Showing posts with label mcnabb. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mcnabb. Show all posts

Friday, January 18, 2013

1/17 Recap: McNabb tabbed

On Thursday, Brayden McNabb and Kevin Porter of the Rochester Americans were chosen for Western Conference duty at the 2013 Dunkin Donuts AHL All-Star Game. The duo will head to Providence for the events which take place Jan. 27-28.

In Thursday play, Alex Lepkowski (-1) did not register as Barrie earned a 3-2 shootout decision over Oshawa. The Colts return to action Friday at Sudbury.

On Wednesday, Luke Adam scored his ninth goal of the year as Rochester got throttled by Binghamton 5-1. The power play tally, which was assisted by Nick Crawford and McNabb, tied the game at one apiece late in the first period. David Leggio made 33 saves in defeat. The Amerks will hit the ice Friday versus Syracuse.

In the USHL, Judd Peterson (-1) recorded a shot on goal in Cedar Rapids' 5-2 loss at Omaha. The RoughRiders will host Waterloo on Friday.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

1/11 Recap: Amerks roll; Grigo empty on eve of camp

Brian Flynn scored a goal and an assist Friday to help the Rochester Americans to a 5-2 win over Hamilton. T.J. Brennan, Mark Mancari, Brayden McNabb, and Nick Tarnasky added the other Amerks goals, while Zemgus Girgensons, Luke Adam, and Kevin Porter gathered two assists each. For Girgensons, the two-assist outing was the first multi-point game of his professional career.

The game was a statement for Brennan and McNabb, who both await their missions on the eve of Sabres training camp. Brennan, who currently is tied for 12th in league scoring with 33 points (13+
20), stepped into a booming slap shot for a short-side goal to give the Amerks a 2-1 lead. McNabb dug in and played his physical brand of hockey while adding his third tally of the year. With Marcus Foligno and Cody Hodgson already tabbed for camp duty, the defensive duo are expected to be in the discussion as the Sabres look to round out their troops for the week-long evaluation.

Elsewhere, Mikhail Grigorenko (-2) went without a point for the second straight game as Quebec was embarrassed in a 4-0 home-ice loss to league cellar-dweller Shawinigan. Grigorenko, whose two-game drought is a first in the 2012-13 campaign, will leave for Buffalo early Saturday to participate in his first NHL training camp.

In Western League action, Andrey Makarov returned to action for Saskatoon for the first time since his bronze medal winning performance versus Canada, making 30 saves as the Blades dropped a 3-1 decision to Red Deer. Makarov saw his shutout streak of 134:49 (going back to early Dec.) snapped by surrendering a goal 5:28 into the first period. The Blades battle defending champion Edmonton on Saturday.

Colin Jacobs was kept off the scoresheet as Prince George edged Kamloops 1-0. Jacobs has yet to notch a point in five January games. The Cougars and Blazers play a rematch on Saturday.

In OHL play, newly-named assistant captain Justin Kea was unable to get a point in Saginaw's 4-3 win over Erie. Kea and the Spirit will ride a four-game winning streak into Saturday's game against top-ranked London.

Alex Lepkowski registered a minus-one rating as Barrie suffered 3-2 defeat at Guelph. The Colts welcome Niagara to town on Saturday.

Brady Austin remained out of the lineup with a hand injury as Belleville smoked Kingston 8-2. The Bulls host Windsor on Saturday.

In college action, Christian Isackson notched a pair of assists as No. 1 Minnesota skated to a 4-3 win over Alaska-Anchorage. The helpers extend Isackson's point streak to four games, giving him season totals of 3-11-14 through 21 games. The clubs complete the WCHA set on Saturday.

Jake McCabe made his return from an impeccable performance on Team USA's blueline as the 2013 World Junior Championship as Wisconsin earned a 4-3 overtime victory at Minnesota State. Brad Navin maintained his fourth-line role for the Badgers, who have won five straight and are unbeaten in their last nine games.

In the USHL, Judd Peterson (+1) saw his four-game point streak come to an end as Cedar Rapids defeated Muskegon 4-1. The RoghRiders tangle with Dubuque on Saturday.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

10/20 Recap: Foligno posts best; Armia returns in style

The Rochester Americans applied their rally caps Friday, scoring seven times in the final two periods to earn a wild 8-7 victory at Hershey. Marcus Foligno (first star of the game) paved the way with a career-best two goals and two assists as the Amerks twice overcame two-goal deficits to spoil the Bears' home opener.

For Foligno, the four-point night bests his previous AHL high of 2+1 posted last April versus Syracuse. It's his highest single-game output since a 3+1 effort in December 2010 as a member of the Sudbury Wolves.

