KARABACEK SCORES AS MONCTON LEADS IN QMJHL SERIES; STEPHENS, KELOWNA PREP FOR ANOTHER GAME 7
/ Buffalo Sabres
Vaclav Karabacek (2014, second round) scored his fourth goal of the playoffs Tuesday as Moncton was blown out by Gatineau 7-1 in Game 3 of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Quarterfinal.
At 6:38 of the opening frame, Karabacek emerged from the penalty box following an early hooking penalty and took a stretch pass all the way in for a forehand finish to give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead for their only goal of the night.
Karabacek was unable to produce the following night in Game 4, logging a minus-1 rating as his Wildcats earned a 2-1 overtime victory over the Olympiques.
On Friday, Karabacek won a board battle in the right-wing corner to pick up a secondary assist on the power play as the Wildcats scored five unanswered goals in the final period to claim a 6-4 triumph in Game 5.
The Czech winger has six points (4+2) and 23 shots on goal through 10 playoff contests.
Moncton leads the best-of-seven series 3-2 with Game 6 set for Monday evening in Gatineau.
WHL Devante Stephens (2015, fifth round) and the Kelowna Rockets will again play a Game 7 following a 3-2 loss to Victoria Sunday in Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinal. Stephens picked up his first point of the postseason, an assist, in the loss.
Earlier in the week, the steady defender combined for an even rating as the Rockets used home ice to their advantage to claim 3-2 and 4-3 victories in Games 3 and 4 to even the series at two games apiece.
The semifinal shifted back to Victoria Friday for Game 5, with Stephens again maintaining an even rating as the Rockets earned a 4-1 win to briefly find themselves in the driver’s seat before falling on Sunday.
Through 13 games of the playoffs, Stephens has one assist while being whistled for five minor penalties.
The deciding game will be played Tuesday night in Victoria with the winner moving on to face Mathew Barzal (NYI) and the Seattle Thunderbirds in the Western Conference Final.
Defenseman Brycen Martin (2014, third round) saw his season come to an end Saturday, finishing the night with a minus-1 rating Everett was defeated by Seattle 3-2 in Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinal.
Martin began the week with a minus-2 rating in the Silvertips’ 5-0 loss to the Thunderbirds in Game 3. He logged a minus-1 rating in Everett’s 2-1 loss on Friday prior to the Silvertips being eliminated on Saturday.
Martin’s season ended with one goal and one assist in nine postseason outings.
For more on all the youngsters in the Sabres pipeline and an updated organizational depth chart, 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.