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The two biggest games in Canadian Major Junior Hockey, at least according to last week’s KIA CHL Top 10 Rankings, prominently featured two Sabres prospects.
Mats Lindgren and his then-unbeaten Red Deer Rebels (15-0) showed up in Winnipeg to face the once-beaten ICE (16-1) and Matthew Savoie in a midweek back-to-back. Red Deer entered the set ranked No.1. Winnipeg was No.3.
(Who’s the No.2 team you may ask? The Quebec Remparts, whose blueline has been manned quite ably this season by Vesevolod Komarov – more and them and him below)
Winnipeg got the better of Red Deer in both games, winning 3-1 and 7-4.
Savoie earned No.1 star in the opener, scoring a superb shorthanded goal. Savoe had a single assist in the second game.
Lindgren didn’t notch a point in either game, and was a combined minus-two.
Red Deer’s travel troubles continued over the weekend. The Rebels lost a shootout to Brandon (3-2), before falling to Connor Bedard and Regina (6-2). Lindgren scored Red Deer's final goal against the Pats.
Savoie had a big offensive night in the ICE’s 8-3 weekend rout of Brandon, scoring once and dishing out two assists.
Red Deer next: Nov. 15, at Edmonton; Nov. 18, at Lethbridge; Nov. 19, host Brandon
Winnipeg next: Nov. 17 & 19, host Regina
Vsevolod Komarov, RHD – Quebec Remparts (QMJHL)
The Remparts upped their winning streak to 15 games via a weekend sweep of Baie-Comeau. Komarov’s steady play continued. The 18-year old had one assist and played plus-one hockey.
Quebec next – Nov. 16, host Sherbrooke; Nov. 18, at Rimouski; Nov. 20, at Sherbrooke
Josh Bloom, Center – Saginaw Spirit (OHL)
Bloom had his best offensive week for a Spirit squad that had its best week on the scoreboard. Saginaw went 3-0, and vaulted into second place in the OHL’s West Division.
Bloom had two goals and two assists in the three wins.
His highlight was scoring a shorthanded overtime tally against Sarnia. Bloom followed that up with two assists in another overtime triumph (v. Sault Ste. Marie).
Saginaw next – Nov. 17, at Niagara; Nov. 18, at Erie; Nov. 19, at Hamilton
Devon Levi, Junior, Goalie – Northeastern (Hockey East)
Levi was the busiest player on the ice in the Huskies home-and-home set with Hockey East foe Boston College.
Levi made 30 saves, and three in the shootout, helping Northeastern get full points in Friday’s 4-4 final. Levi turned aside 33 Eagles shots on Saturday, but didn’t get much help from his teammates in a 3-2 defeat.
Northeastern next – Nov. 18, at Boston University; Nov. 19 host Boston University
Ryan Johnson, Senior, LHD & Aaron Huglen, Center – Minnesota (Big Ten)
Huglen finally found the net in the series opener with Penn State. Huglen sent a wrist shot home in transition for season goal No.1, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Nittany Lions from taking the game, 4-2.
Huglen didn’t register a point the next night, but played well enough to help Minnesota earn a 3-1 triumph. Huglen won 21 of 34 weekend faceoffs.
Johnson was kept off the scoresheet both games, though he logged his usual big minutes. The senior did manage to go plus-one in the second game.
Minnesota next -- Nov. 17 & 18, at Michigan
Erik Portillo, Junior, Goalie – Michigan (Big Ten)
Portillo returned from a bout with flu to backstop the Wolverines to a weekend split at Notre Dame (5-1 win / 3-2 overtime loss).
Portillo made 23 saves on Friday. He turned aside 28 shots on Saturday.
Michigan next – Nov. 17 & 18, host Minnesota
Stiven Sardarian, Freshman, Forward – New Hampshire (Hockey East)
Sardarian played, but didn’t register a point in a Friday game at Vermont. He was scratched on Saturday against the same opponent.
The Catamounts won both games, 2-1.
New Hampshire next – Nov. 15, host Harvard; Nov. 18, host UMass
Matteo Costantini, Sophomore, LW/Center – North Dakota (NCHC)
Costantini failed to make the lineup in a Friday home game against Denver. He returned to action on Saturday, but didn’t notch a point.
The top ranked Pioneers swept UND, 3-2 and 6-3.
North Dakota next – Nov. 18 & 19, host Miami
Jake Richard, Forward – Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL)
Richard tallied a single goal in the Lumberjacks weekend split with Green Bay. He leads Muskegon in goals (7) and points (12).
Muskegon next – Nov. 18 & 19, at Dubuque