T.J. Brennan (second star) collected two goals and an assist, while Cody Hodgson (three assists), Mark Mancari (1+1), and Brayden McNabb (two assists) also posted multiple-point outings.

The Amerks are off until Tuesday when they face the Hamilton Bulldogs at First Niagara Center in Buffalo.

Joel Armia returned from injury, cashing a goal and an assist as Assat blazed past Ilves 6-1. Armia, who now has seven goals and 11 points through 15 games including three multi-point efforts, missed just one Assat contest after getting his bell rung early in Tuesday's tilt with SaiPa.

Linus Ullmark made 26 saves as MODO J20 lost 3-2 to Brynas. The game looked to be heading to OT before a Brynas goal in the final minute of regulation handed Ullmark his first SuperElit loss since returning from Mora.

In WHL action, Colin Jacobs scored his eighth goal of the year on the power play as Prince George took a 3-2 loss to Spokane. The Cougars allowed a goal with 24-seconds left on the clock en route to accepting their fifth consecutive loss.

Andrey Makarov made 24 saves in Saskatoon's 3-2 loss to Everett. The Blades, who have allowed a league-high 55 goals against, have lost lost two straight games to remain in last place in the WHL's Eastern Conference.

In the OHL, Dan Catenacci extended his point streak to six games as Owen Sound was defeated by Oshawa 3-2. The loss halts the Attack's five-game winning streak.

Justin Kea picked up two assists as Saginaw lost an 8-5 barnburner to Guelph. The 6-foot-4 center has a goal and seven points through the Spirit's first 12 games.

Alex Lepkowski did not point as Barrie battled back to force extra time but lost to London 3-2 in the shootout. The loss was the first at home this season for the Colts, who remain unbeaten in regulation in their last nine games.

In NCAA action, Christian Isackson went without a point for the first time in four regular season games as top-ranked Minnesota earned the weekend split with a 3-2 win over Michigan Tech. The Gophers will host the U.S. Under-18 team on Friday before welcoming Canisius to Mariucci Arena on Sunday.

Mark Adams finished -1 as Providence suffered a 4-3 overtime defeat at #4 Miami. The Friars battled back from three one-goal deficits before succumbing in the extra session.

In the USHL, Judd Peterson did not play as Cedar Rapids came from behind to claim a 7-5 win over Indiana.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

10/3 Recap: Amerks drop exhibition opener

Luke Adam, Phil Varone, and Brayden McNabb all had goals as the Rochester Americans opened the 2012 preseason Wednesday with a 4-3 home-ice loss to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Mark Mancari compiled three assists in his first game back in an Amerks sweater since 2007-08, while rookie Mark Pysyk added a pair of helpers from the blueline. David Leggio made 28 saves for the Amerks, who will complete the home-and-home series with the Baby Penguins on Friday. We'll have more on the Amerks as the AHL regular season approaches.

Elsewhere, Logan Nelson assisted on the game winning goal as Victoria slipped past Medicine Hat 4-3 in overtime. The Royals overcame a 3-0 deficit en route to moving into first place in the B.C. Division. Victoria (4-1-0-0) returns to action Friday at Spokane.

Justin Kea picked up an assist as Saginaw dropped a 6-5 see-saw battle with Sault Ste. Marie. The power forward prospect has three points (1+2) through the Spirit's first five games. Saginaw will host Niagara on Friday.

Andrey Makarov made 24 saves as Saskatoon lost to Red Deer 5-3. After scoring the game's first goal, Saskatoon surrendered four unanswered to slip to fifth place in East Division. The first goal allowed was an absolute highlight-reel play by Matt Dumba (MIN), who slipped to his knees but maintained control of the puck before roofing a shot over Makarov's shoulder. The Blades will tangle with Swift Current on Friday.

In Sweden, Linus Ullmark made 15 stops as Mora IK was defeated by Orebro HK 5-3. Ullmark allowed four goals against including one of the power play before Orebro potted an empty-netter to seal the win. Mora gets back at it Sunday versus Karlskrona HK.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Adam's mark puts Amerks in position

With his confidence plummeting to perhaps the lowest point of his pro career in recent weeks, and his club desperate for a victory, Luke Adam scored a very big goal Saturday to break a tie and give the Rochester Americans a 2-1 regulation win over the Lake Erie Monsters in their final game of the AHL regular season.

Adam's mark at 4:14 of the third period, his fourth of the year and second in his last three games, would hold up as Amerks' MVP David Leggio made 16 of his 35 saves in the final frame. Paul Szczechura scored the first Rochester goal, while rookies Brayden McNabb and Marcus Foligno (three-game point streak) chipped in with assists.

