Showing posts with label tropp. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tropp. Show all posts

Saturday, October 13, 2012

10/12 Recap: Amerks open with win

Corey Tropp scored a pair of goals and Mark Mancari scored the only mark in the shootout as Rochester opened the 2012-13 season Friday with a 6-5 win over Syracuse.

Tropp lit the lamp in the game's opening minute when he tapped in a two-on-one feed from Cody Hodgson. Later in the period,  Tropp batted down a Luke Adam shot in front of the net and beat Dustin Tokarski to give the Amerks a 2-1 lead. Marcus Foligno scored shortly after Tropp's second goal to give the Amerks a 3-1 advantage at the first intermission.

Mark Pysyk notched his first professional goal in the second period before the Crunch went on to score four unanswered the take a 5-4 lead midway through the final frame. Mark Mancari rounded out the Rochester scoring to make it 5-5 with under four minutes to play in regulation to force the OT.

David Leggio made 29 saves and another five in the shootout to earn the win. Tropp suffered a lower body injury and is unlikely to play when the Amerks continue their opening weekend Saturday in Toronto.

In the QMJHL, Mikhail Grigorenko continued his superb start to the 2012-13 season by scoring two goals and an assist to extend his point streak to nine games as Quebec defeated Gatineau 4-1. The talented Russian currently ranks second in QMJHL scoring with eight goals and 20 points through the Remparts' first nine games. The Remparts are off until Wednesday's tilt with Saint John.

 In Finland, Joel Armia scored his sixth goal of the year as Assat doubled Tappara 4-2. The 6-foot-3 sniper got the Aces on the board when he cut to the net and directed a Michael Ryan pass past the Tappara netminder. The two clubs will play it back on Saturday.

Linus Ullmark made 30 saves as MODO J20 downed Leksands 6-2. Ullmark was making his return to SuperElit action after a three-week loan to Mora IK of HockeyAllsvenskan. MODO and Leksands will play a rematch on Saturday.

In the WHL, Colin Jacobs picked up an assist as Prince George downed Lethbridge 3-2. The helper extends Jacobs' season-starting point streak to a career-best eight games (7+7). The Cougars continue their road trip Saturday in Medicine Hat.

Logan Nelson saw his five-game point streak come to an end as Victoria lost to Kelowna 4-1. The Royals and Rockets will again face off Saturday in Victoria.

Andrey Makarov made 24 saves as Saskatoon lost to Kootenay 4-3. The Blades have lost five straight games to occupy last place in the East Division.

In OHL action, Brady Austin was +1 as Belleville pitched a 2-0 shutout of Brampton. The Bulls, who have secured five wins through the season's first eight games, return to the ice Saturday versus Oshawa.

Justin Kea logged a +1 as Saginaw smoked Sudbury 6-1. The Spirit moves on to face Brampton on Sunday.

Alex Lepkowski (-1) did not point as Barrie got past Oshawa 4-3 in a shootout. Barrie will host Sudbury on Saturday.

Christian Isackson scored his first goal of the year as Minnesota downed Michigan State 5-1. Skating with Florida prospects Nick Bjugstad and Kyle Rau, Isackson buried a wrist shot from the slot for the first regular season goal of his collegiate career. The Gophers and Spartans will conclude their opening weekend set on Saturday.

Brad Navin (2 SOG) and Jake McCabe (4 SOG) each went without a point as Wisconsin lost to Northern Michigan 2-1. McCabe was paired with Frankie Simonelli on the Badgers blueline after sitting out last weekend's tune-up win over the U.S. Under-18. Navin formed a line with Keegan Meuer and Brendan Woods. The Badgers will look for the weekend split on Saturday.

Mark Adams finished +1 as Providence opened the season with an 8-2 throttling of Sacred Heart. The Friars finish their weekend Saturday with a visit to Boston University.

Judd Peterson was +1 with three shots on goal as Cedar Rapids dropped a 3-2 overtime decision to Muskegon. The RoughRiders take on Green Bay on Saturday.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Foligno fuels Amerks with season on line

With their playoff hopes hinging on a positive outcome, Marcus Foligno (#1 star) bagged two goals and an assist Friday to lead Rochester to an important 5-1 victory over Syracuse. The win bumps the Amerks into 7th place in the AHL's Western Conference standings with just one game left to play. A Saturday win over the Lake Erie Monsters, who are tied with Rochester with 84 points but sit in 6th place with two more victories, should give the Amerks a spot in the playoffs.

