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Sabres Prospects in North America – Weekly Report, Nov. 20th

Matthew Savoie

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The much anticipated Minnesota-Michigan showdown in Ann Arbor didn’t live up to its billing. Part of it was Minnesota was being much better over the two nights, winning 5-2 and 6-3. And part of it, probably the biggest part, was how much influenza affected the proceedings.

Michigan, which features Sabres draftee Erik Portillo, was ravaged by illness. The Wolverines were missing six players (including leading scorer Adam Fantilli), and had to dress backup goaltender Tyler Shea as a forward just to fill out the bench.

Portillo started both games in the Wolverines net. He made 36 saves in Thursday’s opener, before turning aside 28 shots on Friday.

Minnesota had its share of illness, too. Sabres prospect Aaron Huglen didn’t play in either game.

Buffalo draftee Ryan Johnson did make the Gophers lineup in both games, and played well. The senior defenseman was a combined plus-two, and sealed the second contest with an empty-net goal.

Minnesota next – Nov. 25 & 26, at Arizona State

Michigan next – Nov. 25 & 26, host Harvard

Josh Bloom, Center – North Bay Battalion (OHL)

The other big off-ice story involving a Sabres prospect last week centered on Bloom.

The 2021 third-round selection was traded from Saginaw to North Bay. Saginaw was, and still is, leading the OHL’s West Division. Trading their captain raised eyebrows.

Bloom looked good in Khaki Green immediately. He scored once and assisted on another in his North Bay debut, a 6-2 home win over Kingston. Bloom added a single assist two nights later in a 6-3 triumph at Owen Sound.

North Bay next – Nov. 24, host Ottawa; Nov. 25, at Hamilton; Nov. 27, at Niagara

Matthew Savoie, Center – Winnipeg ICE (WHL)

Savoie enjoyed the highest scoring game of his career in a 9-5 win over Regina, scoring three goals and dishing out three assists. He added one assist the next night in a 5-2 Winnipeg decision.

Savoie’s season totals are 9 goals, 17 assists, and 26 points in 17 games played

Winnipeg next – Nov. 22 & 23, host Lethbridge; Nov. 25 & 26, at Saskatoon

Vsevolod Komarov, RHD – Quebec Remparts (QMJHL)

Komarov and the Remparts won two-of-three contests to maintain their firm first place grip in the QMJHL's Eastern Conference. Quebec is 19-2-0-1 (39 points). Second place Halifax has 29 points.

Quebec next – Nov. 23, at Victoriaville; Nov. 25, host Baie-Comeau; Nov. 27, host Gatineau

Devon Levi, Junior, Goalie – Northeastern (Hockey East)

Levi was his usual sensational self in a Friday away win over Boston University, but a little less so in a Saturday home loss to the same opponent.

Levi stopped all 41 shots he faced in the 2-0 win. It was his 13th career shutout.

The Terriers had better luck against Levi (28 saves) the next night, winning 4-3 in overtime.

Northeastern next – Nov. 25, v Western Michigan (in Nashville, Tenn.)

Jake Richard, Forward – Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL)

Richard had a high-low weekend in Muskegon’s away split with Dubuque.

A Sabres sixth-round pick in 2022, Richard scored twice in the opener, a 3-2 Lumberjacks shootout triumph. He was then sent to the dressing room with a game misconduct for a first-period head contact penalty in a 5-4 loss.

Muskegon next – Nov. 25 & 26, host Madison

Stiven Sardarian, Freshman, Forward – New Hampshire (Hockey East)

Sardarian and the Wildcats continued to endure tough times last week. The young Russian, a third-round pick in 2021, didn’t register a point in Wildcats losses to Harvard and UMass.

UNH is 3-10-1.

New Hampshire next – Nov. 26, at Holy Cross

Matteo Costantini, Sophomore, LW/Center – North Dakota (NCHC)

Costantini and UND are another pair going through a difficult patch. Costantini failed to dent the scoresheet in a weekend home split with Miami.

North Dakota is 5-6-2.

North Dakota next – Nov. 25, at Bemidji State; Nov. 26, host Bemidji State

Mats Lindgren, LHD – Red Deer Rebels (WHL)

Lindgren and the Rebels lost two of three games last week.

The Sabres 2022 fourth round selection scored once in a 3-2 shootout loss at Lethbridge. Lindgren then had an assist and earned No.2 star honors in a 4-2 home loss to Brandon

Red Deer next – Nov. 25, host Medicine Hat; Nov. 26, host Prince Albert; Nov. 27, at Calgary

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