The victory gives Rochester 86 points, good for 5th place in the AHL Western Conference entering the final day of the season. While not officially in, their playoff hopes are looking pretty good per the explanation provided by Kevin Oklobzija of the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle.

The Rundown:
Adam: G, +1, 6 SOG
McNabb: A, +2
Foligno: A, +1
Crawford: +2
Tropp: +1, 3 SOG
Brennan: 3 SOG
Varone: SOG
Biega: even

Friday, March 23, 2012

3/22 Recap: Junior playoffs begin; Sundher returns

In Thursday's opening night of the CHL playoffs, Steven Shipley pocketed a power play assist as Niagara rolled Oshawa, 8-2. The IceDogs cruised to a five-goal lead after the opening period en route to taking a 1-0 advantage in their OHL Eastern Conference quarterfinal series. The puck drops on game #2 Friday night in Ottawa.

Gregg Sutch notched an empty net assist as Barrie opened the 2012 OHL playoffs with a 3-1 win over Mississauga. Sutch's hustle play along the boards got him his first post-season point in nearly two years. Alex Lepkowski finished +1 on the Colts blueline. The clubs will reconvene Friday for game #2.

In the WHL, Kevin Sundher logged a +2 in his return to the lineup as Brandon throttled Calgary 6-2 to take a key road win in their WHL first-round opener. Sundher had missed 13 of the final 14 games for the Wheat Kings with a concussion. The teams will remain in Calgary for Friday's game #2 before heading to Manitoba for games three through five.

Joel Armia was -2 with three shots on goal as Assat lost game #1 of their opening round playoff series to JYP, 4-1. It was a sub-par performance for the 18-year old sniper, who scored two goals in five playoff games a season ago. The teams will travel back to Pori for Saturday's game #2.


On Wednesday, Brayden McNabb, Nick Crawford, and Shaone Morrisonn scored regulation goals while David Leggio made 40 saves as Rochester was defeated by Syracuse 4-3 in a shootout. The Amerks are now 8-2-1 in their last 11 games with a Friday night tilt with Binghamton up next.

McNabb: G, +2
Crawford: G, +2
Adam: 3 SOG
Lagace: -1
Szydlowski: -1
Brennan: -2, 4 SOG
Biega: even

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.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Brennan gets two as Amerks survive shootout

Igor Gongalsky capped off a 15-round shootout Saturday as Rochester soldiered to a 4-3 win over Lake Erie. T.J. Brennan scored his 10th and 11th goals of the year in regulation, while Brayden McNabb added a goal and an assist to help the Amerks to their third straight win.

Phil Varone assisted on all three Amerks goals to give him 31 points in his last 33 games. He and Marcus Foligno scored the other shootout goals.

David Leggio was excellent for the second straight night, making 22 saves in regulation and then another 13 in the shootout to secure his 18th victory.

The Rundown:
Brennan: 2G, 2 SOG
McNabb: G, A, 3 SOG
Foligno: A, SHOG
Adam: 2 SOG
Lagace: fighting major
Crawford: -1

The Amerks (26-21-6-3, 61 points, 2nd in North Division) resume play on Friday with a visit to Grand Rapids.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

2/17 Recap: Knapp red hot for RedHawks, MacKenzie strikes

Connor Knapp made 31 saves for the third shutout in his last eight starts and 11th of his career as #19 Miami blanked #13 Notre Dame, 3-0. The senior netminder moves to 10-6 on the year with a 1.69 goals against average (2nd in nation) and .931 save percentage. It's fair to expect Knapp to remain in net when the RedHawks go for the CCHA sweep on Saturday. In nine starts since the new year, he's posted a dominating 1.03 goals against average and red hot .957 save percentage.

Drew MacKenzie scored on a backhand at 1:38 of overtime as Vermont won at New Hampshire, 4-3. MacKenzie, who also recorded an assist, now has seven goals and 22 points this season while registering in 19 of 27 games. His .81 points per game ranks 11th in nation for NCAA defenders. The win snapped a seven-game losing streak for the Catamounts, who will look for their first sweep of the season Saturday in Durham.

Dan Catenacci scored his prospect-leading 28th goal of the year as Owen Sound throttled Plymouth, 5-1. The 5'10 center has 63 points with 13 games remaining in the schedule. The Attack, third in the Midwest Division and fifth in the Western conference, continue their road trip on Saturday in Windsor.

Cedrick Henley scored his 11th goal of the year and first in 10 games as Val-d'Or lost in a shootout to Drummondville, 4-3. The rugged affair featured a total of seven fights, including five in a span of seven seconds in the middle frame during which Henley dropped the mitts for his fourth major of the year. The Foreurs next visit Blainville-Boisbriand on Sunday.

