SABRES PROSPECTS REPORT
It was a big week for Armia, Makarov and Jacobs
A rested Joel Armia (2011, first round) emerged from a 10-day break last week, scoring two goals and five points as Assat Pori won all three of their contests to remain in the thick of the SM-liiga postseason hunt. The productive effort helped extend the Aces winning streak to seven games, placing them in the eighth playoff position with nine dates left on the regular season schedule.
Armia, who scored twice Thursday including the game winner in a 3-1 win over Karpat, kept the momentum going Saturday with three assists in a 5-1 win over HIFK. The big winger has gotten on the score sheet in two straight games for the first time since opening weekend in September, elevating his season totals to 15 goals and 25 points through 39 appearances.
Colin Jacobs (2011, fourth round) notched his third career hat trick Friday as Prince George was defeated by Medicine Hat 5-3. The native of Coppell, Texas, kept it going Saturday, securing the game-winning goal to go along with an earlier assist as the Cougars held on for a 5-4 triumph at Lethbridge. Jacobs continues to lead Prince George in goals (22), points (43) and penalty minutes (85).
Goaltender Andrey Makarov made 28 saves Saturday to win his 11th straight decision as Saskatoon rallied for a 4-3 victory at Medicine Hat. With just one regulation loss in his last 16 starts, the red-hot backstop has seen his record spike to 28-16-03 with a 2.52 GAA and .921 save%. The Blades enter Monday’s matchup with Brandon in sole possession of first place in the East Division standings
Victoria forward Logan Nelson (2012, fifth round) returned to action for the first time since Dec. 28, going without a point in three appearances as the Royals’ winless skid hit four games. Nelson had missed the previous 22 games with a lower-body injury.
Dan Catenacci (2011, third round) put his superb speed on display Saturday en route to collecting a goal, an assist and the game’s number one star as Owen Sound edged Niagara 3-2. The even-strength goal was the 100th career OHL tally for Catenacci, whose 67 points (31+36) lead the Attack with a dozen games remaining on the regular season schedule.
Justin Kea (2012, third round) posted his fifth two-goal game of the year Saturday as Saginaw cruised past Windsor 7-3. The double helping gives the hard-working centerman 20 goals for the first time in his OHL career, with just two coming on the power play.
Barrie defenseman Alex Lepkowski (2011, fifth round) logged an assist and his second fighting major of the year as the Colts won two of three games to maintain their position atop the Eastern Conference standings. Lepkowski’s Colts will play their third game in as many days on Monday when they host Belleville.
Brady Austin (2012, seventh round) accumulated a plus-three rating as the Belleville claimed six available points to climb within one of Barrie in the Eastern Conference standings. The East Division leaders ride a five-game winning streak into Monday’s key tilt with the Colts.
Jake McCabe (2012, second round) picked up a two assists over the weekend as No. 18 Wisconsin split a pair of decisions with No. 2 Minnesota. The sophomore rearguard, who punched a puck to the front of the net for a late power play strike in Friday’s 3-2 loss, leads all Badger defenders with 12 points (2+10) through 26 games. Wisconsin forward Brad Navin (2011, seventh round) did not play in either of the two games.
Minnesota forward Christian Isackson (2010, seventh round) was credited with a helper on Sunday as the Gophers were defeated by Wisconsin 3-2 in an outdoor tilt at Soldier Field as part of the Hockey City Classic. The sophomore has three goals and 16 points at the 30-game mark.
Judd Peterson (2012, seventh round) did not factor in the scoring on Friday as Cedar Rapids dropped a 4-1 decision at Chicago. The St. Cloud State commit has nine goals and 23 points in 39 outings for the RoughRiders, who have won just twice in their last 13 games.
In SEL play last Tuesday, goaltender Linus Ullmark (2012, sixth round) allowed four goals on 26 shots before being relieved in the third period as MODO dropped a 5-4 shootout decision to the Vaxjo Lakers. MODO held a 4-2 lead after forty minutes, but Vaxjo struck for two quick goals at the start of the final frame, causing head coach Ulf Samuelsson to look for a momentum shift by switching goaltenders for the balance of the game.
For more on all the youngsters in the Sabres pipeline, check out Kris Baker’s web site - sabresprospects.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @sabresprospects for in-game updates throughout the week on any Buffalo prospects that are in action.