|Hudson Fasching (Photo: Getty Images)
University of Minnesota winger Hudson Fasching made a bold statement over the weekend, using his combination of size, reach and power skating skills to collect six points as the Golden Gophers earned a conference sweep of Penn State to capture their second consecutive Big Ten regular season championship.
The fun began on Friday as Fasching buried a goal from the doorstep and added one assist as Minnesota spanked Penn State 5-0 to keep their title hopes alive. Fasching did his part again on Saturday, striking for two goals and a career-high four points as the Gophers cruised past the Nittany Lions 6-2 to earn the top seed for the conference tournament, which begins on Thursday.
Fasching heads into the postseason with goals in each of his last two games while notching points in eight of his last 11. The budding power forward has 12 goals, 25 points and a plus-18 rating through 35 contests.
Minnesota will face either Penn State or Ohio State on Friday in the tournament semifinals.
Cal Petersen (2013, fifth round) saw his excellent freshman season come to an end as Notre Dame was defeated by Massachusetts-Lowell 2-1 in their best-of-three Hockey East quarterfinal.
Petersen allowed five goals on 17 shots before being replaced for the final frame as the Fighting Irish were blanked 5-0 in Friday’s opener. Petersen hit the reboot button on Saturday, bouncing back with a solid 25-save effort as Notre Dame pulled even with a 4-2 win. The rookie backstop ran out of gas on Sunday, allowing six goals on 13 shots in two periods worth of work in a 6-4 loss to the Riverhawks. Petersen wrapped his freshman campaign with a 13-16-3 record, 2.51 GAA and .919 save%.
After going without a point in Friday’s shutout loss to Massachusetts-Lowell, Connor Hurley (2013, second round) recorded one assist Saturday as the Fighting Irish earned the 4-2 win. Hurley, who was again blanked in Sunday’s season-ending loss, concludes his first collegiate season with four goals and 14 points in 41 games.
Sean Malone (2013, sixth round) broke in from center ice to score his seventh goal of the year as Harvard opened the ECAC quarterfinal round with a 3-2 win at Yale. The following night, Malone saw his six-game point streak snapped in a 2-0 loss to the Bulldogs. Malone would again go without a point Sunday while supplying key work on the penalty kill as the Crimson earned a 3-2 double-OT triumph to advance to Friday’s semifinal matchup with Quinnipiac in Lake Placid, NY.
Anthony Florentino (2013, fifth round) picked up one assist Friday to snap an eight-game point drought as Providence opened the quarterfinal round with a 2-1 overtime loss to New Hampshire. Florentino recorded two shots on goal Saturday in a 2-1 victory, and produced another two shots Sunday as the Friars were eliminated with another 2-1 overtime loss. With much still left to be decided in the national picture, the Friars eagerly await the draw for the 2015 NCAA Tournament on Sunday, March 22 to learn if they’ll extend their season.
Providence defenseman Mark Adams (2009, fifth round) made his only appearance of the quarterfinal round on Saturday, posting one shot on goal and a minus-one rating as the Friars claimed victory. In 28 appearances, the fifth-year senior has three points (1+2) and a plus-eight rating.
Jason Kasdorf saw his ECAC season come to an end Saturday following a 22-save performance as RPI was rolled by St. Lawrence 5-1. The redshirt sophomore, who stopped 33 shots on Friday in a 1-0 loss to the Saints, completes the year with an 11-19-2 record, 2.97 GAA and .902 save%. He started 33 of the Engineers’ 41 games.
Freshman winger Judd Peterson (2012, seventh round) registered two shots on goal Friday as St. Cloud State earned a 2-1 double-OT triumph at Nebraska-Omaha. Peterson contributed one shot on Saturday as the Huskies advanced to the NCHC semifinals with a 3-1 win over the Mavericks. Peterson and the Huskies return to work Friday in Minneapolis, MN against top-ranked North Dakota.
JT Compher (2013, second round) recorded one assist Friday before leaving the game late in the first period as Michigan defeated in-state rival Michigan State 5-3. Compher, who remained out on Saturday as the Wolverines closed regular season play with a 2-1 loss to the Spartans, has 11 goals and 23 points in 31 games heading into Thursday's Big Ten tournament opener versus Wisconsin.
Brad Navin scored a pair of goals Friday as Wisconsin and Ohio State played to a 2-2 tie, and then finished with two shots on goal Saturday in 2-0 loss to the Buckeyes. The Friday goals, Navin's first since Oct. 18, give the senior captain eight points (3+5) in 34 games this season. The Badgers closed the regular season by being shut out in five of their final seven games.
Christian Isackson (2010, seventh round) notched one shot on goal Friday and added an assist on Saturday as Minnesota earned the weekend sweep of Penn State. The senior forward has captured three goals and seven points in 36 games.
Sam Reinhart (2014, first round) scored his 18th goal of the season Friday as Kootenay blew past Medicine Hat 7-1. The ICE captain, who bookended the week with scoreless nights on Tuesday and Sunday in wins over Lethbridge and Red Deer, has failed to gain a point in three of four regular season games for the first time since December of 2012. Reinhart enters the final week of the season with 59 points in 44 games for the ICE, who own the seventh position for the Eastern Conference playoffs with three dates remaining.
Brycen Martin (2014, third round) was unable to produce any offense in the week’s three games as the Blades ran their losing streak to seven games. After posting points in 12 straight games in January and February, the defender has gotten on the sheet in just two of his next 14. The Blades close the season this weekend with a home-and-home set against Medicine Hat.
Nicholas Baptiste (2013, third round) notched one assist Wednesday as Erie blanked Niagara 3-0. Baptiste, who was kept off the scoresheet in weekend wins over Windsor and Kitchener, enters the final week of the regular season with 61 points (29+32), including an even 50 (23+27) in 39 tilts with the Otters.
Eric Cornel (2014, second round) was shutout of the week’s three games as Peterborough’s winless streak hit four. The Petes leading scorer with 52 points (14+38), Cornel has just two goals in his last 20. Peterborough holds a five-point lead on Mississauga for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot with three games left to play.
Jean Dupuy scored his 17th goal of the year Wednesday as Sault Ste. Marie saw their 12-game winning streak snapped with a 4-2 loss at North Bay. Dupuy, who did not register in the Hounds’ Friday win over Plymouth, notched one assist Saturday in a 6-3 doubling of Sarnia to up his season take to 44 points in 53 games.
Sault Ste. Marie forward Justin Bailey (2013, second round) remained sidelined with an ankle injury but could return for the final weekend of the regular season. Bailey, who piled up 34 goals and 67 points prior to sustaining the injury, is slated to play a key role for what is expected to be a deep playoff run for the Western Conference leaders.
After sitting out of Friday’s win over Rimouski, Vaclav Karabacek (2014, second round) recorded one shot on goal Saturday as Baie-Comeau dropped a 4-3 decision to the Oceanic. Karabacek has no goals in his last eight games and just one in his last 10.
Christopher Brown (2014, sixth round) picked up one assist Tuesday as Tri-City smoked Lincoln 6-1. Brown was held off the scoresheet in Friday’s 4-1 loss to the Lancers, but secured another helper on Saturday as the Storm earned a 5-3 victory at Omaha to slide into first place in the Western Conference standings. The Boston College-commit has five assists in seven games since being acquired by the Storm, and a total of 37 points (13+24) in 50 games between Tri-City and Green Bay.
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.