Brad Eidsness made 19 saves as #14 North Dakota doubled Michigan Tech, 4-2. The victory was the 55th of Eidsness' career, tying for him 3rd on the Sioux's all-time list. Eidsness, who has won his last three starts, could get the nod again on Saturday with Aaron Dell listed as day-to-day with an undisclosed upper-body injury.

Steven Shipley notched an assist in Niagara's 5-2 win over Sudbury. The IceDogs return to action Saturday in Sault Ste. Marie.

Mark Pysyk (-1) earned a pair of minor penalties as Edmonton ended their road trip with a 6-2 loss Vancouver. The Oil Kings get the weekend off with their next game coming Monday at home against Medicine Hat.

Gregg Sutch (2 PIM) and Alex Lepkowski (+1) did not factor into the scoring as Barrie defeated Kitchener, 5-3. The Colts will welcome Oshawa to town on Saturday.

Joel Armia recorded two shots on goal as Assat was shut out by SaiPa, 2-0. The big wing will look to avoid his first three-game point drought since November on Saturday when Assat takes on Lukko.

Mark Adams was -1 as Providence and Northeastern played a 1-1 tie. The two clubs will close the Hockey East set on Saturday in Boston. You can see Adams (#4) on the play as the Huskies scored their only goal.

Justin Jokinen assisted on the game's first goal as Minnesota State lost to #4 Minnesota-Duluth, 4-2. The 6'3 senior has no goals in his last 11 games.

Brad Navin skated even as Wisconsin was shut out by #10 Denver, 3-0. The Badgers, who outshot the opponent for the third straight, for look for the split Saturday at Magness.

Nathan Lieuwen was given the night off as Kootenay got past Spokane, 4-3. The 6'5 netminder is expected to return to action on Saturday when the ICE host Regina.

Kevin Sundher missed his second game with an upper body injury as Brandon crushed Prince Albert, 6-1. The two clubs will play it back on Saturday.

Colin Jacobs did not play as Seattle lost to Tri-City, 5-2. The T-Birds go right back at it on Saturday with an afternoon tilt at Portland.

Christian Isackson was a healthy scratch as #7 Minnesota shut down Bemidji State, 3-0.


In the AHL, T.J. Brennan (9th) scored the game winning goal as Rochester dominated Lake Erie, 6-2. Brayden McNabb struck late on the power play for his second goal of the season, while Marcus Foligno potted his 13th of the year. Luke Adam notched two assists for his first points as an Amerk.

Derek Whitmore paced the Amerks with a pair of goals, while Phil Varone added three assists. David Leggio made 20 saves for his 15th win of the year.

The Rundown:
Brennan: G, A, 3 SOG
Foligno: G, -1, 4 SOG
McNabb: G, 3 SOG
Adam: 2A, 4 SOG
Tropp: A, +1, 2 SOG, 5 PIM
Schiestel: A
Crawford: A, +1, 2 SOG
Biega: +1, 4 SOG

Saturday, February 11, 2012

2/10 Recap: Kassian collects, Jacobs ramping up

In Friday AHL action, Zack Kassian scored a pair of goals while Corey Tropp (three assists) and Brayden McNabb (two assists) posted multi-point nights in Rochester's 9-4 blowout win over Texas. Kassian, whose effort included a short-handed tally, has now scored five goals on 12 shots in his last three games with Rochester.

Travis Turnbull (+5) earned the game's first star with two goals and an assist. Jonathan Parker, Paul Szczechura, Derek Whitmore, Mark Voakes, and Maxime Legault added singles for the Amerks.

All but four Amerks skaters (Lagace, Schiestel, Persson, Ryan) earned a point in the win. Drew MacIntyre made 23 stops to move to 8-11-0-2 on the year.

The Rundown:
Kassian: 2G, 6 SOG, +2
Parker: G, 3 SOG
Tropp: 3A, +4
McNabb: 2A, +2
Fienhage: 2A, +1
Crawford: A, +1
Foligno: A
Lagace: 2 SOG
Schiestel: +1
Persson: +2

The Amerks (22-18-6-3, 2nd in North Division) host San Antonio on Saturday.


Colin Jacobs recorded a goal and an assist as Seattle lost to Spokane, 5-4. While on a 5x3 in the middle period, the 6'1 center took a long pass and buried the breakaway backhander for his third goal in his last four games. The T-Birds will welcome another division rival to town on Saturday when they host Portland.

Kevin Sundher scored his 26th of the year and second in as many games as Brandon doubled Swift Current, 6-3. The win snaps the Wheat Kings six-game losing streak at home. Brandon will travel to Medicine Hat on Sunday.

