No. 1 star: Kerby Rychel, Windsor Spitfires (OHL)
Spitfires GM and vice-president Warren Rychel put his team on notice earlier this week and it responded by blowing out the Saginaw Spirit 6-1 for a big regulation win in a division that's more congested than a London metro platform at rush hour. Kerby Rychel is obvious untouchable as a likely NHL first-round pick and the GM's son, but he was at the forefront of the command performance with five points (2G-3A, +1) to lead the rout.
The Spirit were still in striking distance until the 18-year-old Rychel beat Detroit Red Wings-drafted goalie Jake Paterson with six seconds left in the second period to put Windsor up 4-1. That chased Paterson from the game and Rychel kept the heat on, setting up Montreal Canadiens pick Brady Vail (2G, +1) and sniping another goal in the third period.
No. 2 star: Max Domi, London Knights (OHL)
The 17-year-old Domi was indomitable in the final 20 minutes, scoring twice and saucering a pass to set up the last-minute tying goal in London's 4-3 comeback overtime win over the Oshawa Generals. Many teams would have been deflated after having two ricochet goals put them in a 3-0 hole. However, the Knights are the Knights for a reason. Domi (2G-1A) poked in a power-play goal early in the third period to give London life and then the din of the 8,725 at 'Duff Gardens' got to the Generals, who twice were called for too many men on the ice. Domi scored off the first, then set up Bo Horvat with a chance to wire home the equalizer with 22 seconds left. Domi nearly scored twice in overtime before Boston Bruins pick Seth Griffith scored the fourth consecutive London power-play goal to seal the win.
Ritchie was sitting out with an injury when his older brother, Niagara IceDogs standout Brett Ritchie, torched the Petes for five goals recently. The 16-year-old right wing obviously paid close attention, as he also had a hat trick in his return from missing 12 games with a shoulder injury.
Ritchie's three-goal effort helped the Petes snap their seven-game losing streak by beating the Ottawa 67's 5-2 in an OHL Eastern Conference basement battle. The 6-foot-2, 218-pounder (really, he still won't turn 17 for another 20 days) scored twice late in the first period, ensuring the struggling Petes were rewarded for outshooting Ottawa 15-4 in the opening 20 minutes. Ritchie and fellow sophomore Stephen Nosad also scored 45 seconds apart in the the third to salt away the win.
Honourable mention: Yannick Veilleux, Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL)
The 19-year-old St. Louis Blues selection thrived on the 'Cats proficient power play, factoring into each of their five power-play goals in a 8-3 rout of the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. Moncton has their twins, overages Alex and Allain Saulnier. Veilleux (2G-3A), Dmitri Jaskin (1G-3A), Alex Saulner (2G-1A) and Allain Saulnier (3A) played like they all had collective ESP.
Honourable mention: Andreas Athanasiou, Barrie Colts (OHL)
Double-A provided a ray of sunshine for Detroit Red Wings prospect watchers on an otherwise cloudy day. The 18-year-old scored two goals to help Barrie win 5-3 over the Sarnia Sting, the OHL's best road team. Neither tally was a Phil Esposito garbage-goal special. Athanasiou lasered home a feed from Tyson Fawcett on a 2-on-1 in the first period. His second came after he relieved a Sting defender of the puck behind the net, circled out and scored.
Potent notables — Montreal Canadiens No. 3 overall pick Alex Galchenyuk had two assists in Sarnia's loss, giving him a skein of five consecutive multi-point games ... Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Boone Jenner's goal in the Oshawa-London game was the Dorchester, Ont., native's first point at his de facto hometown OHL arena. In the same game, Griffith moved into a tie for second in league scoring ... In the QMJHL, Canadiens prospect Olivier Archambault (2G-2A, +1) led Drummondville past lowly Gatineau ... Cédric Paquette (2G-1A) led Blainville-Boisbriand to a 4-2 win over expansion Sherbrooke.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet.
- Sports & Recreation
- Ice Hockey
- Warren Rychel
- Montreal Canadiens
- Montreal Canadiens
- Windsor Spitfires