Nick Crawford, Evan Rankin, and Colin Stuart supplied the other Amerks goals, while Corey Tropp and Derek Whitmore each chipped in two assists. David Leggio made 30 saves for his 27th win of the year and the game's #2 star.

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

A Saturday win gives the Amerks a legitimate playoff shot. Kevin Oklobzija of the Rochester D&C goes over the scenarios here.

In Friday QMJHL play, Jerome Gauthier-Leduc notched an assist as Rimouski lost game #5 of their playoff quarterfinal 3-2 to Blainville-Boisbriand. The helper was Leduc's 11th point through nine playoff games. Tommy Giroux scored the game winning goal for the Armada with under two minutes left in regulation. Trailing the series by a 3-2 margin, the Nics will head home looking to force a game #7 with a win on Sunday.

In the OHL, Alex Lepkowski (+1) and Gregg Sutch (even) did not factor into the scoring as Barrie missed a chance to close their Eastern Conference semifinal by dropping a 2-1 decision to Ottawa. Cody Ceci ('12) scored a power play goal for the 67's. The Colts, who previously had earned a 3-2 win on Thursday, will take a 3-2 series lead back to Barrie for Sunday's game #6.

On Thursday, Steven Shipley went without a point for the sixth straight game as Niagara bounced Brampton from the OHL playoffs with a 3-1 win. Fresh off a sweep of the Troops, the IceDogs will get the winner of the Barrie/Ottawa battle in the OHL Eastern Conference final beginning next week.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Leggio shines as Amerks win 2nd straight

In Friday AHL play, Derek Whitmore and Dennis Persson scored while David Leggio sparkled with 27 saves as Rochester posted a 2-0 shutout victory over Adirondack. The Amerks (25-21-6-3) have won two straight, and now sit in 9th place in the Western Conference standings with 59 points.

Whitmore's game winner at 11:00 of the first was his team-leading 23rd goal of the year. Third-year man Persson cashed on a power play in the early second period to give him goals in two straight games for the second time in his career.

Luke Adam assisted on both Rochester goals for his second multi-point game in an Amerks sweater. The reigning AHL rookie of the year has collected five assists in six games since being re-assigned.

The game's #1 star, Leggio posted his second shutout of the year and fifth of his AHL career to improve to 17-15-3-1.

The Rundown:
Persson: G, +1, 5 SOG
Adam: 2A, +1, 2 PIM
Foligno: SOG, 2 PIM
Brennan: 2 SOG
McNabb: 2 PIM
Lagace: SOG
Crawford: 2 SOG

The Amerks welcome Lake Erie to the BCA on Saturday.


On Wednesday, Corey Tropp potted a pair of goals and an assist to lead Rochester to a 5-2 win over Hershey. Persson added a goal and an assist for the Amerks, while Marcus Foligno notched his 14th of the season.

The Rundown:
Tropp: 2G, A, +2
Foligno: G, +1
Crawford: 2A
Adam: A, -1
McNabb: +2
Brennan: 3 SOG
Lagace: -1

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.

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.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Tropp gets the call

With Patrick Kaleta suspended for four games and Jochen Hecht still sidelined, the Sabres have recalled second-year pro Corey Tropp from the AHL's Rochester Americans.

From the Sabres website:

Buffalo Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier announced today that forward Corey Tropp has been recalled from the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League.

Tropp (6’0”, 195 lbs., 7/25/89) will join the Sabres on his first career recall. He spent the 2010-11 season in Portland, posting 40 points (10+30) in his first professional season. In 10 games with Rochester this season, Tropp has seven points (4+3), tying for the Americans’ lead in goals.

Tropp was selected by the Sabres in the third round (89th overall) of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.

Here's the capsule on Tropp from last spring's rankings:

A gritty forward with a scoring touch, Tropp left Michigan State a year early to get his pro career going in 2010-11 with the AHL's Pirates. The six-foot wing is a productive gamer, fearlessly entering the mix to make plays and willing to escalate the physical forays to make a point. Posting four fighting majors in Sioux Falls (USHL) before his three-year stay in E. Lansing, Tropp led all Sabres prospects this past season with nine scraps while contributing a clutch 10 goals and 30 assists in 76 games.

