Showing posts with label matt mackenzie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label matt mackenzie. Show all posts

Saturday, March 24, 2012

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

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
Brennan: +2

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.

Monday, March 5, 2012

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

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.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

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.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Lagace marks as Amerks double Devils

In Friday night AHL action, Jacob Lagace scored a goal and an assist as Rochester doubled Albany, 4-2. Matt MacKenzie added a pair of assists, his first professional points, to help the Amerks improve to 9-7-2-1 on the year.

Lagace scored his sixth of the season when he took a long Alex Biega pass and went in alone to beat Jeff Frazee as he was falling to the ice. The multi-point night was the first of Lagace's season and fourth of his two-year career.

Veterans Colin Stuart, Shaone Morrisonn, and Derek Whitmore added single markers for the Amerks, who will next host Hamilton on Saturday.

The Rundown:
Lagace: G, A
MacKenzie: 2A
Foligno: +1
Biega: A, +1
Schiestel: 1 SOG
Crawford: -1
McNabb: -1
Szydlowski: -1
Boychuk: -1

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Quick strikes key Amerks to victory

The Rochester Americans used quick starting abilities Friday, scoring all of their goals in the opening minutes of the first two periods to defeat Binghamton, 3-2.

Jacob Lagace and Zack Kassian put the Amerks in the drivers seat early with goals before the game was three minutes old. The tallies were the fourth of the season for each player.

With Rochester holding a 2-1 lead at the first intermission, Marcus Foligno would snatch the eventual game-winner just 1:39 into the middle frame. The marker was Foligno's fourth of the year and first game clincher of his professional career.

The game featured three fights, with Matt MacKenzie earning his second major of the season sandwiched between a Joe Finley-Francis Lessard double header.

Paul Szczechura made his Amerks debut, notching an assist on the Kassian goal. Maxime Legault (-1) also made his first appearance of the season.

The Rundown:
Foligno: GWG, +1, 3 SOG
Kassian: G, +1, 3 SOG
Lagace: G, +2, 2 SOG
Schiestel: 1A, +2, 3 SOG
McNabb: +2
Crawford: 3 SOG
MacKenzie: -1, fighting major
Brennan: 4 SOG
Biega: 4 PIM
Boychuk: DNP
Parker: DNP
Szydlowski: DNP
Persson: DNP

The Amerks square off with Syracuse on Saturday.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

10/5 Recap: Sabres ink trio to three-year deals

Mark Pysyk skated -1 Wednesday as Edmonton defeated Kootenay in a shootout, 2-1. Pysyk, who has two assists and a -2 rating through his first five games, will next take the ice Friday at Moose Jaw. ICE netminder Nathan Lieuwen made 26 saves in suffering his second defeat in a row. He enters Saturday’s tilt at Red Deer toting a 1.36 goals against average and .949 save percentage.

In the QMJHL, Cedrick Henley racked up three hits and two shots on goal as Val-d’Or lost a shootout to Rouyn-Noranda, 5-4. The 6’5 forward has yet to find the net through six regular season contests.

On Tuesday, Joel Armia posted an assist as Assat lost to Tappara, 3-2. Armia now has a goal and four assists with an even rating through his first nine games.

In case you missed it, the Sabres announced Wednesday that they have signed 2010 third-round draft pick, Matt MacKenzie.

The Buffalo Sabres signed Tri-City Americans defenseman Matt MacKenzie, the team's 2010 third-round draft pick, to a three-year entry-level contract worth $1.8 million.

Drafted 83rd overall, MacKenzie has 18 goals and 80 assists for 98 points, and 180 penalty minutes in 225 games split between the Western Hockey League's Calgary Hitmen and the Americans.

From New Westminster, British Columbia, MacKenzie, who will turn 20 on Oct. 15, was preparing for his second season with Tri-City, but he is scheduled to stay with the Rochester Americans (AHL).

On Thursday, the Sabres followed up the MacKenzie announcement by signing 2010 7th rounder Riley Boychuk and undrafted free agent winger Jonathan Parker to three-year entry level deals.

From the Sabres:

Boychuk (6’4”, 205 lbs., 2/20/91) picked up 30 points (14+16) and 157 penalty minutes with the Portland Winterhawks (WHL) in 2010-11. A native of Abbotsford, BC, Boychuk was the Sabres’ seventh round pick (208th overall) in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. In four seasons with the Winterhawks, Boychuk has accumulated 83 points (39+44) and 391 penalty minutes in 194 games.

Parker (5’10”, 195 lbs., 9/25/91) spent the 2010-11 season with the Prince Albert Raiders (WHL), leading the team in both goals (45) and points (86). In three WHL seasons with the Raiders and the Seattle Thunderbirds, the Solana Beach, CA native has totaled 155 points (77+78) and 140 penalty minutes in 205 games.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

9/23 Recap: JGL pots pair; Cat strikes again

In our first Friday of CHL action, Jerome Gauthier-Leduc picked up where he left off a season ago, cashing two goals, adding an assist, and leading his team with five shots on goal as Rimouski came from behind to earn a 6-5 shootout win over Chicoutimi. Trailing  4-2 heading into the third, the Nics battled back to a 5-5 tie with 2:19 left in regulation to force the extra time and tiebreaker.

