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FASCHING, ESTEPHAN SHINE WITH MULTI-POINT EFFORTS

by Kris Baker / Buffalo Sabres

A pair of Buffalo Sabres forward prospects maintained a highly productive pace last week to help their respective clubs advance their current winning streaks.

In the NCAA ranks, Hudson Fasching continued his excellent all-around play over the weekend to help the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers to a dominating two-game sweep of Big Ten border rival Wisconsin.

Fasching imposed his size and strength to get space down low at 14:12 of the opening period for the Gophers’ first goal of the night in Friday’s 4-0 shutout of the Badgers. The junior winger would add two helpers to finish with his second three-point night of the season. The marker was Fasching’s team-leading fifth game-winning goal of the season.

It didn’t take long for Fasching to make a difference Saturday with the big man giving Minnesota a 1-0 lead just 12 seconds into the action in the Gophers’ 9-2 shellacking of the Badgers. The victory puts Minnesota on a five-game winning streak heading into Friday’s first-round showdown with Bemidji State at the North Star College Cup in St. Paul.

The standout junior has been on fire of late, compiling 11 goals in his last dozen games. Fasching is the across-the-board team leader offensively with 15 goals, 27 points and 75 shots on goal.

While Fasching was contributing at the collegiate level, Lethbridge centerman Giorgio Estephan (2015, sixth round) was busy creating and finishing with equal aptitude over the week’s three contests to extend his career-long point streak to 14 Western Hockey League games.

Estephan notched his second four-point night of the season Wednesday with a short-handed breakaway goal and three assists to guide the Hurricanes to a 4-1 win over Spokane.

The nifty pivot kept it Friday with a goal and two assists to earn the game’s first star in the Hurricanes’ 4-3 overtime victory over Moose Jaw.

On Sunday, Estephan opened scoring at 1:17 of the first period with a power-play tally as the Hurricanes ran their winning streak to 10 games with a 3-0 shutout of Edmonton.

Estephan, who has scored in four straight games, has submitted career-high totals this season of 27 goals and 36 assists through 48 outings.


Sweden
Jonas Johansson (2014, third round) made 43 saves Wednesday as Almtuna IS edged Mora IK 4-3 in overtime. He was back between the pipes Saturday, stopping 26 of 30 shots in a 5-4 win over Asploven HC. Johansson, who has won four consecutive starts, has captured a league-best 20 victories while posting a 2.31 goals-against average and a .919 save percentage.

Victor Olofsson (2014, seventh round) scored the game-winning goal Friday as MODO claimed a 4-1 win over HV 71. Olofsson entered the zone and unleashed a quick wrist shot from between the circles for his eighth goal of the year at 4:37 of the middle frame to give MODO a 2-0 lead. Olofsson, who did not play Saturday as MODO completed the home-and-home series with a 3-0 loss at HV 71, has gathered 17 points in 33 appearances with the rebuilding club.

Gustav Possler (2013, fifth round) picked up an assist in MODO’s Friday triumph over HV 71, and then recorded four shots on goal while receiving a season-high 22:19 of work in the shutout loss the following day. Possler has appeared in all of MODO’s 36 games this season, contributing six goals, 18 points and a team-best 45 blocked shots.


OHL
After seeing his five-game point streak snapped in Thursday’s 3-1 win over Saginaw, Eric Cornel (2014, second round) scored the game-winning goal Friday to help Peterborough to a 4-2 win at London. Cornel, who followed up with an assist in Saturday’s 6-5 loss at Sarnia, has collected 21 goals, 54 points and a plus-11 rating in 47 games this season while serving as the Petes’ captain.


QMJHL
Vaclav Karabacek (2014, second round) was unable to produce Tuesday as Moncton was blown out by Cape Breton 10-2. Karabacek was again held pointless in Friday’s 7-1 loss to Sherbrooke and a 5-4 overtime defeat to Drummondville the following day. The Czech winger has nine goals and 18 points in 28 games, including one goal and one assist in five games since the trade from Baie-Comeau.


WHL
Brendan Guhle (2015, second round) continued to serve in his shutdown role as Prince Albert dropped a pair of weekend games to Brandon and Regina. At the 40-game mark, the mobile defender has rung up six goals, 18 points and a plus-4 rating for a Raiders squad holding down the second spot in the East Division standings.

