No. 1 star: Jordan Subban, Belleville Bulls (OHL)
With Belleville wearing special jerseys with hearts on the back, Subban wore his heart on his sleeve and put the Bulls on his back in a 7-5 comeback win over the Sudbury Wolves. The uplifting victory means the Bulls will carry a five-game win streak into their Monday top-of-the-conference tilt with the Barrie Colts.
A goalie duel between Malcolm Subban and the Wolves' Franky Palazzese, as you cannily anticipated from the final score, did not come to pass. The second-youngest Subban child was replaced after Sudbury scored four times on its first 16 shots for a 4-1 lead midway through the game. But Jordan Subban (3G-1A, +1) and captain Brendan Gaunce (3G-1A, +2) took over the contest. Less than a minute after his brother got the hook, the 17-year-old Subban made a rush deep into the Wolves zone and made a spinning feed that Gaunce scythed into the top corner to roust Belleville from its stupor.
Subban scored just more than three minutes later, then capped off a run of five consecutive Bulls goals with a power-play tally with 9:53 left. Sudbury pulled a goal back and had a look at forcing overtime, but the young defenceman was all over in the ice in the last minute, deflecting a couple passes and winning a puck battle in the corner with Mathew Campagna to help the Bulls exit the zone. Moments later, Gaunce golfed in the empty-netter for his third of the night.
No. 2 star: Sven Andrighetto, Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (QMJHL)
A six-point night against the first-place team in your division in their barn? As Craig Ferguson's robot-skeleton sidekick Geoff Peterson says, "Break me off a piece of that." The Huskies' imports, Andrighetto (4G-2A, +3) and Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Nikita Kucherov (2G-3A, +3), mesmerized the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada during a 7-5 come-from-behind win. The Armada, who have allowed the second-fewest goals in the Q, had a two-goal edge with 11 minutes left. Andrighetto, a Swiss who is 10th in Q scoring, revived Rouyn-Noranda with his second goal of the game.
The Kucherov-Jean-Sébastien Dea-Andrighetto line promptly produced the tying and eventual winning goals, the latter with fewer than four minutes left. Andrighetto cemented the comeback win with an empty-netter. The rally gave Rouyn-Noranda 3-of-4 possible points from their past two games, helping their chances of earning home-ice advantage in the first round of President's Cup playoffs.
No. 3 star: Eric Locke, Saginaw Spirit (OHL)
Here is the headline: "Locke put Spits in a vise." You are welcome, Saginaw News and Windsor Star.
The former Spitfire, who seems to pick up points on the walk from the parking lot to the dressing room, had five points during the 7-4 win that widened their edge over Windsor for the last playoff berth to nine points with 12 games to play.
The 19-year-old Locke (3G-2A, +3), linemate Garret Ross (2G-3A, +3) and Jimmy Lodge (1A, +3) were paramount for the Spirit, as they have been since January. The 5-foot-9, 182-pound Locke had a natural hat trick, including important 'response' tallies late in the second period and early in the third that each reopened a three-goal margin for Saginaw. His small stature might be a drag on his prospects at the next level, but Locke has 45 points in 21 games since Christmas.
Honourable mention: Morgan Rielly, Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL)
Rielly is as smooth as a marble tabletop running a power play, eh? The Toronto Maple Leafs first-rounder had three power-play points across the game's final 21 minutes for a 4-3 road win over the Prince Albert Raiders, bringing a ray of sunshine to the rebuilding Warriors' otherwise cloudy season.
Prince Albert entered Saturday's play tied atop the WHL East Division and led 3-0 with five minutes in the second period. Reilly scored with 28 seconds left in the second and again early in the third, with rookie Brayden Point assisting on each tally. Then the future Leaf drew the second assist on Justin Kirsch's game-winner.
Honourable mention: Rickard Rakell, Plymouth Whalers (OHL)
Rakell (1G-2A, +3) was just returned to the Whalers from the NHL's Anaheim Ducks, copped first-star honours during Plymouth's resounding 7-4 win over the Guelph Storm. Rakell got the first assist on the goal that cut into Guelph's 3-0 edge. After the Whalers scored twice via a bad penalty by Guelph overage defenceman Saverio Posa, Rakell put Plymouth ahead for good with a short-handed goal. In all, it was a signature performance from the two-way forward who's won world junior championship gold and silver medals with Sweden. Seventeen-year-old Matt Mistele also had a hat trick for Plymouth.
