the air before falling over the line to give the Oil Kings an early 1-0 lead. The Oil Kings will enter the second round of the playoffs with the momentum of 15 consecutive victories going back to the regular season. Kootenay netminder Nathan Lieuwen stopped 24 of 27 shots to earn the #3 star in the final game of his junior career.

Kevin Sundher had an assist as Brandon eliminated Calgary with 3-2 overtime win. The helper gives the six-foot center a goal and two assists through five playoff games. The Wheat Kings and Oil Kings will meet up in a second round royal rumble beginning Friday in Edmonton.

On Friday, Dan Catenacci earned a shorthanded assist but defending champion Owen Sound couldn't muster enough offense en route to getting eliminated from the OHL playoffs with a 4-2 loss at Kitchener. Catenacci finishes the postseason with a goal and three assists as the Attack fall in five games.

In the AHL, Paul Szczechura scored twice and Derek Whitmore contributed three points (1+2) as Rochester allowed a goal with six seconds left in overtime in a 5-4 loss to Toronto. Brian Flynn notched an assist in his first professional game. Luke Adam and Brayden McNabb also added helpers. The Amerks have now earned points in 12 of their last 15 games.
3/31/2012 | 0 comments | Read More

Flynn is in

Written By Kris Baker on Thursday, March 29, 2012 | 3/29/2012

If you were following the Sabres Prospects twitter feed yesterday, you probably saw a few posts regarding the Sabres inking Maine Black Bears center Brian Flynn to an entry-level contract.

On Thursday the Sabres made it official by announcing a one-year deal with the 23-year center. After passing a physical, Flynn will finish the year on an amateur tryout with the AHL's Rochester Americans. His ELC will begin in 2012-13.

Flynn (6’1”, 185 lbs., 7/26/1988) recently completed a four-year collegiate career at the University of Maine. During his senior season, Flynn appeared in 40 games and recorded 48 points (18+30), along with 37 penalty minutes and a team-leading plus-18 rating, while serving as captain. His 48 points ranked second on the team and ninth among all NCAA Division I skaters, earning him Hockey East First Team honors.

The Lynnfield, Mass. native registered 156 points (69+87) in 153 games during his four-year career, finishing in 11th place on Maine’s all-time scoring list. As a junior in 2010-11, Flynn scored a team-high 20 goals and received the Len Ceglarski Sportsmanship Award presented by Hockey East.


More on this in the coming days.
3/29/2012 | 0 comments | Read More

3/28 Recap: Leduc pots winner; Shipley picks pair

In the QMJHL, Jerome Gauthier-Leduc scored the game winning goal, his fourth of the series, as Rimouski swept Val-d'Or from the QMJHL playoffs with a 4-3 victory. The QMJHL leading regular season point-getter for defensemen, Leduc again leads the league in the postseason with eight points in four games from the blueline.

The series had a somewhat ugly finish, with fellow Sabres prospect Cedrick Henley (4GP 1-2-3 -1 15 PIM) involved in a skirmish at the final horn and then another shoving match near center match before exiting for the final time this season (below). The Oceanic advance to the second round to face a yet to be determined opponent.

(s/t to Jerome Berube for the video link)

In OHL action, Steven Shipley hit for a pair of goals including one shorthanded as Niagara lost their second in a row to Oshawa, 5-3. The two-goal effort puts the 6'3 center in a tie for the OHL lead with five playoff marks. The series is now locked at two games apiece with game #5 going Saturday in St. Catharines.

Dan Catenacci scored his first goal of the playoffs shorthanded and added an assist as Owen Sound earned an exciting 6-5 overtime win over Kitchener. The Attack get their first win of the series with plenty of work ahead to dig out from their 3-1 deficit. The Attack will again look to extend their season on Friday in Kitchener.



In WHL play, Mark Pysyk notched an assist on the game winner as Edmonton erupted for five third period goals en route to a 6-3 win over Kootenay. Nathan Lieuwen stopped 17 of 18 shots through two periods before allowing four goals in the final frame. He finished the game with 31 saves. The Oil Kings will go for the sweep on Thursday.

In a Wednesday morning tilt, T.J. Brennan scored his 15th goal of the year as Rochester lost to Albany, 2-1. Brennan, who hits the 15-mark for a second straight season, is currently the second leading goal scorer among AHL defenders. The leader, Eric Gelinas of the Devils, has 16 while playing 20 more games.

David Leggio made 32 saves to earn the game's #3 star.

The Rundown:
Brennan: G, -1, 4 SOG
McNabb: A, -1
Adam: 2 SOG
Biega: SOG
Crawford: SOG
Szydlowski: SOG
Lagace: even
3/29/2012 | 2 comments | Read More

3/27 Recap: Armia goes down with knee

Written By Kris Baker on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 | 3/28/2012

So perhaps Joel Armia wasn't refilling his sport drink after all.

The second-year Assat forward has been ruled out of action for roughly six weeks after an examination Tuesday revealed stress to his knee suffered in Saturday's loss to JYP.

The 18-year wing finished Saturday's game after getting stung in a collision, and also went ahead and collected two assists in over 19-minutes of work on Monday before finally being shut down.

The injury will not require surgery but will cause him to miss the rest of the playoffs and likely take him out of consideration for the World Championships, which take place in Scandanavia in early May.

In the QMJHL, Jerome Gauthier-Leduc (+3) scored his third goal of the playoffs as Rimouski edged Val-d’Or 3-2 in overtime. Foreurs captain Cedrick Henley finished -1 with a game-best eight hits in defeat. The Oceanic hold a 3-0 series lead and will look to use the brooms Wednesday night in Val-d’Or.

In the WHL, Kevin Sundher did not factor into the scoring as Brandon defeated Calgary 3-1 in game #4 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal. With a 3-1 series lead, the Wheat Kings will look to eliminate the Hitmen Thursday on home ice.

Gregg Sutch and Alex Lepkowski were each a -1 as Barrie lost at Mississauga, 3-2. With the series evened at two games apiece, game #5 will take place Saturday in Barrie.
3/28/2012 | 0 comments | Read More

3/26 Recap: Armia assists not enough; Sutch bounced

Written By Kris Baker on Tuesday, March 27, 2012 | 3/27/2012

Joel Armia posted two assists Monday as Assat was downed by JYP, 4-3. The points were Armia’s first of the series. Now facing a 3-0 series deficit, the Aces will try to stave off elimination on home ice in Wednesday’s game #4.

Gregg Sutch was ejected midway through the first period for a headbutt as Barrie pitched a 4-0 shutout of Mississauga. The gritty 6’2 forward clashed with ex-Majors teammate Stuart Percy, who he rocked in a tilt earlier in the year and tried to go another round with on Friday before Trevor Carrick stepped in to battle. Alex Lepkowski finished even for the Colts, who now take a 2-1 series lead heading into Tuesday’s game #4.

