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KARABACEK'S OVERTIME HEROICS LIFT MONCTON IN PLAYOFF SERIES

by Kris Baker / Buffalo Sabres

Vaclav Karabacek (2014, second round) erupted for two goals Saturday, including the overtime game-winner, and one assist to propel Moncton to a 6-5 victory over Victoriaville in Game Two of their QMJHL pre-quarterfinal series.

Karabacek, who went without a point Friday as the Wildcats claimed a 5-4 double-overtime victory over the Tigres, made it a 3-3 game with 1:38 remaining in the opening frame when he went to the front of the net and slipped a second-chance backhand into the net for his first goal of the series.

At 18:23 of the extra frame, Karabacek stole the puck at the Tigres blue line, skated to the left wing and unloaded a quick wrist shot to seal the first-star performance and give his Wildcats a 2-0 series lead.

Historically a strong playoff producer, Karabacek's big night gives him 12 goals and 26 points in 23 career post-season contests since leaving the Czech Republic for the QMJHL.


OHL
Eric Cornel (2014, second round) connected for a pair of helpers Sunday as Peterborough evened their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series at one game apiece with a 5-3 victory over North Bay. Cornel, who was blanked in Friday’s 2-1 loss to the Battalion, had one assist in five playoff games a season ago.

Cornel also signed an entry-level contract with the Sabres on Friday


WHL
Devante Stephens (2015, fifth round) logged an even rating Friday as Kelowna began their playoff year with a 3-2 win over Kamloops. Stephens returned to work Saturday, finishing with a minus-1 rating as the Rockets gave up four third-period goals in dropping a 5-4 decision to the Blazers. The teams are deadlocked at one game apiece entering Tuesday's Game Three.

Defenseman Brendan Guhle (2015, second round) picked up one assist Friday as Prince Albert dropped a 3-2 decision to Moose Jaw in the opening game of their WHL Eastern Conference Quarterfinal. The swift-skating defender was unable to connect the next night as the Raiders were doubled by the Warriors 4-2. The Raiders trail the best-of-seven opening round series 2-0 with Game Three set for Tuesday.

Brycen Martin (2014, third round) recorded one assist and a plus-2 rating Friday as Everett opened the playoffs with a 3-0 victory over Portland. Martin logged an even rating Saturday as the Silvertips won again by a 3-1 score. The Silvertips have a 2-0 series advantage on the Winterhawks heading into Tuesday's Game Three.

In Friday action, Giorgio Estephan (2015, sixth round) suppliedone assist as Lethbridge doubled Regina 6-3 in Game One of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal. The top-line pivot was shut down Saturday as the Hurricanes were blanked by the Pats 3-0. The Hurricanes head to Regina for Tuesday’s Game Three with the series tied at one game apiece.


NCAA
Freshman forward Christopher Brown (2014, sixth round) did not get on the scoresheet for Boston College in their 4-1 triumph over Harvard in Friday’s Northeast Regional Semifinal. Brown was again unable to produce Saturday as the Eagles advanced to the 2016 NCAA Frozen Four with a 3-2 victory over Minnesota-Duluth in the Northeast Region Final. The freshman forward has appeared in all 40 of the Eagles' games this season, notching two goals and 11 total points.

Boston College will play No. 1 Quinnipiac in Tampa on April 7 at 5 p.m. on ESPN2 for a spot in the national championship game against either North Dakota or Denver.

Sean Malone (2013, sixth round) finished with a minus-1 rating Friday as Harvard was dropped by Boston College in that 4-1 game in the NCAA Tournament Northeast Region Semifinal. Malone’s third year in Cambridge produced 10 goals, 19 points and a plus-11 rating in 28 appearances.

In a Friday Midwest Region Semifinal, Cal Petersen (2013, fifth round) was sharp in making 32 saves, but Notre Dame fell to Michigan 3-2 in overtime. Petersen, who was making his 50th consecutive start going back to the end of last season, concludes his sophomore campaign with a 19-11-7 record, a 2.20 goals-against average and a .927 save percentage.

Notre Dame forward Connor Hurley (2013, second round) logged a minus-1 rating in Friday’s loss to Michigan. The second-year centerman ends the year with 18 points (6+12) in 36 games.

In Saturday’s NCAA Tournament West Region Semifinal, William Borgen (2015, fourth round) recorded one shot on goal as St. Cloud State was upset by Ferris State 5-4 in overtime. Borgen's rookie collegiate season ends with 14 points (1+13) and a plus-17 rating in 37 games.

St. Cloud State forward Judd Peterson (2012, seventh round) contributed one shot on goal in the West Region Semifinal loss to Ferris State. Peterson ends the year with 16 goals and 23 points in 38 contests.


Sweden
Victor Olofsson (2014, seventh round) finished off a three-on-one rush Tuesday as MODO downed Leksands IF 4-0 in Game Two of their SHL Qualification series. Olofsson continued to light the lamp Thursday with a blistering wrist shot for his fourth goal of the series, but MODO could not generate anything else in taking a 2-1 overtime loss in Game Three.

On Saturday, Olofsson saw his three-game goal streak snapped as MODO was defeated by Leksands 2-1 in Game Four. MODO will host the pivotal fifth match of the best-of-seven series Monday with the series knotted at two games apiece.

Gustav Possler (2013, fifth round) was unable to record any points last week as MODO took a two-game lead in their SHL Qualification series Tuesday before dropping the next two to Leksands IF. Through four games of the series, Possler has one goal, one assist and a plus-1 rating.


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 or for photos of his new puppy.

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