Showing posts with label generous. Show all posts
Showing posts with label generous. Show all posts

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Odds & Ends: Southorn talking; Tropp on the way?

With 2008 draft pick Jordon Southorn recently finishing his fourth QMJHL season, The Guardian is reporting that player agent Don Meehan is talking to the Sabres about a pro deal.

Southorn said his agent, Don Meehan, is talking with the Buffalo Sabres, the team that drafted him in the fourth round (104th overall) of the 2008 draft, about a three-year, entry-level contract. At the maximum, it can be worth over $825,000 a year.

Enter the Sabres blueline pipeline, where the system is rich with numbers. With Dennis Persson (one year), T.J. Brennan (two), and Drew Schiestel (two) having term remaining on their first contracts, and Nick Crawford recently added to the fold, it is thought that decisions on Portland defenders Matt Generous and Mike Kostka will play a role in what shakes out with Southorn and recent Harvard grad, Alex Biega.

The 5'11 Biega, who served as the Crimson captain this past season, moves well and plays a smart game, but the Sabres have to decide if he has enough juice to produce on the power play while providing consistent even-strength support. In 131 NCAA games in Cambridge, the Montreal native collected 15 goals and 55 assists with a net +1 rating.

Southorn, on the other hand, is waiting and working a summer job after an up-and-down season that saw a shift in his approach.

Southorn, who turns 20 today, had a solid 2009-10, if not bumpy one.
A pre-season suspension by the Rocket, his second in two seasons, cancelled Buffalo’s plans to bring him to its training camp.
But Southorn focused on his job, finished with a team-high plus-five plus-minus and fourth in hits with 86, and left the offence to itself (four goals, 19 assists, 67 games).
He was down 18 points in scoring from 2008-09, but up 18 points in his plus-minus ratio.
“I think my game changed this year. I was always the offensive guy. My plus-minus was up in the plusses,” he said. “My defensive game got much better. That’s what I was proud of.”
New head coach Eric Lavigne, hired in early October to replace the fired Guy Chouinard, stressed defensive zone coverage and it worked.

Southorn isn't a poor depth option by any stretch, but I was surprised to hear that discussions are taking place because there aren't that many jobs to go around in an organization that doesn't use an ECHL affiliate.

The Sabres have five blueliners under contract (Butler, Rivet, Sekera, Montador, Myers) entering 2010-11, with the expectation that RFAs Marc-Andre Gragnani and Mike Weber will be tendered. There is also the potential for UFA back-up plans like a Dennis Seidenberg and perhaps a Dan Hamhuis to be in place in the event that one of both of Henrik Tallinder and Toni Lydman sign elsewhere.

If you look at the depth chart, I already have Brayden McNabb penciled in to assume Dennis Persson's AHL slot beginning in 2011-12. I'll stop short of calling Persson a lame duck this early, but he will be entering the final year of his deal with the expectation of taking a huge developmental step on the Pirates blueline.


After signing forward Luke Adam to an entry-level contract at the end of his junior season, the Sabres still have decisions to make with some forwards in the coming weeks.

It's becoming more of a certainty that Michigan State RW Corey Tropp will follow in the footsteps of past collegians Chris Butler, Nathan Gerbe, and Tim Kennedy by leaving school after his junior season to sign with the Sabres. The CCHA program has already lost juniors Jeff Petry (EDM) and Andrew Rowe (PHI) to the pro ranks this offseason, making Tropp's departure a no-brainer given the Sabres depth needs. The 6'0 winger led the Spartans this past season with 20 goals and 42 points, and with MSU bench boss Rick Comley not having a consistent track record for developing pro bodies, it may be in both parties best interests to shift the development cycle to the AHL.

With the Sabres short on forwards, it seems that Jacob Lagacé will ultimately get a look as well despite his disappointing finish with Cape Breton. The fifth-round pick in 2008, Lagacé scored five goals in 25 games with the Eagles after having 30 in 35 with Chicoutimi at the time of the deal.


In other forward 'stuff', former first-rounder Marek Zagrapan has had his two-year KHL contract with Severstal terminated after one season. After a quick start in his return to European ice, the former Sagueneen/Amerk/Pirate found it tough to earn consistent time and ultimately became a non-factor down the stretch. It remains to be seen where Zagrapan will land moving forward, but the Sabres will continue to retain his NHL rights while the sting of another first round disappointment subsides.


Speaking of Sabres European prospects, Felix Schutz made noise on the international stage when he scored the overtime winner as Germany shocked Team USA to win the opening game of the 2010 IIHF World Championships. It was a nice touch for Schutz after a tough second half in Portland that saw the tweener limited in ice time while being left off the Pirates clear day roster.

Schutz has two goals through three games for Germany, while fellow Sabres prospect Philip Gogulla has yet to record a point.


When the University of North Dakota began stockpiling defensive recruits like Derek Forbort and Dillon Simpson, we began to think long and hard about the impact it would all have on Sabres 2008 third-rounder, Corey Fienhage. When Fienhage was sat late in the year in favor of forward-turned-defenseman Matt Davidson, those thoughts intensified.

When we reported that Fienhage was placed on the protected list by the WHL's Kamloops Blazers, the writing was seemingly being scribbled on the proverbial wall.

But when Fighting Sioux junior Chay Genoway announced that he would be returning to the team in 2010-11, the message on the wall stated that Fienhage was outsy.

Nothing is official, but whispers around Grand Forks are suggesting that Fienhage is as good as gone (along with Isles prospect David Toews). Fienhage needs to play, and since he didn't get in the lineup last season until Genoway suffered a concussion, it isn't too difficult to connect the dots.

