3/21 Recap: Defenders contribute as playoffs heat up

Jake McCabe (+1) notched an assist Thursday as Wisconsin advanced to the WCHA semifinal round with a 7-2 victory over Minnesota State. McCabe, who was a game-time decision entering the WCHA Final Five after sustaining a injury in the Badgers' Saturday series clincher over Minnesota-Duluth, jumped in on a three-on-one rush while on a second-period penalty kill to earn his 19th point of the year. The 6-foot-1 rearguard has now notched points in seven of his last 11 games. Sophomore forward Brad Navin maintained his fourth-line duties for the Badgers, who advance to face top-seeded St. Cloud State on Friday.

Brady Austin picked an assist as Belleville opened the playoffs with a 8-1 win over Mississauga. Austin pinched in from his point post and slid the puck deep to Garrett Hooey, who finished the wraparound for the goal. The Bulls will look to continue their scoring ways when the series resumes Saturday in Belleville.

Dan Catenacci (-1) was on the puck all game but did not score as Owen Sound edged Sault Ste. Marie 2-1 in overtime. The Attack take a 1-0 series lead into Saturday's game two.

Alex Lepkowski played even as Barrie opened their Eastern Conference quarterfinal with a 3-1 victory over Kingston. The series resumes Saturday in Barrie.

In the WHL, Andrey Makarov allowed three goals on 32 shots as Saskatoon opened post-season play with a 4-1 loss to Medicine Hat. Draft eligible forward Hunter Shinkaruk scored a goal for the Tigers. The Blades will look to even the series Friday night in Saskatoon.

Joel Armia fired two shots on goal in 16:47 of work as Assat defeated KalPa 2-0. The victory gives the Aces a 2-0 lead in the SM-Liiga first round series. Game three will be played Saturday in Pori.

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