In the OHL, Dan Catenacci was -1 with a kneeing minor as Owen Sound was defeated by Kitchener, 4-1. The Attack have scored just five goals en route to collecting three straight losses. Blanked for a third straight game, the speedy pivot will need to step it up in Wednesday’s game four if the Attack are to live another day.
3/27/2012 | 2 comments | Read More

3/25 Recap: Sundher, Lieuwen star with different results

Written By Kris Baker on Monday, March 26, 2012 | 3/26/2012

Kevin Sundher scored a goal and an assist Sunday as Brandon downed Calgary 4-1 in game #3 of their WHL Eastern Conference quarterfinal. Sundher, whose multi-point effort earned the game's #1 star, looked quick and rested on a line with Bruno Mraz and Alessio Bertaggia. The Wheat Kings take a 2-1 series lead with game #4 coming Tuesday at the MTS Center in Winnipeg.

Nathan Lieuwen made 41 saves to earn the game's #1 star as Kootenay was overcome late by Edmonton, 4-3. Lieuwen was spectacular stopping 19 of 20 shots in the first period, keeping the door closed until the Oil Kings scored a pair of goals on the game's final five minutes. Mark Pysyk picked up an assist for the Oil Kings, who with the victory take a 2-0 series lead. Game #3 is Wednesday in Cranbrook.

In the OHL, Steven Shipley scored his third goal of the playoff as Niagara dropped a 6-4 decision to Ottawa. Shipley's tally early in the third cut the Generals lead to 3-2 as the teams would combine for six goals in the final frame. Boone Jenner paced the winners with a hat trick and a pair of assists, while 2012 eligible Scott Laughton had two goal and and two assists for the Gens. Game #4 takes place Wednesday in Oshawa.



Brad Eidsness saw his college career come to an end as North Dakota was defeated by Minnesota 5-2 in the NCAA West Region final. Close to completing his Master's course work, Eidsness is on record as saying he'd like to play a few more years of hockey. He attended just one of the last three d-camps (2010), and played just 22 games over last two years after earning a combined 48 wins as a freshman and sophomore.
3/26/2012 | 0 comments | Read More

3/24 Recap: Leduc leads way; Varone keys win

Written By Kris Baker on Sunday, March 25, 2012 | 3/25/2012

Jerome Gauthier-Leduc scored a goal and three assists Saturday as Rimouski got out to a commanding 2-0 series lead with an 8-5 win over Val-d'Or. The four-point night was the third of Leduc's 2011-12 year and first since early December. Cedrick Henley scored a goal and an assist for the Foreurs, who battled back from a 6-2 deficit to within one before the Nics closed it out with a pair of goals (including an empty netter) in the final two minutes of regulation. Game #3 is set for Tuesday in Val-d'Or.



Joel Armia (-1) sent five shots on goal as Assat was defeated for the second straight game by JYP, 2-1. The 6'3 wing competed hard after a disappointing effort in Thursday's opener, upping the physical ante early in hopes of setting a different tone. At one point he left the game after a collision with Sami Vatanen (below) but claimed during a second intermission interview that it was only to refill his sport drink. Assat now trails the series 2-0 with game #3 set for Monday in Jyvaskyla.



Dan Catenacci posted an assist as Owen Sound was defeated by Kitchener, 3-2. The defending OHL champion Attack, who played most of the game with just nine forwards, fall into a 2-0 series hole with game #3 coming Monday at Kitchener.

In the NCAA West Region semifinal, Brad Eidsness served as backup as #1 North Dakota defeated #4 Western Michigan, 3-1. The Sioux move on to a Sunday meeting with rival Minnesota, who advanced with a 7-3 win over Boston University. Gopher freshman Christian Isackson was a healthy scratch for the 10th straight game. UND defeated Minnesota last weekend for the right to play for the WCHA's automatic bid.

In AHL play, Phil Varone scored a goal and an assist in regulation and then secured the victory with the only marker in the shootout as Rochester earned a 4-3 win over Syracuse to get back into the final Western Conference playoff spot.

Vets Evan Rankin and Paul Szczechura netted the other Amerks goals, while David Leggio made 31 stops and another five in the shootout for his 24th win of the year.

The Rundown:
Varone: G, A, +1
Biega: 2A, +2
Brennan: A, +2
Lagace: -1
Adam: 4 SOG
McNabb: -2
Persson: -2
Szydlowski: -1

The Amerks will next play at Albany on Wednesday morning.
3/25/2012 | 0 comments | Read More

3/23 Recap: Shipley pots pair; Knapp's season complete

Written By Kris Baker on Saturday, March 24, 2012 | 3/24/2012

Steven Shipley scored a pair of third period goals Friday to earn the game's #3 star as Niagara dismantled Oshawa 6-1 in game #2 of the OHL Eastern Conference quarterfinal. The two-goal outing was Shipley's first in 20 career playoff games while the multi-point effort was his second. The victory gives the IceDogs a 2-0 series lead heading into Sunday's game #3.

In QMJHL action, Jerome Gauthier-Leduc scored on the power play as Rimouski opened the playoffs with an 8-5 win over Val-d'Or. Foreurs captain Cedrick Henley recorded an assist and a game-high five hits in defeat. The Nics will look to take a 2-0 series lead on Saturday.



In the NCAA East Region semifinal, Connor Knapp made 26 saves in his final game as a collegian as Miami was defeated by Lowell 4-3 in overtime.

Knapp started slowly, getting beat just 1:34 into the game when a shot rang off the crossbar behind him and then went off a crashing player before going over the goal line. Later in the period, a turnover at the Lowell blueline led to Knapp getting beat five-hole on the ensuing breakaway for a shorthanded goal against.

Trailing 3-0 entering the third, the RedHawks scored two goals in 14 seconds early on before completing the comeback midway through the frame to force the OT. However, Lowell ended it quickly by tipping a rebound over Knapp's arm at 2:13 of the extra session to end the RedHawks year.

The 6'6 netminder finishes the season 15-8 with a 1.69 goals against average, a .933 save percentage, and five shutouts. He amassed 46 wins in his four years in Oxford, while setting a Miami record with 13 shutouts.

Elsewhere, Nathan Lieuwen made 25 saves as Kootenay was blanked by Edmonton 3-0 in game #1 of the WHL Western Conference quarterfinal. Mark Pysyk finished +1 for the Oil Kings. The two clubs will continue the series on Sunday.

Kevin Sundher finished even as Brandon was shut out by Calgary, 4-0. Sundher, who was playing his second game after missing 13 of the previous 14 with a concussion, took a five minute rest after trading punches with 17-year old Chase Clayton early in the middle period. After combining for 80 minutes in penalties, the two clubs will unlock their 1-1 series on Sunday.