My question is where does Fienhage go? If he opts for the WHL, his window to earn a deal is cut down to one season. Another option has him seeking a scholarship elsewhere, thus sending him to the USHL for a season of Jr. A to retain his NCAA eligibility, and in turn allow the Sabres to keep his rights for a longer term.

Fienhage is rugged and tough, and I would be eager to watch his game translate to the WHL. However, Fienhage is just 20 and needs consistent reps after playing a scant 39 games over two seasons with the Sioux. Couple that with the fact that the Sabres blueline prospect cupboard is already crowded, and I fully expect the Sabres to advise him to somehow stay in school.


While we're at it, might as well make official what we already knew. Mark Adams, the Sabres fifth round pick last summer, will be enrolling at Providence College this fall. The right-hander will join Vermont junior defenseman Drew MacKenzie in the competitive Hockey East.

Adams, a 6-foot-3, 210-pound defenseman, was selected by the Buffalo Sabres in the fifth round (134th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. He played three seasons at Malden Catholic High School before spending one season with the Chicago Steel of the United States Hockey League. While with Chicago, Adams played in 53 games and recorded four goals and 10 assists for 14 points during the 2009-10 season.

After a minor shoulder injury in the first half, "Roo" got his game clicking as the Steel's year wound down. Adams has good wheels that he'll need to use to limit stick infractions as he steps up a level of competition.


Lastly, if you're not doing so already, try to follow SabresProspects on Twitter. I'll be in Los Angeles for the draft and will be using it to communicate throughout the entire week. This space will be updated as well, of course, but that feed should be more lively.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Schiestel, Genny key as Pirates take three

Drew Schiestel and Matt Generous scored their first professional goals, and Felix Schutz scored his first goal of the season and added an assist as Portland defeated Norfolk, 4-2.

Schutz, returning after missing six games with a concussion (deemed a shoulder by most reports), got the Pirates on the board with a backhander to make it 1-1 in the opening period. Generous lit the lamp with a point shot in the second period before fellow rookie Schiestel scored from the high slot just :42 later as Portland pulled away.

Paul Byron, Nathan Gerbe, and Philip Gogulla added assists for the Pirates, while J.P. Lamoureux stopped 23 shots to secure the club's third straight win. The former Hobey Baker finalist started four games in five nights ahead of Jhonas Enroth, finishing the stretch 3-1.

The Rundown:
Schutz: 1G, 1A
Schiestel: 1G, +2
Generous: 1G
Byron: 1A, +1
Gerbe: 1A, -1, 6 SOG
Gogulla: 1A
Kostka: +1
Weber: +1
Brennan: even
Persson: even
Ennis: -2

Saturday, November 21, 2009

PP powers Pirates out of basement

Nathan Gerbe scored a goal and an assist on Friday as the Pirates connected three times with the man advantage in a 3-1 win over Worcester. Philip Gogulla netted his fourth goal of the season, while Tyler Ennis (2) and Paul Byron had assists to help key the victory. Making his third straight start, J.P. Lamoureux kicked aside 32 shots to earn his fourth win of the year and second over the Sharks in three days.

The Rundown:
Gerbe: 1G, 1A
Gogulla: 1G, 5 SOG
Ennis: 2A, 2 SOG
Byron: 1A
Kostka: 1 SOG
PErsson: 1 SOG
Schiestel: even
Generous: even
Weber: 14 PIM

The win vaults the Pirates from last place into sixth in the eight-team Atlantic Division.

Marc-Andre Gragnani (leg), Felix Schutz (shoulder), T.J. Brennan (undisclosed), and Travis Turnbull (hand) did not ply for the Pirates. The first three are considered day-to-day, while Turnbull is out definitely with a busted hand.


On Wednesday, Mark Mancari scored a pair of goals to lead Portland's comeback efforts in a 5-3 win over the Sharks. Tyler Ennis notched his seventh goal of the season and added two assists, while Nathan Gerbe also posted a pair of assists for the Pirates.

The Rundown:
Ennis: 1G, 2A
Gerbe: 2A
Gogulla: 1A
Generous: +2, 4 SOG
Weber: +2
Persson: 2 SOG
Brennan: -1
Kostka: -1
Schiestel: -2
Byron: -2

Friday, November 13, 2009

Pirates halt hot Amerks in HSBC

The Portland Pirates sailed into HSBC Arena on Thursday to defeat the Rochester Americans, 6-3. The victory snaps a two-game skid for the Pirates while ending the Americans 11-game win streak. Mark Mancari, Philip Gogulla, and Cody McCormick each had a goal and an assist to lead the Pirates . Buzzing between Gogulla and Mancari from the first drop of the puck, Tyler Ennis picked up a pair of assists to fuel Portland’s effort. Ennis set-up a Mancari one-time laser to open scoring late in the period. He later shifted inside to create a tic-tac-toe passing play that was finished off by Gogulla to put the Pirates ahead for good at 12:56 of the second period. Rookie center Paul Byron also showed his quickness and offensive skills, scoring a short-handed goal at 4:43 of the second period to open Portland’s four-goal floodgate. The fleeting Byron spent most of his shifts between vets McCormick and Jeff Cowan. In a shuffling blueline, rookie T.J. Brennan spent most of his time with veteran Joe DiPenta. Drew Schiestel saw PK time with DiPenta, but played shifts with Mike Kostka. At one point, it appeared that Dennis Persson skated a shift at forward. Matt Generous and Mike Weber were a steady pair however. Weber was a +3 but did make one poor decision on a cross-ice pas in his own zone that was very similar to plays made in the pre-season. Jhonas Enroth, who was sent down by Buffalo earlier in the day, kicked aside 23 saves to earn his fourth win of the season. Enroth will need to remain sharp if the 6-10 Pirates are to gain ground in the standings. Nathan Gerbe (concussion), Marc-Andre Gragnani (leg), and Felix Schutz (shoulder) did not play for Portland. The Rundown: Mancari: 1G, 1A Gogulla: 1G, 1A, +1 Byron: 1G, 1 SOG Ennis: 2A Weber: +3 Brennan: even Schiestel: even Generous: +1 Turnbull: 1A Enroth: 23 saves, W