Leduc, who finished last season on a tear with an impressive 18 points in his final 10 games to wind up as the QMJHL's #2 scorer among defensemen, is certainly out to stake an early offensive claim as Team Canada starts weeding out their 2012 World Junior hopefuls. The multi-goal game is the fourth in his last eight regular season contests (going back to 2010-11), a span that has seen the 6'2 defender convert nine of his last 15 shots on goal (remember five of those came Friday). Rimouski will next hit the ice Sunday when they host Shawinigan.

Also from the Q, Cedrick Henley collected an assist and eight hits as Val-d'Or lost a 5-4 shootout to the defending Memorial Cup champions, Saint John. The 6'5 wing's physical effort comes one night removed from a three-assist outing in his season debut. The Foreurs return to action Saturday in PEI.

Dan Catenacci continued his warm OHL start, scoring the game's first goal on the power play and adding an assist as Owen Sound closed out Guelph, 6-4. The 5'10 center now has four points (2+2) in his first two games as a member of the Attack. Catenacci, who scored just six goals in his final 30 games of 2010-11, will look to maintain his current 136-point pace Saturday when the Attack take on Saginaw.

Alex Lepkowski (+1) assisted on an empty-net goal as Barrie got past Brampton, 3-1. Colts forward Gregg Sutch played even with a cross-checking minor in the win. The Colts are now off until Thursday when they meet up with Owen Sound.

Kevin Sundher finished -1 as the Victoria Royals lost their inaugural WHL contest to Vancouver, 5-2. Earlier in the day, the Royals announced that Sundher would serve as an alternate captain for the 2011-12 season. The Royals and Giants will head back to Victoria Saturday for the Royals home opener -- the first WHL home game in Victoria since the Cougars fled for Prince George back in 1994.

Nathan Lieuwen earned the start in Kootenay's 2011-12 opener, making 27 saves as the ICE fell in the shootout to Red Deer, 3-2. The 6'5 netminder, who played well in helping the Sabres to the Traverse City title, surrendered three goals in the six-round shootout to put the ICE in a 0-1 hole to begin the year. Kootenay will look for the first win Saturday against Calgary.

In SM-liiga action, Joel Armia earned the primary assist on the game winning goal as Assat defeated the Blues, 3-1. The big wing dumped the puck off and pushed to the net as a screen to earn his second point in as many games. Assat returns to action Saturday versus HPK.


Earlier Friday, the Sabres dispatched the first eleven players to their AHL affiliate, the Rochester Americans.

F: Riley Boychuk, Jacob Lagace, Maxime Legault, Shawn Szydlowski, Mark Voakes, Travis Turnbull
D: Matt MacKenzie, Corey Fienhage, Nick Crawford, Alex Biega
G: Jeff Jakaitis

Unsigned draft picks Matt MacKenzie, 19, and Riley Boychuk, 20, are AHL eligible this season and worth the look in Amerks camp, but the Sabres could still elect to return the pair to their WHL clubs.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

9/3 Recap: Juices flow early as CHL pre-season heats up

The CHL exhibition schedule has opened, and with a Friday trip to Buffalo on the horizon, a couple of Sabres prospects are already sporting their gameface.

Matt MacKenzie recorded an assist and a fighting major Friday as Tri-City opened the WHL pre-season with a 5-2 win over Everett. Things got a little testy in the final minutes after the Ams, who dominated the Tips with 45-14 shot advantage, exploded for four third-period goals to break a 1-1 stalemate. Tips dman Tye Hand ('13) was whistled for boarding with 1:20 to play. Shortly thereafter with just :44 remaining, MacKenzie got into a jousting match with Tyler Maxwell that resulted in a slashing minor, fighting major, and game misconduct.

Both MacKenzie and Riley Boychuk would sit out Saturday as Tri-City used a shootout to edge Portland, 5-4.

Kevin Sundher got his 2011 pre-season off to an interesting start Saturday, collecting a -2 and an ejection as Victoria got throttled by Kelowna, 7-2. Sundher got an early shower when he and Colton Sissons ('12) were tossed for fighting with :21 to play in the opening frame. Sundher had previously served two minutes for an elbow as the Rockets shot out to a 4-0 lead.

Save some of that for Traverse City, boys.

In Saturday OHL action, Steven Shipley did not register a point as Niagara shut out Erie, 2-0. Shipley played as the third line center between veteran David Pacan and 16-year old Trevor Petersen.

As usual, the QMJHL was the first to get running with two weeks of exhibition games already in the books.

On Thursday, Jerome Gauthier-Leduc registered three hits as Rimouski defeated Denmark's U20 squad, 3-1. The 6'2 defender has picked up where he left off last year, scoring a goal and three assists in four pre-season tilts while looking poised to wear a letter on a sweater. The Nics open the regular season Friday against Blainville-Boisbriand, the same day that rookies are scheduled to report to Buffalo for the start of camp.