Connor Knapp was forced to make just 11 saves as #12 Miami downed Alabama-Huntsville 3-1 in a non-conference affair. The 6'6 senior, who has now started eight of Miami's last 11 games, moves to 9-6 on the year. The two clubs will close the set Saturday in Oxford.

Justin Jokinen picked up an assist as Minnesota State defeated Alaska-Anchorage, 3-2. The senior wing now has a goal and three assists in three games this season versus the Seawolves. The teams will play it back on Saturday.

Elsewhere, Jerome Gauthier-Leduc finished +1 as Rimouski edged Quebec, 2-1. Leduc continues to lead all QMJHL defenders in scoring with 60 points (24+36), nine more than his next closest competitor. The Oceanic will battle Blainville-Boisbriand on Saturday.

Cedrick Henley registered three hits as Val-d'Or was dealt a 3-1 defeat by Moncton. The 6'5 captain will look to snap an eight-game point drought on Saturday when the Foreurs host Cape Breton.

Alex Lepkowski skated even while Gregg Sutch got into his third fight of the year (and second in a week) as Barrie got past Sudbury, 4-3. Winners of five straight, the Colts will host the Niagara IceDogs (winners of four straight) on Saturday.

Drew MacKenzie was held to one shot on goal as Vermont was blown out by #5 Boston College, 6-1. The senior rearguard has gathered points in 18 of his last 24 games. The Catamounts are off until Friday when they visit New Hampshire.

Mark Adams logged a shot on goal as Providence earned a 4-3 win over #12 Maine. The friars move on to face Massachusetts on Saturday.

Christian Isackson saw action as the fourth line center, finishing -2 with a shot on goal as #2 Minnesota suffered a 5-3 loss at #14 Denver. The six-footer will look to dress in both ends of a WCHA set for the first time when the clubs rematch Saturday at Magness.

Mark Pysyk logged a season-low -3 rating as Edmonton dropped a 5-4 overtime decision at Prince George. The Oil Kings, ranked sixth in the latest CHL rankings, will look for the road split when the clubs play the rematch on Saturday.

Brad Eidsness served as backup as #16 North Dakota downed #3 Minnesota-Duluth, 3-1. The Sioux will likely keep the same lineup when they go for the sweep on Saturday.

Nathan Lieuwen was given the night off as Kootenay was shut out 2-0 by Red Deer. The ICE host Saskatoon on Saturday.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Kassian adds pair in Amerks loss

Zack Kassian added two goals to his stat line Wednesday but the Amerks were halted by Toronto, 4-3. Maxime Legault (2009, 7th round) added the other Rochester mark, while Brayden McNabb added a pair of assists.

Kassian finished his own rebound to get the Amerks on the board at 1:43 of the second period, halving the Marlies lead to 2-1.

After the Marlies regained a two-goal lead in the third, Corey Tropp started a passing play that resulted in Legault's fourth of the year.

Trailing 4-2 in the game's final minute, Kassian tipped in his second of the game and 13th of the year with just :04 to go to complete the scoring.

The Amerks (21-18-6-3) remain in second place in the North Division.

Mike Ryan earned an assist in his first game back since October 14th.

The Rundown:
Kassian: 2G, 4 SOG, +1
McNabb: 2A, 3 SOG, +3
Tropp: A, 1 SOG
Schiestel: +2
Fienhage: +1
Lagace: even
Crawford: even
Persson: -2

Sunday, February 5, 2012

More points than vowels: Szczechura guides Amerks win

In Saturday AHL action, Paul Szczechura's overtime winner capped his four-point night to lead the Amerks to 5-4 win over Syracuse. Brayden McNabb and Marcus Foligno each chipped in with pairs of assists in the win to extend their point streaks to four games.

Trailing 4-2 entering the third period, the Amerks started the comeback by clicking on their only power play of the night when Travis Turnbull redirected Drew Schiestel's point shot at 7:49.

It was all Szczechura from there, as the center forced the extra session with his second goal of the night with under five minutes left in regulation before cashing in OT for his first career hat trick. The four points ties his career high. McNabb drew the lone assist on both the tying and winning marks.

With a one-time goal in the second period, Phil Varone has now earned a point in 14 of his last 20 games.

Drew McIntyre made 33 saves to improve to 7-11-0-2 on the year.

The Rundown:
Foligno: 2A, +4, 6 SOG
McNabb: 2A, +3
Schiestel: A
Lagace: A
Crawford: A, -1
Parker: 3 SOG
Szydlowski: 1 SOG
Persson: -1


On Friday, the Amerks were defeated 3-2 in overtime by visiting Abbotsford to split the back-to-back set. Szczechura and Igor Gongalsky had the Amerks goals.