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

9/22 Recap: Pirates ship begins to fill; KHL heating up

The Sabres today announced their first batch of names leaving camp for farm assignments. Off to Portland of the AHL are the following 14 players: F: Tyler Ennis, Paul Byron, Maxime Legault, Travis Turnbull, Derek Whitmore, Kyle Rank, Brad Larsen, Mark McCutcheon D: T.J. Brennan, Drew Schiestel, Dennis Persson, Matt Generous, Mike Kostka D. J.P. Lamoureux No real surprising moves, as all were expected to start the year with the Pirates. Ennis had the potential to play one more game, but there are too many other battles to be won in other areas. Technically still the captain of the Shawinigan Cataractes of the QMJHL, Legault, 20, will shoot for an AHL roster spot and first NHL contract when he reports. The cutdown leaves 33 players still in camp including defensive prospects Tyler Myers, Mike Weber, and Marc-Andre Gragnani; forwards Nathan Gerbe, Tim Kennedy, Philip Gogulla, and Felix Schutz; and goaltender Jhonas Enroth. For those who've not watched any of the pre-season games, Myers has gradually gotten better with each of his three appearances. He's shown an adjustment to speed, demonstrated good escapability to start breakouts, and used his stick well to break up plays for quick clears. At this point I score him ahead of Gragnani and Weber, who committed several turnovers in Monday's win over Washington, but need more views to project him out against the current top-6. ---------------------------- Overseas, a pair of 2005 draft picks are getting deeper into their KHL seasons. Vjacheslav Buravchikov was -2 on as Ak Bars lost to Avangard on Tuesday, 3-1. The 6'1 dman manned the bottom pair with Alexei Yemelin (MTL) for 15:03 if action, a few ticks above his season average of 13:45. Ak Bars next plays on Thursday at Barys. On Monday, Marek Zagrapan was -1 as Severstal dropped a 3-1 decision to Metallurg. The 23-year old is -3 with four shots on goal in three games since scoring the winner in the season opener. Severstal will take the ice on Wednesday against an Amur club carrying former Sabres defenseman, Nolan Pratt. -------- Also of note, PEI's Jordon Southorn stayed away from practice Tuesday with a bug, and may not be ready to go for their Wednesday tilt with 4-0 Saint John. Brayden McNabb and Kootenay will host the Edmonton Oil Kings in a mid-week WHL battle.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Early season jab by McNabb

Aside from scoring Kootenay's only goal in Saturday's lopsided 7-1 loss to Red Deer, defenseman Brayden McNabb also earned a slashing and fighting combo late in the game after a quick scrap with Rebels forward Cody Esposito. The bout was the closing act in a game featuring five fights. Tale of the Tape: McNabb, 18, 6'4, 210 lbs, 13 career majors Esposito, 20, 6'3, 205 pounds, 43 career majors
Remember how the theme of the draft was team toughness? The Sabres have invested quite a bit in goaltender Ryan Miller, yet in recent years have too often came up short when protecting their meal ticket. Names like Tallinder, Spacek, Sekera, Numminen, and Campbell weren't scaring anyone away from taking a whack. That's why hard-nosed Craig Rivet was viewed as a Godsend when he arrived, why Steve Montador was a free agent target, and why it's important for Mike Weber to show a disciplined edge when trying to earn the 6/7 spot in Buffalo. Along the same lines, it's refreshing to see another Sabres CHL defenseman show a consistent willingness to "go" as he develops NHL chops. Aside from the occasional police work of future workhorse Tyler Myers, the use of fight-or-flight adrenaline is one trait that's been somewhat lacking among the Sabres' junior rearguards since the lockout. T.J. Brennan rarely pulled that club out of the bag in the Q, while OHL products Drew Schiestel and Nick Crawford have been developing with cooler heads. Even Mike Weber, who in 2007-08 had nine fights as an AHL rookie (including an infamous tune-up by Mike Keane), only had 11 scraps in his four junior seasons. (The team toughness movement is obviously not limited to defensemen. Veteran forwards Jeff Cowan and Cody McCormick are being fitted for grit in camp, and it's likely that Travis Turnbull's 14-fight USHL resume was consulted before signing him out of Michigan. There's no need to even mention what Zack Kassian represents down the road.) I'm not making a case for a back end goon, nor am I proclaiming the current blueline crop a bunch of "nice guys". Players like Matt Generous, Jordon Southorn (seasons of three and four majors) and Drew MacKenzie (three fights in 2007-08) have shown minor flare-ups in the past. I'm merely suggesting that variety is a requirement when building a blueline stable, and the drafting of third-rounders McNabb (2009) and Corey Fienhage (2008) are positive steps towards toughness while Rivet leads by example ahead of them. McNabb's 10 goals last season would have tied Schiestel for tops among all Sabres defensive prospects, while his 10 fights and 140 PIMs proved more active than his next closest competitor, Myers (5 majors, 105 PIM in nine fewer games). Fienhage had 28 PIMs in nine games including six roughing minors, one high stick, one check from behind, and a fighting misconduct. These are young, talented players acting mean and putting up different types numbers in terms of Sabres D prospects. So yes, this is all old news. Pardon me if it sounds like I'm going out of my way to state the obvious, but it's encouraging to see the plan in action.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Pirates eliminated