Cedrick Henley scored his first goal of the pre-season Friday as Val-d'Or lost to Blainville-Boisbriand, 6-3. The marker was Henley's first point in two games thus far (+2, 2 PIM).


Sunday scheudule:

Owen Sound (Catenacci) vs. Barrie (Lepkowski, Sutch)
Portland (Boychuk) vs. Spokane
Edmonton (Pysyk) vs. Swift Current
Seattle (Jacobs - not likely) vs. Everett

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

4/19 Recap: Season ends for MacKenzie

Matt MacKenzie logged a -3 Tuesday as Tri-City saw their season come to a close with a 5-4 overtime collapse at Spokane. The Ams held a three-goal lead before falling apart in the third, allowing the Chiefs to score four unanswered goals in the first nine minutes of the period. TC would get one back on the power-play to force OT, but Spokane outworked the Americans to advance to meet Portland in the Western Conference Final. The 19-year old MacKenzie finishes the post-season with one goal, four assists, and a -1 rating in 10 games.

In the OHL, Zack Kassian finished -2 as Windsor lost game #1 of the OHL Western Conference Final to Owen Sound, 8-1. The Spits looked a little gassed coming off a one day break between rounds, allowing five goals in the middle frame to fall behind 7-1 heading into the third. After potting a hat trick in Sunday's clincher over the Spirit, Kassian was active offensively in the opening twenty before the Attack took control for the remainder. The Spits are going to need Kassian to show up ready to go for Thursday's game #2 in Windsor.

Steven Shipley skated -1 as Niagara opened the OHL Eastern Conference Final with a 3-0 shutout loss to Mississauga. Sabres 2010 fifth-rounder Gregg Sutch was a healthy scratch for the Majors, while 2011 eligible Ryan Strome earned a rare fighting major for the IceDogs. The teams will reconvene Thursday in St. Catharines for game #2.

Monday, April 18, 2011

4/17 Recap: Kassian pots turkey as Spits advance

Zack Kassian notched his first career playoff hat trick Sunday to lead Windsor to a 5-0 victory over Saginaw and a berth in the OHL's Western Conference Final. Kassian, who had just two goals in 12 games heading into the game #6, book-ended the first period with a fight 1:12 in and a snipe from the slot with 43-seconds remaining. Kassian's tilt with Anthony Camara marked the second time in the series that the pair dropped the gloves in the opening moments of a game.

I've mentioned it before, but Kassian has had a bi-polar post-season, at times being unstoppable and at others disinterested and detached. The Sabres are going to need to find ways to keep him hungry. However, Sunday was one of those games where he was engaged and ready to compete. He was excellent in the middle frame especially, cycling well to keep the Spirit pinned deep in their end while using his command of the puck and passing ability to create chances for his teammates. At 8:58, Kassian was sprung on a break by Kenny Ryan, faking forehand and then burying a backhand for his second goal of the night to give the Spits the 3-0 lead. The 6'3 completed the hat trick in the third period when his spin-and-fire shot from along the boards made it in the Spirit net. Kassian now has 14 points (5+9) through the first two playoff rounds. The Spits will begin the OHL Western Conference Final Tuesday in Owen Sound.

In the WHL, Riley Boychuk was injured early and did not return as Portland defeated Kelowna, 4-2, to advance to the WHL Western Conference Final. The 6'5 forward looked to be shaken up after taking a first period hit, and until we hear other wise will be considered "day-to-day with an upper body injury". The Winterhawks will open the conference final series Friday on home-ice against the winner of Tri-City/Spokane.

Matt MacKenzie was even as Tri-City lost in overtime to Spokane, 3-2. Trailing the series 3-2, the Americans will look to keep their season alive Tuesday night in Spokane.

In the USHL, Christian Isackson posted an assist as Sioux Falls advanced to the second round of the USHL playoffs with a 5-3 win over Sioux City. A three-goal catalyst in the Herd's first two games, the 6'0 forward was in the box for a high-sticking infraction when the Musketeers scored their first goal. The well-oiled Stampede will continue their quest for the Clark Cup with Wednesday's game #1 at Omaha.

Friday, April 15, 2011

4/14 Recap: Isackson's hot stick continues in Herd loss

Christian Isackson scored a third period goal Thursday as Sioux Falls dropped a 4-3 overtime decision to Sioux City. The six-footer, who is following the Thomas Vanek path to the University of Minnesota through Sioux Falls, has three goals on 10 shots on net through the first two games of the playoff year. The Herd and Musketeers are tied at one game each heading into Sunday's deciding game #3.

In the WHL, Matt MacKenzie (+1) posted an assist as Tri-City secured a 4-3 double-overtime win over Spokane. The 6'2 defender ups his 2011 playoff line to 1-4-5 through eight games. The Americans and Chiefs are now even at two games apiece in their Western Conference semifinal. Game #5 is Sunday in Tri-City.

