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ESTEPHAN SOUNDS OFF WITH 4-POINT NIGHT OVER WEEKEND

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

Blanked in two games last weekend to start the Western Hockey League schedule, Giorgio Estephan (2015, sixth round) stepped it up a notch Saturday with a career-high four points to earn the game’s No. 1 star as Lethbridge skated to a 5-1 victory at Kootenay.

Estephan wasted little time getting going, burying a one-timer from the slot at 1:08 of the opening frame to make it a 1-0 game. He'd earn a secondary helper on the Hurricanes’ second goal just 1:39 later and follow up with two primary assists in the final two periods to round out his productive Saturday. Estephan resumed work on Sunday, but was unable to get on the board as Lethbridge was beaten by defending league-champion Kelowna 6-3.

After getting wins in two of their first four games, Estephan and the Hurricanes will look to get back on track Tuesday when they play host to Red Deer.

WHL
Brycen Martin (2014, third round) supplied two shots on goal Friday in Saskatoon's 3-2 overtime loss to Medicine Hat. The fourth-year defender returned to action Sunday, capturing a pair of assists as the Blades again fell in overtime 5-4 to Vancouver. Through four games, Martin has collected five points (1+4), which ranks second among league defenders, while logging a team-best plus-6 rating.

Defenseman Devante Stephens (2015, fifth round) logged a plus-2 rating Friday as Kelowna opened a weekend road trip with a 5-3 victory at Edmonton. Stephens posted a career-low minus-4 on Saturday in a 7-4 loss at Red Deer, and then finished the three-game run with a plus-1 as the Rockets doubled Lethbridge 6-3 on Sunday.

OHL
Eric Cornel (2014, second round) failed to produce Thursday as Peterborough was blanked 3-0 at Oshawa, but he got it right Saturday, cashing his first goal of the year in the Petes’ 3-2 win over Niagara. Cornel gave the Petes a 2-0 lead in the second period when he collected a turnover at the left circle and rifled a shot high glove side. Cornel, who was named the team's captain earlier in the week, has collected four points (1+3) through his first four games.

QMJHL
Vaclav Karabacek (2014, second round) scored for the second straight game Friday as Baie-Comeau was bested by Rimouski 6-2. Karabacek took an early roughing penalty that led the Oceanics' first goal of the game, but he made up for it with an unassisted strike at 7:58 of the middle frame. Karabacek was unable to make it three straight games with a goal, finishing with three shots and a minus-1 rating on Sunday in a 6-2 loss to Victoriaville.

Sweden
Jonas Johansson (2014, third round) earned his first shutout of the year Saturday, stopping all 28 shots sent his way as Almtuna IS secured a 3-0 victory over Tingsryds AIF. Johansson, who entered the game coming off a 22-save outing in a 3-2 loss to IK Oskarshamn on Wednesday, has started seven of AIS’ nine HockeyAllsvenskan contests, posting a 4-3 record with a 1.84 goals-against average and .924 save percentage. Johansson will look to maintain the hot hand Thursday versus HC Vita Hasten.

In Saturday action, Victor Olofsson (2014, seventh round) connected for a goal and an assist to extend his point streak to six games as MODO was defeated by Farjestads BK 4-3. Olofsson, who began the week with helpers in Tuesday’s 7-2 loss to Linkoping HC and 5-0 shutout victory over HV 71 on Thursday, leads MODO in offense with seven points (2+5) through the club's first six games.

Winger Gustav Possler (2013, fifth round) was held without a point last week as MODO won once in three tries. Possler has collected two points (1+1) while averaging 14:51 of work through his first six season appearances. MODO is off until Thursday when they visit Frolunda HC.

NCAA
Exhibition action kicked off over the weekend with several American colleges taking on squads from Canadian universities in preparation for their regular season openers.

Defenseman Ivan Chukarov (2015, seventh round) posted a pair of assists as UMass shut out Dalhousie 4-0. The 20-year-old freshman will look for the offense to continue next weekend when the Minutemen hit the road for a pair of games at Colorado College.

Junior defenseman Anthony Florentino (2013, fifth round) fired five shots on goal and blocked three others as Providence cruised past Simon Fraser 9-1. The Friars begin their defense of the national championship next weekend with a non-conference set at NCHC power Miami.

Goaltender Jason Kasdorf stopped all 12 shots he faced in forty minutes of action as RPI was edged by St. Thomas 3-2 in overtime. The Engineers kick off regular season action on Friday when they visit UMass-Lowell.

Freshman forward Chris Brown (2014, sixth round) contributed one shot on goal in his debut as the team’s fourth-line center as Boston College was outgunned 5-2 by the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds. The top-ranked Eagles open the non-conference schedule Friday at Army.

Will Borgen (2015, fourth round) finished with a plus-one rating as St. Cloud State downed the University of Alberta 6-2. Borgen, who skated on the third defensive pair, will make his regular-season debut next weekend when the Huskies travel for games against Alaska-Fairbanks and Alaska-Anchorage.

Sophomore forward Judd Peterson (2012, seventh round) was also held without a point in St. Cloud’s Saturday tune-up victory over Alberta. Peterson manned the right wing on the Huskies' third line, finishing with two 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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