The Rundown:
Foligno: A
McNabb: +1
Schiestel: -1, 2 SOG
Lagace: -1, 2 SOG
Crawford: -1
Parker: even
Persson: +1

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Leduc lopped; Pysyk's prospects improve

Mark Pysyk and Jerome Gauthier-Leduc arrived in Calgary Saturday along with 39 others for the start of Hockey Canada's 2012 World Junior Selection Camp and the final leg in achieving a dream of every kid who ever laces them up in the Great White North.

After two scrimmages and a round of cuts, one Sabres prospect remains.

A favorite to crack Canada's top-six entering camp, Edmonton Oil Kings captain Mark Pysyk has continued his steady play through the Red/White tilts, maintaining good gaps and showing his smarts in all three zones while paired with Joe Morrow (game #1) and Nathan Beaulieu (game #2).

Pysyk generally limits his mistakes, making him the perfect type of rearguard for tournament play, but he did commit a turnover early that resulted in a power play opportunity for Team Red early in Sunday's contest. He did not earn a point in either game, but was on the ice for one goal against (right D #5 below - excuse poor quality).

As a whole it appears that the benching he received last week against Calgary (for play demmed "selfish" by EDM bench boss Derek Laxdal) has paid some dividends. Pysyk's feet and aptitude have stood out as they do on most nights. He simply looks bigger, stronger, and more ready than he was a season ago, likely solidifying his spot on the team as a solid minute-eater.

Unlike Pysyk who has a more complete two-way package, fellow White blueliner Leduc was brought to camp for one reason - offense. Leduc (#3), a mobile righty who leads all Canadian major-junior defensemen with 47 points, used his cannon shot to get an assist on the game winning goal in White's 3-2 opening night win on Sunday.

Leduc would again show his shot in White's 2-0 loss in game #2, firing a hard slapper off the pipe near the end of the game that resulted in him defending a 2x1 going back the other way (taking the pass away, leaving the goalie to take the shooter).

However when the calls were made Tuesday morning as Canada cut their roster down, Leduc was among the first to get sent home.

Given the depth of competition, the move was not surprising. Canada has some well-rounded options who can carry the full-time luggage, and it was going to be a hard sell putting Leduc in the top six.

Scanning the pool of candidates in the weeks leading up to camp, Leduc seemed more like an ideal #7 than a top-six guy; an ace offensive catalyst who can breathe life into a power play but likely not sturdy enough defensively for a leading role. Through two games he did little to separate himself from the pack.
Leduc's offensive package comes with some uneven play in his own zone that can make for some adventurous shifts. He can get in trouble against physical forwards, and can sometimes get ambitious with the puck as evidenced by an egregious turnover in game #2 that resulted in his defensive partner going to the box for tripping.

A season ago, the Sabres had four players at Canada's camp - Zack Kassian, Marcus Foligno, Pysyk, and Brayden McNabb. Kassian and Foligno made the squad while Pysyk made it to final cuts. McNabb was among the first to get the axe, and proceeded to go on a tear with points in seven straight games as Kootenay started its run to the Memorial Cup.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

McNabb takes well-traveled path to Buffalo

The Buffalo Sabres have recalled rookie defenseman Brayden McNabb from Rochester of the American Hockey League. The 20-year old, who gets the call thanks to Robyn Regher becoming the ninth Sabre to hit the injury list, will make his NHL debut Saturday against Washington.

From the Sabres press release:

McNabb (6’5”, 212 lbs., 1/21/90), who is playing in his rookie AHL season, has played 19 games for the Americans this season and has tallied 10 points (1+9).

The Davidson, Saskatchewan native was selected by Buffalo in the third round (66th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. In four full seasons (2007-11) with the Kootenay Ice of the WHL, McNabb had 176 points (50+126) in 258 games, along with 419 PIMs. The Sabres signed McNabb to a three-year entry level contract on May 18.

Here is my profile on McNabb from last spring's prospect rankings:

4) Brayden McNabb, LHD, Kootenay ICE (WHL), 2009 3rd round (66th overall)

A 2009 third rounder who has performed like a player befitting a higher pick, McNabb has logged major minutes with the Ice over the past two seasons, playing as physical as his 6'4, 218-pound frame suggests while finishing among WHL blue line scoring leaders (6th in 2009-10, 3rd in 2010-11).