In the OHL, Gregg Sutch did not return for the third period after getting into a scrap with Trevor Carrick as Barrie was pounded 4-0 by Mississauga in game #2 of their first round series. Sutch, who earlier this season tuned up Leafs prospect Stuart Percy, tried to get his former Majors teammate to go another round before Carrick stepped in to take on the crash-and-banger. Alex Lepkowski finished even on the Colts blueline. The series heads back to Barrie for Monday's game #3.



Dan Catenacci finished -1 as Owen Sound lost to Kitchener 6-2 in game #1 of their OHL Western Conference series. The Attack will look to even the series in Saturday's game #2.

In the AHL, Colin Stuart scored two goals and Maxime Legault added a single as Rochester dropped a 4-3 overtime decision to Binghamton. David Leggio made 33 saves to fall to 23-18-2

Recently inked Phil Varone notched an assist for the Amerks, giving him 39 points in his last 42 games.

The Rundown:
Varone: A
Crawford: A
Adam: A
Biega: A
Szydlowski: even
Lagace: even
McNabb:-2
Brennan: +2
Persson:

Veteran blueliner Dennis Persson skated as a forward while Corey Tropp, Travis Turnbull, and Marcus Foligno continued their tour of duty with the surging Sabres. The Amerks were also playing without Matt MacKenzie, who on Thursday was assigned to Gwinnett of the ECHL.

Next up for the Amerks is a Saturday night tilt with Syracuse.

***

In Friday ECHL play, MacKenzie notched an assist as Gwinnett edged Greenville 3-2 in a shootout. Jonathan Parker did not factor in regulation and missed in his shootout attempt. Riley Boychuk was even with a roughing minor in the win.
3/24/2012 | 8 comments | Read More

3/22 Recap: Junior playoffs begin; Sundher returns

Written By Kris Baker on Friday, March 23, 2012 | 3/23/2012

In Thursday's opening night of the CHL playoffs, Steven Shipley pocketed a power play assist as Niagara rolled Oshawa, 8-2. The IceDogs cruised to a five-goal lead after the opening period en route to taking a 1-0 advantage in their OHL Eastern Conference quarterfinal series. The puck drops on game #2 Friday night in Ottawa.



Gregg Sutch notched an empty net assist as Barrie opened the 2012 OHL playoffs with a 3-1 win over Mississauga. Sutch's hustle play along the boards got him his first post-season point in nearly two years. Alex Lepkowski finished +1 on the Colts blueline. The clubs will reconvene Friday for game #2.

In the WHL, Kevin Sundher logged a +2 in his return to the lineup as Brandon throttled Calgary 6-2 to take a key road win in their WHL first-round opener. Sundher had missed 13 of the final 14 games for the Wheat Kings with a concussion. The teams will remain in Calgary for Friday's game #2 before heading to Manitoba for games three through five.

Joel Armia was -2 with three shots on goal as Assat lost game #1 of their opening round playoff series to JYP, 4-1. It was a sub-par performance for the 18-year old sniper, who scored two goals in five playoff games a season ago. The teams will travel back to Pori for Saturday's game #2.

***

On Wednesday, Brayden McNabb, Nick Crawford, and Shaone Morrisonn scored regulation goals while David Leggio made 40 saves as Rochester was defeated by Syracuse 4-3 in a shootout. The Amerks are now 8-2-1 in their last 11 games with a Friday night tilt with Binghamton up next.

McNabb: G, +2
Crawford: G, +2
Adam: 3 SOG
Lagace: -1
Szydlowski: -1
Brennan: -2, 4 SOG
Biega: even
3/23/2012 | 0 comments | Read More

Prospects set for second season

Written By Kris Baker on Wednesday, March 21, 2012 | 3/21/2012

It’s the first day of Spring, meaning things are about to get a little more interesting for some Sabres prospects. The CHL playoffs kick off on Thursday while the puck drops on the NCAA tourney a day later. And hey, that Armia kid will be looking to put together a playoff run, too.

***

The Sabres pair of QMJHL prospects, Jerome Gauthier-Leduc of the Rimouski Oceanic and Cedrick Henley of the Val-d’Or Foreurs, will square off in the first round beginning Friday. Leduc, a finalist for the QMJHL Defenseman of the Year, led all Canadian junior defensemen this season with 28 goals while tying for the CHL lead with 74 points. Henley captained the Foreurs to a second place finish in the Telus East Division.

The Niagara IceDogs earned the top seed in the OHL’s Eastern Conference, creating a matchup with 8th place Oshawa. Dogs forward Steven Shipley, who was a point-per-game player over the final 20 games, will look to continue his late season pace on a line with David Pacan and Mitchell Theoret.

Dan Catenacci will be front-and-center for the defending OHL champion Owen Sound Attack as they travel to Kitchener for Friday’s game #1. The Attack will be playing without captain and leading scorer Mike Halmo, who was suspended 10 games in the final week of the regular season after lambasting Nail Yakupov with an open-ice headshot.

With star forward Tanner Pearson out with a broken leg suffered in the final game of the regular season, grinding wing Gregg Sutch, who was bumped down the lineup for most of the year, could see an elevated role for the Barrie Colts in their first round battle with Mississauga. West Seneca native Alex Lepkowski will be counted on to set a physical tone while earning big minutes on the Barrie blueline.

Out west, Edmonton captain and World Junior participant Mark Pysyk will lead the #1 seed Oil Kings into battle against the defending league champs, the Kootenay ICE. The ICE won’t have Brayden McNabb playing 30 minutes a night this go-round, but will again be backstopped by reigning playoff MVP Nathan Lieuwen, who enters the postseason with just three wins in his last 13 starts.

The Brandon Wheat Kings are hoping to have their key deadline acquisition, Kevin Sundher, back in the lineup when they begin their first round series with Calgary on Thursday. The speedy six-footer accumulated 64 points in 40 games with Victoria prior to being dealt, but has played just once after suffering a concussion on Valentine’s Day.

In other Thursday action, Joel Armia and Assat will begin their best-of-seven first round series with JYP. The 18-year old scored 18 goals for the second consecutive season, including a impressive 10 goals and 20 points in 21 games upon returning from the World Junior Championship.

After leading the NCAA with a 1.59 goals against average, Connor Knapp will lead Miami (#2 seed in the East Region) into Friday's NCAA tourney matchup with #3 Lowell. Knapp has been the most dominant netminder in all of college hockey since January 1st, compiling an 11-3 mark while allowing three or more goals just twice along the way.

In the West bracket, Brad Eidsness is expected to serve as back-up when #1 seed North Dakota battles #4 Western Michigan. On the other side, #2 Minnesota will take on Boston University. Gophers forward Christian Isackson will likely be a scratch as he has been for the last nine games.

