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Kamloops Blazers’ JC Lipon scores natural hat trick in 5½ minutes: Friday’s 3 Stars

Buzzing The Net

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Kamloops Blazers right wing JC Lipon (Don Denton, The Canadian Press)

No. 1 star: JC Lipon, Kamloops Blazers (WHL)

Lipon (3G-1A, +2) had a great week in the span of a few shifts during Kamloops' 5-1 win over the Spokane Chiefs. The 19-year-old native scored three goals — matching his total from each of his first two Dub campaigns — in a span of 5:39 early in the first period to give the Blazers an upper hand they never relinquished. Lipon opened scoring by popping in a rebound, then scored on a slapshot and then buried a wrist shot on the power play to put the 'Loops up three goals before the first period was half over.

The Regina native has thrived in an offensive role with seven goals already this season, complementing Blazers stars such as Colin Smith (three assists on Friday), Brendan Ranford (1G-2A) and Montreal Canadiens prospect Tim Bozon (one assist).

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Belleville Bulls goalie Charlie Graham (OHL Images)

No. 2 star: Charlie Graham, Belleville Bulls (OHL)

The 17-year-old backup beat star Malcolm Subban to Belleville's first shutout of the season, making 30 saves to help Belleville beat the Brampton Battalion 2-0 to complete a home-and-home sweep. Graham's night included a sliding stop on Nick Paul and a string of saves on Battalion captain Barclay Goodrow, who's a dangerous finisher. His play definitely threw off the Battalion's confidence, which was already strained by the fact they scored only twice in two previous games against Subban, the Boston Bruins' first-rounder.

Fans of offensive hockey must be grateful the Battalion and Bulls only have one more regular-season game. There have been all of five goals scored in the teams' three meetings.

No. 3 star: Frédérik Gauthier, Rimouski Océanic (QMJHL)

The surging tide that is the Océanic ran their record to 7-1-0-1 on the strength of another nice night from their 17-year-old striker. Gauther (2G-1A, +3), along with veteran linemates Scott Oke (1G-2A, +3) and Peter Trainor (2A, +3) provided pretty much all the offence Rimouski needed to get by their Telus East Division rival. It's only been nine games, but the 6-foot-4 Gauthier is fast emerging as one of the Q's top newcomers, with 15 points in nine games.

Honourable mention: Bo Horvat, London Knights (OHL)

Horvat had his first multi-goal OHL game, leading London past the Plymouth Whalers 4-1. The Rodney, Ont., native seems to be past the muted start he had to his draft season, as he scored his first goal of the campaign last weekend and before following up with this double-dip. Horvat used his big frame to park himself in front of the net for a first-period power play goal that opened the scoring, then tallied again in the second to put London in firm control. Knights overage goalie Kevin Bailie also kicked out 42-of-43 shots.

Honourable mention Mikhail Grigorenko, Quebec Remparts (WHL)

It was The Grigo Show in Gatineau, as the Buffalo Sabres first-rounder sniped two goals and assisted on an Adam Erne marker in the Remparts' 4-1 win over the host Olympiques. Grigorenko showed why people think he needs to shoot more; he counted in the second period on a 35-foot slapshot, then lasered an Erne feed into the top scorer late in the game to send disappointed 'Piques partisans to the exits.

Honourable mention: Seth Jones, Portland Winterhawks (WHL)

The heavily hyped defenceman had his scored for the second game in a row and was the game's first star as Portland prevailed 5-2 at Prince Albert for the Raiders' first regulation-time loss. (It had to come some time, eh.) Jones seems to be more at ease with the WHL with every game; he helped contain Prince Albert's offence and probably had a little to do wit the Winterhawks having a 5-for-5 penalty-killing night.

Honourable mention: Mike Morrison, Kingston Frontenacs (OHL)

The overage goalie defeated one of his former teammates for the second night in a row, making 39 saves in the Fronts' 3-2 win over the Kitchener Rangers. Morrison was especially sharp during a 17-shot second period after giving up a goal to former teammate Matt Puempel and also held off a Rangers barrage in the final five minutes. Kingston's Henri Ikonen scored his first two North American goals.

Honourable mention: Henrik Samuelsson, Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)

The Oil Kings lost 5-4 in a shootout to Calgary on the season premiere of Sportsnet Friday Night Hockey. However, Phoenix Coyotes first-rounder Samuelsson was impressive, scoring two goals and also beating Ottawa Senators-drafted goalie Chris Driedger in the first round of the shootout. Seventeen-year-old Curtis Lazar (1G-1A) also had a big night on national TV. Brooks Macek scored two goals for Calgary, which outscored Edmonton 4-1 at even strength while beating their provincial rivals for the third time already this season.

Potent notables — Veteran Brock Montgomery (2G-1A, +3) led Kootenay to its second win and dealt the MasterCard Memorial Cup-host Saskatoon Blades their fifth loss in a row ... Manraj Hayer had two points, including the overtime assist in Everett's 3-2 win at Brandon ... In the OHL, Barrie's Mathias Niederberger made 51 saves and stopped 3-of-4 shootout tries in the Colts' 4-3 win over league-leading Oshawa ... Dylan Smoskowitz's two goals lifted Mississauga to a 3-2 win over Ottawa ... In the QMJHL, P.E.I. Rocket overager Ben Duffy capped a three-point night by scoring the OT winner vs. Acadie-Bathurst, lifting the islanders to a 7-2-0-0 record ... overager Stephen Macaulay's hat trick lifted Saint John to a 6-5 win over Rouyn-Noranda.

(Stick tap: Gregg Drinnan.)

Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Contact him at neatesager@yahoo.ca and follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet.

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