By no means is Tropp's value to the Sabres as a pugilist, but the willingness rounds out a balanced middle-line package that isn't too far off from getting a crack. Tropp, who also cashed four game winning goals in the shootout (tied for the AHL lead), continued his rookie ramp-up in the first round of the playoffs, scoring seven points (2+5) while the Pirates main cogs (Mark Mancari and Gragnani) were up in Buffalo.

The Detroit-area product likely has a few more goals in his stick (20 in 2009-10 as Spartans MVP), so expect his quick-release offense to keep gaining traction while adding to the overall team toughness shift-by-shift. Realistically Tropp is a year away from campaigning for a full-time gig, but don't be surprised if he makes some noise as camp battles heat up this fall. He's an underrated effort guy whose talent can take on many different roles.

Shortly after that write-up, Tropp soldiered on with an excellent effort in July's development camp. His upward trajectory would continue in Buffalo's main camp where he scored a goal in two pre-season appearances.

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.

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.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

10/16 Recap: Kassian, Parker power Amerks onslaught

Zack Kassian scored two goals and Jonathan Parker added a single and two assists Sunday to power the Rochester Americans to a 7-2 shellacking of Grand Rapids. Marcus Foligno and Jacob Lagace also had goals for the winners, while ookie rearguard Brayden McNabb earned his first professional points with a pair of assists.

Parker continued his early season success with all three of his points in the first period as the Amerks jumped out to a 3-1 lead. Not surprisingly, a Red Wings prospect from Sweden (Gustav Nyquist) was able to get the Griffins on the board.

The Amerks would duplicate their three-goal output in the second period beginning with a backhand finish from Kassian at 9:12 to take a 6-2 advantage into the second intermission.

Things got chippy in the third period with the Amerks holding a comfortable lead. Three fights broke out involving Sabres prospects, highlighted by the Sabres rookie duo of Kassian and Foligno throwing at the same time.

Remember how when the Sabres drafted the pair in 2009, then-Sudbury coach Mike Foligno said that "Buffalo got the two toughest kids in the Ontario League"?

Kassian went toe-to-toe with former NHL vet Garnet Exelby, while Foligno took a decision over ex-WHLer Travis Ehrhardt. A minute after that double-feature, Corey Tropp was called to battle with former Amerk Doug Janik.

Tropp was given an interference penalty in the second period when he collided with/blew over Griffins center Landon Ferraro on a backcheck in front of the Amerks net. Tropp's shoulder seemed to make contact with the side of Ferraro's head, sending the Wings prospect hard to the ice and off to the dressing room.

The Rundown:
Kassian: 2G, 3 SOG, 15 PIM
Parker: 1G, 2A, +1
Foligno: 1G, +1, 12 PIM
Lagace: 1G, +1
McNabb: 2A, +3
Biega: 1A, +3
Szydlowski: 1A, +1
Crawford: 1A, +1
Boychuk: +1
Tropp: 3 SOG, 7 PIM
Brennan: 2 PIM

The Amerks will remain in Rochester for a game with in-state rival Syracuse on Tuesday.


In the lone junior game Sunday, Cedrick Henley recorded three shots on goal and two hits as Val-d'Or earned a 3-2 overtime victory over Shawinigan. The 6'5 forward has yet to score in 10 games this season, and has just one goal in his last 20 since returning from wrist surgery last February.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Amerks get in win column

T.J. Brennan scored his first goal of the season and Corey Tropp notched two assists Friday to help lead Rochester to a 3-1 win over Lake Erie. The victory was the first of the year for the Amerks after two straight losses that saw them outscored by a 10-3 margin.

David Leggio made 34 saves to earn the game's #1 star. Dennis Persson and Drew Schiestel each missed their second consecutive game due to injury, while Matt MacKenzie was a healthy scratch.

The Rundown:
Brennan: 1G, +1, 2 SOG
Tropp: 2A, 4 SOG
Crawford: 1A, +1
Kassian: 4 SOG
Foligno: even
Biega: even
Parker: even
Lagace: even
Boychuk: 2 PIM
McNabb: -1, 2 PIM

Rochester D&C Game Recap

After Greg Mauldin scored a power-play goal for Lake Erie at 16:06 of the first, Leggio stood tall.