In the OHL, Zack Kassian (+1) registered an assist as Windsor evened their series at two games apiece with a 6-2 throttling of Saginaw. The 6'3 Kassian, who has two goals and eight assists for the Spits this playoffs, will need to elevate his game when the series resumes Saturday in Saginaw.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

4/12 Recap: McNabb takes command; Boychuk pots winner

Brayden McNabb notched a goal and two assists Tuesday as Kootenay came within one game of eliminating the WHL's top regular season club with a 3-0 shutout of Saskatoon. The victory gives the ICE an unthinkable chance to use the brooms Wednesday in Cranbrook. After his power play point shot was followed-up on to give the ICE an early lead, the 6'4 McNabb took it coast-to-coast to bury a wrister for the 2-0 lead at the end of two periods. The Kootenay captain, who also displayed excellent power-play QB skills throughout, leads all Sabres prospects with two goals and 12 points through eight playoff games. The #1 star effort was his second three-point performance of the playoffs.

Elsewhere in the WHL, Riley Boychuk scored the power play game-winner and added an assist as Portland defeated Kelowna, 5-4. The 6'5 Boychuk made a key play late in the second period when he got the puck back to the point and set a screen for Tyler Wotherspoon's shot on the fourth Portland goal. The 20-year old, who is currently averaging 1.29 points-per-game in the playoffs after a mean of .58 in the regular season, later banged home a rebound with a two-man advantage to give the 'Hawks a 5-3 lead. The power-play goal was the third time this series that Boychuk has scored on a five-on-three. It's expected that Boychuk will remain on the Winterhawks top line when the clubs return for Wednesday's game #4 in Kelowna.

Matt MacKenzie skated even as Tri-City dropped a 4-1 home ice decision to Spokane. After winning the opener, the Americans find themselves in a 2-1 series hole heading into Thursday's game #4.

In the OHL, Zack Kassian scored his second goal of the playoffs as Windsor lost to Saginaw, 5-2. The unassisted breakaway tally, Kassian's ninth postseason point, came amidst a disappointing top-to-bottom effort from the defending Memorial Cup champions. The 6'3 winger was a little too late with the passion, getting assessed a misconduct at the final horn after a shoving match with former midget teammate and good pal, Dalton Prout. With the Spits trailing the series by a 2-1 margin, Kassian needs to bring that aggressive attitude back to the rink for Thursday's game #4.

Marcus Foligno continued his disappointing series, finishing -2 with a fighting major as Sudbury lost for the third straight game to Mississauga, 6-3. Gregg Sutch was even with an elbowing minor for the Majors, who with a Wednesday win can end Foligno's OHL career. The 6'3 Wolves captain sparked his team early, making a big hit along the boards then dropping the gloves for the first time since returning from his February knee injury to take on Rob Flick.

In Monday OHL action, Steven Shipley was +1 as Niagara defeated Oshawa, 5-3. The win gives the IceDogs a 2-1 series lead with game #4 Wednesday in Oshawa. Ryan Strome ('11) scored his fourth of the postseason for the victors.

Monday, April 11, 2011

4/10 Recap: Boychuk takes advantage

Riley Boychuk notched three assists in his expanded role Sunday as Portland drilled Kelowna, 6-3. The 6’5 Boychuk, who now has seven points (3+4) in six postseason contests, was playing his first full game on the ‘Hawks top line with Ryan Johansen (3G) and Nino Niederreiter (1A) in place of the suspended Brad Ross. Even in a grinding non-scoring line role, many thought the power-forward was set for a breakout this postseason despite having just three points in 13 career playoff games. It appears he'll continue to get the increased minutes with Ross' status in limbo with the league. The series in now even at a game apiece, with game #3 Tuesday in Kelowna.

Also from the WHL, Matt MacKenzie skated even as Tri-City lost to Spokane, 6-3. After splitting the series’ first two tilts, the two clubs will head to Tri-City for Tuesday’s game #3. MacKenzie has a goal and three helpers in the Americans six-game playoff year.

In the OHL, Marcus Foligno recorded his first goal of the playoffs as Sudbury came up short for the second straight game against Mississauga, 3-2. After a scoreless first period, the 6’3 forward cashed a power play tally all alone in front of the Majors net to give the Wolves a 1-0 lead. The Wolves, who were outshot 63-24 in the one-goal loss, are approaching do-or-die territory with Tuesday’s game #3 on the horizon. Gregg Sutch did not factor into the Majors' scoring.

In Windsor, Zack Kassian was even as Windsor lost in overtime to Saginaw, 5-4. The 6’3 forward was on the ice as linemates Stephen Johnston and Kenny Ryan connected for a goal on their first shift, but the Spirit kept answering en route to evening the series at one game each. Kassian has eight points (1+7) this nine games this postseason. Last year he had 16 points (7+9) in 19 games. Game #3 is Tuesday in Saginaw.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

4/9 Recap: McNabb chips in as ICE gain edge

In Saturday playoff action, Brayden McNabb (+2) logged an assist as Kootenay earned a 3-2 overtime win over Saskatoon. The ICE, who jumped out a surprising 2-0 series edge with the pair of road victories, held the lead until 1:05 left in regulation when a Brayden Schenn slapshot bounced off Cody Eakin and past a kicking McNabb into the Kootenay net. The 6'4 minute-eater has collected two goals and seven assists through eight postseason games including points in three straight. The teams will travel back to Kootenay for Tuesday's game #3.

