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Sabres notebook: Seven prospects playing in 16-team NCAA tournament

Hockey became the latest college sport to release a bracket Sunday. The 16-team tournament is filled with Sabres prospects and the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Seven Sabres prospects representing five teams will try to reach the Frozen Four. The best chance belongs to freshman defenseman Will Borgen and sophomore forward Judd Peterson of St. Cloud State. The Huskies are the tournament’s second seed overall and No. 1 in the West. They will face Ferris State on Saturday in Minnesota.

Providence and junior defenseman Anthony Florentino will attempt to repeat as national champions as the top seed in the Northeast. The Friars will play Eden native Alex Iafallo and Minnesota Duluth on Friday in Massachusetts.

The other game in the Northeast bracket features two prospects facing each other. West Seneca native Sean Malone and third-seeded Harvard will play forward Chris Brown and No. 2 Boston College.

Notre Dame goaltender Cal Petersen drew the short straw of facing the most potent scorers in college hockey. The third-seeded Fighting Irish, who also feature forward Connor Hurley, will face No. 2 Michigan. The Wolverines boast the top three point producers in Kyle Connor (69 points), JT Compher (60) and Tyler Motte (54). They have combined for 183 points in 36 games.

The toughest chore in the tourney belongs to RIT (18-14-6). The Tigers, who upset Atlantic Hockey No. 1 Robert Morris to win the conference title Saturday night, drew the No. 16 overall seed and will face No. 1 Quinnipiac on Friday in Albany. The Bobcats are 29-3-7.

RIT was the 16th seed last year, too, and upset No. 1 Minnesota State-Mankato, 2-1, before losing in the regional final.


With Jack Eichel expected to recover from the flu by Tuesday’s game in Carolina, the Sabres sent forward Dan Catenacci back to Rochester. Catenacci skated 8:56 and registered one hit during Saturday’s 4-1 loss in Toronto.

The Sabres took Sunday off. They’ll return to practice Monday.


Gilbert Perreault, Rene Robert, Danny Gare and Michael Peca are among the former Sabres who participated in the alumni wine festival earlier this month, and the jerseys they wore during the event are up for auction. Like the wine festival, proceeds from the auction will benefit breast cancer care in Western New York.

The jerseys, which feature a pink ribbon in recognition of the cause, are up for bid at until 9 p.m. Sunday.

The green jerseys the Sabres wore during warm-ups Wednesday to commemorate St. Patrick’s Day are also up for auction until 9 p.m. Sunday. Bidding for Eichel’s sweater has topped $2,500.


Roswell Park Cancer Institute and the Sabres are teaming up for a free prostate cancer screening event from 4-6:30 p.m. Thursday in the Lexus Club of First Niagara Center. Sabres alumni, including Mike Robitaille and Val James, will be in attendance. For more information or to register, visit or call (877) 275-7724.


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