SABRES PROSPECTS REPORT
World Jr. hero Jake McCabe had a big weekend for Wisconsin
Wisconsin defenseman Jake McCabe (2012, second round) walked away with a goal, assist and a season-high plus-four rating Saturday as the No. 16 Badgers finished off a WCHA road sweep with a 6-2 win over No. 13 Nebraska-Omaha. The two-point night gives the Eau Claire, Wis. native three goals and 15 points through 30 games, tops among Badgers defenders.
McCabe began his production at 2:56 of the second period when his shot bounced off the back boards into the crease, where it was tapped in by Ryan Little to give Wisconsin a 2-1 advantage. Later in the frame, McCabe charged to the paint for a rebound goal to extend the Badgers’ lead to 4-1. The tally, McCabe's third of the season and first since returning from the World Junior Championship, snapped the sophomore's 19-game goal drought.
Sophomore forward Brad Navin (2011, seventh round) registered one shot on goal in the weekend set for the Badgers, who close the WCHA regular season next weekend versus St. Cloud State.
Joel Armia (2011, first round) continued to be a key offensive cog last week, notching an overtime assist on Tuesday and striking for a pair of goals Thursday as Assat Pori extended their SM-liiga winning streak to 13 games. With 18 goals through 45 games, including five in his last eight, the 6-foot-3 winger equals his previous career best achieved in both 2010-11 (48 games) and 2011-12 (54 games). The Aces, who remain in third place in the SM-liiga standings with three games to play, will look to keep the good times rolling Thursday when they face JYP.
In Sweden, Linus Ullmark (2012, sixth round) made 22 saves Thursday as MODO dropped a 3-1 decision to Brynas IF. Ullmark, who surrendered a pair of goals to 2013 draft eligible Elias Lindholm, saw his SEL record move to 3-1 with a 2.07 GAA and .934 save%. MODO wraps up the regular season schedule Tuesday versus Skelleftea AIK.
In Sunday action, Saskatoon goaltender Andrey Makarov stopped 34 shots but his franchise record 18-game winning streak was snapped in a 5-4 overtime loss at Moose Jaw. The Blades squandered a four-goal lead in the final frame before Makarov ventured far out of his net in the opening minute of overtime to allow the Warriors to cash an open net. The Russian backstop was outstanding throughout the historic run, posting a 1.54 GAA and .952 save% along with three shutouts.
Logan Nelson (2012, fifth round) sparked the Victoria offense with four goals and seven points in the week’s three games, but the struggling Royals came away empty to extend their losing streak to a season-high nine games. The 6-foot-1 forward will shoot for four-straight multi-point outings on Tuesday when Victoria visits Kamloops.
Colin Jacobs (2011, fourth round) went without a point Friday as Prince George was defeated by Kamloops 4-1. Jacobs has amassed a team-leading 22 goals and 45 points in 57 games for the Cougars, who enter the week winless in their last four and eight points behind Seattle for the final Western Conference playoff spot.
Justin Kea (2012, third round) notched an assist Saturday as Saginaw came up short in a wild 8-7 loss to Sarnia. The hard-working forward has 21 goals on the year, including four short-handed, three on the power play and three game winners.
Dan Catenacci (2011, third round) went without a point in the week’s three games as Owen Sound maintained the third-overall position in the Western Conference standings. Catenacci continues to lead the Attack with 34 goals and 72 points
Belleville defenseman Brady Austin (2012, seventh round) put his mobility and physicality on display as the Bulls ran their winning streak to 10 games before dropping a pair of weekend tilts. Austin has 19 points (5+14) and plus-10 rating for the Bulls, who sit atop the Eastern Conference standings with seven games left.
Alex Lepkowski (2011, fifth round) netted a plus-one rating as Barrie earned a pair of victories, including a 2-0 shutout of Mississauga on Friday that clinched first place in the Central Division. The rugged defender has eight assists and a plus-nine rating in 53 games.
Christian Isackson (2010, seventh round) moved up to a scoring line with Florida prospects Nick Bjugstad and Kyle Rau on Saturday as No. 2 Minnesota claimed a victory over No. 10 Denver. The sophomore forward has collected 16 points (3+13) through 34 games heading into the Gophers’ season-ending series at Bemidji State.
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.