The 2008-09 season has come to end for Portland Pirates, as the farmhands were defeated 2-1 by Providence on Friday to lose their AHL first round series by a 4-1 margin. Mike Kostka scored the only goal for the Pirates on the power play while Jhonas Enroth, who was fantastic in the Pirates net, stopped 36 of 38 Bruins shots. The Rundown: Kostka: G, -1 Gragnani: A Mancari: 4 SOG Kennedy: 3 SOG Gerbe: 2 SOG Butler: 2 SOG Schutz: 2 SOG Generous: even Persson: even Zagrapan: even Whitmore: -1 Turnbull: -1 Enroth: 36 saves, L

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Playoff bound Pirates win final tune-up

AHL Rookie of the Year Nathan Gerbe scored a pair of goals, his 29th and 30th of the year, as Portland closed its regular season with a 5-4 win over Manchester. Pirates rookie Matt Generous scored his first career goal in the win. Playing his fourth game since ending his NCAA run with St. Lawrence, the Chesire, CT native also received his first fighting major at 1:51 of the first period to miss the Gordie Howe Hat Trick by an assist. Tim Kennedy added two assists, while Felix Schutz, Marek Zagrapan, Marc-Andre Gragnani, and Mark Mancari all were credited with single helpers. The win gives the Pirates the #3 seed in the AHL Atlantic Division playoffs. Portland travels to #2 Providence on Wednesday for Game 1 of the best-of-seven series. The Rundown: Gerbe: 2G Generous: 1G Kennedy: 2A Zagrapan: 1A, 4 SOG Schutz: 1A, +1 Gragnani: 1A Mancari: 1A Kostka: +1 Turnbull: -1 Whitmore: -1

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Pirates split weekend, remain in third

Tim Kennedy had a goal and two assists, and Nathan Gerbe and Mark Mancari each had a goal and an assist as Portland upended Springfield, 6-4. Jhonas Enroth made 33 saves to improve his record to 25-22-0-6 on the season. Going 5-1-0-1 in their last seven games, the victory moves the Pirates (37-30-3-7 - 84 points) one point ahead of Worcester for third place in the Atlantic Division. The two teams will square off on Wednesday. The Rundown: Kennedy: 1G, 2A, +2 Gerbe: 1G, 1A, +3 Mancari: 1G, 1A Zagrapan: 6 SOG Generous: 4 SOG, 6 PIM Schutz: 2 SOG Gragnani: -1 Turnbull: 1 SOG Persson: 2 SOG Kostka: +1 Enroth: 33 saves, W On Saturday, Enroth made 30 saves but the Pirates lost a 3-2 shootout to Providence. Gerbe and Marc-Andre Gragnani drew assists for the Pirates on goals by Mathieu Darche and Colton Fretter. Matt Generous finished +1 in his first appearance in a Portland sweater. Kennedy, Mancari, Zagrapan, and Gerbe could not beat Tuukka Rask in the shootout. The Rundown: Gerbe: 1A, +1, 6 SOG Gragnani: 1A, -1 Kennedy: -1 Mancari: -1 Zagrapan: -1 Generous: +1 Schutz: 1 SOG Kostka: -1 Persson: -1 Whitmore: 2 SOG Enroth: 30 saves, SOL

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Sabres sign former Wolverine Turnbull

University of Michigan product Travis Turnbull has signed a two-year entry level contract with the Buffalo Sabres. A potential checking line center and son of former NHLer Perry, the 6'0, 193-pound Turnbull enters the pro ranks after a 166 game NCAA career that saw him pot 40 goals and 90 total points with the powerhouse Wolverines. The Sabres never had Turnbull in for a development camp, but they had a good read on him outside of their own viewings. A native of St. Louis, Turnbull, 22, was a teammate of defensemen Chris Butler with the Jr. Blues organization before the pair played together with the Sioux City Musketeers (USHL) from 2003-2005. Another member of those Musketeers clubs? Current Portland forward Tim Kennedy, who went on to face Turnbull for three seasons with the rival Michigan State Spartans. Turnbull and recently-inked Matt Generous both reported to the Portland in time for their Friday contest at Lowell but did not play.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Sabres sign Generous

We all know about Miller Time, but perhaps you'd like a Genny instead. The Sabres today announced that D Matt Generous has been inked to a one-year deal for the 2009-10 season. A four-year starter who was never a healthy scratch while at St. Lawrence, Generous was named the 2009 Outstanding Defensive Defenseman after his senior season. From the Sabres:
Buffalo Sabres GM Darcy Regier announced today the Sabres have signed defenseman Matt Generous to a one-year entry level contract. Generous was Buffalo’s seventh-round selection (208th overall) in the 2005 Entry Draft. Generous will finish this season with the Portland Pirates on an AHL ATO, and his NHL contract will begin next season.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