***

Colin Jacobs and the Seattle Thunderbirds missed the WHL playoffs by two points but on Wednesday were awarded the first overall pick in the WHL bantam draft lottery. Justin Jokinen (Minnesota St.), Drew MacKenzie (Vermont), Brad Navin (Wisconsin), and Mark Adams (Providence) all saw their seasons end with losses in their respective conference tourneys.
3/21/2012 | 0 comments | Read More

Sabres ink Varone

Written By Kris Baker on Tuesday, March 20, 2012 | 3/20/2012

When Phil Varone was brought in as a d-camp invite last summer, pundits thought it was a way to replace the skating and distribution skills that exited the system when Paul Byron was shipped to Calgary.

After accumulating 43 points in his first 63 professional games on an AHL deal, the Sabres decided to further their investment Monday by announcing that they've come to terms on a three-year entry-level deal with the talented pivot.

From the Sabres:

Varone (5’10”, 186 lbs., 12/4/90) currently leads the Rochester Americans (AHL) with 43 points (8+35) and two shorthanded goals in 63 games this season. His 35 assists rank him fourth among all AHL rookies and tie for 15th-most among all skaters. Varone is ranked 12th among AHL rookies in total scoring.

The Vaughan, Ont. native joined the Americans after recording a career-high 82 points (34 goals, 48 assists) in just 59 games last season with London and Erie of the Ontario Hockey League. In five OHL seasons with Kitchener, London and Erie, Varone finished his junior career with 230 points (78+152) in 228 games. He also totaled 34 points (14+20) in 26 career OHL playoff contests.

Varone had four points (2+2) for the Sabres in the 2011 Traverse City NHL Prospects Tournament, helping the Sabres prospects to a tournament championship win. He signed a one-year AHL contract with the Americans in September after attending training camp with the Sabres.

3/20/2012 | 7 comments | Read More

3/18 Recap: Jacobs points as T-Birds bounced

Written By Kris Baker on Monday, March 19, 2012 | 3/19/2012

Colin Jacobs picked up an assist as Seattle failed to make the playoffs with a 8-2 loss to Portland on the final day of the WHL regular season. The 6'1 center finishes the year with nine goals and 19 points after missing the first 26 games of the year due to a shoulder injury.

Jerome Gauthier-Leduc logged a -3 as Rimouski was blanked by Victoriaville, 4-0. The right-handed defender ends the season as the leading scorer among QMJHL defensemen with 28 goals and 74 points, two ahead of the 72 posted by Brayden McNabb in Kootenay a season ago.

Steven Shipley did not factor as Niagara ended the regular season with a 2-0 win over Mississauga. The 6'3 forward finishes the year with 48 points, two fewer than the 50mhe put up last year, and 15 fewer than the 63 scored in his draft year.

We'll have more on the playoff matchups later.
3/19/2012 | 2 comments | Read More

3/17 Recap: Shipley tunes up as Dogs eye run

Written By Kris Baker on Sunday, March 18, 2012 | 3/18/2012

Steven Shipley scored a goal and two assists Saturday as Niagara hammered Ottawa, 7-3. The 6'3 center is coming on of late on a line with Mitchell Theoret and David Pacan, scoring six goal and 10 points in his last seven games. After finishing the regular season on Sunday with a trip to Mississauga, the top-seeded IceDogs will open the 2012 playoffs on Thursday versus Oshawa.



Dan Catenacci snapped a five-game funk with a faceoff win assist as Owen Sound lost to Guelph, 3-1. With the pair of weekend losses to the Storm, the Attack slip to a 6th place finish in the OHL Western Conference. Owen Sound will be without leading scorer Mike Halmo (suspension) for the entire first round playoff match-up with Kitchener, meaning that Catenacci, who finished the regular season with 33 goals and 72 points, will need to step it up if the Attack is to defend their league crown.



Cedrick Henley recorded an assist as Val-d'Or defeated Baie-Comeau, 7-4. The 6'5 power forward finishes the regular season as Val-d'Or's seventh leading scorer, posting a career-best 13 goals and 39 points in 53 games. The Foreurs will wait for the outcome of Sunday action to learn where they'll be traveling for the first round of the QMJHL playoffs.

Gregg Sutch and Alex Lepkowski did not factor as Barrie was rolled by Brampton, 5-2. Sutch was stung late when he blocked a shot but should be good to go next week when the Colts begin the playoffs at home versus Mississauga.

Colin Jacobs logged a -1 as Seattle lost to Everett, 6-4. The Thunderbirds will now face a must-win situation on Sunday when they battle Portland in the final game of the regular season. Currently two points out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, a Seattle victory will force a one-game tiebreaker with Everett on Tuesday.

Mark Pysyk finished +1 as Edmonton finished the regular season with a 7-3 win over Red Deer. The Oil Kings, who enter the WHL playoffs as the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference, will face defending league champion Kootenay in the first round. The first two games will be played at Rexall on Friday and Sunday.

Nathan Lieuwen made 14 saves as Kootenay was blanked by Calgary, 3-0. The ICE 2011-12 co-MVP, Lieuwen finishes the regular season with 27 wins (11th in WHL), a 2.50 goals against average (3rd) and .914 save percentage (5th).

Brad Eidsness backed up as North Dakota reeled off their seventh straight win to claim the WCHA Final Five Championship with a 4-0 shutout win over Denver. The Sioux victory gives them the automatic bid into the NCAA brackets. Their opponent will be announced Sunday at noon.

Kevin Sundher did not play as Brandon closed out the regular season with a 7-2 win over Regina. The Wheat Kings, who finish as the #6 seed in the WHL Eastern Conference, will hope to have the speedy center back on Thursday when they begin their opening round playoff series at Calgary.

***

In AHL play, blueliners T.J. Brennan (14th) and Nick Crawford (4th) added regulation goals and Paul Szczechura scored in overtime as Rochester edged Binghamton, 4-3.

Travis Turnbull also scored for the Amerks while David Leggio made 33 stops for his fifth win in his last six starts.

The Rundown:
Brennan: G, +1, 6 SOG
Crawford: G, +1, 2 SOG
Lagace: 2 SOG
Adam: -1, 4 SOG
Biega: +1, 2 SOG
Szydlowski: +1

On Friday, Orchard Park native Nick Schaus scored a late power play goal to give Syracuse a 4-3 win over the Amerks. Szczechura and fellow vets Colin Stuart and Evan Rankin provided the Rochester marks, while Phil Varone added two assists.

The Rundown:
Brennan: A, -3, 5 PIM
Biega: A,
Adam: A, 4 SOG
Lagace: 2 PIM
Crawford: +1
Szydlowski: even

Winners of eight of their last 10, the Amerks welcome Syracuse to the BCA for mid-week tilt on Wednesday.

***

In Texas, Drew Schiestel recorded an assist as Texas dropped both ends of a Friday/Saturday set to Oklahoma City. Schiestel has four assists and a +1 rating in six games since being re-assigned to the Stars top affiliate.

***

In the Coast League, Corey Fienhage picked up a pair of assists and Jonathan Parker chipped in a helper as Gwinnett held on for a 4-3 win over Greenville. Riley Boychuk recorded two shots on net in the win.