"He was outstanding," Amerks coach Ron Rolston said. "He was big. ... There were a lot of second effort saves."

Michael Ryan converted a pass from Corey Tropp at 5:08 of the second and T.J. Brennan scored off a broken play with the man advantage to give the Amerks their first lead of the season at 16:54.

Greece native Derek Whitmore provided some breathing room, deflecting home a shot by Nick Crawford at 7:38 of the third.

Rochester (1-2) will head back home for a Sunday tilt with Grand Rapids.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Amerks fall in opener

Newly signed Jonathan Parker scarfed up a rebound for his first professional goal, but the highlights were few as Rochester opened the 2011-12 campaign with a 5-2 loss at Hamilton.

T.J. Brennan and Zack Kassian, his first AHL point, earned assists, while Corey Tropp also added a helper while logging his first fighting major of the year. Tropp topped all Sabres prospects last season with nine tussles.

Drew Schiestel, playing his first game since last January, appeared to have injured his knee in the third period after falling awkwardly but early signs suggest that no damage was done.

Defensemen Matt MacKenzie and Nick Crawford were among the healthy scratches.

The Rundown:
Parker - 1PPG, 2 SOG, -1
Kassian - 1A, 5 SOG
Tropp - 1A, 2 SOG, -1, fighting major
Brennan - 1A, 2 SOG, -1
McNabb - 2 SOG (paired w/ Morrisonn)
Biega - even
Persson - 1 SOG
Szydlowski - even
Boychuk - 1 SOG
Foligno - 2 SOG, -1
Schiestel - -2

We'll turn it over to Kevin O. of the Rochester D&C for the game story:

Rochester Amerks open season with 'sloppy loss'

"The easiest lesson from tonight: We've got a lot to work on," said veteran left winger Colin Stuart, who wore the captain's "C."

"In order to be the team we want to be, we need to do a lot of things better."

Of course, with eight rookies in the lineup and just one preseason game against a collegiate team from Canada, the Amerks weren't exactly in real-game mode.

"It was pretty sloppy, that's pretty safe to say," defenseman T. J. Brennan said. "We have a lot of guys still getting their feet wet. It's a change. That's why it's Game 1 of 76, not the Calder Cup already."

Rochester kicks off the home schedule Thursday against Wilke-Barre.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Tropp in the fold

The Buffalo Sabres are set to announce the signing of Michigan State right wing Corey Tropp to a three-year entry level contract. Orignally chosen in the third round of the 2007 draft, the Grosse Point Woods, MI native comes to the Sabres organization after a three-year NCAA career saw him collect 29 goals and 70 points in 100 games with the Spartans.

Tropp, 20, got off to a blazing start in 2009-10, leading the nation with 17 goals through his first 21 games before cooling after the new year. The team’s MVP, Tropp would finish the season with 20 goals and 22 assists in 37 games as the Spartans were bounced in the first round of the CCHA tournament. The 6’0, 185-pound right wing is a skilled effort guy who possesses a quick shot release and a willingness to go to the dirty areas to get it off. His hands and two-way skills will enter the next phase of development with the Portland Pirates in 2010-11.

Monday, May 24, 2010

One and done: Gogulla gallops back to Germany

After just one season of North American hockey, Philip Gogulla will be leaving the Portland Pirates and heading back to the DEL to play a sixth season for the Cologne Sharks.

Those close to the situation will say this is no surprise. The 2005 second round pick (48th overall) was unhappy and perhaps a little homesick in his first extended period away from Europe. The first red flag came when he reacted poorly to the rigors of prospect camp two summers ago. There was never any sense that playing in the NHL was his "dream gig".

The 6'2, 198 pound forward appeared in 76 games for the Pirates in 2009-10, finishing sixth in team scoring with 15 goals and 20 assists. Like many pro rookies, he had his good games and bad ones. When a load of teammates were called up to the big club following Portland's first round playoff loss, Gogulla (and fellow German Felix Schutz) flew to Cologne to play in the IIHF World Championships. Gogulla posted one goal and six shots on net in seven of Germany's nine tourney games.

And so the beat goes on when it comes to the Sabres history with European draft picks.

Moving on, Gogulla's departure puts the heat on the Sabres to get a deal gone with 2007 third rounder Corey Tropp. After a 20-goal junior year, the Michigan State forward is primed to begin his professional career in Portland. There was already a spot open, and now there is 35 points to replace with the loss of Gogulla.