3/21 Recap: Byron trips, Southy snaps, Genny caps

In the QMJHL playoffs, Paul Byron connected for three assists - one each short-handed, on the power play, and at even strength - as Gatineau smoked Bathurst, 8-2. The game featured a fight-filled third period that included both coaches yelling and gesturing at each other through most of the final 10:00 of play. T.J. Brennan had a goal and an assist as Montreal fell to Rouyn-Noranda, 4-3. Trailing 1-0 on a first period power play, the defenseman used a high-rising wrister from the blueline to tie the game before the first intermission. The Juniors outhit the Huskies 31-5 in defeat. After splitting the first two games, the series will resume on Tuesday in R-N on Tuesday. In Moncton, Jordon Southorn was -1 as PEI was shutout by Moncton, 5-0. Despite a team-best four hits, the contest was a less-than stellar effort that saw emotion get the best of the young blueliner. After earning a ten-minute misconduct for yapping at an officiating crew that whistled PEI for five minor penalties in the game's first 7:07, Southorn later lost his composure and got into a heated argument with Asst. Coach Corrado Micalef that resulted in him sitting alone on the bench for the last 15:00 of the game. The Rocket loss puts them in a 2-0 series hole. J.S. Allard (+1) had a pair of secondary helpers as Quebec defeated Baie-Comeau, 5-2. The Remparts now lead the best-of-seven series 2-0. Jacob Lagacé had six shots on goal and five blocks as Chicoutimi fell into a 2-0 series deficit with a 4-1 loss to Rimouski. In the WHL, Tyler Ennis (+2) earned the #3 star of the game with a goal and an assist as Medicine Hat rolled past Swift Current, 6-2. The Tigers win evens the series at one game apiece. Tyler Myers(+1) put up another strong showing, racking up two assists as Kelowna downed Kamloops, 5-1. The Rockets took a 2-0 series lead over the Blazers despite going 0/10 on the power play. The first-round match-up will move to Kamloops on Tuesday. In the OHL, Nick Crawford was -1 as Saginaw slipped past Guelph 6-5 in 2OT to take Game One of their series. In the ECAC third-place game, senior defenseman Matt Generous scored his eighth of the year as St. Lawrence saw their season come to an end in a 2-2 tie with Princeton. Generous, who one-timed a faceoff win to make it a 1-1 game at 9:58 of the opening period, ends his collegiate career with 56 points and a +22 while never being a healthy scratch. In the WCHA third-place game, Brad Eidsness made 34 saves as North Dakota lost a 4-1 battle to Wisconsin. A loose-puck scrum, a 1-2 passing play, and two pounced rebounds comprised the four goals against.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

3/20 Recap: Myers with strong start as Cup run begins

Tyler Myers opened the WHL playoffs with a power play goal and #1 star performance as Kelowna defeated Kamloops, 4-2. Working for over 24:00 of play, Myers was rock defensively while exhibiting his skating ability with several rushes up ice. In another first round opener, 43-goal scorer Tyler Ennis scored both Medicine Hat goals, but the Tigers gave up twice as many in their 4-2 loss to Swift Current. Drew Schiestel scored just :51 in to the opening period as Niagara defeated Ottawa 5-3 to take Game One of their OHL first-round series. The skating rearguard finished +2 in the win, while the goal was his first in 15 career playoff games. In opening night in the QMJHL playoffs, J.S. Allard had a power play goal and later added an assist as Quebec downed Baie-Comeau, 8-1. Jordon Southorn was -3 with a team-leading three hits as PEI was rubbed out by Moncton, 7-1. Wildcats UFA goaltender Nicola Riopel stood on his head to make 40 saves and earn the game's top star. Paul Byron set-up the overtime game winner as Gatineau defeated Bathurst, 5-4. The 5'9 dangler also added seven shots on goal as the 'Piques fired a total of 55 at Titan netminder Nicholas Champion. T.J. Brennan assisted on the game winner as Montreal defeated Rouyn-Noranda, 5-3. Just :10 into a 5-3 power play, Brennan started the play that resulted in Matt Fillier's third period tally that at the time put the Juniors ahead, 4-1. Jacob Lagacé was -3 as Chicoutimi was dominated by Rimouski, 8-2. At the WCHA Final Five, Brad Eidsness made 21 saves in North Dakota's 3-0 shutout loss to Duluth. Eidsness was caught playing the puck behind the net for the first goal against before a rebound to the left circle was pounced home for a two-goal deficit. An empty netter sealed the deal for the upset minded Bulldogs. The Sioux will face Wisconsin for third place. In the ECAC Tournament semifinals, Matt Generous returned from his MCL injury to assist on the first goal of the game as St. Lawrence lost to Yale, 4-3. Up 3-2 with entering the third, the Saints surrendered two goals in the final 1:34 to miss a chance at an NCAA bid. SLU will play Princeton in the third place game. At the Hockey East tourney, Andrew Orpik was even with two minors in his final NCAA contest as Boston College fell to Boston University, 3-2. With a 1-0 lead in the third, the senior forward looked like he was going to extend his collegiate career another day before BU scored a record three goals in :44 to snatch the win. The past week also saw the season end for defenseman Dennis Persson, as Timra lost a deciding game seven to HV71 in the first round of the SEL playoffs. Persson did not see the ice in the final three games of the series.

Generous, Biega take ECAC post-season honors

Two Sabres prospects earned ECAC postseason honors as Matt Generous of St. Lawrence was named the league's Outstanding Defensive Defenseman while Harvard's Alex Biega was tabbed Third Team All-League.
Rookie of the Year - Jody O’Neill, Dartmouth Best Defensive Forward - Tyler Mugford, Cornell Best Defensive Defenseman - Matt Generous, St. Lawrence Coach of the Year - Keith Allain, Yale First Team All-ECAC G Zane Kalemba, Princeton D Lane Caffaro, Union D Zach Miskovic, St. Lawrence F Mark Arcobello, Yale F Riley Nash, Cornell F David McIntyre, Colgate Second Team All-ECAC G Ben Scrivens, Cornell D Tom Dignard, Yale D Brendon Nash, Cornell F Sean Backman, Yale F Bryan Leitch, Quinnipiac F Colin Greening, Cornell Third Team All-ECAC G Alec Richards, Yale D Alex Biega, Harvard D Jody Peterson, Princeton F Brock McBride, St. Lawrence F Broc Little, Yale F Adam Presizniuk, Union All-Rookie Team G Jody O’Neill, Dartmouth D Jeff Buvinow, Brown D Keir Ross, Cornell F Patrick Cullen, Rensselaer F Doug Jones, Dartmouth F Brian O’Neill, Yale
Generous helped backstop the Saints to a 2.32 team goals against average, their best since 1955-56.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

