Published by hockeybuzz.com, 3-24-2018
What's bad for two NCAA Men's Hockey teams might turn out great for the Buffalo Sabres organization.
Prior to Round-1 of the NCAA men's hockey tournament, a twist of fate kept the Minnesota Golden Gophers out of the tournament as six teams advanced with wins when they only needed one of that group to lose to be in. Because of that, the Gophers and Sabres forward prospect Casey Mittelstadt (2017, 8th-overall) never made it into the tournament. Yesterday, No. 1 seed St. Cloud State was upset by Air Force to knock them and two Sabres prospects out of the tourney--defenseman Will Borgen (2015, 92nd) and forward Judd Peterson (2012, 204th.)
Of the two players, Borgen is garnering the most interest from the Sabres. The 6'2" 199 lb. Moorhead, Minnesota native just completed his junior season with the Huskies and has forged himself a pretty good resume'. He finished off this season being named the National Collegiate Hockey Conference's Defensive Defenseman of the Year Award. Prior to that he was in PyongChang, South Korea representing team USA in the Olympics as the only college defenseman named to the team.
The ideal for both players, should they and the Sabres think they're ready to turn pro, would be for them to sign an amateur tryout contract with the Rochester Americans and eventually join the team for the playoffs. As a freshman, there's not too much urgency for Mittelstadt to go pro, but Borgen is a junior and if he remains in school for another season, there is the possibility that he could end up being an unrestricted free agent and bolt for another team.
Sabres GM Jason Botterill was said to have been watching as St. Cloud State was eliminated.
Buffalo hits the road tonight after an inauspicious 1-4-1 homestand. Last night they fell 3-0 to the Montreal Canadiens and finished their seasons series with an 0-2-2 record versus the Habs. The Sabres put on a lot of pressure and had numerous opportunities in the game but either missed or had the puck take an inopportune bounce.
Such has been the season.
Good new for Sabres fans is that the team is better on the road going 12-16-7 as opposed to their 11-23-5 home record. Bad news is that Buffalo is 0-1-1 vs. the Rangers this season, 3-5-2 in their last 10 vs. NY and 3-5-2 on the road.
Interesting tweet from WGR550 Sabres beat reporter Paul Hamilton on Linus Ullmark, who only gave up one goal on 21 shots last night to the Canadiens:
"Linus Ullmark has played in the last three games and the Sabres have not scored a goal for him in his 150 minutes of work."