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, March 14, 2010

3/13 Recap: Biega, Tropp bounced; Kassian catchin' up

Alex Biega saw his collegiate career come to a close Saturday as Harvard was shut out by #9 Cornell, 3-0. The Big Red sweep of the ECAC quarterfinal sends the senior defenseman back to Cambridge with 15 goals and 55 assists in 131 games of his four-year NCAA career. The 5'11 righthander will now sit and wait for a contract offer from the Sabres. The club of course has until August 15th to make a decision on the player.

Also seeing his season come to frustrating close Saturday was Michigan State junior Corey Tropp. The Spartans fell for a second straight night to energy-laced Michigan, 5-3, but Tropp was forced to sit the game out after stepping on a puck and tweaking his ankle during pregame warm-ups. The freak accident put an abrupt end to Tropp's remarkable bounceback year where he led the Spartans with 20 goals and 42 points. Despite finishing 2nd in the CCHA regular season, MSU is essentially done as their current pairwise ranking projects them out of the 16-team NCAA tourney.

In the WCHA, Brad Eidsness stopped 22 shots as North Dakota saw their best-of-three series evened at one game apiece in a 4-2 loss to Minnesota. After a Friday shutout of the Gophers, the sophomore surrendered three goals against in game two - a pair with the Gophers on the power play and the third on a high point shot through traffic that came quickly off a draw. With the game tied 2-2, it appeared that Eidsness did not see the shot coming until it was too late, stabbing upward while standing up as the puck shot past him. Corey Fienhage did not dress for the Sioux, who will look to keep their healthy pairwise ranking in tact with a victory in Sunday's rubber match.

Connor Knapp did not get his usual Saturday start as #2 Miami suffered a 5-4 overtime loss to Ohio State. The move to not start Knapp backfired on RedHawks coach Enrico Blasi, as the nation's top netminder (numerically) Cody Reichard allowed three goals on his first 11 shots while fighting the puck all evening long. The Buckeye victory forces a Sunday game #3, and a likely opportunity for Knapp to assume the crease for Miami after a shutout in his last start.

In Hockey East, Drew MacKenzie registered three shots on goal as Vermont edged New Hampshire, 1-0. With the Catamounts leveling the series at one game each, the #1 seeded Wildcats are forced to defend home ice in Sunday's deciding game.

As expected, Justin Jokinen remained back in Mankato as Minnesota State lost to St. Cloud State, 3-2. After splitting the Friday/Saturday games, the clubs will play it back Sunday in St. Cloud.

In the OHL, Zack Kassian scored a pair of goals as Windsor ended their regular season with a 8-3 loss to Sarnia. The Spits sat five of their top players en route to losing to the league's worst team, while Kassian continued his tune-up on a line with Kenny Ryan and Stephen Jonhston. The two-goal night, highlighted by a clean slapper on the latter, allows the 6'3 wing to finish his 38-game regular season with 12 goals, 19 assists, 81 PIMS, and a -16 rating. The Spits will play either Saginaw or Erie when the playoffs begin next week.

Nick Crawford was +1 in Barrie's 4-2 win over Kingston. Heading into the final day of play, Crawford's 70 points gives him a three-point lead over Soo's Jacob Muzzin for the defensive scoring title. The Greyhounds finish their regular season on Sunday versus Kitchener. The Colts (57-9-0-2) finished the season first overall with 116 points and are guaranteed home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs. They will open against either Niagara or Marcus Foligno's Sudbury Wolves pending the results of Sunday's closing slate.

Brayden McNabb finished even as Kootenay concluded their regular season by defeating Edmonton, 2-1. Prior to the game, the 6'4 McNabb was named the team's Top Defenseman for the 2009-10 season. The Ice will begin the playoffs at home on Friday against Medicine Hat.

Mark Adams was even while being 'credited' with the first fighting major of his junior "A" career as Chicago defeated Tri-City, 4-2. Coincidental delay of game penalties were also assessed on the play.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

3/12 Recap: Adam on cusp; Eidsness blanks Gophers

Luke Adam scored his 49th goal of the season Friday as Cape Breton defeated Moncton, 4-0. Adam, whose goal total trails Drummondville's Gabriel Dumont (50) for the QMJHL lead, will look to hit the half-century mark when the regular season concludes on Sunday. Maxime Legault continued to show why he was acquired at the deadline, scoring his 17th of the season, closing quickly on the forecheck, and earning a fighting major as the Screaming Eagles looked to make a statement against the team they will square off with in round one of the playoffs. Jacob Lagacé was assessed a pair of minor penalties in the win.

