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Hagel has big weekend while Olofsson claims SHL goal-scoring title

by Kris Baker @SabresProspects / SabresProspects.com

Brandon Hagel (2016, sixth round) maintained the hot hand last week, snagging a goal and two assists Friday and logging a fighting major to complete the Gordie Howe hat trick in Red Deer's 4-1 win over Lethbridge.

Tweet from @SabresProspects: Brandon Hagel galloped down the ice for this short-handed goal as part of a three-point night in Red Deer's 4-1 win at Lethbridge. pic.twitter.com/ur8eJT0Cak

Hagel kept at it Saturday, recording his third career hat trick and adding an assist to thrust the Rebels to a 5-2 victory over Medicine Hat. 

Tweet from @SabresProspects: Following his hat-trick-plus-assist effort Saturday, Red Deer's Brandon Hagel has 10-23-33 in 27 games since his six-week injury absence. For the season, Hagel has 56 points (17+39) in 54 games. #Sabres pic.twitter.com/rSb19AI08p

Hagel has been on fire since the calendar rolled over into March, potting five goals and five assists in his last five games.

Last March, Hagel produced nine goals and 15 points in eight regular-season games before closing the month with four goals in four postseason contests.

The recent hot stretch has elevated Hagel to 17 goals and 56 points in 54 games.

In Sweden, Victor Olofsson (2014, seventh round) snatched a pair of even-strength goals Saturday as Frokunda HC capped the regular season with an 8-3 thrashing of Brynas IF.

The effort boosted Olofsson to 27 markers on the season, giving him the Swedish Hockey League goal-scoring title, three clear of his next closest competitor.

Tweet from @SabresProspects: Victor Olofsson strikes twice to finish the regular season with an SHL-best 27 goals in Fr��lunda's 8-3 thrashing of Bryn��s. #Sabres pic.twitter.com/soYnyQpH2N

In 50 games, Olofsson totaled 43 points to finish second in team scoring and eighth among all league skaters.

Following a third-place finish in regular season play, Frolunda will face Malmo IF Redhawks in a quarterfinal series beginning March 19.


OHL

Kingston forward Cliff Pu (2016, third round) struck for a pair of power-play goals plus an assist Friday as the Frontenacs rolled past Ottawa 7-2.

Tweet from @SabresProspects: Cliff Pu potted a pair on the power play Friday as Kingston cruised past Ottawa 7-2. pic.twitter.com/5NumuaEL7t

Pu, who ended the week with two more helpers in a 5-4 overtime win at Ottawa, has collected seven points in six games since returning from his week-and-half injury absence. In 62 games split between London and Kingston, Pu has 25 goals and 79 points.

Defenseman Austin Osmanski (2016, seventh round) recorded his second fighting major of the season Sunday as Peterborough extended their winless streak to seven games with a 4-0 loss at Sudbury.

Osmanski has one goal and 16 assists in 62 appearances this season with the sinking Petes.


WHL

Prince Albert defenseman Vojtech Budik (2016, fifth round) notched one assist Wednesday to extend his point streak to nine games as the Raiders doubled Edmonton 4-2.

Budik saw his streak end Friday in a 6-4 victory over Moose Jaw, but began another one Saturday when he drilled a slap shot for a goal as the Raiders closed out Calgary 4-3 in overtime.

Budik has been on a tear since Dec. 1, notching 35 points (13+22) in as many games. In 60 games total this season, Budik has set career highs with 14 goals and 26 assists.

Tweet from @SabresProspects: Vojtech Budik's 14 goals this season are tied for sixth among WHL defensemen. In his previous four years against WHL, Czech U18/U20 and U17/U18/U20 international competition, Budik posted 16 goals in a combined 245 games. pic.twitter.com/hZ3CVcOHiu


QMJHL

Shawinigan Cataractes forward Vasily Glotov (2016, seventh round) went without a goal for the second consecutive week to extend his scoring drought to eight games. 

Glotov has scored a team-best 29 goals and 43 total points in 62 games for a last-place Cataractes squad that is currently amidst a 13-game winless skid.


NCAA

Casey Mittelstadt (2017, first round) and his University of Minnesota Golden Gophers teammates were swept by Penn State and bounced from the Big Ten Hockey Tournament two weekends ago, but not before Mittelstadt asserted his dominance in the two-game set.

On March 2, Mittlestadt scored twice as part of a five-shot effort as the Gophers lost 5-3.

Tweet from @SabresProspects: Casey Mittelstadt pots a pair on the power play as Minnesota falls to Penn State 5-3. Mittelstadt: 33GP 10-17-27 #Sabres pic.twitter.com/AfOG1hHGKd

On March 3, Mittelstadt added another goal and drew the primary helpers on two others in a 6-5 defeat.

Tweet from @SabresProspects: Watch Casey Mittelstadt capture a goal and two helpers last night in Minnesota's 6-5 loss at Penn State. Gophers bounced from B1G tourney, now await NCAA brackets on 3/18. Mittelstadt: 34GP 11-19-30 pic.twitter.com/vwk8E1GJyA

Mittelstadt earned points on five of the eight goals his team scored to give him an even 30 (11+19) through 34 games.

Mittelstadt and his mates will now wait for the 2018 NCAA Men's Division I Ice Hockey Tournament brackets to be released on March 18 to learn if their season will continue.

Penn State sophomore Brett Murray (2016, fourth round) returned to the lineup two Friday's ago as the fourth-line center, notching one assist and a plus-1 rating as Penn State defeated Minnesota 5-3.

