A pair of Notre Dame newcomers recorded career milestones over the weekend, but it wasn’t the “luck of the Irish” that led to good fortune for the Buffalo Sabres’ prospect duo.
Goaltender Cal Petersen (2013, fifth round) earned his first-ever NCAA victory Saturday, stopping 27 of 28 shots as the Fighting Irish downed Lake Superior State 5-1 to sweep the weekend series. The agile USHL product was exceptional in his first nationally-televised start, displaying keen puck tracking, a sharp glove hand and good rebound control all game long to elevate his early season numbers to 1-1 with a 2.01 GAA and .930 save%.
While Petersen was doing his thing, fellow freshman Connor Hurley (2013, second round) made a smart hockey play to notch his first collegiate point - an assist - in Notre Dame’s Saturday win. The centerman chipped a puck to the wing and then promptly filled the center lane for a screen to help create the third Fighting Irish goal. Known for his vision and playmaking skill, Hurley is poised to make an immediate impact as Notre Dame prepares for the always difficult Hockey East schedule.
Notre Dame welcomes Niagara University to town this weekend for a pair of non-conference games on Friday and Saturday. Both games are 7:30 p.m. starts, and can be heard locally on WLVL 1340AM.
Brendan Lemieux (2014, second round) captured the game-winning goal Saturday and added an assist to help Barrie to a 7-4 triumph over Windsor. It was the second straight two-point effort from Lemieux after the feisty winger posted one goal and one assist in Friday’s loss to Kitchener. Lemieux, who has 11 points (6+5) through his first nine games, will look to maintain the production on Wednesday when Barrie travels to Owen Sound.
Kitchener’s Justin Bailey (2013, second round) kept his train rolling as the team’s offensive leader with two goals and one assist in the week’s three outings. The third-year winger now has eight goals, 13 points and a career-best eight-game point streak since returning from his second NHL training camp. He’ll look to keep the hot hand when the Rangers square off with Guelph on Tuesday.
After being blanked in Wednesday’s loss to Sarnia, Eric Cornel (2014, second round) finished off a three-way passing play for an even-strength tally Saturday as Peterborough dropped a 4-3 shootout decision to Plymouth. Cornel went without a goal in his first three games following his return from Buffalo, but has since connected for four in his last five. The Petes host Saginaw on Thursday.
Vaclav Karabacek (2014, second round) was unable to get on the score sheet as Gatineau dropped both ends of a home-and-home series with Blainville-Boisbriand. Karabacek has eight points (3+5) in his first 11 games, as the Olympiques get back to work Tuesday versus Rimouski.
Swift Current defenseman Brycen Martin (2014, third round) compiled a minus-one rating last week as the Broncos lost all three of their games. A six-goal scorer a season ago, Martin has yet to find the back of the net in his first 13 outings. The Broncos are at home versus Portland on Wednesday.
Brad Navin (2011, seventh round) scored his first goal of the year Saturday as Wisconsin’s woes continued with a 4-1 loss to Northern Michigan. On Friday, Navin contributed one shot on goal in a 2-0 shutout loss to the Wildcats. Losers of four straight, Wisconsin gets a two-week break before tangling with former WCHA rival North Dakota.
J.T. Compher (2013, second round) netted one assist over the weekend as No. 10 Michigan split a pair of games with New Hampshire as part of the Big Ten/Hockey East Challenge. Compher has two points (0+2) through the first three games of the year while playing at right wing on the Wolverines’ top line. Michigan treks to New England this weekend for games with UMass-Lowell and Boston University.
In Thursday exhibition action, Anthony Florentino (2013, fifth round) recorded one shot on goal and a minus-two rating as No. 5 Providence played to a 3-3 tie with the USA Under-18 Team. Senior defenseman Mark Adams (2009, fifth round) finished with an even rating for the Friars, who hit the road next weekend for a set with North Dakota.
In Saturday action, Christopher Brown (2014, sixth round) scored his third goal of the year as Green Bay edged Tri-City 4-3 in a shootout. The Boston College commit was blanked the night before in a 4-0 loss to the Storm. Brown will look to add to his five points in six games on Friday when Green Bay visits Muskegon.
Gustav Possler (2013, fifth round) converted on the power play Saturday to snap a seven-game goal drought as MODO lost to Brynäs IF 2-1. The tally was the second of the year and first since Sept. 18 for Possler, who logged a season-high 21:05 while flanking William Nylander (TOR) on MODO's top line. The 20-year-old began the week with season-low 15:48 of work in Wednesday’s 2-1 win over Linköping HC.
Victor Olofsson (2014, seventh round) resumed his second-line role but was kept off the score sheet as MODO finished the week with one win and one loss. The efficient winger has amassed four goals on just 14 shots in 12 games.
Goaltender Linus Ullmark (2012, sixth round) served as the backup in both of MODO’s contests. Through six starts, Ullmark has amassed a 1-4 record with a 4.53 GAA and .847 save%. He could return to the net Wednesday when MODO takes on Färjestads BK.
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.