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SABRES PROSPECTS REPORT

by Kris Baker / Buffalo Sabres
Cal Petersen

Notre Dame goaltender Cal Petersen (2013, fifth round) continued to dazzle the college hockey world over the weekend as Notre Dame advanced to the quarterfinal round of the Hockey East playoffs.

Petersen sparkled on Friday, setting an NCAA single-game record by stopping 87 of 91 shots as the Fighting Irish was defeated by Massachusetts 4-3 in the fifth overtime in the opening game of their first round series. The contest, which lasted for 151:42, was the longest ever played in NCAA hockey history.

The exciting extra frames were filled with end-to-end action, but strong goaltending from both sides extended the game to record duration. The Minutemen would get the deciding marker at 8:18 of the eighth period when a shot from the right wing was blocked by defenseman Robbie Russo (NYI) into the high slot, where it was deposited off the post and in by Shane Walsh.

There would be no marathon session the following night as Petersen made 22 saves to backstop a 5-3 triumph, setting the stage for a Sunday rubber match to decide the best-of-three series.

With the season on the line, Petersen remained sharp with a 23-save shutout as the Fighting Irish smoked the Minutemen 7-0 to close out the series. The shutout, Petersen’s fourth of the season, tied a Notre Dame record for freshmen.

Petersen’s hot start to March comes on the heels of a successful February that saw him named the Hockey East Goalie of the Month. Along the way, the Waterloo, IA-native was named the conference’s Defensive Player of the Week twice (Feb. 9, Feb. 16), Player of the Week (Feb. 23) and Rookie of the Week (March 2). He’ll take a 12-14-3 record, 2.26 GAA and .927 save% into this weekend’s quarterfinal round matchup at Massachusetts-Lowell.

Fellow Notre Dame freshman Connor Hurley (2013, second round) was blanked in the first two games of the series, but came through with his fourth goal of the season in Sunday’s clincher over Massachusetts. The marker ended a 21-game goal drought for the 19-year-old pivot, who now has 13 points in his first 38 collegiate contests.


J.T. Compher

NCAA
JT Compher (2013, second round) connected for his second hat trick in as many weekends Saturday as Michigan was defeated by Penn State 4-3. The night before, Compher earned one assist and six shots on goal in a 6-4 loss to the Nittany Lions. The sophomore has picked up the pace of late, snagging seven goals in his last four games to elevate him to 22 points (11+11) through 30 contests. The Wolverines close the Big Ten regular season next weekend with a home-and-home set with Michigan State.

Sophomore centerman Sean Malone (2013, sixth round) netted two assists Friday as Harvard opened their ECAC first-round playoff series with a 6-2 win over Brown. Malone picked up another helper Saturday to extend his point streak to five games as the Crimson ended the Bears’ season with a 4-3 victory. Malone has 16 points (6+10) in 15 games this season. Harvard moves on to face Yale in the quarterfinal.

Brown winger Maxwell Willman (2014, fifth round) produced two shots on goal in a scoring line role in the Bears’ losses at Harvard. Willman ends his freshman campaign with one goal and three points in 30 games.

In ECAC first round playoff action, Jason Kasdorf turned away 36 of 38 shots Friday as RPI skated past Clarkson 3-2. The redshirt sophomore was pulled after allowing four goals in Saturday’s 5-0 loss, but returned Sunday with a 33-save effort as the Engineers eliminated the Golden Knights 3-1 in the deciding Game 3. Kasdorf will again be relied on heavily when RPI visits St. Lawrence this weekend in the quarterfinal round.

Hudson Fasching entered the week with points in six of his previous seven games, but came away empty as Minnesota split a pair of conference tilts with Ohio State. Fasching registered two shots on goal Friday in a 4-2 doubling of the Buckeyes. The sophomore logged another two-shot performance on Saturday as the Gophers were dealt a 5-2 loss. Fasching has captured nine goals and 19 points in 33 games for the Gophers, who close the conference schedule next weekend with a home set against Penn State.

Minnesota senior Christian Isackson (2010, seventh round) was held off the scoresheet in the split with Ohio State, leaving him with six points (3+3) in 34 games.

Brad Navin (2011, seventh round) combined for five shots on goal as Wisconsin dropped a pair of 3-0 decisions to Michigan State. The Badgers have now been blanked in four of their last five games heading into their final regular season series against Ohio State.

Judd Peterson (2012, seventh round) recorded one shot on goal Friday as St. Cloud State was defeated by Denver 3-2. Peterson, who did not play on Saturday in the Huskies’ 4-2 win, has six points (3+3) in 31 games. St. Cloud State opens the NCHC tournament on Friday at the University of Nebraska-Omaha.

