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Sabres goalie prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen returns to ECHL

As expected, goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has been reassigned to the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL after spending the weekend with the Rochester Americans.

Luukkonen made 24 saves in his AHL season debut Friday as Rochester was defeated in a shootout by Cleveland, 4-3, Friday night at Blue Cross Arena. Luukkonen made several big saves, including a crucial stop in overtime when he lunged and kicked away a Monsters shot to preserve the tie.

In Sunday's 4-1 loss to Hershey, he made 32 stops on 36 shots.

“I feel like there’s some things I still have to sharpen up and there’s some things I’m happy about,” Luukkonen said after Friday's loss.

At Cincinnati, Luukkonen has a 12-5-3 record with a 2.12 goals-against average, a .917 save percentage and three shutouts in 20 games.

The Sabres mapped out a plan months ago for Luukkonen to be in Rochester last week. The goal is for him to play about 40 games this season.

“We planned to have (him) here a couple times here during the year as far back as the summer,” Amerks GM Randy Sexton said.

Luukkonen is scheduled to play in the ECHL All-Star Game on Wednesday in Wichita.

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