Jake McCabe notched an assist on Mark Zengerle's empty-net goal as Wisconsin opened the WCHA playoffs with a 3-1 victory over Minnesota-Duluth. The helper gives McCabe 18 points (3+15) on the year, including eight in his last nine games. Brad Navin logged a roughing minor for the Badgers, who can advance the to the WCHA Final Five with a victory in Saturday's game two.
In the OHL, Dan Catenacci picked up an assist as Owen Sound edged Sarnia 4-3. Catenacci saw the rebound of his power play blast put home to give the Attack a 3-2 lead late in the middle period. The helper was Catenacci's team-leading 79th point (38+41). The two clubs will end the regular season Saturday with a rematch in Owen Sound.
Justin Kea registered a season-low minus-three rating as Saginaw was clobbered by Kitchener 7-1. The Spirit close the regular season Saturday versus London in a precursor to their Western Conference playoff match-up beginning next week.
Alex Lepkowski finished minus-one as Barrie saw their winning streak halted at seven with a 5-3 loss to Brampton. The Colts wrap up regular season play Saturday versus Niagara.
Brady Austin saw his four-game point streak come to an end as Belleville pitched a 3-0 shutout of Mississauga. The victory combined with the Colts loss locks the Bulls in as the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Bulls finish off the regular season schedule Sunday versus Sudbury.
In the WHL, Andrey Makarov stopped 31 of 37 shots as Saskatoon dropped a 6-5 overtime decision at Prince Albert. German World Junior star Leon Draisaitl ('14) ended it in the extra session when he snapped a shot that went past Makarov inside the post and through the netting. The East Division champion Blades will remain in Prince Albert to close out the season on Saturday before preparing for their first round battle with Medicine Hat.
Colin Jacobs was held off the score sheet as Prince George was eliminated from post-season contention with a 5-2 loss at Kamloops. Jacobs plays his final game of the year Saturday on home ice versus the Blazers.
Logan Nelson had a quiet night as Victoria downed Everett 4-1. The Royals, who won for the second time in their last 16 games, will get their final regular season tune-up Saturday when the two clubs rematch in Everett.
In the AHL, Matt Ellis and Mark Mancari supplied goals but Rochester came up short in a 3-2 loss to Albany. Ellis now has goals in four straight games, while Mancari has picked up points in eight straight. Rookies Mark Pysyk and Zemgus Girgensons each recorded assists for the Amerks, with Girgensons' helper giving him points in three of his last four games. David Leggio made 23 saves to fall to 31-18-5-1. The Amerks (68 points, 6th in Western Conference) visit Toronto on Saturday.