3/14 Recap: Ennis equals; Eidsness backstops sweep

In the WHL, Tyler Ennis scored his 43rd goal of the season as Medicine Hat fell to Calgary, 4-1. The goal total equals his 2007-08 season output in nine fewer games. Finishing fifth in the East, the Tigers will open their first round series with #4 Swift Current on Friday. Tyler Myers was +1 as Kelowna stomped Kamloops, 7-1. The Rockets have now won seven straight games heading into their season closer with Spokane on Monday. In WCHA playoff action, Brad Eidsness made some key saves late, a total of 24 in all, to help North Dakota to a 4-3 win over a Michigan Tech and a sweep of their first round series. On Friday, the Sioux will face the winner of Thursday's Minnesota/Minnesota-Duluth play-in game. Justin Jokinen saw his season come to an end, registering a shot on goal as Minnesota State lost a 4-2 decision to Wisconsin. At the Gut, Drew MacKenzie was even as #7 Vermont was shockingly swept by Lowell, 4-2. It was a MacKenzie penalty for contact to the head that changed the flow of the game just 6:25 into the first period. Up 1-0 and immediately after his shot clanged off the post, MacKenzie battled a puck at his feet on his own blueline that forced him to take out a RiverHawk attacker about to blow past him. The aggressive infraction created a power play goal against, and Lowell never looked back. Andrew Orpik was even as Boston College knocked New Hampshire out of the Hockey East tournament with a 1-0 win. The Eagles must wait for the Sunday outcomes of Northeastern/UMass and BU/Maine to see who they'll face in next weekend's semifinal match-up. Matt Generous was again idle as St. Lawrence moved to round two with a 5-3 win over Quinnipiac. Drew Schiestel finished even in Niagara's 3-2 loss to Sudbury. The Dogs close the regular season with the loss, and will move on to face Ottawa in the first round of the playoffs. Nick Crawford was +1 as Saginaw ended their regular season with a 3-2 loss to Sarnia. They will wait for the dust to settle on the OHL's Sunday finale to see if they'll host Plymouth, Sarnia, or Guelph in round one of the playoffs. In the SEL first round, Dennis Persson did not see the ice as Timra lost a 3-2 battle with HV71. The best-of-seven is nowlocked a three games apiece, with game seven coming on Monday.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

3/13 Recap: Drew draws two; Byron within reach

In a Hockey East quarterfinal battle, Drew MacKenzie had a pair of secondary assists as #7 Vermont was upset in overtime by Lowell, 4-3. With his first multi-point game as a collegian, the freshman rearguard now has four points in the three games since his return from mono after posting a total of four through the first 24 games of the season. The Catamounts held a 3-1 third period lead when Brayden Irwin was whistled for a major and game misconduct for a hit from behind at 9:31. Lowell scraped their way back, capped with a Nick Schaus (Orchard Park, NY) goal with :30 to play to force overtime, before netting their third unanswered goal to win the game with just :02 remaining in the extra session. Andrew Orpik scored his fifth goal of the season as #18 Boston College defeated #9 New Hampshire, 5-3. Orpik one-timed a Joe Whitney pass in the first period to give the Eagles a 2-0 lead. Brad Eidsness opened the WCHA playoffs by making 20 saves in #6 North Dakota's 5-1 win over Michigan Tech. Eidsness surrendered just a power play goal to run his record to 23-9-4 on the season. In Madison, Justin Jokinen (-1) assisted on the only Mavericks goal as Minnesota State was throttled in their opener with #17 Wisconsin, 7-1. Skating in practice but tentative, Matt Generous sat out with a sprained MCL as #15 St. Lawrence defeated Quinnipiac, 5-3. In the QMJHL, Paul Byron (+1) had a pair of power play assists as Gatineau defeated Shawinigan, 3-2. Sitting in fourth place on the Q scoring list with 98 points, Byron will look for 100 with the final regular season game of the coming on Sunday against Rouyn-Noranda. Jacob Lagacé scored his 32nd goal of the season as Chicoutimi could not match the offensive dynamo in Drummondville, 7-2. On the Island, Jordon Southorn (-1) had an assist in PEI's 5-4 OT loss to Cape Breton. J.S. Allard had an assist as Quebec lost to Rimouski, 5-3. T.J. Brennan was even in Montreal's 2-1 overtime loss to Rouyn-Noranda. In the WHL, Tyler Myers assisted on a power play goal just :38 seconds into the first period as Kelowna downed Kamloops, 6-4. In the OHL, Drew Schiestel was even as Niagara fell to Mississauga, 2-1. Nick Crawford was -2 in Saginaw's 3-0 loss to London. In Thursday action, Crawford (+2) assisted on the first goal of the game in Saginaw's 6-3 win over Owen Sound. Also from Thursday, Schiestel was -1 in Niagara's 2-0 loss to Barrie.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

2/28 Recap: Biega bags 20; Eidsness commits robbery

Alex Biega had a pair of assists as Harvard downed #6 Princeton, 3-2. The 5'11 defender made a nice play to knock down a Princeton clear at the blueline to help set up the game winner with 8:11 remaining. The power play helpers raise Biega's point total to an even 20 for the year, while the Crimson win gives them a fifth place finish in the ECAC. Unbeaten in their last six, Harvard will faceoff against #12 Brown next weekend in the first round of the playoffs.

