The Buffalo Sabres have traditionally taken the long and steady approach to developing their projects, giving their prospects as much time as needed to develop into an NHL player. That patience has paid off, with many players drafted in the past five years making contributions at the NHL level last year, and are ready to this year, if or when the NHL lockout ends. Corey Tropp, Luke Adam, Brayden McNabb, Marcus Foligno, and a few others are among those who have proven that they can play in the NHL.
Slowly, the Buffalo Sabres are shedding their reputation for being an undersized team severely lacking in the toughness department. At the 2012 NHL Draft, GM Darcy Regier selected two marquee centers, Mikhail Grigorenko and Zemgus Girgensons, with the 12th and 14th overall picks, giving them size, depth and versatility at that position.
Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that Nathan Lieuwen of the Kootenay Ice is the Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week for the week ending April 17 after posting a 2-0 record including a shutout victory with a goals-against-average of 1.00 and save percentage of .965.
Lieuwen backstopped the Ice to a 4-0 series sweep over the WHL’s top ranked Saskatoon Blades in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. He recorded his second shutout of the playoffs in Game three of the series last Tuesday night making 22 saves in a 3-0 win where he was named third star of the game. On Wednesday Lieuwen would claim third star honours again making 35 saves in the 5-2 series-winning Game four victory over the Blades. The Ice will now face the Medicine Hat Tigers in the Husky WHL Eastern Conference Final.
Lieuwen, a 19-year-old from Abbotsford, BC, is playing in his third full WHL season with the Ice and has been the top goaltender in the WHL playoffs after two rounds of action with an 8-2 record and a 1.96 goals-against-average and .930 save percentage.