Since we haven't fed the savages in a while, here's a clip of Boychuk refining his pugilistic skills last weekend against the Road Warriors.

3/18/2012 | 0 comments | Read More

3/16 Recap: Knapp's run ends; Pysyk finds net

Written By Kris Baker on Saturday, March 17, 2012 | 3/17/2012

Mark Pysyk scored his sixth goal of the year Friday as Edmonton earned their 10th straight victory over Medicine Hat, 4-2. Pysyk now has points in four of his last five games. With a win Sunday, the Oil Kings will clinch the top overall spot in the WHL.

Connor Knapp allowed four goals on 19 shots before getting pulled midway through the second period as Miami was defeated by Western Michigan 6-2 in the CCHA semifinal. Knapp, who was named Best Goaltender at Thursday's CCHA Awards, had allowed four total goals in his previous eight games entering the matchup. The RedHawks will now wait for Sunday's NCAA Tourney Selection Show to learn where and when they'll continue their year.

Gregg Sutch assisted on the game's first goal as Barrie lost to Mississauga in overtime, 4-3. The helper was Sutch's first point since February 9th, ending a 14-game drought for the grinding forward. Alex Lepkowski logged a -3 in defeat.

Jerome Gauthier-Leduc snagged a late power play assist as Rimouski skated to a 7-4 win over Chicoutimi. The mobile defender has collected points in three straight to raise his season total to 74 (28+46).

Brad Eidsness watched from the bench as North Dakota scored six unanswered goals en route to a stunning 6-3 win over Minnesota. The Sioux, who tied a WCHA record with their 12 straight playoff victory, will square off with Denver for the automatic NCAA tourney bid. 

Cedrick Henley finished -1 with a game-high five hits as Baie-Comeau was doubled by Chicoutimi, 8-4. Raphael Bussieres ('12) scored a goal and an assist for the winning side.

Dan Catenacci failed to get a point for the fifth straight game as Owen Sound was blanked by Guelph, 5-0. Storm forward Scott Kosmachuk ('12) scored a goal and an assist.

Nathan Lieuwen allowed two goals in the final minute of regulation and then another in the overtime as Kootenay stumbled to a 6-5 home loss to Calgary. The hottest goaltender in junior hockey at this point a season ago, Lieuwen has won just three of his last dozen starts.

Colin Jacobs tied the game with his ninth goal of the year then set-up former d-camp invite Burke Gallimore for the game winner as Seattle edged Spokane, 4-3. Jacobs' tally snapped an 11-game goal drought.

Kevin Sundher did not play in Brandon's 2-1 win over Regina. Sundher (concussion) has played in just one of the Wheat Kings last 13 games.

Mark Adams watched as Providence saw their season come to an end with a 4-2 loss to #1 Boston College in the Hockey East semifinal. The 6'3 sophomore missed the final nine games after suffering a concussion in a game against Northeastern back on 2/17.
3/17/2012 | 0 comments | Read More

3/15 Recap: Shipley connects; Sioux move on

Written By Kris Baker on Friday, March 16, 2012 | 3/16/2012

In Thursday play, Steven Shipley scored a goal and an assist as Niagara clinched the top spot in the OHL's Eastern Conference playoffs with a 8-1 romp over Peterborough. The 6'3 forward has connected for 11 multi-point games this season versus 33 zero-point efforts. His 45 points (21+24) rank 7th on the IceDogs with two weekend games left on the regular season schedule.

Joel Armia posted six shots on goal in 15:43 of work as Assat skated to a 5-1 win over TPS. The 6'3 wing closes the regular season with 18 goals and 38 points in 54 games. The Aces will open their first round playoff series with JYP on Thursday.

Brad Eidsness served as back-up as North Dakota defeated St. Cloud State 4-1 to advance to the WCHA Final Five semifinal. The Sioux will battle rival Minnesota on Friday in what should be an intense, physical affair.

On Wednesday, Mark Pysyk picked up three penalties (two for roughing and another for boarding) as Edmonton earned a 5-4 overtime win over Kootenay. Nathan Lieuwen, who has won just three of his last 11 starts, finished with 27 saves for the ICE.

Kevin Sundher remained out of action as Brandon lost to Moose Jaw, 3-2. The Wheat Kings are hoping to have the speedy center available when the playoffs begin next weekend.
3/16/2012 | 0 comments | Read More

3/13 Recap: Calm before playoff storm

Written By Kris Baker on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 | 3/14/2012

Colin Jacobs recorded an assist Tuesday as Seattle earned a win over Spokane. The 6'1 center has no goals and two assists in his last 11 games. The 11-game goalless drought is the second longest of his WHL career. He went 23 games without a tally as a rookie back in 2009-10.

In Finland, Joel Armia punched four shots on goal in 18:12 of work as Assat lost to Karpat, 3-2. The Aces will wrap up the regular season on Thursday at home versus TPS. Talented 2012 draft prospect Ville Pokka skated over 23-minutes on the Karpat blueline.

Alex Lepkowski tied a career high with a +3 rating as Barrie defeated Sudbury 5-4 in a shootout. Gregg Sutch missed his second game in a row for maintenance purposes.

On Sunday, Steven Shipley was +1 in Niagara's 5-2 win over Kingston. The #1 team in the OHL's Eastern Conference, the IceDogs have won eight of their last 10 with their final three games set for Thursday through Sunday.

Cedrick Henley was +2 with an assist as Val-d'Or came up short against Rouyn-Noranda, 3-2. The 6'5 project has 13 goals, 38 points, and 86 PIM this season - all career highs.

Dan Catenacci was whistled for a slashing minor as Owen Sound was beaten by Plymouth, 4-3. After ripping off 23 points in 16 games, Catenacci has come away empty in his last four.

Jacobs was -1 in Seattle's 3-2 overtime win over Everett. Branden Troock ('12) notched his 13th of the year in the win.

Brad Navin contributed two shots on goal as Wisconsin was eliminated from the WCHA tourney with a 3-2 overtime loss at Denver. Navin ends his freshman campaign with three goals and three assists in 36 games while spending the majority of his time on the Badgers' fourth forward unit.

Mark Adams did not play (concussion) as Providence advanced to the Hockey East semis with a 1-0 win over Lowell. The Friars will take on #1 Boston College on Friday.
3/14/2012 | 0 comments | Read More

3/10 Recap: Knapp, Amerks extend streaks

Written By Kris Baker on Sunday, March 11, 2012 | 3/11/2012

Connor Knapp made 21 saves Saturday as Miami advanced to the CCHA semifinals with a 4-1 win over Michigan State. Knapp, who has now won seven straight starts, is 12-2 with five shutouts since January 1st while allowing one or none in all 12 of the wins. The RedHawks will now wait for the outcome of Sunday's Ferris State/Bowling Green tilt to see who they'll play on Friday at the Joe.

