SABRES PROSPECTS REPORT
The regular season schedules are all but wrapped up for CHL and NCAA prospects, setting up a full load of postseason action starting this Thursday.
Nicholas Baptiste (2013, third round) notched five points in two games last week, including a two-goal performance Saturday as Sudbury lost 7-4 in Belleville. Baptiste, who sat out the Wolves’ Sunday finale, finished the regular season with 45 goals and 89 points, including 26 goals in 29 games since Jan. 1. Sudbury will take on Barrie in the opening round of the Eastern Conference playoffs beginning Thursday.
Justin Kea (2012, third round) scored twice Friday and recorded his fifth fighting major of the year as Saginaw came up short in a 6-5 loss at Sault Ste. Marie. Kea added an assist on Saturday in the Spirit’s 6-2 loss to London, boosting his season totals to 21 goals and 47 points through 57 games.
Eric Locke (2013, seventh round) added two assists in the week’s two games to give him 58 points (24+34) in 47 outings. Saginaw enters Monday’s regular season finale versus Sault Ste. Marie holding down the seventh position in the Western Conference standings. A victory would vault them into the sixth seed, setting up a first round series with Erie. If they remain in seventh, they’ll take on Sault Ste. Marie.
Nikita Zadorov (2013, first round) picked up an assist Friday as London doubled up Owen Sound 4-2. Zadorov posted 30 points (11+19) in 36 games, but finished the year with an eight-game goal drought. London locked up a fourth-place finish in the Western Conference, setting up a first round series with Windsor starting Friday.
London defenseman Brady Austin (2012, seventh round) was held off the scoresheet last week as the Knights closed out the schedule with two wins in three tries. Austin, who along with Zadorov sat out of the Knights’ final game of the season on Sunday, set career bests this season with 33 points (9+24) and a plus-51 rating.
Justin Bailey (2013, second round) watched as his Kitchener Rangers teammates close out the regular season without gaining a postseason berth. The 6-foot-3 winger scored 25 goals and 43 points before missing the final 14 games with an upper body injury.
In Friday action, Mikhail Grigorenko (2012, first round) extended his multiple-points streak to six games with a pair of assists as Quebec was defeated 4-3 by Rimouski in overtime. On Saturday, Grigorenko saw the streak end as Quebec completed regular season play with a 2-0 blanking of the Oceanic. Grigorenko posted 15 goals and 39 points in 23 junior games for the Remparts, who finished in the seventh position in the league standings. They'll have home ice advantage for their first round playoffs series against Rouyn-Noranda.
William Carrier continued his productive ways Friday, connecting for two goals and an assist to lead Drummondville to a 4-1 win over Rouyn-Noranda. On Saturday, Carrier notched an assist as Drummondville finished the regular season schedule with a 7-2 drubbing of Victoriaville in a preview of an opening round playoff series. Carrier enters the postseason on a roll with five goals in his last six games. The Voltigeurs finished as the sixth playoff seed, giving then home ice advantage for their series with the Tigres.
In Saturday action, Logan Nelson (2012, fifth round) tied a career high with his 23rd goal as Victoria closed out the schedule with a 3-2 loss at Everett. The Royals end the season as the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference, setting up a first-round playoff series against Spokane.
J.T. Compher (2013, second round) recorded two assists Saturday as No. 13 Michigan finished off the conference schedule with a 6-2 victory over No. 1 Minnesota. Compher, who on Friday was blanked in a 3-2 loss to the Gophers, enters Thursday’s B1G quarterfinal contest versus Penn State as Michigan’s leading point-getter with 31 (11+20) in 34 games.
Hudson Fasching used his big body down low to earn an assist on the overtime winner Friday as No. 1 Minnesota edged No. 13 Michigan 3-2 to capture the B1G regular season title. On Saturday, Fasching produced a game-high five shots on goal as the Gophers ended the conference schedule with a 6-2 loss to the Wolverines. Next up for Minnesota is a Saturday date with the winner of Ohio State-Michigan State in a B1G semifinal.
Minnesota forward Christian Isackson (2010, seventh round) was scratched Friday and inserted into the lineup Saturday in the Gophers’ split with Michigan. The third-year forward has four points (1+3) in 19 appearances this season.
In Hockey East, Anthony Florentino (2013, fifth round) picked up an assist Saturday as Providence doubled Maine 4-2 to win the best-of-three Hockey East quarterfinal series in two games. The Friars have won their last six games heading into Friday's Hockey East semifinal versus New Hampshire.
Wisconsin defenseman Jake McCabe (2012, second round) left Friday’s game after being injured while blocking a shot. McCabe received stitches to close a deep laceration behind his ear, and did not play on Saturday as the Badgers downed Michigan State 4-3.
Brad Navin (2011, seventh round) was unable to connect in the weekend split at Michigan State. The Badgers will square off with the winner of Thursday’s Michigan-Penn State winner in a B1G semifinal tilt on Saturday.
Connor Hurley (2013, second round) earned an assist Friday in Green Bay’s 5-2 loss to Indiana, and was blanked Saturday as the Gamblers dropped a 2-0 decision to the Ice. Green Bay is in a three-way tie for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot with Chicago and Muskegon with seven games left to play.
Cal Petersen (2013, fifth round) made 39 stops through 65 minutes of action as Waterloo was defeated in a shootout 5-4 by Sioux City. Petersen has won just two of his last eight starts on the heels of his impressive 12-game winning streak. The Black Hawks sit atop the Western Conference with eight games remaining.
Judd Peterson (2012, seventh round) remained out of action as Cedar Rapids won two of the week’s three games. Peterson, who has been out with an injury since early February, has 15 goals and 29 points in 40 games.
Swedish Hockey League (SHL)
Linus Ullmark (2012, sixth round) made 45 saves Wednesday as MODO saw their season come to an end with a 5-4 overtime loss to Linkopings HC. MODO held a 4-0 lead midway through the second period before surrendering four unanswered goals, including a pair of power play markers 14 seconds apart in the third to send the game to extra time. Another MODO penalty would see Linkopings forward and former Michigan Wolverine Chad Kolarik strike with the man advantage in the 67th minute to close the curtain in game two of the best-of-three play-in round series.
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.