Providence defensemen Anthony Florentino (2013, fifth round) and Mark Adams (2009, fifth round) enjoyed a bye week as the No. 2 seed for the Hockey East. The Friars will hit the ice Friday versus New Hampshire for Game 1 of their quarterfinal series.


Nicholas Baptiste

OHL
Nicholas Baptiste
(2013, third round) continued his recent excellence Wednesday with a goal and two assists to help Erie to 10-5 stomping of Barrie. Baptiste kept it going on Saturday, scoring a pair of goals including the game-winner to earn the game's first star as the Otters downed Barrie 5-3 to clinch the Midwest Division title. On Sunday, the Ottawa native saw his eight-game point streak come to a halt in a come-from-behind 5-3 win at North Bay. Baptiste has scored in seven of his last nine games to boost his season totals to 29 goals and 59 points.

After assisting on his team’s only goal in Tuesday’s 5-1 loss to Owen Sound, Peterborough forward Eric Cornel (2014, second round) potted an empty-net goal to go along with two helpers Thursday as the Petes surprised London 4-1. Cornel's marker, his 14th of the year, put a halt to his 11-game goal drought. He had just one goal in his previous 15 games. Cornel remained productive on Friday with one assist as the Petes were downed by Kingston 4-2. Cornel has points in three straight games and a total of 52 (14+38) on the year.

Jean Dupuy notched one goal last week as Sault Ste. Marie won all three of their contests to extend their winning streak to 12 games. Dupuy, who scored his 16th goal of the year Friday in a 5-4 victory at Sarnia, has 42 points in 50 games with the Greyhounds.

Sault Ste. Marie winger Justin Bailey (2013, second round) remained out of the Sault Ste. Marie lineup with an ankle injury. The Williamsville product has a combined 33 goals and 67 points in 61 games this season with Kitchener and the Greyhounds.


Sam Reinhart

WHL
Sam Reinhart
(2014, first round) collected one assist Friday to extend his point streak to nine games as Kootenay lost to Red Deer 2-1 in a shootout. He was unable to extend it on Saturday as the ICE were blanked at Medicine Hat 1-0. Reinhart has 58 points (17+41) in 41 games for the ICE, who maintain control of the first wildcard position for the Eastern Conference playoffs with six games remaining on the regular season schedule.

One night after finishing with a minus-one rating in a 2-1 loss to Lethbridge, Saskatoon defenseman Brycen Martin (2014, third round) ended a six-game point drought with one assist as the Blades were blown out by Moose Jaw 7-1. The helper gives Martin a career-high 38 points with six dates remaining on the schedule. The last-place Blades have won just 19 of their 66 games.


QMJHL
Vaclav Karabacek
(2014, second round) went without a point as Baie-Comeau was smoked 9-1 by Rouyn-Noranda on Wednesday and 5-0 to Val-d’Or on Friday. Karabacek would bounce back with one assist Saturday as the Drakkar were again beaten by Val-d'Or, 5-2. The right-winger has collected 14 points (5+9) in 25 games since being dealt to the Drakkar, who have already clinched a playoff spot with four games left to play.


USHL
Christopher Brown
(2014, sixth round) was blanked Thursday as Tri-City was defeated 4-3 by Fargo. The Storm forward came back strong on Friday with an assist on the game-winning goal in a 3-2 win over the Force. Brown has helpers in three of his first four games with the Storm to leave him with 37 points (13+22) in 45 games this season.


Linus Ullmark

SWE
Linus Ullmark
(2012, sixth round) was perfect through 56 minutes Tuesday, but allowed three late goals in a span of 55 seconds as MODO held on for a 5-3 win over Orebro HK. Ullmark finished the contest with 29 saves. Ullmark followed up with 26 saves Thursday as MODO closed the regular season schedule with a 2-1 loss to Brynas IF.

Gustav Possler (2013, fifth round) recorded one assist Tuesday for his first point in seven games as MODO downed Orebro HK. Possler, who was blanked in Thursday’s loss to Brynas IF, finished the regular season with nine goals and 21 points in 47 games.

Victor Olofsson (2014, seventh round) returned to MODO from his loan to Timra IK of Hockey Allsvenskan, but was unable to produce any points as the regular season schedule came to a close. Olofsson played in 39 of MODO’s 55 games this season, finishing third in team scoring with 10 goals. MODO is now off until March 16 when they host game one of a best-of-seven SHL qualifying series.


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.
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