Brycen Martin (2014, third round) was unable to produce any points as Everett earned a pair of victories over Saskatoon and Kamloops before ending the week with losses to Edmonton and Red Deer. The left-handed defenseman has connected for four goals and 31 points in 47 games.

Kelowna defenseman Devante Stephens (2015, fifth round) logged a combined plus-4 rating as the Rockets skated to home-ice victories over Prince George, Tri-City and Medicine Hat. Stephens has been a workhorse for the Western Conference-leading Rockets, amassing seven points (2+5) and a plus-12 rating in 47 games.


NCAA
Reigning ECAC Goaltender of the Week Jason Kasdorf turned in another show-stopping performance Thursday, stopping 46 shots to backstop No. 16 RPI to a 2-2 tie with top-ranked Quinnipiac. Kasdorf added another 30 saves to his resume Saturday as the Engineers earned the 2016 Mayor’s Cup with a 5-2 win over Union. The senior has compiled a 7-5-4 record this season supported by a 2.00 GAA and a .938 save percentage.

Goaltender Cal Petersen (2013, fifth round) extended his unbeaten streak to 12 games over the weekend as No. 13 Notre Dame earned a Hockey East road sweep at New Hampshire. Petersen stopped 25 of 26 shots Friday in a 5-1 victory, and then closed the series Saturday with a 22-save effort in a 3-2 win over the Wildcats. Petersen has started all of Notre Dame’s 25 games, posting a 14-4-7 record with a 2.15 GAA and a .927 save percentage.

Notre Dame centerman Connor Hurley (2013, second round) notched a goal and an assist Friday to help the Fighting Irish to a 5-1 win at New Hampshire. Hurley followed up with two shots on goal in Saturday’s 3-2 win over the Wildcats. One of three sophomores playing the center position for Notre Dame, Hurley has captured four goals and 12 points through 24 contests.

Sean Malone (2013, sixth round) sprawled to the ice and swatted home his fourth goal of the year Friday as No. 9 Harvard doubled Colgate 4-2. Malone was unable to get on the scoresheet Saturday as the Crimson concluded their Upstate New York cruise with a 6-2 win at No. 10 Cornell. Malone has collected 10 points (4+6) in 16 appearances this season, but has just one in his last five games.

William Borgen (2015, fourth round) produced a combined three shots on goal as No. 5 St. Cloud State blew past Western Michigan by scores of 8-2 and 7-3. Borgen has played in 22 collegiate contests, collecting nine assists and a plus-9 rating.

St. Cloud State forward Judd Peterson (2012, seventh round) accounted for one shot on goal in the weekend sweep of Western Michigan. The 22-year-old sophomore has netted 12 goals and 19 points in 23 games, but has been blanked in each of his last six outings.

Anthony Florentino (2013, fifth round) finished with two shots on goal and a plus-2 rating Friday as No. 3 Providence upended No. 8 Massachusetts-Lowell 4-2. Florentino logged a minus-1 rating the next night as the Friars dropped the back end of the home-and-home series with the River Hawks 3-1. At the 20-game mark, the middle-pair defender has racked up five goals, nine points and a plus-nine rating.

Maxwell Willman (2014, fifth round) saw his point drought hit nine games as Brown dropped a 6-2 Friday decision at St. Lawrence before being blanked 5-0 by Clarkson the following day. Willman has one goal and three assists in 19 games for the 4-12-3 Bears.

Boston College forward Christopher Brown (2014, sixth round) finished with a plus-1 rating in Friday’s 8-0 blowout of Massachusetts, and then snapped a 10-game point drought Saturday as the No. 4 Eagles played to a 3-3- tie with Connecticut.

Defenseman Ivan Chukarov (2015, seventh round) logged a minus-2 rating Friday as Massachusetts endured an 8-0 blowout loss to Boston College. The towering freshman, who finished with a plus-1 rating the next night in 6-4 loss to Vermont, has picked up four assists and a minus-14 rating in 25 games for a Minutemen squad that has won just once in its last 16 outings.


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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