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FASCHING SCORES TWICE AGAIN AS MINNESOTA SWEEPS OHIO STATE

by Kris Baker / Buffalo Sabres

The middle of February is crunch time for professional hockey prospects abroad, and the Sabres’ group of hopefuls tuned up their games with solid performances last week as the audition for contracts continues and the end of the regular season schedule approaches.

(Photo Credit: Notre Dame Athletics)

NCAA
Hudson Fasching notched his fifth two-goal game of the season Saturday, including his third shorthanded marker, and added an assist to guide Minnesota to a 4-3 win over Ohio State and a sweep of the B1G series. Fasching, who forced a turnover to capture in an assist in Friday’s 5-4 overtime win over the Buckeyes, has amassed a career-best 18 goals and 33 points in 29 contests for the Gophers.

Cal Petersen (2013, fifth round) continued his hot play over the weekend as No. 8 Notre Dame snagged a pair of home-ice victories over Maine. The sophomore stopped 21 of 22 shots Friday in a 4-1 win over the Black Bears.

Petersen returned Saturday for his 43rd consecutive start, adding another 40 saves to his season resume as the Fighting Irish jumped to the top of the Hockey East standings with a 5-1 decision. Petersen, who saw his shutout bid snapped with 2:49 left in regulation, improves to 18-5-7 with a 2.06 goals-against average and .932 save percentage.

After netting one assist in Friday’s 4-1 victory over Maine, Connor Hurley (2013, second round) scored his fifth goal of the year Saturday as No. 8 Notre Dame swept the Black Bears with a 5-1 win. Hurley connected for points in three-straight games during a 5-on-3 power play when he rotated from the point down to the side of net to bat in a rebound.

Hurley has five goals and 15 points in 29 games, eclipsing the four goals and 14 points he notched in 41 games a season ago as a freshman.

Jason Kasdorf made a career-high 49 saves Friday as No. 18 RPI held on for a 2-1 win over No. 9 Harvard. The 23-year-old senior continued to see a lot of rubber Saturday, stopping 32 of 34 shots as RPI dropped a 2-1 overtime decision at Dartmouth. Kasdorf sits at 9-9-4 with a 2.09 GAA and .937 save percentage with just four regular-season dates remaining on the schedule.

Harvard forward Sean Malone (2013, sixth round) sat out Monday’s 5-1 loss to Northeastern in the third place game at the Beanpot, but returned to account for five of the Crimson’s 50 shots on goal in the 2-1 loss to RPI on Friday. Malone got back on track Saturday by potting his sixth goal of the year from between the hash marks as Harvard downed Union 4-1. Malone's power play tally gives him 12 points (6+6) in 22 contests.

Maxwell Willman (2014, fifth round) scored his second goal of the year Friday and first since November 13 as Brown played to a 3-3 tie at No. 15 Cornell. The marker gives Willman points in three straight games for the second time this season. He has totaled eight points and 50 shots on goal through 25 contests.

Christopher Brown (2014, sixth round) was whistled for a high sticking penalty Monday as No. 3 Boston College edged Boston University 1-0 in overtime to capture the 2015 Beanpot title. Brown went on to post a combined a minus-2 rating as the Eagles doubled Merrimack 6-3 on Friday before the clubs played to a 5-5 tie the following day. The freshman forward has skated in 30 games, amassing two goals, nine points and 27 shots on goal.

Anthony Florentino (2013, fifth round) produced four shots on goal and a plus-two rating Friday as No. 5 Providence blanked Connecticut 4-0. Florentino was scratched from the lineup Saturday as the Friars completed the home-and-home sweep with a 3-2 win at Connecticut. The absence was Florentino's fifth of the season, leaving the defender with five goals, 10 points and a plus-13 rating through 25 contests.

Ivan Chukarov (2015, seventh round) contributed two shots on goal Tuesday as Massachusetts snapped a nine-game losing streak with a 4-3 overtime win at American International. Chukarov extended his streak to nine games with at least one shot on goal over the weekend as the Minutemen were swept by Northeastern by scores of 5-0 and 4-2. The freshman rearguard has collected seven points (2+5) through 31 games.


OHL
Eric Cornel (2014, second round) took a pass in stride and snapped home his 24th goal of the year Thursday to earn the game’s third star as Peterborough was dumped by Oshawa 4-1. On Saturday, Cornel piled up three assists to help the Petes to a 4-3 overtime victory at Hamilton.

Cornel's productive week vaults him into the team scoring lead with 62 points (24+38) through 53 games, equaling his previous career best set in 2013-14.


QMJHL
Vaclav Karabacek (2014, second round) scored for the second consecutive game Friday as Moncton was defeated by Rimouski 4-2. Karabacek, who supplied one shot on goal Saturday in a 4-3 loss to Acadie-Bathurst, has 11 goals and 21 points in 34 games this season, including five points (3+2) in 11 outings since joining the Wildcats.


WHL
Brendan Guhle (2015, second round) tallied an even-strength marker and added two assists Tuesday as Prince Albert scored five unanswered goals to earn a 6-3 triumph at Brandon. Guhle, who recorded one shot on goal in Friday’s 3-2 win over Regina, has eight goals 22 points 47 games.

After scoring a goal Monday to snap a 16-game point drought in Everett’s 6-4 loss at Victoria, Brycen Martin (2014, third round) recorded one assist Friday as the Silvertips were edged by Portland 3-2.

Martin finished with an even rating Saturday as Everett was again stumped by Victoria 3-0, and closed the weekend Sunday with a power play goal in the Tips’ 3-2 win at Spokane. The fourth-year rearguard has 34 points (6+28) in 57 appearances split between Saskatoon and Everett.

Devante Stephens (2015, fifth round) earned one assist Monday as Kelowna cruised to a 7-4 victory over Seattle. The teams played it back the following night, with the stay-at-home defender finishing with a minus-2 rating in a 6-0 loss to the Thunderbirds.

Stephens played tough in Kelowna’s 4-3 overtime win over Prince George Friday, and ended the week with a plus-2 rating Saturday as the Rockets took another from the Cougars 6-4. Through 57 games, Stephens has collected two goals and eight points.


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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