Murray returned on Saturday, but the appearance was brief as he was assessed a game misconduct late in the opening frame for a check to the head as the Nittany Lions eliminated the Gophers with a 6-5 triumph.

Murray, who was unable to connect in Friday's 3-2 loss to Notre Dame in the Big Ten semifinal, has one goal and six points in 20 games for a Penn State club that will now await its placement in the 2018 NCAA Men's Division I Ice Hockey Tournament.

Elsewhere in the Big Ten, motoring winger Linus Weissbach (2017, seventh round) produced a power-play goal and a pair of helpers two weekends ago, but it wasn't enough as Wisconsin was swept at Michigan in the Big Ten quarterfinal round by scores of 6-5 and 7-4.

Weissbach's excellent weekend concludes a rock-solid freshman campaign that saw him finish third in team scoring with 26 points (10+16) in 34 games. 

Ivan Chukarov (2015, seventh round) recorded an assist as Massachusetts advanced to the Hockey East quarterfinal with a 5-1 victory over Vermont in the third and deciding game of the best-of-three opening round series.

Chukarov and the Minutemen were pleased to advance to the conference quarterfinals with 17 victories just one year removed from a five-win season, but the pleasure ended there as they were swept by Northeastern 3-2 and 7-2. Chukarov, a junior defenseman, logged two shots on goal and a plus-one rating his season came to an end.

After missing the first nine games of the season due injury, Chukarov was a steady defensive contributor the rest of the way with six assists, an even rating, and 34 shots on goal in the Minutemen's final 31 contests.

Boston College defenseman Casey Fitzgerald (2016, third round) produced five shots on goal over the weekend as Boston College advanced to TD Garden in Boston for the Hockey East semifinals with a 1-0 win over Merrimack on Friday and a 4-3 overtime victory the next night.

Like Fitzgerald, fellow Boston College tri-captain Christopher Brown (2014, sixth round) was unable to produce any points as the Eagles got past Merrimack, leaving the junior forward with eight goals and 18 points in 36 outings.

Jacob Bryson (2017, fourth round) assisted on the game-winning goal Friday as Providence opened their Hockey East quarterfinal series with a 4-3 victory over Maine.

Bryson, who was unable to get back on the score sheet Saturday as the Friars advanced with a 3-2 win over the Black Bears, will look to add to his 25 points (4+21) through 36 games Friday in the semifinal round versus Northeastern.

Philip Nyberg (2016, fifth round) saw his season come to an end over the weekend as Connecticut was swept by Boston University in a Hockey East Quarterfinal, losing 5-4 in overtime on Friday and 2-1 the following evening.

Nyberg appeared in 20 games for the Huskies, notching two goals and three points while leading all team defensemen with a plus-8 rating.

William Borgen (2015, fourth round) recorded one assist Friday as St. Cloud State opened their NCHC quarterfinal series with a 5-2 victory over Miami.

Borgen logged a minus-1 rating as the Huskies dropped a 3-2 overtime decision on Saturday, and provided another assist Sunday as St. Cloud State advanced to the conference semifinal with a 4-3 overtime triumph.

In 33 appearances, Borgen has collected two goals, 12 assists, and a plus-9 rating.

Judd Peterson (2012, seventh round) scored the game-tying goal with 5:52 remaining in regulation Sunday as St. Cloud State eliminated Miami from the NCHC Tournament with a 4-3 overtime win.

Peterson, who went without a point as the clubs split the first two games of the series, has six goals and 18 points in 37 appearances this season.

St. Cloud State now moves on to face North Dakota Friday in the NCHC semifinal.


Europe

In Thursday action, Marcus Davidsson (2017, second round) took a pass from beneath the goal line and quickly fired for his ninth goal of the year and added an assist as Djurgarden IF defeated HV 71 5-2.

Tweet from @SabresProspects: After scooping up a turnover for an earlier assist on what would be the GWG, Marcus Davidsson fired home his ninth goal of the year Thursday as Djurg��rden defeated HV 71 5-2. #Sabres pic.twitter.com/TsJmo1yHJt

Davidsson remained productive Saturday, scooping up a turnover and feeding a pass to the slot for a 
shorthanded assist as his team closed the regular season with a 3-2 victory over Orebro HK.

Davidsson, who produced seven goals and five assists in his last 16 games, ended the regular season with points in five consecutive contests. In 39 games, Davidsson posted 21 points (9+12) and a plus-16 rating.

Davidsson will look to keep the production coming Sunday, March 18 when Djurgarden opens the SHL quarterfinal round versus one of Lulea, Linkoping, or HV 71.

Farjestad BK centerman Rasmus Asplund (2016, second round) concluded regular-season play without points in his last six games to finish the schedule with career highs of eight goals and 28 points in 50 appearances.

Farjestad finished in fourth place, setting the stage for a quarterfinal series versus Skelleftea AIK beginning March 19.

In Finland, Ilves defenseman Oskari Laaksonen (2017, third round) one-timed a point blast that was tipped for goal Thursday as Ilves downed Sport 5-1.

Laaksonen, who logged 18:58 of work Saturday in a 5-1 season-ending loss to Lukko, ramped up his play over the second half of the season with four assists in 21 professional games, setting the table for him to become a large part of the Iles attack in 2018-19.

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (2017, second round) served as a backup last week as HPK Hameelinna closed the Liiga season with a win over Karpat Oulu and a loss to Tappara Tampere.

Luukkonen, who has not seen any game action since Feb. 9, will now be re-assigned to LeKi, where he posted a 2.92 goals-against average and .909 save percentage in the regular season, for the Mestis division playoffs.

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