Elsewhere in the Q, Jordon Southorn was -1 as PEI lost to Saint John, 4-0. The Rocket are locked in to face the Sea Dogs when the playoffs begin next week.

In the OHL, Marcus Foligno finished +2 with a fighting major as Sudbury clinched a playoff spot with a 5-3 win over Kingston. The Wolves will face either Barrie or Ottawa in the first round. In the final minutes of the game, Foligno dumped a Fronts player in the corner and had to defend his actions against Derek Froats.

Zack Kassian was even as Windsor sat five starters in a 4-3 overtime loss to London. On Thursday, the 6'3 forward netted a goal in his second game since returning from suspension as the Spits defeated Plymouth, 6-4. Kassian, who is still battling some rust, got in down low to take a pass and score his 10 goal of the year, and first since January 14th. After clinching the Western Conference title with the Thursday win, the Spits will finish the regular season Saturday in Sarnia.

Nick Crawford was -1 as Barrie beat Brampton, 4-2. Crawford still holds a three-point lead as the OHL's top scoring rearguard with one game remaining on the schedule.

In the WHL, Brayden McNabb was +1 as Kootenay doubled Red Deer, 4-2. The Ice, who have one regular season game remaining versus Edmonton, will face Medicine Hat in the first round of the playoffs.

In the WCHA playoffs, Brad Eidsness stopped all 27 shots sent his way as #5 North Dakota pounded Minnesota, 6-0. The game #1 shutout, Eidsness' second of the season, gives the sophomore 20 wins for the second straight season. Corey Fienhage did not dress for the Sioux. Fast forward to the 2:00 mark below for a pretty sweet glove save by the 2007 fifth round pick.

In Hockey East, Drew MacKenzie scored his fourth goal of the season as #19 Vermont lost their playoff opener at #11 New Hampshire, 7-4. The sophomore roofed a wrister from the point to tie the game 1-1 in the first period.

In the opening game of an ECAC Hockey quarterfinal series, Alex Biega was -2 with four shots on goal as Harvard lost at #9 Cornell, 4-1. Cornell scored the final four goals of the game to pull away and take control of the best-of-three.

In the CCHA playoffs, Corey Tropp finished -3 as #10 Michigan State lost to rival Michigan 5-1. The Wolverines used three first period tallies to take the 1-0 road lead.

Connor Knapp looked on as #2 Miami opened their playoff year by cruising to a 6-2 win over Ohio State.

Justin Jokinen did not make the trip (healthy scratch) as Mankato opened the first round of the WCHA playoffs with a 4-3 OT win at #7 St. Cloud State.

In USHL action, Roo Adams was -2 as Chicago lost to Tri-City, 4-1.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Eidsness holds weekly spot; Tropp tabbed MVP

For the second straight week, North Dakota goaltender Brad Eidsness has been named the Red Baron WCHA Defensive Player of the Week. Eidsness backstopped the Sioux to a rare road sweep of Colorado College to help lock up home-ice in the WCHA playoffs.

A 6-0, 175-pound sophomore from Chestermere, Alberta, Eidsness turned aside 53 of 57 series shots on goal for a .930 saves percentage while allowing just two goals each night. He also blanked the host Tigers on all 10 of their series power-play opportunities, after CC entered the series with the league’s top rated power-play.

A draftee of the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres, Eidsness stopped 26 shots in North Dakota’s 3-2 (ot) victory over Colorado College last Friday (Feb. 26) night and held the Tigers scoreless on all five power-play chances.

He then posted another 27 saves last Saturday (Feb. 27) evening as the Sioux completed the double victories with another 3-2 triumph, recorded their first sweep at CC since 1998-99, and clinched a home playoff berth for a league-leading eighth straight season.

On the season, Eidsness ranks second among WCHA goaltenders for all games in goals-against average at 2.21, is fourth in winning percentage at .655 on a 17-8-4 record, is fifth in saves percentage at .910 and is first in minutes played with 1,850.