Honourable mentions: Brandon Alderson and Nick Cousins, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL)
Kevin Conway was probably playing the last time Kingston and Sault Ste. Marie combined for 17 goals. The Greyhounds, on a fourth-quarter field goal three-goal third period, pulled out a helter-skelter 10-7 win. The burly Alderson (2G-2A, +3) and Ontario league scoring leader Cousins (2G-3A, +2) earning the first two stars at the Essar Centre. The 'Hounds stayed hot on the tail of Plymouth in their division race while also moving within a point of fifth-place Guelph, but it was not pretty.
Glad that’s over.
— Sheldon Keefe (@SheldonKeefe) February 17, 2013
Alderson did his work early, getting his first just 31 seconds after the Frontenacs had gone ahead 2-0. The overage wing scored again within a minute to stake the Soo to its first lead, giving him 25 goals. Cousins got each of his tallies during the seven-goal second period and assisted on Sergei Tolchinsky's insurance goal with 5:20 left.
The almost obligatory at the point Halifax Mooseheads highlight
Detroit Red Wings second-rounder Martin Frk strikes like a wounded Doberman after a bad pass, creating a 2-on-goalie with he and Jonathan Drouin against the Moncton Wildcats' Alex Dubeau. It ended like you might expect, putting the Mooseheads ahead to stay in a 5-2 payback win over the 'Cats.
This has to be some sort of first: a hat trick and a Gordie Howe hat trick by a defenceman who is listed at 5-foot-10 and 148 pounds. And it includes tying the game with one second left in regulation after scoring inside of the one-minute mark just to give his team a chance to force overtime. Brouillard did all of that during a bananas 5-4 Voltigeurs comeback overtime win over Rouyn-Noranda. A three-goal lead with eight minutes to play should have been safe for the Huskies. But Montreal Canadiens prospect Oliver Archambault struck with 7:33 left, then Voltigeurs pushed, got within 4-3 when Brouillard scored with 37 seconds left and seized on the Huskies' panic.
Brouillard scored his first goal in the opening period and got his fight in when he tangled with Rouyn-Noranda's Steven Mercier, all 5-7 and 168 pounds of him, at the end of the second. Brouillard has 43 points this season, very impressive for a sophomore defenceman.
No. 2 star: Scott Laughton, Oshawa Generals (OHL)
The Philadelphia Flyers first-rounder had a hat trick during the Generals' 6-4 win at Saginaw that kept them hot on Belleville's heels in the race for the Eastern Conference's No. 2 playoff seed.
The Laughton-Bradley Latour-Scott Sabourin and Saginaw's Lodge-Ross-Locke lines each combined for nine points, with the 17-year-old Lodge scoring a hat trick for the Spirit and also earning an apple. Gens captain Boone Jenner and Laughton (3G, +3) bent the game to their will in the second period when they combined to tally three goals in a 1:59 span. Laughton, who played five games with the Flyers earlier this season, later got the sealer with 8:39 left with support from Sabourin (1G-2A, +3) and the 17-year-old Latour (3A, +3).
No. 3 star: Troy Trombley, Tri-City Americans (WHL)
Trombley might be the first to be WHL goalie of the week after having never started a game in the league. Saturday, the Sherwood Park, Alta., native had a 33-save shutout during Tri-City's 6-0 spanking of Spokane.
The reason Trombley was in was because of his role Friday during the Americans' 6-2 pasting of powerhouse Portland. He made 41 saves to beat the league leaders in his first Western Hockey League start. The 18-year-old who had been with as many WHL organizations as he had previous mop-up appearances — three — got the call to spell Luke Lee-Knight and ran with it.
Trombley kicked out 22-of-23 shots in the first period vs. Portland, allowing the Ams to repair to their dressing room even at 1-1. That might have caused Portland to get frustrated at not being rewarded. What is certain is that once Winnipeg Jets-drafted defenceman Zach Yuen (1G-2A, +3) scored just 1:49 into the second, the rest of that night belonged to Tri-City.