Jerome Gauthier-Leduc scored his 28th goal of the year as Rimouski was doubled by Blainville-Boisbriand, 4-2. Leduc has scored goals in two straight, bringing him within two points of Kevin Sundher in the race for the prospects scoring title with two games left to play. 

Mark Pysyk picked up an an assist to extend his point streak to three games as Edmonton toppled Red Deer, 7-4. The victory gives the Oil Kings 101 points, making them the first WHL club to hit triple digits this season.

Dan Catenacci went without a point for the third straight game as Owen Sound was shut out by Sarnia, 4-0. Catenacci sits with 33 goals and 71 points with three games to play. Stud 2012 prospect Nail Yakupov left the game in the second period after getting blown up by Attack captain Mike Halmo as he crossed the middle.

Nathan Lieuwen made 36 saves but Kootenay came up short in the final period for the second straight night in a 3-2 loss to Spokane. The game's #2 star, Lieuwen weathered the storm in a busy third until the Chiefs beat him for two goals in a span of 30-seconds with less than seven minutes to play.

In Finland, Joel Armia fired nine shots in Assat's 2-1 win over Tappara. The 6'3 wing is stuck at 18 goals with two regular season games remaining.

Elsewhere, Brad Eidsness got the start in the North Dakota net, making 23 saves to earn the game's #3 star as the Sioux finished off Bemidji State, 4-3. The defending back-to-back champions, North Dakota advances to next weekend's WCHA Final Five to face a yet to be determined opponent.

Brad Navin pumped two shots on net as Wisconsin was overcome by Denver, 3-1. The teams will play a third and deciding game Sunday at Magness for the right to advance to the Final Five next week in St. Paul.

Colin Jacobs finished -2 as Seattle suffered through an 11-3 drubbing by Portland. The big center has gone nine games without scoring a goal.

Alex Lepkowski played even as Barrie blanked Belleville, 3-0. Gregg Sutch was given a night off to rest some bumps and bruises

Justin Jokinen recorded four shots on goal as Minnesota State saw their season end with a heartbreaking 3-2 loss to Duluth in overtime. Chosen in the 4th round of the 2008 draft, the 6'3 forward ends his Mavericks career with 18 goals and 39 points in 124 games.

Kevin Sundher remained out of action (concussion) as Brandon edged Saskatoon, 2-1.

Christian Isackson was scratched for the eighth straight game as Minnesota defeated Alaska-Anchorage, 7-3.

***

While Marcus Foligno was busy scoring his first NHL goal in the Sabres Saturday night win at Ottawa, the Amerks were rather active themselves receiving marks from six different players en route to a 6-1 rout of Binghamton.

Travis Turnbull paced the winners with a goal and two assists. Mark Voakes dished his way to three helpers. Alex Biega, Maxime Legault, Derek Whitmore, Paul Szczechura and Shaone Morrisonn also scored for Rochester. David Leggio finished with 17 saves while holding the B-Sens scoreless for nearly 55-minutes

The Rundown:
Biega: G, +2
McNabb: A, +3
Crawford: +2
Brennan: +1
Szydlowski: +1

Winners of four straight, the Amerks are off until Friday when they visit in-state rival Syracuse.
3/11/2012 | 14 comments | Read More

3/9 Recap: Knapp sets mark; Armia chips in

Written By Kris Baker on Saturday, March 10, 2012 | 3/10/2012

Connor Knapp made 27 saves Friday for his fifth shutout of the year and third in his last five starts as #11 Miami cruised to a 6-0 win over #15 Michigan State. The 6'6 senior improves to 14-6 on the year with a 1.45 goals against average (1st in nation) and .942 save percentage (2nd). The shutout, Knapp's 13th of his career, sets a new record for the storied RedHawks program. Miami will look to sweep the Spartans when they play game #2 of their CCHA quarterfinal matchup on Saturday.

In Finland, Joel Armia continued his strong season finish with a one goal, one assist performance to help Assat to a 4-0 victory over Jokerit. The 6'3 wing earned 21:33 of ice time (his second 20+ minute performance in the past two weeks) en route to posting his eighth multi-point game of the year. Armia has now collected 10 goals and 10 assists in 20 games since returning from the World Junior Championship. His 18 goals equals his output from a season ago.



In Quebec league play, Jerome Gauthier-Leduc gathered a goal and an assist as Rimouski downed Shawinigan, 5-3. The power play points give the defender 27-45-72 with just three games to go.

Nathan Lieuwen stopped everything thrown at him for 55-minutes before allowing three goals in the final five as Kootenay was toppled by Medicine Hat, 3-1. The ICE remain locked in the 5th spot in the WHL's Eastern Conference with four games left to play.

Mark Pysyk recorded an assist for the second straight game as Edmonton took out Eastern Division leader Red Deer, 5-2. With the win, the Oil Kings clinched the first overall spot in the Eastern Conference.

Dan Catenacci (-1) went without a point for the second straight game as Owen Sound edged Saginaw, 4-3. Attack forward Gemel Smith ('12) posted three assists to earn the game's #1 star.

Steven Shipley was held off the scoresheet as Niagara defeated Ottawa, 5-1. The victory gives the IceDogs their first Central Division title since moving to St. Catherines.

Cedrick Henley (-2) contributed six shots on goal as Val-d'Or earned an exciting 6-5 win over Gatineau. Foreurs forward Anthony Mantha ('13), whose 9/16 birth date misses the cutoff for the 2012 draft by one day, continued to impress with two goals and two assists.

Kevin Sundher remained out of the lineup as Brandon was hammered by Saskatoon, 6-2. The center has played in just one game since getting his bell rung back on Valentine's Day.

Brad Navin was even as Wisconsin took a 1-0 decision at #9 Denver. A win over the Pioneers on Saturday would thrust the Badgers into next weekend's WCHA Final Five.

Justin Jokinen posted a shot on goal as Mankato lost to #3 Duluth, 4-2. The Mavericks will look to stave off elimination on Saturday when they rematch with the defending national champs.

Brad Eidsness served as backup in #12 North Dakota's 4-1 win over Bemidji State. The Sioux will go for their 10th consecutive WCHA playoff victory on Saturday.

Mark Adams missed his seventh game with a concussion as Providence dropped a 3-2 overtime decision at #7 Lowell. With the Friars taking Thursday's opener by a 5-3 count, the two clubs will play a rubber match on Sunday afternoon to decide the first round playoff series.

Christian Isackson was scratched for the seventh straight game as #5 Minnesota defeated Alaska-Anchorage, 2-1.

***

In the AHL, Luke Adam scored the game-winning goal late in the middle frame as Rochester earned a 3-1 win over Binghamton. The marker gives Adam two goals and seven points in 11 games since being sent down by the Sabres.

Matt MacKenzie assisted on the winner, while veterans Paul Szczechura and Derek Whitmore supplied the other Amerks goals. David Leggio made 35 stops for his 21st win of the year.

