Brian Flynn scored a goal and an assist Friday to help the Rochester Americans to a 5-2 win over Hamilton. T.J. Brennan, Mark Mancari, Brayden McNabb, and Nick Tarnasky added the other Amerks goals, while Zemgus Girgensons, Luke Adam, and Kevin Porter gathered two assists each. For Girgensons, the two-assist outing was the first multi-point game of his professional career.
The game was a statement for Brennan and McNabb, who both await their missions on the eve of Sabres training camp. Brennan, who currently is tied for 12th in league scoring with 33 points (13+
20), stepped into a booming slap shot for a short-side goal to give the Amerks a 2-1 lead. McNabb dug in and played his physical brand of hockey while adding his third tally of the year. With Marcus Foligno and Cody Hodgson already tabbed for camp duty, the defensive duo are expected to be in the discussion as the Sabres look to round out their troops for the week-long evaluation.
Elsewhere, Mikhail Grigorenko (-2) went without a point for the second straight game as Quebec was embarrassed in a 4-0 home-ice loss to league cellar-dweller Shawinigan. Grigorenko, whose two-game drought is a first in the 2012-13 campaign, will leave for Buffalo early Saturday to participate in his first NHL training camp.
In Western League action, Andrey Makarov returned to action for Saskatoon for the first time since his bronze medal winning performance versus Canada, making 30 saves as the Blades dropped a 3-1 decision to Red Deer. Makarov saw his shutout streak of 134:49 (going back to early Dec.) snapped by surrendering a goal 5:28 into the first period. The Blades battle defending champion Edmonton on Saturday.
Colin Jacobs was kept off the scoresheet as Prince George edged Kamloops 1-0. Jacobs has yet to notch a point in five January games. The Cougars and Blazers play a rematch on Saturday.
In OHL play, newly-named assistant captain Justin Kea was unable to get a point in Saginaw's 4-3 win over Erie. Kea and the Spirit will ride a four-game winning streak into Saturday's game against top-ranked London.
Alex Lepkowski registered a minus-one rating as Barrie suffered 3-2 defeat at Guelph. The Colts welcome Niagara to town on Saturday.
Brady Austin remained out of the lineup with a hand injury as Belleville smoked Kingston 8-2. The Bulls host Windsor on Saturday.
In college action, Christian Isackson notched a pair of assists as No. 1 Minnesota skated to a 4-3 win over Alaska-Anchorage. The helpers extend Isackson's point streak to four games, giving him season totals of 3-11-14 through 21 games. The clubs complete the WCHA set on Saturday.
Jake McCabe made his return from an impeccable performance on Team USA's blueline as the 2013 World Junior Championship as Wisconsin earned a 4-3 overtime victory at Minnesota State. Brad Navin maintained his fourth-line role for the Badgers, who have won five straight and are unbeaten in their last nine games.
In the USHL, Judd Peterson (+1) saw his four-game point streak come to an end as Cedar Rapids defeated Muskegon 4-1. The RoghRiders tangle with Dubuque on Saturday.