After getting preseason NHL exposure this past fall, the ICE captain returned to set single-season and all-time franchise marks in goals, assists, and points for a defenseman while earning a spot on the WHL's Eastern Conference First All-Star Team. He took his game to a different level in the playoffs, shutting down the likes of Brayden Schenn, Curtis Hamilton, Linden Vey, and Emerson Etem while setting even more franchise offensive marks including a solid 11-game point streak to lead the Ice to the league finals. His 24 points in the 2011 postseason were the most for a Sabres prospect since Paul Byron ripped off 21-11-32 in 19 games back in 2007-08.

A bona fide point machine at the junior level, the economy-minded McNabb provides offense by making good pinches,
finding sticks with slap-passes, and most importantly by getting lots of shots to the net. He's best when keeping it simple and limiting the chance for a turnover. Not possessing a quick first step, he may see spots to lug the puck up ice here and there as a pro (by comparison though, Mike Weber is probably the better skater at this stage), but his impact will be that of a point-contributor who block shots and plays tough in front of his goalie. 

Expect McNabb to be signed and off to Portland next season where he can ease his way in. If his feet adjust quickly to the AHL pace, it's fair to think he could position himself for a stop-gap call-up by Christmas. Until that happens, becoming a stronger skater should remain the focal point of his development.

Well I was close on that "spot call-up by Christmas" part, although I thought we'd still be weeks away. As of now it's unclear how long McNabb or any of the other Amerks call-ups will remain with the Sabres, but they're here and it's time to win some games.

Just like when Tropp, Brennan, and Kassian arrived from Rochester, the immediate issue is who to pair McNabb with. My earliest guess is that McNabb steps in for Regehr in a stay-at-home role on a pair with vet Leopold, leaving Brennan/Gragnani together while elevating Ehrhoff/Sekera to top-pair minutes.

As a side note, it is interesting that the Sabres opted for McNabb instead of Drew Schiestel, who has looked solid lately after recovering a from a minor knee injury at the start of the season. Schiestel is an excellent skater with more experience, but there's no question that McNabb has the more rugged style. I imagine it was that ingredient that served as a tiebreaker as the Sabres again get a chance to gauge where some of their prospects stand on the NHL development curve.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Amerks swept; Fienhage, Boychuk hook up

Marcus Foligno and T.J. Brennan each scored goals Saturday but Rochester couldn't close the deal, instead suffering their second straight loss to North Division rival Toronto, 3-2. The Amerks, who entered the weekend riding a four-game winning streak that had kept them in first-place, exit two points behind the division-leading Marlies with an 8-7-2-1 record.

A night after his costly pinch resulted in the game winning goal, Brayden McNabb posted a pair of assists from the Amerks blueline.

Foligno opened the game's scoring from long range, beating Swedish rap star Mark Owuya for his seventh goal of the year at 1:34 of the first period.

With the game tied 1-1 in the middle frame, T.J. Brennan scored his third of the season by tipping a McNabb shot past Owuya.

The Amerks, whose power play is sure to get some attention in practice this week after going a combined 0/11 in the two one-goal losses, welcome Albany to the BCA on Friday.

The Rundown:
Foligno: G, +1, 3 SOG
Brennan: G, +1, 2 SOG
McNabb: 2A, +2, 2 SOG
Kassian: +1, 5 SOG
Schiestel: 1 SOG
Lagace: even
MacKenzie: even
Crawford: -1, 1 SOG
Biega: -1, 2 SOG
Szydlowski: -1


In ECHL action, Corey Fienhage scored his third goal of the season as Gwinnett gave up a late marker in a 3-2 loss to South Carolina. Fienhage opened scoring at 11:59 of the first when he and Riley Boychuk broke away for a 2x1 rush. Boychuk earned his first ECHL point on the play.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Kassian cashes winner as Amerks move into first

Zack Kassian scored the game winning goal Friday while Brayden McNabb added an insurance marker to lead Rochester to a 3-1 victory of defending Calder Cup champion Binghamton. The win moves the Amerks ahead of Toronto into first place in the North Division of the AHL's Western Conference.

Kassian's blast from the left dot midway through the second period was his team-leading sixth goal of the year. He'd also pick up an assist to earn the game's #1 star.

McNabb scored his second goal of the year, and second in as many games, on a 5x3 power play at 2:49 of the third period. The 6'5 defender now has three points in his last two games.

Matt MacKenzie, Riley Boychuk, Jonathan Parker, and Dennis Persson all did not dress for the Amerks.

