With the flip of the calendar and the season’s second half ahead, the current group of Buffalo Sabres prospects looks poised to show developmental growth in hopes of impressing NHL talent evaluators.
Justin Bailey (2013, second round) scored his second goal of the game with 25 seconds left in regulation on Friday to thrust Kitchener to a 6-5 win over Sarnia. The rebound put-back was Bailey’s first game-winning goal of the year and 16th overall. After being blanked Saturday in a loss to Sudbury, the budding power forward notched a pair of helpers Sunday in a 6-3 loss at North Bay. Bailey has turned it up since mid-December, notching seven goals and two assists in his last nine games for the last-place Rangers.
Nick Baptiste (2013, third round) ended his four-game goal drought Friday as Sudbury blanked Oshawa 2-0. The speedy winger has 21 goals this season in 37 games, equaling the total he has posted all of last season in 66 games.
Eric Locke (2013, seventh round) began a productive week last Tuesday with his 10th goal of the year as Saginaw lost at Sault Ste. Marie 6-5. The Spirit captain returned to work Friday, scoring with less than three minutes to play as Saginaw edged Niagara 3-2 in a shootout. Locke has connected for five points (3+2) in five games since returning from a shoulder injury that kept him out of action for six weeks.
Saginaw centerman Justin Kea (2012, third round) went without a point in the week’s three games, but continued to perform well his grinding power forward role with the productive Locke back in action. At the 40-game mark, Kea has gathered 14 goals and 33 points.
Brady Austin (2012, seventh round) finished with a plus-two rating as London hammered Mississauga 7-1. Austin is a cumulative plus-24 this season, placing him 14th overall in the entire league in that category.
Logan Nelson (2012, fifth round) was held without a point in his return to action Saturday as Victoria edged Portland 3-2. Nelson, who has played in just one of the Royals’ last 10 games while recovering from an upper body injury, has 12 goals and 32 points this season. Six of his 12 goals have come with the man advantage.
Jake McCabe (2012, second round) scored twice Saturday, including the game winning goal, and added an assist as Wisconsin avenged a Friday night loss with a 4-3 victory over Alaska-Anchorage. The three-point night was the first of McCabe's 82-game NCAA career. McCabe now has five goals and 15 points in 18 games this season.
Wisconsin winger Brad Navin (2011, seventh round) assisted on McCabe’s first goal in the Badgers’ Saturday win. The third-year man has six points (3+3) on the year.
Sean Malone (2013, sixth round) notched a career-high three points with two shorthanded goals and an assist as Harvard defeated Boston University 7-4 on Saturday. The shorthanded efforts came 1:16 apart late in the third, and represent the first two-goal game of Malone’s NCAA career. Through 14 games, Malone now has three goals and nine assists.
Anthony Florentino (2013, fifth round) logged an even rating as Providence played to a 1-1 tie with Merrimack at Frozen Fenway. After posting seven points through his first eight games, Florentino has captured just one in his last nine.
Providence defender Mark Adams (2009, fifth round) remains out of the lineup with a lower body injury. The fourth-year defender has battled injuries for most of the 2013-14 campaign en route to gathering one goal and a plus-four rating in five games.
Christian Isackson (2011, seventh round) sat out Saturday as Minnesota defeated Rensselaer 6-2 in the third-place game at the Mariucci Classic. Isackson, who recorded one shot on goal the night before as the Gophers dropped a tiebreaking shootout to Colgate, has collected five points (1+4) in nine appearances.
Reigning USHL Goaltender of the Week Cal Petersen (2013, fifth round) stopped 32 of 33 shots to earn the game's number two star last Tuesday as Waterloo ended 2013 with a 4-1 win over Lincoln. After serving as backup on Friday, Petersen returned the next night with 27 saves as Waterloo defeated Dubuque 6-4. The victory improves Petersen's record to 17-2-1 with a 2.48 GAA and .919 save%. The 17 victories are tops in the league.
Connor Hurley (2013, second round) scored the game-winning goal last Tuesday as Green Bay edged Cedar Rapids 2-1. Hurley would score again on Sunday, giving the talented playmaker three goals in four games since being dealt to the Gamblers from Muskegon. He has previously scored three goals in 21 games as a member of the Lumberjacks.
Judd Peterson (2012, seventh round) scored his 12th goal of the season Friday as Cedar Rapids was doubled up 4-2 by Indiana. Peterson has connected 12 times on 41 shots this season, equating to an impressive 29.3 shooting percentage through 27 games.
Swedish Hockey League
In Monday action, Linus Ullmark (2012, sixth round) made 16 saves as MODO defeated AIK 3-1. Ullmark had a shutout going until ex-LA King Esa Pirnes beat him with 1:50 to go in regulation. The 20-year-old remains among SHL goaltending leaders with a .933 save% (2nd) and 1.99 GAA (3rd). With a solid 2013 behind him, Ullmark has emerged as a leading candidate for the league’s Rookie of the Year.
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