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ESTEPHAN RACKS UP 7-POINT WEEK

by Kris Baker / Buffalo Sabres
(Photo Credit: Lethbridge Hurricanes)

Giorgio Estephan (2015, sixth round) continued his mid-season tear last week, adding seven more points to his season haul as Lethbridge won twice in three tries to vault to the top of the Western Hockey League’s Eastern Conference standings.

The 18-year-old centerman began the week Tuesday by notching a goal and three helpers to earn the game’s first star in a 5-1 win over Medicine Hat. After assisting on the Hurricanes’ first two goals of the night, Estephan collected a rebound and scored with a backhand with 2:00 left in the second period to give his team a 3-1 lead.

Estephan returned to work Wednesday, snatching a pair of markers including one while short-handed in the Hurricanes’ 6-4 loss at Calgary. Early in the middle frame, Estephan took a puck at his right-point position on the power play and unloaded a wrist shot from the top of the faceoff circle that found the back of the net.

Later in the period, Estephan broke down the left side and finished off the breakaway goal to make it a 4-2 Lethbridge advantage before the Hitmen closed things out with four unanswered tallies. The second-star effort was Estephan’s fourth multi-goal game of the season.

On Saturday, Estephan cruised through the slot and tipped a power-play point shot for the game-winner at 2:02 of the third period as Lethbridge earned the home-and-home split with a 4-3 victory over rival Calgary.

A native of Edmonton and product of the SSAC Lions youth program, Estephan has now scored in five consecutive contests, leaving him with 20 goals and 28 assists through 39 games. His 48 total points rank ninth among the WHL scoring leaders.


WHL
Brycen Martin (2014, third round) converted from between the hash marks while on the power play Friday for his first goal in an Everett uniform to help the Silvertips to a 3-1 win over Kelowna.

The second-star performance was sandwiched between a pair of pointless efforts in a 2-1 win over Kelowna on Wednesday and a 4-3 overtime triumph Saturday at Kamloops. The fourth-year defender has collected 29 points (4+25) in 38 contests with Everett and Saskatoon.

Prince Albert defenseman Brendan Guhle (2015, second round) skated in four games last week, compiling one assist and a plus-1 rating as the Raiders won two of the four to maintain the second position in the Eastern Conference standings. In 32 games, Guhle has six goals, 15 points and a plus-6 rating.

Devante Stephens (2015, fifth round) netted a minus-1 rating last week as Kelowna won one of contests, dropping both ends of a home-and-home series with Everett before earning a 5-4 win Saturday versus Victoria. Stephens has played an important defensive role for the league’s top club this season, contributing two goals, seven points and a plus-12 rating.


OHL
Eric Cornel (2014, second round) snagged a pair of goals and added an assist to earn the game’s second star Thursday as Peterborough was defeated by Guelph 6-5. The night before, Cornel connected for two assists to help the Petes to a 5-1 triumph over Mississauga. The Petes captain, who ended the week without a point in Friday’s 5-3 loss to Kingston, has 19 goals and 43 points through 38 games.


NCAA
Cal Petersen (2013, fifth round) was sensational Friday, stopping 49 of 50 shots as Notre Dame and Denver played to a 1-1 overtime tie. Petersen continued to show his quickness and athleticism Saturday with 43 saves as the clubs closed the weekend with a 2-2 tie.

The sophomore netminder has started all 19 games this season for the Fighting Irish, posting a 9-4-6 record, 2.28 goals-against average and a .926 save percentage.

On Friday, Connor Hurley (2013, second round) tucked a shot inside the post for his third goal of the year in the first of Notre Dame’s 1-1 ties at Denver. Hurley, who recorded three shots on goal in Saturday’s 2-2 tie, has nine points (3+6) in 18 games this season.

Judd Peterson (2012, seventh round) scored a goal and added an assist Friday as St. Cloud State blew past Arizona State 6-1. Peterson notched another goal and two assists Saturday as the Huskies blanked the Sun Devils 7-0 giving the sophomore forward 12 goals and 19 points in 17 appearances this season.

Hudson Fasching whistled a shot from the slot for the game-winning goal Friday as Minnesota edged Connecticut 3-2 in the semifinal of the Mariucci Classic. Fasching contributed a pair of assists Saturday as the Gophers dropped a 4-3 decision to Harvard in the championship game.

The power forward leads the Gophers nine goals and 17 points in 17 games. He currently has a six-game point streak with goals in four of the five games.

Also from the Mariucci Classic, Harvard’s Sean Malone (2013, sixth round) picked up an assist Friday to snap a six-game point drought as the Crimson downed Ferris State 7-3 in the first semifinal. Malone buried a shot from in front for his first goal of the year just 2:04 into the action Saturday as the Crimson defeated Minnesota 4-3 in overtime to capture the tournament title. At the 10-game mark, Malone has seven points (1+6) and a plus-eight rating.

Senior goaltender Jason Kasdorf stopped 23 of 25 shots Saturday to help RPI to a 3-2 win at Miami (OH). Kasdorf returned to the net Sunday, allowing three goals on 28 shots in a 4-2 loss to the RedHawks. The 23-year-old has posted a 5-5-1 record with a 2.12 GAA and .934 save percentage.

Anthony Florentino (2013, fifth round) combined for two shots on goal and a minus-1 rating as Providence lost to Cornell 2-1 in overtime on Monday, and then defeated Boston College the next day by a 2-1 score in the third place game at the Florida College Hockey Classic.

Florentino ended the week with two shots on goal and a minus-2 rating Sunday as the Friars suffered a 4-3 loss overtime loss at Brown. The junior defender has seven points (4+3) and a plus-6 rating in 16 games.

Sophomore winger Maxwell Willman (2014, fifth round) was held without a point Tuesday as Brown opened the Catamount Cup with a 7-5 victory over Colgate. Willman was again blanked Wednesday as the Bears were shut out by Lake Superior State 3-0 in the championship game. Willman’s point drought was extended to five games Sunday as the Bears stunned Providence with a 4-3 overtime victory. In 15 games this season, the sophomore winger has one goal and four points.

Christopher Brown (2014, sixth round) was unable to produce Monday as Boston College was defeated by Ohio State 3-2 in the second semifinal of the Florida College Hockey Classic. Brown, who was shut out in the Eagles 2-1 loss to Providence on Tuesday, has amassed two goals, seven points and a plus-six rating in 18 appearances.

Ivan Chukarov (2015, seventh round) finished with a plus-1 rating and one shot on goal Saturday as Massachusetts got past Army West Point 2-1 in overtime. Chukarov has two assists and a team-low minus-9 rating through his first 19 collegiate contests.


Sweden
Victor Olofsson (2014, seventh round) scored for the second straight game Monday as MODO was defeated by Orebro HK 2-1. With MODO trailing 1-0, Olofsson pounced on a loose puck and quickly fired a forehand to even the score at a goal apiece at 9:09 of the second period.

Olofsson, who was blanked in a 3-2 loss to Lulea HF on Wednesday, has six goals and 15 points in 28 games.

MODO winger Gustav Possler (2013, fifth round) picked up an assist in Monday’s loss to Orebro HK, and scored his fifth goal of the year Wednesday in the 3-2 loss to Lulea HF.

Possler took a drop pass a sent a heavy wrist shot stick side to give MODO a 2-1 lead in the second period, but his club would allow two more goals the rest of the way to lose for the sixth time in their last seven games. Through 30 games, Possler has produced 14 points (5+9) and 58 shots on goal.


For more on all the youngsters in the Sabres pipeline, check out Kris Baker’s website, 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.

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