The Rundown:
Kassian: G, A, 4 SOG
McNabb: G, 3 SOG, 2 PIM
Foligno: +1
Lagace: 1 SOG
Brennan: 1 SOG
Biega: 1 SOG
Schiestel: even
Crawford: even
Szydlowski: 2 PIM

The Amerks, who have been clicking since the debut Paul Szczechura (4GP 1+5), will have Corey Tropp back from his four-game recall when they host Grand Rapids on Saturday.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Amerks rally to down Crunch

Brayden McNabb banged the overtime game winner in off the crossbar as Rochester avenged Saturday night's loss with a 6-5 win over Syracuse. The OT tally was the first goal of McNabb's pro career. The 6'5 defender, who earlier was credited with a short-handed assist, was not named to the game's three stars.

Zack Kassian scored his fifth goal of the year on a breakaway and added an assist for the winners, while Alex Biega and Jacob Lagace also chipped in with helpers.

The Rundown:
McNabb: GWG, A, +1
Kassian: G, A
Lagace: A
Biega: A, +1
Szydlowski: A
Crawford: -1
Brennan: +2
Foligno: +1
Schiestel: 1 SOG
Boychuk: DNP
Parker: DNP

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Amerks winless skid hits five

In Saturday AHL action, Corey Tropp scored his fourth goal of the season as Rochester's winless skid hit five games with a 3-1 loss to Binghamton.

Brayden McNabb and Phil Varone earned assists on Tropp's even-strength marker, while 2010-11 AHL All-Star Drew Schiestel returned to the lineup after missing eight games with a knee injury.

The Amerks missed an opportunity to enact some revenge on the group that knocked them out of the playoffs a season ago while wearing the colors of the Portland Pirates.

The Rundown:
Tropp: 1G, 7 SOG, 2 PIM
McNabb: 1A, -1, 2 PIM
Schiestel: +1, 3 SOG
Brennan: 3 SOG
Lagace: 2 SOG
Crawford: 1 SOG
Biega: 1 SOG
MacKenzie: even
Foligno: even
Kassian: -2
Parker: -2, 2 SOG
Szydlowski: DNP
Boychuk: DNP

The Amerks and Senators will go at it again Friday in Binghamton.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Amerks drop third straight

Marcus Foligno scored his third goal of the year Sunday but Rochester couldn't capitalize on eight power plays in suffering a 3-1 setback to Adirondack.

The Amerks outshot the Phantoms by a 34-16 margin, but were victimized by a shorthanded goal late in the first period for what proved to be the game winner.

Brayden McNabb picked up an assist on the Foligno goal, his fourth point of the year.

The Rundown:
Foligno: 1G
McNabb: 1A, 4 SOG
Brennan: -2, 8 SOG
Tropp: 1 SOG
Crawford: -1, 3 SOG
Kassian: -1, 1 SOG
Lagace: -1
Szydlowski: even
MacKenzie: 2 SOG
Boychuk: even
Parker: 2 SOG

Losers of three straight, Rochester (3-3-2) sits one point back of Toronto for first place in the Western Conference's North Division.

The Amerks travel back to Hamilton on Thursday.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Tropp produces as Amerks drop pair

Corey Tropp and Jacob Lagace each scored a goal Saturday as Rochester lost to Toronto 5-4 in overtime. Derek Whitmore lit the lamp twice to pace the Amerks offense, while Zack Kassian garnered an assist to give him points in six of his first seven professional games.

David Leggio made 26 saves in defeat to slip to 2-2-0-1 on the year.

The Rundown:
Tropp: 1G, 3 SOG
Lagace: 1G
Kassian 1A, 5 SOG
MacKenzie: +1
Brennan: 3 SOG
Szydlowski: even
McNabb: even
Biega: 1 SOG
Crawford: -2, 2 SOG
Parker: -1
Boychuk: 2 PIM
Foligno (suspended)


On Friday, Tropp bagged  a pair of goals as the Amerks opened their three-games-in-three-nights run with a 3-2 shootout loss to Hamilton. Tropp's tallies, the first off a wrister and the second a rebound tap-in, were the first of the season for the second year man.

Tropp and Kassian, who along with Brayden McNabb earned assists in the loss, would later add shootout goals as the Bulldogs needed eight rounds to earn the extra point.

East Amherst native and former UNH standout Phil DeSimone scored a goal for Hamilton.

The Rundown:
Tropp: 2G, 4 SOG
Kassian: 1A, 3 SOG
McNabb: 1A, 1 SOG
MacKenzie: 2 SOG, 4 PIM
Crawford: 3 SOG
Brennan: 1 SOG
Biega: 1 SOG
Lagace: 1 SOG
Boychuk: 2 SOG
Szydlowski: even
Parker (suspended)
Foligno (suspended)

Drew Schiestel and Dennis Persson sat out both games due to injury.

Rochester closes the weekend with a Sunday night match-up with Adirondack.