“Troy makes himself look pretty good with that start,” Tri-City coach Jim Hiller told the Tri-City Herald. “We have run Luke hard and we wanted to make sure Troy got some time in. He had a couple of sessions with (goalie coach) Lyle (Mast) and away he went.”
Honourable mention: Patrik Bartosak, Red Deer Rebels (WHL)
The Czech netminder was in peak form during hard-working Rebels' 2-1 shootout victory over the Victoria Royals — try 44 saves in the game and three shootout saves during the circus. Victoria's only goal came off a scramble situation. Bartosak definitely had to be sharp, since his netminding namesake Patrik Polivka was just as impregnable while stopping 38-of-39 Rebels shots. The win showed how Red Deer is playoff darkhorse as long as the 19-year-old Bartosak, whose first North American season was cut short by a knee injury, is able-bodied and playing near his top form.
The upside for Red Deer's playoff opponent is it won't have any shootouts against Bartosak, who has stopped 23-of-25 attempts.
Honourable mentions: Connor Brown and Dane Fox, Erie Otters (OHL)
Brown (3A, +3) and Fox (2G-1A, +1) each had three points to help the 19th-place Otters restore some pride by upending the league-leading London Knights 4-3. Fox missed the Otters' first three meetings vs. his former team with a broken foot, but he helped push the envelope early against apparently fragile London, which has now lost four in a row. Fox got an assist on Luke Cairns' opening goal and then sniped two minutes later, giving Erie a quick 2-0 lead and forcing London coach Dale Hunter to quick-hook goalie Jake Patterson.
Columbus Blue Jackets-drafted goalie Oscar Dansk, trying to finish his season strongly, had a 31-of-34 night to pin the loss on London.
"When it's your former team, you want to beat them," Fox told the Erie-Times News. "You always make that extra step and make that extra sacrifice."
Potent notables — Overage Brendan Ranford had five points during Kamloops' home-and-home sweep of Kelowna that cut the Rockets' B.C. Division lead to three points ... New York Rangers draft pick Shane McColgan (1G-2A) led Saskatoon to a 4-3 win at Medicine Hat, as the Blades retook top spot in the WHL East Division . Tigers captain Hunter Shinkaruk ran his point streak to 10 games ... Draft prospect Ryan Pulock scored goals in both of Brandon's games on Friday and Saturday ... New Jersey Devils selection Reid Boucher is up to an OHL-high 51 goals after scoring in back-to-back Sarnia Sting wins, including Saturday's 4-2 win over Oshawa. Boucher needs eight goals in the last 11 games to break Steven Stamkos' Sting team record of 58 ... Ottawa Senators first-rounder Stefan Noesen earned his 200th OHL point in Plymouth's win over Guelph ... Toronto Maple Leafs third-rounder Josh Leivo extended his point streak to 14 games during Kitchener's wins over Erie (4-2 Saturday) and Plymouth (3-2 Sunday). Leivo's linemate, Edmonton Oilers fourth-rounder Tobias Rieder, has a 13-game skein waiting for him when he returns next week from a minor injury ... Buffalo Sabres third-rounder Dan Catenacci had consecutive two-point games for Owen Sound in its wins over Niagara and Guelph ... Belleville backup goalie Charlie Graham stopped 43-of-44 shots over a pair of games, picking up Malcolm Subban vs. Sudbury on Saturday and getting a 37-save, 1-0 shutout vs. Mississauga on Friday ... In the QMJHL, the P.E.I. Rocket's 17-year-old Yan Pavel Laplante contributed his second goal in five games since returning from a major shoulder injury, helping P.E.I. paste Saint John 6-2 ... Cape Breton rookie goalie Alex Bureau won his second consecutive start by successfully handling 29-of-30 shots in a win over Drummondville .. Los Angeles Kings pick Tomas Hyka's two-goal, one-assist night in Gatineau's 5-3 win at Sherbrooke at Friday was his fourth game this month in which he had at least three points.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet. Please address any questions, comments or concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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