Matt MacKenzie finished -1 as Tri-City opened their WHL Western Conference semi-final with a 3-1 win at Spokane. The tilt was the 50th playoff appearance of MacKenzie's WHL career. The Ams and Chiefs will continue the series Sunday in Spokane.

In the OHL, Steven Shipley picked up an assist as Niagara lost to Oshawa, 6-4. The 6'3 center now has points in three straight playoff games. The IceDogs and Generals are tied 1-1 in their second round set with game #3 Monday in Saint Catharines.

In the USHL, Christian Isackson recorded two shots on goal and a pair of minor penalties as Sioux Falls was a dealt a 2-0 shutout by Omaha. With the loss, the Herd earn the #3 playoff seed and playoff date with Sioux City beginning Wednesday. Isackson ends the regular season as the Stampede's leading scorer with 44 points (17+27).

Thursday, March 31, 2011

3/30 Recap: Sundher heroic in B's comeback; Eno "Coasts"

Kevin Sundher potted two goals and an assist Wednesday as Chilliwack overcame a three-goal third period deficit to earn a 4-3 OT win over Spokane. Sunder led the way in the third, assisting on a power play goal to bring the Bruins within one before going to the net and making a nice backhand move to cash the game tying goal with 8:16 left and force the extra session. The six-foot center capped the heroic effort just 3:20 in when he broke free from center ice and smoked a quick release over the glove of James Reid. The Bruins now trail the series 2-1 with game #3 Thursday.

Elsewhere in the WHL, Brayden McNabb (+3) had an assist as Kootenay evened their series at two games apiece with a 5-0 shutout win over Moose Jaw. The 6'4 blueliner, who took the puck and delivered a sharp pass after entering the zone as the trailer to give the ICE a 3-0 lead, has a goal and three assists through the four post-season contests. Three of the four series games have been won via shutout. Game #5 is Friday in Kootenay.

Matt MacKenzie (+2) posted an assist as Tri-City earned a first-round sweep with a 5-1 over Vancouver. MacKenzie has a goal, three assists, and a +3 raing in four postseason games. The Ams will now wait for their next opponent to be determined.

Riley Boychuk did not point as Portland defeated Everett, 5-4. With a commanding 3-0 series lead, the Winterhawks will look for the sweep on Thursday.

In the OHL, Zack Kassian notched his first goal of the playoffs and added an assist as Windsor gained a firmed upper hand in their first round tilt with a 7-4 win over Erie. Kassian used his size and strength to spin away from a check and bury his first to give the Spits a 4-2 lead in the early second period. Alexander Khokhlachev ('11) had two goals and assist for the Spits, who can close out the series on Friday.

Jerome Gauthier-Leduc picked up an assist as Rimouski lost in overtime to Gatineau, 4-3. The 18-year old, who assisted on the game-tying goal with 3:55 to play to send the game into overtime, has three points in four playoff games. The defeat puts the Nics in a 3-1 hole in their best-of-seven series, with their first elimination game coming Friday in Gatineau.

Cedrick Henley (-1) recorded two shots on goal and three hits as Val-d'Or was eliminated from the QMJHL playoffs with a 5-2 loss to Quebec. Henley ends the four-game playoff year with no points, a -4 rating, and six penalty minutes.


In non-playoff news, as expected ex-Bowling Green netminder Nick Eno has signed a contract with Toledo of the ECHL. The 6'3 Eno was long considered a longshot to get a contract from the Sabres, and the Coast league deal essentially brings an end to his time as a Sabres prospect.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

3/29 Recap: Gauthier-Leduc fuels Nics rally

Jerome Gauthier-Leduc scored a goal and assisted on the game winner Tuesday to lead pesky Rimouski to a 7-4 win over Gatineau. With an effort marked by quick execution in his own zone and the usual proper steering on the power play, it was an overall heady performance for the escapable 6'2 puckmover. He cashed his first goal of the playoffs on the power play to give the Nics a 4-3 lead late in the second period. At 4:10 of the third period, he sent a pass to Patrick Delisle-Houde for the game winning goal. The Oceanic now trail the series 2-1 with the clubs going right back at it on Wednesday.

Also from the QMJHL, Cedrick Henley was -1 as Val-d'Or got drilled by Quebec, 9-0. The 6'5 forward has gone without a point in nine career playoff games. Trailing the series 3-0, the Foreurs face a "win or go home" scenario on Wednesday.

In the OHL, Steven Shipley finished +1 as Niagara defeated Brampton, 3-1. The victory gives the IceDogs a commanding 3-0 series advantage with game #4 taking place Thursday in Brampton. The 6'3 Shipley, who was on for the Dogs final goal while centering scorer Darren Archibald and Myles Doan, has yet to record a point in seven career playoff games.

