Buzzing The Net - Junior Hockey

Royals forward Axel Blomqvist (right) scored the winner in overtime to steal two points from Swift Current. (Photo credit: victoriaroyals.com)

No. 1 star: Axel Blomqvist, Victoria Royals (WHL)

Blomqvist played hero for the Royals in their 4-3 win over Swift Current, scoring the winner at 3:31 of the extra frame and adding two assists. The goal was the towering Jets’ prospect’s second since his trade from Lethbridge, and his tenth overall.

Victoria played rope-a-dope with the Broncos, taking a 3-0 lead in the first 3:35 of the game and surrendering it, then stealing the win in overtime.

Steven Hodges had a goal and an assist for the winners. Victoria improved to 20-13-0-1 on the season, enough for fifth in the Western Conference.

Patrik Polivka got the win in goal, stopping 32 shots, while Landon Bow steered aside 24 shots. Swift Current dropped to 19-12-0-3, good for second in the Eastern Conference. Julius Honka, soon to be leaving for the Finnish world junior camp, had a goal and an assist in the loss.

No. 2 star: Samuel Hodhod, Blainville-Boisbriand Armada (QMJHL)

Hodhod paced the Armada offence with a four-point night as they edged the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies 7-4 at the Aréna Iamgold.

He scored twice and added two helpers in the win, making the most of his three shots. The Armada have cooled off in the last few games, but still lead the QMJHL by four points over the Halifax Mooseheads.

Danick Martel also scored twice, including the winner, for the Armada, who improved to 23-5-4-1 on the year. Etienne Marcoux got the win in goal.

Marcus Power had three assists in the loss, which dropped the Huskies to 19-10-1-2 and sole possession of seventh place. Rouyn-Noranda outshot the Armada 32-23 in the loss.

No. 3 star: Brendan Gaunce, Erie Otters (OHL)

Gaunce also turned in a four-point night on the scoresheet in Erie’s 7-2 thrashing of Niagara.

Gaunce lit the lamp twice and added two apples in the win, which improved their CHL-best record to 28-4-1-0. Dane Fox and Andre Burakovsky had three points in the win, with identical two-goal, one-assist nights. OHL-leading scorer Connor Brown added three assists.

It was a Dansk party in Niagara, as Oscar Dansk stopped 28 shots in the win. Christopher Festarini earned the loss, pulled early after letting in three in six shots. The IceDogs fell to league-second-worst 8-20-2-2.

Honourable mention: Brody Milne & Steven Janes, Windsor Spitfires (OHL)

Milne and Janes provided all the scoring Windsor needed in their 4-2 home win over the Peterborough Petes.

They both scored twice to push the Spits to 20-10-1-0, four points back of the West Division-leading Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.

Milne added an assist in the win, while Josh Ho-Sang and Remy Giftopoulos each had two assists. Alex Fotinos stopped 39 shots for the win.

Honourable mention: Barclay Goodrow, North Bay Battalion (OHL)

Goodrow scored twice for the Battalion as they came from behind to beat Barrie 4-2 and tying the two teams in the Central Division.

Captain Goodrow scored the game tying goal in the second period and scored the winner in the third as the Battalion improved to 17-15-1-0 on the season, gaining ground on rival Barrie and tying them in points at 35. Matt MacLeod had a goal and an assist in the win.

Jake Smith got the win in goal, stopping 29-of-31 shots. Daniel Gibl took the loss for the Colts, making 24 saves.

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