The Rundown:
Adam: GWG, +1, 5 SOG
MacKenzie: A, +1
Crawford: A, +1
Brennan: +1, 2 SOG
Biega: 2 SOG
McNabb: SOG
Szydlowski: even
3/10/2012 | 0 comments | Read More

3/7-8 Recap: Lieuwen eyes 30; Sundher issue lingers

Written By Kris Baker on Friday, March 9, 2012 | 3/09/2012

In Wednesday action, Nathan Lieuwen made 21 saves as Kootenay edged Medicine Hat, 2-1. The game's #3 star, Lieuwen lowered his league-leading goals against average to 2.37 in the win. The 6'5 netminder sits with 27 wins with five games left on the regular season slate - including two sets of back-to-backs.

Mark Pysyk picked up an assist as Edmonton defeated Moose Jaw 3-2 in overtime. The steady 6'2 defender is +44 in his last 115 WHL games, with the bulk of his time spent against the opposition's #1 forward unit.

Kevin Sundher, who has not practiced all week due to lingering effects from a concussion, was scratched for a second straight game in Brandon's 5-2 win over Regina. Sundher had returned for one game after missing the previous six.

Jerome Gauthier-Leduc finished -2 with three shots on goal as Rimouski lost at Chicoutimi, 5-3. The QMJHL's leading defensive point getter has scored twice in his last dozen games (both goals were in the same game).

Dan Catenacci (-2) was unable to crack the scoresheet as Owen Sound was toppled by Barrie, 6-2. Gregg Sutch (4 PIM) and Alex Lepkowski also had quiet offensive nights on the winning side.

On Thursday, Lepkowski and Sutch were again held without points as Barrie smoked Sudbury, 7-0. The Colts have gone 8-2 in their last 10 games.

Steven Shipley was -1 as Niagara was blanked by Mississauga, 2-0. The 6'3 forward sits with 20 goals and 43 points with five games left on the schedule.
3/09/2012 | 0 comments | Read More

3/6 Recap: Lieuwen takes loss; Schiestel reassigned

Written By Kris Baker on Wednesday, March 7, 2012 | 3/07/2012

In Tuesday WHL action, Nathan Lieuwen allowed four goals on 30 shots as Kootenay was defeated by Swift Current, 4-3. Adam Rossignol ('12), who the Broncos acquired from the ICE at the trade deadline, beat Lieuwen for the game winner with just under five minutes to play. The 6'5 netminder has lost five of his last seven starts while allowing four or more goals four times.

Colin Jacobs (+2) earned an assist as Seattle defeated Prince George, 3-1. The helper was Jacobs' first point in seven games.

In Finland, Joel Armia was -2 in 15:43 of work as Assat dropped a 5-2 decision to the Pelicans. The Aces have lost four of their last five, slipping to 6th place in the SM-liiga standings with four games left on the schedule. The 6'3 wing ranks third on the team with 36 points in 50 games. His 17 goals are 14th best in the league.

***

In other news, the Rochester Americans announced Tuesday that Drew Schiestel has been reassigned to the Texas Stars of the American Hockey League.

An AHL All-Star a season ago, the 6'2 defender suffered his second knee injury in a span of 10 months in the Amerks season opener. Schiestel had a hard time getting into a groove upon his return, compiling two goals and 12 points while platooning at times as a forward due to injuries and recalls.

The loan to Texas places Schiestel in a situation to play regularly as part of a clear day roster, and more importantly, affords him an opportunity to re-gain his confidence down the stretch in the final year of his entry-level contract.
3/07/2012 | 5 comments | Read More

3/4 Recap: Shipley gets 20th; Amerks sweep rival

Written By Kris Baker on Monday, March 5, 2012 | 3/05/2012

Steven Shipley followed up his hat trick the night before with a goal and an assist Sunday in Niagara’s 13-4 tuning of Erie. The goal, Shipley’s 20th of the year, came as the IceDogs were facing emergency goaltender Connor Crisp, a 17-year old forward who was forced to put on the goalie gear after Ramis Sadikov left the game with an injury. The Otters dressed just one goalie after losing their back-up to injury on Saturday.

In WHL play, Mark Pysyk played even as Edmonton skated to A 3-1 win over Saskatoon. Winners of five straight, the Oil Kings will next host Moose Jaw on Wednesday.

In the AHL, T.J. Brennan (13th) and Mark Voakes each scored in regulation and Phil Varone found net in the shootout as Rochester earned a 3-2 win over Toronto to sweep the home-and-home with the North Division leader.

Rookie defenseman Matt MacKenzie returned to the Amerks lineup after missing three months with a lower body injury.

The Rundown:
Brennan: G, 3 SOG, fighting major
McNabb: A, -2
MacKenzie: even
Adam: -1
Biega: -2, fighting major
Szydlowski: -1
Crawford: -1
Schiestel: -1

The Amerks (28-22-6-3, 2nd place in North Division) welcome Binghamton to town on Friday.
3/05/2012 | 2 comments | Read More

3/3 Recap: Shipley tricks; Cat treats

Written By Kris Baker on Sunday, March 4, 2012 | 3/04/2012

Steven Shipley scored his second career hat trick Saturday as Niagara spanked Belleville, 10-3. The 6'3 center ups his season totals to 19 goals and 41 points with seven games left to play. The IceDogs, currently ranked 10th in the CHL Top 10 Rankings, return to action Sunday versus Erie.

Dan Catenacci scored his 33rd goal of the year and then secured the win with the only mark in the shootout as Owen Sound edged Kingston, 2-1. The quick-footed forward has cashed 13 goals in his last 16 games en route to equaling the 71 points he posted a season ago.

Brad Eidsness made 29 saves for his fifth career shutout and first in nearly two years as North Dakota blanked Minnesota State, 3-0. The senior moves to 7-3-1 on the year with a 2.09 GAA and .923 save percentage. UND opens the first round of the WCHA playoffs on Friday when they host Bemidji State. Justin Jokinen added one shot on goal for Mankato, who will open the playoffs next week at Duluth.

Drew MacKenzie finished out his college career with a shot on goal as Vermont was shut out in a 4-0 loss to Boston College. The senior defenseman ends his four-year career with 17 goals and 64 points in 133 games, including two NCAA tourney appearances and one Frozen Four.

Elsewhere, Cedrick Henley earned an assist as Val-d'Or edged Rimouski 4-3 in overtime. Jerome Gauthier-Leduc picked up an assist in the losing cause for his 70th point of the year.

Gregg Sutch and Alex Lepkowski each played even as Barrie was dominated by Oshawa, 5-1. The Colts return to action Wednesday at Owen Sound.

Kevin Sundher was scratched as Brandon was upended by Regina, 6-4. Sundher returned to the lineup Friday after being sidelined for six games with a concussion.

Mark Pysyk was +1 in Edmonton's 2-1 win over Swift Current. The Oil Kings welcome Saskatoon to Rexall on Sunday.