At the Ralph in Grand Forks, Brad Eidsness made 24 saves including a show-stopping candidate to make Sportscenter with just over 2:00 left in regulation as #8 North Dakota tied #13 Colorado College, 4-4. With a wide open net greeting a CC shooter about to backhand a rebound, the freshman athletically got across to get a piece of the puck and keep the game tied. Eidsness was excellent down the stretch after poor positioning and a defensive miscue allowed a Chad Rau wraparound goal to pull CC back to 4-4 with just under 8:00 to play. The Albertan will look to improve his 20-8-4 record when the two teams play it back on Sunday.

Andrew Orpik scored his fourth goal of the season to force overtime Boston College defeated Providence, 4-3. Orpik's tally with 7:49 to play completed a three-goal comeback for the Eagles to set up the weekend sweep of the Friars.

In the Q, Jordon Southorn (+3) had three hits, four shots on goal, and an unusual five minor penalties as PEI defeated Saint John, 5-3. The 6'2 defenseman had some nice offensive opportunities while sprinkling in a few giveaways along the way. 2009 eligible Benjamin Casavant piled up three goals, one assist, 13 shots on goal, and eight blocked shots to pace the Rocket. The 6'2, 200-pounder now has 37 goals on the season, and despite below average skating ability, has great hands and a solid work ethic to be the type of Q forward that could garner a middle-round look from the Sabres.

Paul Byron had an assist in Gatineau's 5-0 drubbing of Lewiston. Byron is fifth in the league with 86 points, and will need to put together a run in the final six games to hit the century mark.

A night after a magical six-goal output, Tyler Ennis and his Medicine Hat mates were shutout by Kootenay, 2-0. 2009 eligible Brayden McNabb, a 6'4, 195-pound defenseman, had an assist for the victors to raise his season total to 30 (8+22).

Tyler Myers was even as Kelowna won a 2-1 showdown with the WHL's top team Calgary.

In the OHL, Nick Crawford (-1) had an assist as Saginaw lost to Owen Sound in overtime, 4-3. The point came on a 5-3 power play as the Spirit tied the game with 8:07 to play. 2009 eligible Jordan Szwarz had a goal and an assist for Saginaw.

Dennis Persson skated 17:22 on the third pair, logging two shots on goal in Timra's 3-2 loss to Lulea. The 6'1 blueliner has a goal and five assists while averaging 12:09 of action through 46 games.

Nick Eno made 17 saves as last place Bowling Green lost to Western Michigan for the second straight night, 5-3. Four of the five goals against came on low shots, as two beat him five-hole, one came stick-side along the ice, and another went softly between his right pad and the post.

Justin Jokinen was scratched as Minnesota State tied Wisconsin, 3-3.

Matt Generous sat out as St. Lawrence shutout RPI, 2-0. Generous sprained an MCL in Friday's win over Quinnipiac, and his status won't be known until Monday. The Saint win in conjunction with Quinnipiac pitching a 4-1 upset of Dartmouth 4-1 on Saturday put SLU into fourth place in the final ECAC standings, giving Generous and Saints a break next weekend as the top four clubs earn first round byes.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

2/27 Recap: Ennis sparkles with six goal night

Reigning WHL Player of the Week Tyler Ennis was a one-man wrecking crew on Friday, connecting for an amazing six goals as Medicine Hat defeated Prince Albert, 6-2. Missing the WHL league record by one goal, the star left wing closed the night with two highlight reel plays to up his 2008-09 season total to 41 in 54 games. Trailing 1-0 to start the second period, the Edmonton native completed a natural hat trick through the first 11:48 to make it 3-1 Tigers entering the third. Minutes after scoring his fourth of the night at 2:48, Ennis shot down the right side past a Raider dman and buried a wraparound for his fifth. His sixth of the night came at 13:24 when he spun to his backhand on a partial break for a roofing finish. The speedster didn't see much action in the final 6:00, completing the most dominating single game performance that the league has seen in years. Tyler Myers was +1 as Kelowna fell to Red Deer, 3-2. The final buzzer saw a minor scrum that earned the defenseman a double minor for roughing and a misconduct. Myers, who has 10 points in February, saw his streak of four straight appearances in the Three Stars of the Game come to an end in the loss. He had earned three firsts and one second in that stretch. Alex Biega (+1) used a blistering left point shot to score the game winning goal as Harvard defeated Quinnipiac, 2-1. The junior defenseman scored his fourth of the year on a 4-4 after brother Michael put the Crimson on the board earlier with his sixth. Harvard is now unbeaten in five games since the Beanpot. Also from the ECAC, senior defenseman Matt Generous did not return from a first period injury as St. Lawrence defeated Union, 2-0. Generous went down with sprained MCL in his left knee after being checked in to the boards by Union's Brian Yanovitch. In Hockey East, Andrew Orpik picked up a late assist as Boston College cruised past Providence, 5-1. Justin Jokinen was even as a left wing in Mankato's 4-3 OT win over Wisconsin. Nick Eno served as Jimmy Spratt's backup as Bowling Green fell to Western Michigan, 5-2. In the QMJHL, Jacob Lagacé (-1) had a power play assist as Chicoutimi came up short in a 6-5 loss to red-hot Rimouski. Trailing 6-3 with just over 14:00 to play, the Sags would score two third period goals but couldn't catch up as the Nics won their 15th consecutive game. Paul Byron had five shots on goal and was stopped in the shootout as Gatineau lost to Lewiston, 2-1. J.S. Allard was even as Quebec lost to Shawinigan, 7-4. T.J. Brennan was -3 in Montreal's 7-3 loss to Drummondville. In OHL action, Drew Schiestel was -2 as Niagara got smoked by Brampton, 6-0. Losers of four of their last five, the struggling Dogs played without defenders Alex Pietrangleo and Reggie Traccitto. Now sitting at -25, Schiestel is among the bottom four for all league skaters in the category. In Germany, Philip Gogulla had two shots on goal in Cologne's 5-2 loss to Mannheim.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

