After only allowing two pucks get past him in two games for Russia against Team WHL in the Subway Super Series, Makarov picked up for the Blades right where he left off for his country. The Buffalo Sabres prospect stoned the Prince George Cougars, turning 42 shots away in a 4-0 win.
Every period was practically identical. The Cougars put 14 shots on net every period; the Blades posted 12 a period.
When Makarov is on his game, he is nearly impossible to beat. He proved that once again against Prince George in the CN Centre, posting his first shutout of the season.
Nevertheless, it is tough to say whether tonight's outstanding performance will trigger a strong latter half of the season or if it will start a short hot streak that will fizzle out. The 6-foot-1, 193-pounder has been a hot-and-cold goaltender in Saskatoon. His worst cold stretch of the season came at the beginning of October when he allowed 19 goals against in the first five games of the month.
No. 2 star: Cody McNaughton, Guelph Storm (OHL)
It seems McNaughton finally found his groove in his overage season. After only mustering one goal and two helpers throughout his first 16 games, the 5-foot-10, 185-pound winger lit the lamp three times in a 7-2 victory over the Mississauga Steelheads.
McNaughton gave the Storm the lead in the first by netting an even-strength marker to make it 2-1 Guelph. He potted another in the second, followed by scoring a power-play goal in the third to round out the game's tallies.
No. 3 star: Colin Smith, Kamloops Blazers (WHL)
Smith was named the first star in the Blazers' 6-4 win over the Portland Winterhawks, breaking their 12-game winning streak.
The Colorado Avalanche prospect setup goals from Tim Bozon (1G-3A, +2) and Brendan Ranford in the first. In the second, Smith assisted J. C Lipon's 18th goal of the season. He went on to notch one himself, which turned out to be the game winner, and add another helper on Lipon's empty-net security marker.
Smith has 16 goals and 47 points in 24 games on the season. He is on pace for a 141-point season, quite a rise from the 85-point year he posted last season. It will be definitely tough to keep on scoring at the rate he is, though.
Honourable mentions: J.C Lipon and Tim Bozon, Kamloops Blazers (WHL)
Lipon's unbelievable 19-year-old season continued in the Blazers' victory over the Winterhawks. The undrafted 6-foot, 181-pound winger potted two goals and thee helpers. He still holds the title as the Dub's leading scoring, having 19 goals and 48 points in 24 games on the year.
Bozon, a Montreal Canadiens prospect, lit the lamp once and notched three apples, putting him at 15 goals and 36 points in 23 games on the year.
Honourable mentions: Stefan Fournier and Jonathon Drouin, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)
Overage forward Stefan Fournier and 17-year-old winger Jonathon Drouin led the Mooseheads to an 8-3 shellacking over the Rouyna-Noranda Huskies.
Fournier shifted the momentum of the game in favour of the Mooseheads right off the hop. He scored two power-play goals in the first five minutes of the game. He closed out his hat trick in the third, netting another marker on the man advantage.
Drouin setup Fournier's first two goals. He added two more apples to his score sheet by assisting a Martin Frk (1G-2A, -1) goal later in the first and a Nathan MacKinnon (1G-2A, -1) snipe in the second.
Honourable mentions: Tyler Biggs and Cole Cassels, Oshawa Generals (OHL)
Biggs got the ball rolling for the Generals by netting a short-handed marker on Belleville Bulls puck-stopper Malcolm Subban in the first. The Toronto Maple Leafs first-round pick added another goal early in the final period.
Cassels sniped one on the man advantage early in the second, which turned out to be the Generals' game-winning goal in their 5-1 victory. He went on to light the lamp for the second time and assist a Scott Sabourin goal in the third.
Potent notables — Cape Brenton Screaming Eagles winger William Carrier notched four apples in a 5-2 win over the Saint John Sea Dogs…P.E.I Rocket's Jimmy Oligny (2G-2A, +3), Ben Duffy (2G-1A, +1), Josh Currie (1G-2A, -1), and Erik Robichaud (3A, +3) had big nights in a 6-3 win over the Acadie-Bathurst Titan…Zack Mitchell (3A, +1), Justin Auger (1G-2A, +3), and Robby Fabbri (1G-2A, +3) came up big in the Storm's win over the Steelheads…Detroit Red Wings prospect Xavier Ouellet (3A, -1), Roy Marc-Oliver (2G-1A), and Christopher Clapperton (1G-2A) helped the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada top the Drummondville Voltigeurs 6-3…Dallas Stars first-rounder Radek Faksa posted three helpers in the Kitchener Rangers' 3-1 win over the Erie Otters…Victoria Royals' Jamie Crooks scored two goals and one assist in a 5-0 win over the Everett Silvertips, Patrik Polivka posted a 20-save shutout.
Kelly Friesen is a Buzzing the Net columnist for Yahoo! Sports. Follow him on Twitter @KellyFriesen
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