Gregg Sutch skated even with a minor penalty as Mississauga completed the first round sweep of Belleville, 4-0. Skating on the Majors fourth line with Jamie Wise and Corey Bureau, the grinding Sutch was whistled for a checking to the head penalty late in the first period. The 6'2 forward had no points in the series for the Majors, who will now wait to see who they'll face in round two. The injury-riddled Bulls dressed just nine forwards along with seven defensemen to end the season.

Marcus Foligno was unable to point for the third straight game as Sudbury battled back to steal a 5-4 overtime win over Ottawa. Foligno, who has been skating with Eric O'Dell and Michael Sgarbossa, hasn't been putting up points but he's still made noise in the offensive zone by pounding defensemen on the check. He started the night with a crowd pleasing boom on big Cody Ceci ('12) before lowering the boom on Ryan Shipley (brother of Steven) for the third time in the series. His efforts have drawn the attention of 67's bruiser Dalton Smith, making for a Sabres-centric sidebar when the #7 seed Wolves look to pull off the sweep/upset of the #2 seed Thursday in Ottawa.

In WHL action, Brayden McNabb was -1 as Kootenay lost game #3 of their first round series to Moose Jaw, 4-0. the shutout loss was the second in three games against the Warriors. The ICE will look to even the series at two games each on Wednesday.

Matt MacKenzie was kept off the scoresheet as Tri-City shut out Vancouver, 4-0. The Ams will look to take the brooms to the Giants when the puck drops for Wednesday's game #4.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

3/26 Recap: McNabb, Boychuk come up big as playoffs heat up

Brayden McNabb continued to be a point machine Saturday, scoring a goal and adding two assists as Kootenay evened their best-of-seven series at one game apiece with a 5-2 win over Moose Jaw. After netting an assist on the game's first goal, McNabb scored on a power-play slapper from the high slot to gave the Ice an early 2-0 lead. The three-point night ties a Kootenay franchise mark for points by s defenseman in a playoff game. The two clubs will lock in Tuesday for game #3 in Moose Jaw.

Elsewhere in the WHL, Riley Boychuk opened the game with a power play goal and set-up another Winterhawks tally a few minutes later as Portland opened the playoff season by pitching a 4-0 shutout over Everett. Boychuk, who was also called for a pair of interference penalties (one in the paint on the goalie) had just three points in 13 playoff games in 2009-10. Game #2 will be played Sunday evening.

Matt MacKenzie scored the game winning goal as Tri-City held on to defeat Vancouver, 5-4. MacKenzie drilled a shot while on 5-3 advantage to give the Ams a 5-3 late at 9:47 of the third period. The Ams take a 2-0 series lead heading into Tuesday's game #3.

Mark Pysyk logged a -1 as Edmonton lost for the second straight night to Red Deer, 5-1. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins ('11) scored his third goal of the series and was whistled for a diving minor in the Rebels victory. I'm not a fan of diving. Shame on you, RNH. The Oil Kings will look to halve the Rebels 2-0 series lead on Monday.

Kevin Sundher was even Chilliwack was shut out by Spokane, 5-0. Trailing the series 2-0, the Bruins now face the difficult task of having to win two of the next three games in the Chiefs barn in order to keep their season hopes alive. The two teams re-engage for game #3 on Wednesday.

In the OHL, Zack Kassian finished +2 with six shots on goal and a smattering of hits as Windsor took game #2 of their first round match-up with Erie, 4-3 in double-overtime. The 2009 first-rounder was engaged from the get-go, using his feet to complete checks and battle for loose pucks, and seemed to get better (i.e. played with a greater sense of urgency) as the game progressed. With a slew of penalties against the Spits hampering Kassian's early ice time, the 20-year old was up on the bench directing teammates and chirping at the opposition. He was locked in mentally, which could bode well for Windsor entering Monday's game #3. If this effort is any indication of his preparedness moving forward, which keep in mind was by no means "overwhelming", then there's little question he'll be Portland-bound when his OHL season is done.

Marcus Foligno finished -1 as Sudbury opened their playoff year with a wild 8-7 overtime win over Ottawa. The strapping 6'3 forward made his presence felt just :11 in when he was whistled for a nasty slash/spear to the mid-section of gritty 67's forward Dalton Smith. The Wolves, who trailed 5-4 at the second intermission, sealed the deal when Andrey Kuchin completed his hat trick at 3:26 in to the extra session.

Gregg Sutch did not point as Mississauga edged Belleville, 1-0. The Majors, holders of a 2-0 series lead, will look to shake the disappointing effort when the teams meet for Sunday's game #3.

Jerome Gauthier-Leduc was -1 as Rimouski lost in overtime to Gatineau, 3-2. The 18-year old rearguard was on the receiving end of a vicious hit from behind midway through the first period after advancing the puck at his blueline (below). Piques forward earned a five-minute boarding major on the play. The series will resume Tuesday with Gatineau holding a 2-0 lead.

Cedrick Henley was unable to score as Val-d'Or lost to Quebec, 6-4. The Foreurs now trail the bes-of-seven 2-0, with game #3 set for Tuesday.

