SABRES PROSPECTS REPORT
Bailey records first-career OHL hat trick; McCabe scores GWG over Minnesota
Justin Bailey (2013, second round) recorded his first-ever OHL hat trick Tuesday as Kitchener was bounced by Guelph 10-4. Bailey's big night was rounded out with an assist, giving him his first four-point game since last February.
Bailey continued his impactful play over the weekend, scoring the only goal of the shootout as the Rangers got past Owen Sound 2-1 on Saturday, and notching his 25th of the season Sunday in a 3-2 shootout decision over Sudbury. The Sunday marker gives him six goals in his last six games.
Bailey’s surge is noteworthy when considering that his team has been one of the weakest in the league all year, and that February is often the time that prospects hit a bit of a wall. The budding power forward enters the season's final 15-game stretch as Kitchener’s leading scorer with 25 goals and 42 points.
Nick Baptiste (2013, third round) returned from a two-game absence Saturday, notching a pair of goals and an assist as Sudbury rolled past Niagara 7-1. The speedy winger, who was held without a point in Sunday’s 2-1 loss to Kitchener, has 32 goals (t-10th in league) and 66 points (t-15th) through 51 games.
Eric Locke (2013, seventh round) connected for his 18th goal of the year and added an assist Saturday as Saginaw dropped a 6-4 decision to Sault Ste. Marie. Locke’s goal was his third shorthanded marker of the year, elevating his season point total to 45 through 34 games. Locke, who the night before recorded a pair of assists in the Spirit’s 4-2 loss to Niagara, has amassed five points in four February tilts on the heels of a productive 14-point January.
Brady Austin (2012, seventh round) netted two goals and two assists last week as London won twice in three tries. Austin, who enters the week with points in three consecutive games, has gathered eight goals, 17 assists and a plus-34 rating (t-12th in league) in 53 games this season.
London defenseman Nikita Zadorov (2013, first round) was kept of the scoresheet in the week’s three games. The hulking rearguard has collected seven goals and 17 points in 22 games with the Knights.
Saginaw centerman Justin Kea (2012, third round) remained out of action with a hand injury. Kea has 16 goals and 35 points this season through 47 outings.
In Saturday action, Mikhail Grigorenko (2012, first round) released a laser just 1:35 into the opening frame for his fifth goal of the year as Quebec lost in a shootout to Victoriaville 3-2. Grigorenko, who also lit the lamp with his shootout attempt, has 11 points in nine games since being assigned to the QMJHL.
Logan Nelson (2012, fifth round) scored his 17th goal of the year Tuesday as Victoria bested Calgary 7-2. After serving a two-game suspension for a charge in that same game, Nelson returned to work Saturday with another tally in the Royals’ 6-4 triumph at Kelowna. The Minnesota native has goals in five straight games, raising his season point total to 43 through 44 contests.
Jake McCabe (2012, second round) scored the game-winning goal Thursday as No. 12 Wisconsin ended top-ranked Minnesota's 14-game unbeaten streak with a 2-1 victory in Madison. The third-year defender instinctively went deep into the Gophers’ end of the ice, corralled a centering pass, and scored off a wrist shot with 6:13 to play in regulation. The following night, McCabe was ejected for check to the head as the Badgers earned the sweep of the Gophers with a 2-1 victory. McCabe now has 19 points (7+12) through 26 games.
Wisconsin forward Brad Navin contributed five shots on goal while continuing to enjoy scoring line minutes in the weekend victories over Minnesota. The grinding winger has appeared in all 26 of the Badgers contests this season, collecting three goals, eight points and a plus-10 rating.
J.T. Compher (2013, second round) snatched a goal and two assists Friday for his seventh multi-point effort of the year as No. 10 Michigan skated to a 7-3 win over Penn State. Compher came back for more on Saturday, but was held to just four shots on goal as the Wolverines were blanked 4-0 in the Nittany Lions’ first B1G victory of the season. Compher remains Michigan's leading scorer with 24 points (10+24) through his first 24 collegiate games, including nine points in his last six.
On Friday, Sean Malone (2013, sixth round) knocked in his fifth goal of the season while posting a team-high four shots on goal as Harvard earned a 3-0 victory over Dartmouth. The power-play marker gave the Crimson a 1-0 lead in the first period, and Malone his first game-winning goal of his NCAA career.
Christian Isackson (2010, seventh round) dressed for both of the Minnesota’s losses to Wisconsin, producing two shots on goal. The junior forward has four points (1+3) in 17 outings this season.
In Friday action, Cal Petersen (2013, fifth round) made 32 saves but saw his 12-game winning streak come to an end as Waterloo was defeated in overtime by Dubuque 3-2. Petersen returned to the net Sunday, stopping 24 of 28 shots as the Black Hawks suffered their second-straight defeat 4-2 to Sioux Falls. The loss to the Stampede was Petersen’s first regulation defeat since Nov. 22, a span of 17 starts.
Connor Hurley (2013, second round) produced a season-high four points Sunday, collecting a goal and three helpers as Green Bay smoked Dubuque 7-2. The Notre Dame commit, who assisted on the Gamblers’ regulation tally in Saturday’s 2-1 shootout loss to Cedar Rapids, has seven goals and 18 points in 16 games since being dealt to Green Bay. He had posted three goals and 14 points in 21 games with Muskegon prior to the trade.
Judd Peterson (2012, seventh round) came up short on an overtime penalty shot Friday as Cedar Rapids lost in a shootout 4-3 to Indiana. Peterson’s season-long four-game point streak was halted in the loss. The St. Cloud State commit got back on the scoresheet Sunday with an assist as the RoughRiders skated to a 4-2 victory at Chicago.
Swedish Hockey League (SHL)
Linus Ullmark (2012, sixth round) stopped all 27 shots he faced for his third shutout of the year as MODO edged Orebro 1-0. Ullmark had a much rougher go Saturday in his final appearance before the Olympic break, stopping just 13 of 18 shots as MODO lost to Brynas 6-4. Ullmark slips to 15-13 on the year with a 1.97 GAA and league-best .935 save%.
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.