Andrey Makarov continued to sparkle as the WHL’s hottest goaltender last week, guiding the Saskatoon Blades to four wins in five days to pull within two points of East Division leaders Prince Albert.
The reigning Vaughn CHL Goalie of the week, Makarov stopped a combined 131 of 139 shots in the victories, capped by a 27-save effort in Saturday’s 5-2 decision over Lethbridge. The Russian backstop has won eight consecutive starts, marking the longest unbeaten streak for Sabres goaltending prospects since Connor Knapp ripped off seven straight victories last season as a member of the Miami University RedHawks.
While Makarov has been one of the sharpest netminders in the league, he has also been one of the busiest. The workhorse goaltender has yet to enjoy a night off this season, either starting or coming on in relief for all 45 games he has suited up for en route to posting a 25-16-0-3 record with a 2.52 GAA and .921 save%.
In Friday action, Dan Catenacci (2011, third round) scored his first shorthanded goal of the year and added an assist as Owen Sound edged London 4-3. Catenacci opened the game’s scoring by chipping the puck past the Knights’ Olli Maatta (PIT), and outracing the defender down the ice to get his 29th goal of the year. The Newmarket, Ont.-native enters the week with a team-best 64 points (29+35) along with a league-high 49 minor penalties.
Justin Kea (2012, third round) snapped a four-game point drought Friday with a pair of assists as Saginaw defeated Sarnia 6-2. Kea followed up by adding an empty-net goal in the Spirit’s 5-2 win over Barrie on Saturday, giving the power forward 18 goals and 41 points with 15 games left on the regular season slate.
Brady Austin (2012, seventh round) earned an assist on the game-winning goal Saturday as Belleville downed Erie 4-1. The 6-foot-4 defender made a smart board pass to start a transition play as the Bulls struck for their second goal in a span of 48 seconds midway through the opening frame. Belleville enters the week trailing Barrie by three points for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
Barrie defenseman Alex Lepkowski (2011, fifth round) recorded an assist Saturday as the Colts were defeated by Saginaw 5-2. The helper, which snapped a 20-game offensive slumber, gives the rugged Lepkowski seven points (0+7) on the year.
Colin Jacobs (2011, fourth round) notched one assist last week as Prince George won once in three tries to remain in ninth place in Western Conference standings. Jacobs got the season off to a hot start with 14 points in the first eight games, but has connected for just 23 in his last 42 outings.
Brad Navin (2011, seventh round) picked up an assist Saturday as No. 19 Wisconsin edged Bemidji State 3-2. In the game’s seventh minute, the second-year winger stole the puck from the Beavers goaltender behind the net and fed it to Keegan Meuer for the easy goal. The Badgers played the weekend without top defenseman Jake McCabe (2012, second round), who injured his ankle midway through the third period of last Saturday's game at North Dakota.
Sophomore forward Christian Isackson (2010, seventh round) contributed three shots on goal as No. 1 Minnesota split a weekend set with No. 10 St. Cloud State. Isackson, who has gathered 15 points (3+12) this season, will look to snap a season-high four-game point drought on Friday when the Gophers begin a series with border rival Wisconsin.
Judd Peterson (2012, seventh round) registered an assist Sunday as Cedar Rapids dropped a 4-3 overtime decision at Green Bay. The Duluth, Minn. native has nine goals and 23 points through 38 appearances for the RoughRiders.
For more on all the youngsters in the Sabres pipeline, check out Kris Baker’s web site - 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.