At the NCAA Tournament, Connor Knapp served as back-up as top-seed Miami lost in the Northeast regional semi-final to New Hampshire, 2-1. The junior metminder ends his season with a record of 8-5-4 in 17 appearances with a 2.03 goals against average and .909 save percentage. Senior UFA Andy Miele failed to get a point, ending his 17-game point streak, to finish the year with a line of 24-47-71 in just 39 games. Given the fact that he plays center, it's basically no-brainer that the Sabres make an attempt to sign the creative talent.

In other NCAA action, Brad Eidsness served as back-up as North Dakota advanced to the Midwest regional final with a 6-0 ripping of RPI. The Sioux move on to face familiar foe Denver Sunday with a Frozen Four berth on the line.

In the USHL, Christian Isackson recorded a shot on goal as Sioux Falls was blanked by Sioux City, 2-0.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

3/25 Recap: Sundher points as teams get tough starts

Kevin Sundher posted an assist Friday as Chiliwack opened the 2011 playoff year with a 3-2 overtime loss to Spokane. Midway through the second period with the game locked at a goal apiece, Sundher entered the zone with the puck on a 2-1 break with Jamie Crooks. When the Chiefs defender slid to take the pass away, the six-footer stopped on a dime and made a nice dish to Crooks to give the Bruins the 2-1 lead. The apple was Sundher's sixth point in seven career playoff games, while Bruins netminder Lucas Gore made 60 saves before giving up the game winner halfway through the OT. Game #2 takes place on Saturday.

Mark Pysyk regrouped from an early jilt to finish the night +3 as Edmonton lost an entertaining game #1 to Red Deer, 5-3. The Oil Kings suffered a scare on the game's opening shift when Pysyk left the ice gingerly after being rammed into the boards, only to return without issue. Michael St. Croix ('11) knotted the game 3-3 in the third period before Ryan Nugent-Hopkins ('11) took over with a pair of goals in a span of 1:06 to give the Rebels a 1-0 series lead. The clubs will take the ice for game #2 Saturday.

Matt MacKenzie was +1 as Tri-City came from behind to defeat Vancouver, 2-1. After tying the game with 7:55 to play in the third period, Carter Ashton iced the Ams win with just three ticks left in the first overtime after Andrej Stastny was whistled for a costly tripping call. The well-seasoned MacKenzie, who represented the WHL in last year's Memorial Cup as a member of the Calgary Hitmen, will dress for his 47th career playoff tilt when the teams play game #2 on Saturday.

Brayden McNabb logged a -2 as Kootenay was shut out Moose Jaw, 4-0. The Ice will look to play tougher from the first drop in Saturday's game #2, as giving up three first period goals on home ice was hardly the way they wanted to begin the postseason. It was a disappointing postseason start for McNabb, who on Thursday was named a WHL Eastern Conference First Team All-Star.

Jerome Gauthier-Leduc finished -1 as Rimouski was clobbered by Gatineau, 6-0. The 6'2 defender had just closed the regular season with a 10-game point streak but can always begin another when tow clubs play it back on Saturday. Igor Levitsky ('11) had a goal and an assist for the Piques.

In the QMJHL, Cedrick Henley (-1) did not point as Val-d'Or was dumped by Quebec, 7-2. Mirko Hoefflin (undrafted in '10) had a pair of assists for the Remparts, who will take a 1-0 series lead into Saturday's game #2.

Monday, March 21, 2011

3/20 Recap: Hats off to Jerome as CHL closes

Jerome Gauthier-Leduc completed his strong stretch run with a bang Sunday, potting a hat-trick to lead Rimouski to a 6-3 win over Victoriaville. Gauthier-Leduc heads into the playoffs on a wicked 10-game point-streak that saw him collect 10 of his 18 season goals (as well as a +9 rating to net out to a season finish of -1). With 56 points (18+38), the puck mover finishes his 18-year old season as the #2 scorer among QMJHL defensemen. By comparison, Marc-Andre Gragnani went 16-55-71 -23 in his 18-year old season, while T.J. Brennan posted a line of 16-26-41 -15 at the same developmental point. The #12 Oceanic will face #5 seed Gatineau in the first round.

In the OHL, Marcus Foligno collected two assists as Sudbury lost at Ottawa, 7-3. The 6'3 captain finishes his final regular season of junior play with career bests in goals (23), assists (36), and plus/minus (+5). The Wolves and 67's will get reacquainted Saturday afternoon at Scotia Bank Place for game #1 of their first round playoff battle.

Gregg Sutch notched a pair of assists as Mississauga completed their excellent regular season with a 4-1 win over Barrie. The grinding 6'3 forward, who looks to have played his way back in to the lineup full-time after being in-and-out most of the past month, completes the schedule with a line of 8-20-28 +20 - all career bests. The CHL's #3 ranked Majors move on to their first-round series against Belleville.

In the WHL, Riley Boychuk scored his 18th goal of the year as Portland ended their 2010-11 campaign with a 6-3 loss to Spokane. The 6'5 Boychuk improves his season totals to 18-17-35 in the defeat, while Anthony Bardaro ('11) had a pair of goals for the winning Chiefs. Portland, the top seed in the Western Conference, will face #8 Everett in the opening round.