Elsewhere in NCAA news, Michigan State junior Corey Tropp was named the Spartans Most Valuable Player and Outstanding Offensive Player at the team awards banquet on Wednesday.

Tropp has been among the CCHA and national leaders in scoring all season. After the regular season, he is tied for 12th nationally in points (42), tied for 10th in goals (20), tied for 11th in power-play goals (9) and is tied for fifth in game-winning tallies (5). He twice earned CCHA Offensive Player of the Week honors, and was both the CCHA and Hockey Commissioner's Association (HCA) Player of the Month for December. Tropp has a 20-22-42 scoring line headed into the playoffs, and will appear in his 100th career game next Friday night in the CCHA quarterfinals.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

2/27 Recap: Adam plays trick, continues tear

Luke Adam notched a hat trick Saturday to lead Cape Breton past Bathurst, 6-1. The three-goal night, Adam's fourth of the season, gives him 46 goals with six games remaining in the regular season, and 21 since his mid-January return form Team Canada. Maxime Legault added his 14th goal for the winners, while Jacob Lagacé assisted on the first Adam tally.

Also from the QMJHL, Jordon Southorn scored his 4th goal of the season as PEI lost to Baie-Comeau, 4-3. As noted yesterday, the goal was Southorn's first in 39 games.

In the OHL, Nick Crawford rang up a pair of assists as Barrie throttled lowly Niagara, 6-1. Both helpers came with the man advantage.

In WHL play, Brayden McNabb finished -2 as Kootenay lost to Lethbridge, 4-1. The Hurricanes scored three goals in the third period to to seal the win.

In the NCAA, Connor Knapp made 23 stops as #2 Miami played to a rare 0-0 double shutout with Ohio State. Marked by some key stops late, the blanking was Knapp's fourth of the season and Miami's ninth overall. The RedHawks finish the regular season with a 21-2-5 record, good for first place and a bye when the CCHA playoffs begin next week.

Alex Biega finished -1 as Harvard fell to St. Lawrence, 4-3. The Saints outshot the Crimson 45-22 en route to forcing the Crimson into the #9 seed and a road trip to Princeton when the ECAC playoffs kick off next weekend.

Brad Eidsness made 27 saves as #8 North Dakota held off #13 Colorado College, 3-2. Eidsness was beaten off a drop pass in the second period, and had to stand tall in the final two minutes after the Tigers scored with the extra attacker. Corey Fienhage finished the night even for the Sioux.

Corey Tropp did not factor into the scoring as #12 Michigan State ended the regular season with a 2-2 tie at Bowling Green. Nick Eno served as back-up after a disappointing Friday start. The Spartans finish the CCHA slate in second place to earn a bye week.

Justin Jokinen was again scratched as Minnesota State battled hard in a 4-3 OT loss to #1 Denver.

In the USHL, Mark Adams was +1 as Chicago swept Tri-City, 3-2.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

2/26 Recap: Crawford, Colts in full gallop as playoffs loom

Nick Crawford added two assists and a +2 to his fine season line on Friday as Barrie smoked Oshawa, 9-2. Crawford's 64 points are tops among OHL defensemen, while his +48 rating is tied for the lead in all of Canadian juniors with Colby Robak of the WHL's Brandon Wheat Kings. At 48-8-0-2, the Colts are currently the top-ranked team in the CHL/Mastercard Rankings with two weeks left to play in the regular season.

In the NCAA, Corey Tropp (+1) picked up two assists as #12 Michigan State defeated Bowling Green, 5-2. The Spartans leading scorer, Tropp ranks 11th nationally with 42 points (20+22). Falcons goaltender Nick Eno allowed three goals on 16 shots before getting pulled at 17:54 of the first period.

Brad Eidsness made 26 saves as #8 North Dakota won a 3-2 overtime battle with #13 Colorado College. Eidsness was beaten on a 2-1 with only a forward back on the first goal, then saw a point shot hit traffic and go past him to give CC a 2-1 lead in the early third. Stay-at-home sophomore Corey Fienhage finished the night even for the Sioux.

Drew MacKenzie scored his 3rd goal of the season into an empty net as #18 Vermont dumped #20 Boston University, 7-3. The sophomore defenseman finished the night a game-high +3.

