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KARABACEK SCORES WINNER FOR MONCTON AS PLAYOFFS CONTINUE

by Kris Baker / Buffalo Sabres
(Photo Credit: Micheline Veluvolu)

Vaclav Karabacek (2014, second round) scored the game-winning goal Friday as Moncton opened the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Quarterfinal round with a 3-1 road victory over Gatineau.

Midway through the third period with the game tied 1-1, Karabacek drifted towards the front of the net and knocked home the rebound of a point shot to give the Wildcats the go-ahead marker before his club closed things out with an empty-netter in the final minute of play.

Karabacek and the Wildcats wouldn’t have the same luck the following night, succumbing to the Olympiques 3-0 in Game 2. Karabacek was unable to record a single shot on goal in the defeat, leaving him with three goals, including two game-winners, and one assist through seven playoff contests.

The teams are deadlocked at one game apiece with the series shifting back to Moncton for Tuesday’s Game 3.


WHL
Defenseman Brycen Martin (2014, third round) continued his steady two-way play Friday, efficiently moving the puck while logging a plus-1 rating as Everett opened the second round of the playoffs with a 3-0 triumph over in-state rival Seattle.

The teams reconvened Sunday for Game 2, with Martin logging a minus-1 rating as the Silvertips were upended by the Thunderbirds 3-1.

Martin has appeared in six playoff contests, compiling one goal, one assist and a plus-3 rating.

The series resumes Wednesday in downtown Everett with the teams even at one win apiece.

In Monday action, Devante Stephens (2015, fifth round) exhibited his mobile, stay-at-home defensive presence with an even rating as Kelowna escaped the first-round of Western Conference playoffs with a 2-1 overtime victory over Kamloops in Game 7.

Stephens and the Rockets got back to work Thursday for their second-round opener in Victoria, dropping a 2-1 decision to the Royals. Stephens recorded two shots on goal in the loss and finished with another even rating Saturday as the Rockets looked to even the series. However, Kelowna was again out-gunned by the Royals in taking a 3-2 defeat in Game 2.

Stephens will seek his first point of the postseason when his Rockets head home for Tuesday’s Game 3 trailing the series 2-0.


OHL
Eric Cornel (2014, second round) fired four shots on goal Tuesday as Peterborough was bested by North Bay 4-1 in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series. Cornel, who received a boarding minor after taking a run at Battalion forward Mathew Santos late in the final frame, concludes the postseason with one goal, five points and a plus-3 rating in the seven-game affair.

Following the series, Cornel said goodbye to his teammates and billets and reported to the AHL’s Rochester Americans to complete the 2015-16 season on an Amateur Tryout contract.


NCAA
At the NCAA Frozen Four, freshman forward Christopher Brown (2014, sixth round) was unable to muster any offensive statistics in his fourth-line role as Boston College surged late but came up short in a 3-2 loss to Quinnipiac in the first semifinal. Brown ends his first season in Chestnut Hill with 11 points (2+9) and a plus-5 rating in 41 games.


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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