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SABRES PROSPECTS REPORT

by Kris Baker / Buffalo Sabres
Brendan Lemieux (OHL Images)

If the Barrie Colts included goals on their holiday wish list, it’s safe to say that Brendan Lemieux (2014, second round) delivered in a big way last week with his last-minute shopping.

Lemieux was a man on a mission Friday, returning from a two-game suspension to post a career-high four goals in the Colts’ 8-3 victory over Sudbury. The haul, which included three power-play markers and one while shorthanded, earned the feisty winger an obvious first-star selection.

On Saturday, Lemieux kept it going with two more goals including the game-winner to earn back-to-back first-star honors as Barrie downed Ottawa 3-1. The big weekend gives Lemieux 11 goals in six December contests heading into the holiday break.

With a net-crashing mentality and a knack for deflecting pucks, Lemieux’s scoring pace this season has been nothing short of exceptional. His 25 goals through 27 games rank third among Ontario Hockey League scorers, while his .926 goals-per-game and 13 power-play tallies are best in the league.


OHL
Justin Bailey
(2013, second round) notched one goal and one assist last week as Kitchener won once and lost once. After getting a helper in Tuesday’s overtime loss to London, Bailey quickly converted a turnover for his 18th goal of the year in Kitchener’s 5-1 win over Sault Ste. Marie on Friday. The third-year winger continues to lead the Rangers with 36 points in 31 games.

Nicholas Baptiste (2013, third round) potted his ninth goal of the year Friday as Erie downed Niagara 6-5 in a shootout. Baptiste picked up a secondary assist in Saturday’s loss at Guelph, leaving him with six points (3+3) in eight games since being dealt to Erie.

Eric Cornel (2014, second round) registered two assists Thursday as Peterborough fell to Belleville 5-4. The second point came off an excellent individual effort below the goal line that saw him leverage his agility and vision to post a highlight-reel helper. On Friday, Cornel logged an even rating in the Petes’ 3-1 win over Kingston to finish the week with 28 points (8+20) through 31 games.

Jean Dupuy returned to action Thursday after missing the previous three games with a sprained knee as Sault Ste. Marie edged Guelph 3-2 in overtime. Dupuy finished with an even rating Friday while leading a busy penalty killing unit as the Greyhounds saw their four-game winning streak come to an end with a 5-1 loss to Kitchener.


USHL
In Friday action, Christopher Brown (2014, sixth round) was blanked on his four shots on goal as Green Bay earned their third straight victory with a 3-2 shootout decision over Dubuque. Brown, who entered the night with 16 points in his last 16 games, continues to lead the Gamblers' attack with 10 goals and 21 points in his first 25 games.


World Junior Pre-Tournament
J.T. Compher
(2013, second round) scored in each of Team USA’s pre-tournament games over the weekend to state his case for a spot on the 23-man roster. On Friday, Compher buried a shot from down low for USA’s fourth goal in a 5-2 victory over Boston University. The University of Michigan sophomore was back at it Sunday, breaking down the left wing and cutting inside for the game’s first goal in a 5-2 win over Germany.

Budding power forward Hudson Fasching picked up an assist for Team USA in Sunday’s win over Germany. A returnee from last year’s squad, Fasching was given a night off on Friday as his camp mates rolled past the Terriers. Team USA closes the pre-tournament schedule Tuesday versus Sweden.

Sam Reinhart (2014, first round) scored his first goal of pre-tournament competition Sunday when he finished off a give-and-go with Joe Hicketts (DET) as Canada defeated Sweden 5-2. On Friday, Reinhart’s line with Max Domi (ARI) and Anthony Duclair (NYR) led the way with several prime chances as Canada produced 53 shots on goal in a 2-1 overtime loss to Russia.

Victor Olofsson (2014, seventh round) was blanked in Sweden’s loss to Canada on Sunday. Tied for second in points among U20 SHL skaters, Olofsson skated on a line with Axel Holmstrom (DET) and University of Minnesota winger Leon Bristedt.

Goaltender Jonas Johansson (2014, third round) did not play for Sweden as Samuel Ward allowed five goals on 23 shots to take the loss to Canada on Saturday. The only returning backstop from last year’s silver medalists, Johansson is still returning to form after battling a bacterial throat infection at the start of the season.

Vaclav Karabacek (2014, second round) saw his World Junior hopes dashed as he was released by the Czech Republic on Saturday. Karabacek was held without a point while taking a boarding minor in a 2-1 overtime loss to Finland the night before. The 18-year-old winger returns to Gatineau of the QMJHL, where he has collected 10 goals and 23 points in 29 games.

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