2/21 Recap: Twin Tylers dominant; Eidsness hits 20

In Medicine Hat, Tyler Ennis (+2) continued his torrid stretch, netting a season-best four goals to lead the Tigers past Lethbridge, 8-3. The dazzler completed the hat trick by scoring the game winning goal in the final minute of the second period before adding another for good measure in the final frame. Ennis has shredded the WHL since returning from the World Juniors, compiling 20 goals and 34 points while scoring in all but three of the 21 games since winning gold. He now has 35 goals on the season, good enough to eek into the WHL's top-10 in that category, and should get the book of free car washes as Player of the Week after his five-goal, seven-point string. Not to be outdone, Tyler Myers (+1) scored a pair of goals including the game winner as Kelowna gritted their way over Everett, 3-2. Myers was completely dominating in his #1 star effort, showing his versatility killing penalties while taking the game over with his puck carrying moxie. One rush in particular saw the 6'7-3/4 rearguard take the puck, gain speed, and gallop down the right side of the ice into the Tips zone. The Sabres top prospect now has seven goals and 36 points this season. In the QMJHL, Jordon Southorn (-1) had an assist as PEI rode a five-goal third period to an exciting 5-3 win over Quebec. 2009 eligible Benjamin Casavant helped shake off his club's unsavory opening 40:00 with his 31st and 32nd goals of the season to get the Rocket back on track. With the game tied 3-3 at 18:53, J.S. Allard committed a bad turnover right onto the stick of PEI's Ben Duffy, who potted the game winner. Allard finished -1 with four shots for the Remparts in the loss. T.J. Brennan contributed two shots on goal in Montreal's 3-1 win over Saint John. Paul Byron missed his second straight road game due to illness as Gatineau snuck past Baie-Comeau, 4-3 in OT. In the OHL, Nick Crawford (+1) had two assists as Saginaw defeated Guelph, 4-3 in overtime. The 6'1 defenseman helped set-up the game winner to earn his 38th point of the season (7+31). Reigning WCHA Rookie of the Week Brad Eidsness made 17 saves as #9 North Dakota swept the weekend Alaskan set with a 6-2 defeat of UAA. The win gives the freshman stopper an even 20 on the season, making Eidsness just the third goaltender in school history to reach that mark. In Hockey East, Andrew Orpik assisted on the first Eagles goal as #17 Boston College lost to #12 New Hampshire, 4-2. The point was Orpik's second in his last five games, with the senior going without a goal since November 28th. Alex Biega compiled four more shots on goal as Harvard rallied to a 3-3 tie with Clarkson. For the second night in a row, Biega started scoring plays that did not result in his name hitting the scoresheet. He pumped a pass up ice to create the first Harvard mark, and later made a real nice break-up of a 2-1 to start the play that resulted in the game-tying goal with 8:17 to play in the third. Also from the ECAC, Matt Generous was +1 as #20 St. Lawrence thumped Dartmouth 7-2 on Senior Night at Appleton Arena. Nick Eno again played back-up as Bowling Green pitched a 4-0 shutout against fellow CCHA also-ran, Michigan State.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

2/20 Recap: CHLers produce; Eidsness shines

Tyler Ennis had a goal and an assist as Medicine Hat defeated Lethbridge, 6-3. Ennis scored his 31st of the season when he pounced on a rebound from the end boards in the second period. Luca Sbisa (PHI), who leveled Ennis with a big hit in the contest, scored his first goal since returning from the NHL. The two teams will play it back on Saturday. Tyler Myers (-2) had no points but set the pace for Kelowna in their 6-2 win at Western Conference leader Vancouver. The towering defender made physical statements early, and logged monster minutes throughout en route to earning the game's first star. In the OHL, Nick Crawford scored his seventh goal of the season as Saginaw upended Erie, 6-4. Crawford recorded a season-best +4 on the evening after notching a season-low -3 on Monday. Drew Schiestel scored on the power play in Niagara's 4-2 loss to Kingston. Schiestel's eighth of the season put the Dogs up 2-0 before giving up four unanswered goals to the Fronts in the final period and a half. In the QMJHL, Jacob Lagacé had a goal and an assist as Chicoutimi downed Gatineau, 5-3. The goal, Lagacé's 28th through 55 games played, came off a solid second effort down low. Les Olympiques leading scorer Paul Byron did not make the trip due to illness. T.J. Brennan returned from his five-game suspension, posting an assist for Montreal in their 3-1 win over PEI. Jordon Southorn had a game-high five hits for the Rocket in defeat. The Rocket's anchor has gone six games without a point, and hasn't scored a goal since December 19th. J.S. Allard (+2) assisted on an empty net goal as Quebec defeated Bathurst, 5-2. Allard now has points in two games after forming a line with Kelsey Tessier (COL) at center and Mikhail Stefanovich (TOR) on the opposite wing. In Germany, Philip Gogulla scored his 17th goal of the season as Cologne lost a 4-3 shootout to Sinupret. Gogulla was the only Sharks shooter to connect in the deciding frame. In NCAA play, Brad Eidsness came up huge, making 25 saves as North Dakota won at Anchorage, 2-1 in OT. Keeping his team in the game late, Eidsness moves his record to 19-8-3 on the season. Harvard's Alex Biega (+1) posted five shots on goal as Harvard played to a 2-2 tie with #20 St. Lawrence. Despite not getting a point, it was a long headman pass from the junior defender that set-up the first Crimson tally. Matt Generous was even for the Saints. Andrew Orpik was -1 as Boston College lost to New Hampshire, 3-2. Nick Eno watched as Bowling Green dropped a 3-2 decision to Michigan State.