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SABRES PROSPECTS REPORT

by Kris Baker / Buffalo Sabres
Vaclav Karabacek

Vaclav Karabacek (2014, second round) emerged from the opening round of the playoffs as his club’s co-leading point-getter as the Baie-Comeau Drakkar advanced to the second round of the QMJHL playoffs with a 4-1 series triumph over the Saint John Sea Dogs.

Karabacek notched his first goal of the playoffs and added two assists Tuesday as Baie-Comeau edged Saint John 6-5. With the Drakkar ahead 2-0, Karabacek carried the puck beneath the goal line and quickly cut to the side of the net to stuff it home at 13:35. The victory gave Baie-Comeau a commanding 3-0 lead in the first-round series.

Karabacek saw his three game point streak snapped Thursday in a 4-2 loss to the Sea Dogs, but resumed production with a power-play goal on Saturday as the Drakkar advanced with a 7-4 win.

Karabacek is tied for third overall in league playoff scoring with eight points (2+6) through five games. The Drakkar may need to wait until the close of play on Tuesday to learn who their next opponent will be.


Reinhart

WHL
Sam Reinhart
(2014, first round) rose to the occasion last week, collecting four goals and seven points in four contests as the Kootenay ICE battled back to force a deciding Game 7 in their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series versus the Calgary Hitmen.

Reinhart scored a pair of goals and added an assist Tuesday to earn the game's third star as Kootenay dropped a wild 8-7 overtime decision to Calgary. The next day, Reinhart posted one assist as the ICE was shellacked 7-2, putting Reinhart’s squad in 3-1 hole in the best-of-seven series.

Reinhart connected for one goal and one assist Friday as Kootenay stayed alive with a 5-4 overtime victory over the Hitmen. Reinhart, who earlier in the period took a pair of minor penalties, banged home a rebound on the power play to make it a 4-4 game with less than a minute remaining in the middle frame.

Again fighting to extend their season, Reinhart potted an empty-net goal on Saturday as Kootenay earned a 4-2 victory to force the pivotal Game 7. Reinhart has totaled five goals and eight points thus far in the series while contributing on the scoresheet in five of the six games.

The teams will cap an exciting opening round matchup Monday evening at Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary.


OHL
Nicholas Baptiste
(2013, third round) scored twice Friday as Erie advanced to the second round of the OHL playoffs with a 7-0 pounding of Sarnia. Baptiste drilled a slapshot from the right face-off circle just 27 seconds into the second period to give the Otters a 2-0 lead. He picked up his second of the night just 4:29 later with a quick wrist shot off a face-off as Erie closed out the first round series in five games.

Baptiste, who was held off the scoresheet Tuesday as Erie clawed their way to a 4-3 overtime win in Game 4, has three goals and four points in five playoff games. The Otters will square off with the London Knights in the best-of-seven Western Conference quarterfinals, with Game 1 set for Thursday in Erie.

Bailey

Justin Bailey (2013, second round) was unable to produce Tuesday as Sault Ste. Marie blanked Saginaw 4-0. On Thursday, Bailey finished with a plus-one rating as the Greyhounds erased a two-goal deficit to earn a 5-2 win to sweep the first round playoff series. Bailey produced three goals in the series’ four games. The Greyhounds are set to face the Guelph Storm in the next round, starting Wednesday in Sault Ste. Marie.

Sault Ste. Marie forward Jean Dupuy missed all four games of the opening round with an upper-body injury sustained in the final weekend of the regular season. The grinding 20-year-old notched career-highs during the regular season with 18 goals, 46 points and a plus-40 rating.

Eric Cornel (2014, second round) did not register as Peterborough was blanked by Oshawa 4-0 on Thursday. Cornel was again unable to produce Friday as the Petes were eliminated from the postseason with a 3-2 loss in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal. Cornel ends the playoff season with one assist in five games.


USHL
Christopher Brown
(2014, sixth round) logged a minus-three rating Friday as Tri-City edged Sioux Falls 7-6. On Saturday, Brown posted one shot on goal as the Storm downed Cedar Rapids 4-1. With another quiet weekend, Brown will enter the final week of regular season action with a 19-game goal drought. The Boston College commit has 13 goals and 37 points in 56 games this season between Tri-City and Green Bay. The Storm, who have already clinched a playoff berth, are currently one point behind Western Conference leader Sioux City with two games left to play.


NCAA
College hockey was idle last week as the remaining teams prepared for the 2015 Men’s Frozen Four Championship at TD Garden in Boston. On Thursday, defensemen Anthony Florentino (2013, fifth round) and Mark Adams (2009, fifth round) will take the ice as the Providence Friars take on Nebraska-Omaha in the first semifinal. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN2 at 5 pm ET. The Friars, who claimed the East Regional title with a 4-1 win over Denver last Sunday, are participating in their first Frozen Four since 1985.


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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