There’s something special that comes with confidence. Bob Motzko noticed it right away in Judd Peterson. The sophomore forward took his summer vacation seriously, putting in the off-ice work to help improve his game.
The result has been an impressive start – 10 goals in 15 games for the St. Cloud State Huskies.
Then there’s the cool confidence of freshman Will Borgen. The defenseman, who turns 19 later this month, has played with a maturity greater than his years with seven assists in 16 games.
Peterson was a seventh round pick of the Sabres in 2012 and Borgen a fourth-round pick in 2015.
“The big thing for Judd, to me, was his offseason,” Motzko said. “He came back with a new look, a veteran look. To do that in the summer, train that hard and feel good about where you’re at, you feel prepared and ready and he just had a confidence about him.”
Peterson’s speed has helped him create on special teams, including two shorthanded goals and two-power play goals.
“His speed creates openings,” Motzko said. “He can get himself in a great position and he has a very heavy shot.”
The Huskies (12-4-0) will be without that shot when they play Denver Dec. 11-12 after Peterson sustained an injury in Friday’s win against Nebraska-Omaha. Motzko said Peterson will return after the holiday break.
Borgen came to St. Cloud State out of Minnesota high school hockey and Motzko called him one of the bigger surprises in college hockey.
“There’s a coolness to how he plays. He doesn’t get rattled like some young freshmen,” Motzko said. “He plays very mature, very physical. He doesn’t get rattled …so when there’s a mistake, he’s confident he can recover quickly and that’s a gift to have. He can be more aggressive out there and he knows he can recover. He doesn’t find himself in trouble too much.”
The Amerks had their three-game winning streak snapped Friday in a 4-0 loss to the Toronto Marlies. They went 0-for-the-weekend with a 2-1 loss on Saturday to the Albany Devils. Andrey Makarov had a solid outing Saturday, stopping 28 of 30 shots in the loss. Rochester is in sixth place in the American Hockey League’s North Division and 4-5-1-0 in their last 10 games. With captain Cal O’Reilly called up to the Sabres, Jason Akeson leads Rochester in scoring (13 points) while Phil Varone leads in goals with eight. The Amerks host Utica at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday.
Western Hockey League
Giorgio Estephan (Lethbridge) – The center had a cool start to December with one assist in three games and a minus-two ranking. He has 30 points on the season (nine goals, 21 assists).
Brendan Guhle (Prince Albert) – Had a goal in a win against Red Deer on Sunday while notching an assist and a plus-2 rating in a 2-0 win against Lethbridge on Friday. Defenseman has three goals and seven assists this season.
Brycen Martin (Everett) – Has no points and is a minus-1 in his first three games with Everett after being traded from Saskatoon.
Devante Stephens (Kelowna) – Defenseman is a plus-1 in December with six points (two goals, four assists) on the season.
Ontario Hockey League
Eric Cornel (Peterborough) – The forward had a three-point weekend with a goal and two assists. Tied for the team lead in points with 33 (15 goals, 18 assists) in 29 games.
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
Vaclav Karabacek (Baie-Comeau) – Finished November with a two-point game (goal and assist) and notched an assist in a 4-2 loss to Victoriaville on Saturday.
Christopher Brown (Boston College) – The freshman forward has seven points in 13 games.
Ivan Chukarov (UMass) – The freshman defenseman has played in 17 games and has two assists.
Hudson Fasching (Minnesota) – Ended a three-game scoring slump with a three-point weekend sweep over Ohio State with a goal and two assists.
Anthony Florentino (Providence) – The blueliner picked up his fourth goal of the year in a win at Merrimack. He has six points in 12 games.
Connor Hurley (Notre Dame) – Ended a three-game pointless streak with a goal and assist in a win over Massachusetts. The sophomore forward has eight points (two goals, six assists) in 15 games.
Jason Kasdorf (Rensselaer) – In his first game in a month, the senior recorded 43 saves in a 0-0 time with Harvard.
Sean Malone (Harvard) – Played his first games since Nov. 14 in a weekend trip to Union and RPI, where he was held off the scoresheet. Has five assists in eight games.
Cal Peterson (Notre Dame) – Made 55 saves and let in just two goals to backstop the Irish to a pair of wins over Massachusetts.
Max Willman (Brown) – Picked up his third assist of the season in a loss to Princeton.
Jonas Johansson (Almtuna IS) – Through 25 games has a 2.30 goals against average and a .917 save percentage.
Victor Olofsson (MODO) – Has 12 points with four goals in 23 games.
Gustav Possler (MODO) – Has four goals and eight assists in 25 games.