Sabres Prospects: Quick start for Borgen, Peterson with St. Cloud State - The Buffalo News

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Sabres Prospects: Quick start for Borgen, Peterson with St. Cloud State

St. Cloud State is undefeated and jumped to as high as No. 2 in one of the national college hockey polls.

But that's doesn't necessarily have the Huskies coach Bob Motzko all that excited.

"It's coach talk, but we won some games, and it hasn't been pretty," Motzko said.

His praise isn't nearly as measured when talking about senior foward Judd Peterson and junior defenseman Will Borgan, both Buffalo Sabres prospects.

Senior forward Judd Peterson had two assists in the Huskies' 6-3 win over Alaska on Friday then set up the game-winning goal on Saturday to help his team earn the series sweep.

"The big thing for Judd is he's healthy again," Motzko said. "Last year, around Christmas, he had an injury that we couldn't talk about. It was one of those things where he could rehab in the summer so he played the rest of the year with an injury and it was misery. He was on the misery ship. That wears you down mentally.

"He had surgery weeks after the season ended and he's a new guy. It's like having Judd back. He scored 16 goals his sophomore season and it's like he's back again. He trains hard. He's really getting his strength back to a top level. You see Judd continue to get stronger and play with more confidence. He can play center or wing. We have him at center and he can play against anybody. Most importantly, he's a captain and has the respect of everyone in our locker room."

Junior defenseman Will Borgen picked up his second assist of the season in Friday's win. He has two assists in three games.

Sometimes it's easy to forget that Borgen is just 20 years old, entering St. Cloud State as a true freshman. He's become one of the better defensemen in college hockey and he also has that international experience, playing for the United States in the IIHF World Junior Championship his freshman season.

"He's a tremendous defender, one of the better defenders in the country," Motzko said. "He's got size. He's got all the tools and he's mean. Legitimately he's a mean, tough kid, so he brings a lot to the plate for us. He can play all night. He doesn't get tired. We play him in every situation and have had him a little on the power play this year. He's much more assertive from an offensive standpoint."

Motzko, who will coach the U.S. World Junior team in Buffalo in December, said that Borgen could be in the mix for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team.

Undefeated to start the season (3-0-0), St. Cloud was ranked No. 3 in the latest USCHO.com poll and No. 2 in the USA TODAY/USA Hockey poll.

The last time St. Cloud hit No. 2 in the national polls was on March 21, 2016.

Borgen was drafted by the Sabres in the fourth round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft while Peterson was drafted in the seventh round in 2012.

The Huskies will host No. 13 Boston College Oct. 20-21. The Eagles feature two Sabres draft picks — Christopher Brown and Casey Fitzgerald.

Rochester Americans: The Amerks suffered their first loss of the season on Oct. 13,  2-0, to the Utica Comets. Nick Baptiste and Brendan Guhle combined for 13 of Rochester's 33 shots while Linus Ullmark made 28 saves.

The loss comes after the Amerks opened the season with back-to-back wins over the Syracuse Crunch. In those games C.J. Smith notched three points (one goal, two assists) ranking him ninth in scoring among AHL rookies.

Rochester has two games at Blue Cross Arena this weekend, hosting the Charlotte Checkers at 7:05 p.m. Friday and the Utica Comets at 7:05 p.m. Saturday.

WHL

Vojtech Budik (defense, Prince Albert Raiders): Picked up his second assist of the season in the Raiders 6-5 overtime loss to the Brandon Wheat Kings on Oct. 15. Prince Albert has three wins, four losses and two overtime losses in its first nine games.

Brandon Hagel (forward, Red Deer Rebels): Had a three-assist night in a 5-4 win over Kootenay Ice on Oct. 12 with two of those helpers coming on the power play. Hagel has 12 points (three goals, nine assists) through the first nine games.

OHL

Cliff Pu (forward, London Knights): Picked up his first goal of the season on Oct. 13 in a 2-1 loss to the Windsor Spitfires. It's been a slow start for Pu and the Knights. The forward has just one goal and three assists with a minus-13 rating in nine games. The Knights are winless in their last eight games have one win and one overtime loss in their first 10 games.

Austin Osmanski (defense, Peterborough Petes): The East Aurora native scored his first goal with Peterborough, and fifth of his OHL career, in a 3-2 shootout win over the Kingston Frontenacs on Oct. 13.

QMJHL

Vasily Glotov (forward, Shawinigan Cataractes): Had two assists, including one on the power play, in a 4-2 win over the Victoriaville Tigers on Oct. 14. Through 10 games he has six points (two goals, four assists) as the Cataractes are last in the East Division with just two wins and one overtime  loss in 10 games.

NCAA

Christopher Brown (forward, Boston College): After a minus-2 showing in a 5-2 loss to Wisconsin on Oct. 13, Brown set up fellow Sabres prospect Casey Fitzgerald for the overtime winner against Providence on Oct. 15.

Jacob Bryson (defense, Providence): The sophomore has two assists in three games for the Friars, who are 2-1-0.

Ivan Chukarov (defense, UMass): Will be out for four to six weeks with an upper body injury. He enters his junior year at UMass with five career goals and 11 points over 72 games.

Casey Fitzgerald (defense, Boston College): Was named Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week. Scored the winning goal in overtime on Oct. 15 against Providence. Earlier in the game, Fitzgerald scored his first of the season.

Connor Hurley (forward, Minnesota): After three seasons at Notre Dame, Hurley transferred to the University of Minnesota. He will sit out this season per NCAA transfer rules and have one year of college eligibility left for the 2018-19 season. In 98 career games for the Fighting Irish, Hurley had 48 points (14 goals, 34 assists).

Casey Mittelstadt (forward, Minnesota): The Sabres first-round pick in 2017  registered his second goal of the season to start the scoring for the Gophers in a 6-3 win over Penn State on Oct. 15. He has three points in his first four games as Minnesota is 2-2-0.

Brett Murray (forward, Penn State): The sophomore is still looking for his first point of the season. He has one shot and is a minus-1 as the Nittany Lions are off to a 2-2-0 start.

Philip Nyberg (defense, Connecticut): Was injured in the season opener against Maine and has missed the last three games with a lower body injury. While there is no timetable for his return, UConn said it is not thought to be a long-term injury.

Linus Weissbach (forward, Wisconsin): A native of Sweden, the 19-year-old freshman has four points in five games, including two goals (one on the power play). He picked up an assist in the Badgers' 5-2 win at Boston College on Oct. 13.

Maxwell Willman (forward, Brown): Willman will begin his senior season when Brown opens at Yale on Oct. 27. As a junior, Willman scored 11 goals with 15 assists in 31 games, including four power-play goals.

Europe

Rasmus Asplund (forward, Farjestad BK): Has three goals and three assists in nine games.

Marcus Davidsson (forward, Djurgardens): Has two assists in seven games games in the Swedish Hockey League. He has three goals and an assist in three games played with the Djurgadens Under-20 team in the SuperElit League.

Oskari Laaksonen (defense, Ilves): Has six assists and one goal in 17 games in the Under-20 league (Jr. A SM-Liiga).

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (goalie, LeKi):  Made 33 saves in a 5-4 win over RoKi playing for LeKi, a second-tier league in Finland. In seven games he has a 3.14 goals-against average and a .909 save percentage.

Victor Olofsson (forward, Frolunda HC): Has two goals and an assist in eight games in the Swedish Hockey League.

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