While 18-year old centerman Mikhail Grigorenko (2012, first round) was cutting his teeth at his first NHL training camp, the rest of the Buffalo Sabres prospect pack was hard at work with the key February portion of the schedule right around the corner.
Daniel Catenacci (2011, third round) scored for the third straight game Sunday as the Owen Sound Attack extended their unbeaten streak to five with a 3-2 triumph over Ottawa. The power play laser gives the speedy centerman 25 goals and a team-leading 58 points through 45 games for the Attack, who enter late January locked into second place in the Midwest Division.
Justin Kea (2012, third round) connected on the power play Saturday for his 17th goal of the year as Saginaw saw their six-game winning streak snapped with a 4-2 loss to Erie. The blue-collar forward has scored six times in his last seven games, including twice while shorthanded.
Barrie defenseman Alex Lepkowski (2011, fifth round) resumed his stay-at-home role as the Colts earned five of six available points to maintain their position atop the Eastern Conference standings. The West Seneca, NY native has appeared in 33 games this season, accumulating six points (0+6), 43 penalty minutes and a plus-11 rating.
Brady Austin (2012, seventh round) returned from a two-week absence (hand) as the Bulls spilt a pair of contests. The fourth-year defenseman has gathered two goals and 14 points at the 40-game mark.
Saskatoon goaltender Andrey Makarov made 27 stops Friday as the Blades held on for a 5-4 victory over Moose Jaw. On Saturday, the Russian workhorse celebrated his own Bobblehead Night with 33 regulation saves and another 10 in the shootout as Saskatoon was bested by Brandon, 3-2. Makarov, who has won just once in five starts since returning from the 2013 World Junior Championship, enters the week of play with a 16-15-0-3 mark, a 2.82 goals against average and .909 save percentage.
In Sunday action, Colin Jacobs (2011, fourth round) potted his 15th goal of the year as Prince George was pasted by Edmonton, 6-1. The Coppell, Texas native continues to pace the lowly Cougars’ offense with 32 points despite recording just two (2+0) in his last nine games. Eight of Jacobs’ 15 goals have come with the man advantage.
Logan Nelson (2012, fifth round) remained out of the lineup with a lower body injury as the Victoria Royals extended their winning streak to five games. The speedy forward is expected to return to the lineup by mid-February.
Jake McCabe (2012, second round) was a steady, two-way presence but did not register a point as Wisconsin saw their 11-game unbeaten streak (8-0-3) come to an end Saturday with a 2-1 loss to No. 8 Miami. The sophomore currently leads all Badgers blueliners with nine points (2+7). Fellow second-year man Brad Navin (2011, seventh round) saw checking line minutes in a 1-0 win on Friday, but was a healthy scratch the following night for the Badgers, who host Alaska-Anchorage next weekend.
Christian Isackson (2010, seventh round) picked up an assist Saturday as No. 1 Minnesota rallied from a two-goal third period deficit to claim a 4-4 tie with No. 6 North Dakota. The sophomore forward has filled various roles this season for the WCHA power, ranging from scoring line winger to checking line pivot, en route to amassing 15 points (3+12). Unbeaten in their last 10 games, the Gophers will look to continue their roll next weekend with a home-and-home series against Minnesota State.
Judd Peterson (2012, seventh round) went without a point in the week’s three contests as Cedar Rapids stumbled to three straight defeats. The Junior A rookie has captured seven goals and 20 points this season for the fifth-place RoughRiders.
Joel Armia (2012, first round) notched a pretty goal in transition plus an assist Tuesday as Assat dropped a 5-4 overtime decision to Tappara. The flashy Finn has collected 11 goals and 17 points this season but has yet to score in back-to-back outings. The Aces, who have won just three out of their last 10 games, are currently five points out of the final SM-liiga playoff spot with 17 games left to play on the regular season slate.
Linus Ullmark (2012, sixth round) made 30 saves Sunday as MODO J20 improved to 5-0-1 in SuperElit Top 10 action with a 3-2 overtime victory over HV 71. The 6-foot-3 backstop has won all four of his January starts with the J20 team, compiling a stingy 1.49 goals against average and .942 save percentage along the way.
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