Alex Biega assisted on the only Crimson goal as Harvard dropped a 2-1 overtime decision at Clarkson. With the score knotted at zero in the third period, Biega forced a neutral zone turnover and fed the puck to Doug Rogers who wristed in his 6th of the season.

Justin Jokinen was a healthy scratch for the fourth consecutive game as Minnesota State lost to #1 Denver, 3-1.

Connor Knapp looked on as #2 Miami minted a 6-2 win over Ohio State.

Elsewhere, Marcus Foligno earned an assist as Sudbury lost to London, 3-2. Foligno had two nice chances early, getting stopped beautifully by Knights goalie Michael Houser before ringing a cross bar on his next shift. The night before, Foligno was even in the Wolves' embarrassing 6-0 loss to Brampton.

In the QMJHL, Maxime Legault posted an assist while Luke Adam and Jacob Lagacé each registered a -1 as Cape Breton defeated Bathurst, 3-1. The Eagles earned another W, while Adam (13 games) and Lagacé (4) see their respective point streaks snapped.

Jordon Southorn played even as PEI took a 4-3 shootout over Chicoutimi. The 6'2 defenseman, who was also even in Wednesday's 3-1 loss at Drummondville, hasn't scored a goal since November 8th - a span of 39 games.

In the WHL, Brayden McNabb (-2) picked up an assist as Kootenay stumbled against Medicine Hat, 5-3. The 6'4 defender was even in the Ice's 4-2 loss to Red Deer on Tuesday.

In USHL play, Mark Adams assisted on the first Chicago goal as the Steel edged Tri-City, 4-3. The Jr. A rookie now has three goals and four assists on the season.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

2/20 Recap: Foligno nets winner; Eno stands tall

Marcus Foligno scored the game winning goal on Saturday as Sudbury silenced Guelph, 5-1. The wraparound marker, his 13th of the year, gave the Wolves a 2-0 lead at 13:24 of the first period while setting a new career high in goals for the grinding forward. Eight of Foligno's goals have come in the 2010 calendar year.

In a battle of the OHL's top two clubs, Nick Crawford posted two assists as Barrie bested Windsor, 8-5. The 6'1 shutdown rearguard, who now leads the league's defensemen in points with an even 60 on the year, was a game-high +3 for the second straight night.

In WHL action, Brayden McNabb finished -1 as Kootenay took a 2-1 shootout win over Lethbridge. The Ice workhorse is currently 3rd in goal (16) and 5th in points (53) among league defenders.

In QMJHL play, Jordon Southorn was even as PEI was hammered by Rimouski, 6-1.

In Saturday NCAA play, Nick Eno stopped a career-best 38 of 39 shots Saturday as Bowling Green played to a 1-1 tie with Notre Dame. The Irish went hard at Eno all evening long, but the 6'3 backstop was up to the task with several tough stops to get the Falcons to the OT. Eno would stop two of three Notre Dame attempts in the shootout to (technically) give BGSU their first sweep of the season.

Brad Eidsness had another solid outing with 22 saves as #11 North Dakota earned the weekend sweep of #6 Duluth, 5-1. The 6'0 netminder has allowed just four goals in his last three starts while lowering his goals against average to 2.22 and upping his save percentage to .909. The only goal against on Saturday came when Sioux dman Derrick LaPoint put the puck into his own net. Corey Fienhage, playing his 23d game of the season, finished the night +1.

In the CCHA, Connor Knapp made 27 saves as #1 Miami was shocked by Nebraska-Omaha, 4-2. The RedHawks (23-5-6) saw their eight-game win streak come to an end, while Knapp (7-3-3) dropped his first decision since a January 10th loss to unranked Robert Morris. Miami will close the regular season next weekend with a set against in-state rival Ohio State.

In Hockey East, Drew MacKenzie had an assist as #17 Vermont tied #13 New Hampshire, 3-3. The 6'1 defenseman has half of his 10 season points in his last seven games.

Alex Biega was even with a shot on goal as Harvard lost at Colgate, 4-2.

Corey Tropp was -1 with a shot on goal as #12 Michigan State edged #14 Ferris State, 3-2. After a hot 2009 start that saw him collect 17 goals in his first 21 games, Tropp has just registered three in his past 13.

Justin Jokinen was scratched for the third straight game as Minnesota State, 4-3.

In the USHL, Mark Adams was even in Chicago's 1-0 loss to Sioux Falls.