Matt MacKenzie did not score as Tri-City defeated Seattle in overtime, 4-3. The Americans, the #4 seed in the West, will battle Vancouver in a first-round WHL playoff series.

In the QMJHL, Cedrick Henley recorded four hits as Val-d'Or lost in overtime to Drummondville, 3-2. The Foreurs, owners of the 14th playoff seed, will face the Quebec Remparts in the opening round.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

3/19 Recap: Sundher stars as clubs ready for playoffs

Kevin Sundher hit for two insurance goals and an assist Saturday as Chilliwack blanked Everett, 3-0. The six-foot pivot went to work with the Bruins holding a 1-0 lead after 40-minutes, first forcing Ryan Murray ('11) to cough up the puck allowing him to sail down and pot his 23rd on a shorthanded breakaway, and then snapping a shot from the slot a couple of shifts later for his 24th goal and sixth three-point game of the year. The Surrey native finishes the regular season as the Bruins #3 scorer with 76 points. Depending on what shakes out on Sunday, Chilliwack will visit either Tri-City or Spokane when the WHL playoffs kickoff next week.

Elsewhere in the WHL, Brayden McNabb (+1) registered an assist, his 50th helper of the year, as Kootenay hammered Lethbridge, 7-1. The 6'4 defenseman caps his fantastic regular season with 22 goals and 72 points, making him the 3rd-most productive WHL blueliner, while his sturdy +25 is representative of the quality (and sheer amount of) even-strength minutes logged during season grind.

Mark Pysyk skated -1 as Edmonton lost their second game in as many nights to Red Deer, 3-1. The weekend set allowed plenty of bad blood to brew prior to the clubs' squaring-off for their best-of-seven playoff round next week. Pysyk scored six goals this season while posting career highs in points (40), penalty minutes (88), and plus/minus (+29) in his first season as Oil Kings captain. He played like a leader to end the year and is sure to be counted on heavily as Edmonton engages the tough task of taking down the Rebs, lead by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins ('11).

Matt MacKenzie registered an assist as Tri-City defeated Spokane, 6-4. The two-way defender has points in three of his last four games. He had posted points in three of his previous 17 prior to the productive home stretch. The Ams wrap up the regular season on Sunday versus Seattle.

Riley Boychuk had no points and 17-penalty minutes as Portland defeated Seattle, 5-4. The 6'5 Boychuk earned his sixth fighting major of the year when he dropped the gloves with 6'5 17-year old Mitch Eliot.

Corey Fienhage finished -1 in the final WHL game of his career as Kamloops lost to Prince George, 5-1. The 6'4, 221-pound "Moose", who played his previous two seasons with the University of North Dakota, scored four goals and 10 assists in 70 games this season on the Blazers blueline.

In the OHL, Steven Shipley scored his 18th goal of the year as Niagara pummeled Kingston, 8-4. Ryan Strome ('11) collected four assists to finish tied atop the OHL's scoring list with 106 points (33+73). The IceDogs will await the results of Sunday play before learning their first-round opponent. A Brampton win will see the Dogs play Kingston. A loss will set the stage for shorter drives with a Dogs/Brampton first round match-up.

Marcus Foligno (+3) notched an assist as Sudbury doubled Belleville, 6-3. The 6'3 captain was a physically intimidating throughout, earning a double minor for roughing and a 10-minute misconduct late in the second period after his hit sparked a powerkeg. The Wolves will close the regular season Sunday with a tilt against their first-round playoff opponent, #2 seed Ottawa.

Zack Kassian notched an assist as Windsor defeated Saginaw, 5-4 in overtime. The bullish wing, who had eight 3+ point efforts before the World Junior Championships and just two after, finishes the regular season with 26-51-77. Just like a year ago, the Spits will face the Erie Otters in the opening round of the playoffs.

In the QMJHL, Cedrick Henley (+1) picked up two assists Val-d'Or lost to Shawinigan, 8-4. The 6'5 Henley, who was called for boarding on the game's first shift, has 17 points in 21 games this season including a goal and seven assists in nine games since returning from wrist surgery. Les Foreurs will close their regular season Sunday against Drummondville.

In the USHL, Christian Isackson scored an empty-net goal and an assist as Sioux Falls rolled past Green Bay, 4-0. The six-foot rookie has 15 goals and 40 points in 51 games this season and has been a point-per-game player over his last 20.

Connor Knapp did not play as #6 Miami won their first-ever CCHA Tournament title with a 4-2 win over #12 Western Michigan. Senior UFA Andy Miele scored a goal and an assist to give him 71 points (24+47) in 38 games this year. By comparison, Nathan Gerbe's best season at BC (2007-08) saw him net 35-33-68 in 43 games. The RedHawks will now wait Sunday's announcement of the NCAA tournament bracket to determine who they'll next face.

Brad Eidsness served as backup as #1 North Dakota won the Broadmoor Trophy as WCHA Tornament champs with a 3-2 double-overtime win over #5 Denver. Like Knapp's RedHawks, Eidsness and the Sioux will wait for Sunday to learn who they face as one of the #1 regional seeds.