Nathan Lieuwen made 24 saves as Kootenay defeated Calgary, 2-1. The 6'5 netminder, who entered the game with a 1-4 mark in his previous five starts, continues to lead the WHL with a 2.36 goals against average.

Colin Jacobs did not factor as Seattle lost to Portland, 7-3. The big center has gone without a point in six straight games.

Brad Navin recorded one shot on goal as Wisconsin lost to Minnesota, 2-1. Christian Isackson was scratched for the sixth consecutive game. The Badgers will head to Denver next weekend for the first round of the WCHA playoffs.

Mark Adams sat out for the fifth straight game (concussion) as Providence was defeated at Lowell, 4-2.

***

In AHL play, Paul Szczechura scored on a third period power play to thrust Rochester to a 2-1 win over Toronto. Brayden McNabb assisted on the game winner to give him points in three straight. With an assist on Evan Rankin's first period goal, Phil Varone now has 34 points in his last 35 games.

The Rundown:
McNabb: A
Adam: 4 SOG
Brennan: 2 SOG
Crawford: 1 SOG
Szydlowski: even
Schiestel: even

The two clubs will travel to Rochester for a Sunday rematch.
3/04/2012 | 0 comments | Read More

3/2 Recap: Leduc takes advantage; Sundher returns

Written By Kris Baker on Saturday, March 3, 2012 | 3/03/2012

Jerome Gauthier-Leduc picked up a pair of power play assists Friday as Rimouski delivered a 4-1 loss to Cape Breton. The productive defender, who now has 2+2 in his last two outings, now ranks 17th in QMJHL scoring with 69 points (26+43) with a half dozen games remaining.



Cedrick Henley earned an assist and a game-high eight hits as Val-d'Or defeated Victoriaville 3-2 in a shootout. The 6'5 forward has nine points in his last eight games.

In WHL play, Kevin Sundher notched a power play assist in his return from a six-game absence as Brandon rolled past Lethbridge, 6-2. The Wheat Kings have now won seven straight.



Colin Jacobs finished -1 as Seattle was blanked by Everett, 4-0. The 6'1 center has skated without a point in five straight games.

In NCAA action, Drew MacKenzie was -2 in Vermont's 5-1 loss at #1 Boston College. The senior defenseman will play his final game for the Catamounts on Saturday.

Brad Navin recorded a shot on goal as Wisconsin downed rival #4 Minnesota, 4-1. The Badgers will go for their fifth straight win when the teams conclude the WCHA set on Saturday. Gopher freshman Christian Isackson was scratched for the fifth straight game.

Justin Jokinen finished +1 as Minnesota State dropped a 4-2 decision at North Dakota. Brad Eidsness served as backup for the Sioux. The two clubs will rematch on Saturday to finish the WCHA regular season.

Mark Adams remained sidelined as Providence was defeated by Lowell, 5-1. Despite the loss, the Friars clinch their first Hockey East Tournament spot since 2008. The two clubs will conclude the regular season slate on Saturday.
3/03/2012 | 0 comments | Read More

Amerks streak ends at three

In Friday AHL play, goals by Brayden McNabb and Luke Adam got Rochester out to a 2-0 lead, but Grand Rapids struck three times in the third to overcome the Amerks, 4-3. The loss snaps a three-game winning streak for the Sabres farmhands.

McNabb gave Rochester a 1-0 lead when he jumped into the slot to beat Ty Conklin for his fourth of the year at 14:54 of the first.

At 1:51 of the second, Rochester gained the two-goal lead when Adam scarfed up a rebound for his first goal in an Amerks sweater.

After the Griffins cashed three straight tallies, T.J. Brennan added his 12th of the year on the power play to tie the game with under seven minutes to play.

Francis Pare answered for Grand Rapids three minutes later to cap the scoring.

David Leggio finished with 28 saves in defeat, while Phil Varone picked up a pair of assists for his seventh multi-point game of the year.

The Rundown:
McNabb: G, -1, 2 SOG
Adam: G, +1, 6 SOG
Brennan: PPG, 4 SOG
Foligno: 5 PIM
Szydlowski: 2 SOG
Crawford: -2
Persson: -1

The Amerks will be in Toronto on Saturday to begin a back-to-back set with the first place Marlies.

***

In the ECHL, Corey Fienhage scored in part of a four-goal third period as Gwinneett as poured it on last to earn an 8-6 win over Trenton. Matt MacKenzie (7 SOG) and Riley Boychuk picked up assists in the win, while Jonathan Parker logged a -3 rating.
3/03/2012 | 0 comments | Read More

3/1 Recap: Armia comes through

Written By Kris Baker on Friday, March 2, 2012 | 3/02/2012

Joel Armia notched a key assist and the shootout clincher Thursday as Assat skated to a 4-3 win over KalPa. The flashy wing made a nice move at center ice before gaining the zone to set up Tuomas Santavuori to give Assat a 3-2 lead at 15:24 of the middle frame. Armia would later score in the shootout to seal the victory and keep the Aces in the fourth spot with two weeks left in the season.



In the OHL, Alex Lepkowski scored his eighth goal of the year as Barrie downed Kitchener, 5-3. The West Seneca, NY native converted down low after taking a pass off his skate to give the Colts a 2-1 lead midway through the first. Gregg Sutch logged a -1 for the Colts, who have now won seven of their last eight games.

Steven Shipley did not factor as Niagara edged Saginaw, 2-1. With 16 goals and 38 points, Shipley will need to step up his production over the final eight games of the regular season to equal the 50 points he posted a season ago.
3/02/2012 | 0 comments | Read More

2/29 Recap: Duo produces in defeat

Written By Kris Baker on Thursday, March 1, 2012 | 3/01/2012

Dan Catenacci scored his 32nd goal of the season Wednesday as Owen Sound lost to Barrie, 3-1. The speedy pivot has racked up 12 goals and 22 points in his last 15 games. Last season, he had 6-17-23 in 30 games after January 1st. Alex Lepkowski (+2) and Gregg Sutch did not point for the winners.



Mark Pysyk was whistled for three minor penalties (slashing, cross checking, unsportsmanlike) as Edmonton defeated Kootenay, 3-1. ICE goaltender Nathan Lieuwen was given the night off.

In Tuesday play, Joel Armia scored his 17th goal on the power play in Assat's 5-1 loss to JYP. Trailing 4-0 in the third, Armia skated across the high slot and slung a wrister over the shoulder of the JYP goalie for his 35th point of the season.

Cedrick Henley saw his six-game point streak snapped as Val-d'Or edged Rouyn-Noranda 3-2 in overtime. The 6'5 Henley led all skaters with five hits.

Colin Jacobs finished -2 in Seattle's 3-1 loss to Tri-City. The 6'1 center has gone without a point in his last four games.
3/01/2012 | 1 comments | Read More