Buzzing The Net - Junior Hockey

Ehlers’ second natural hatty in two nights secures Halifax a key win: Saturday’s 3 stars

No. 1 star: Nikolaj Ehlers, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)

Ehlers was a pivotal player for the second night in a row, securing the Mooseheads’ seventh straight win in a 5-2 victory over the Moncton Wildcats. He scored another natural hat trick and added an assist. It was the second night in a row for the Great Dane with those exact stats on a scoresheet.

It was equally enjoyable as Halifax has had a less-than-stellar record against divisional foe Moncton this season. Coming into the game, the Mooseheads were only 2-6 against their New Brunswick rivals.

Ehlers scored the game’s last three goals, snapping a 2-2 tie in the second period on the man-advantage and scoring twice in the third period to give him 43 goals on the year. He is now fourth in league scoring with 91 points, enough to lead the Mooseheads and league rookie scoring.

Jonathan Drouin and Brent Andrews each had three helpers in the win, which improved the Mooseheads to 41-18-0-3, enough to get them into a tie for second with the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada.

Moncton fell to 30-30-0-3 on the year, and have now lost five in a row.

No. 2 star: Greg Chase, Calgary Hitmen (WHL)

Chase had a hand in every goal for the Hitmen, chipping in with three assists in Calgary’s 3-2 win over Edmonton. He had two primary assists on the Hitmen’s first two goals to go up 2-0 after one. He then earned a powerplay helper in the second on the eventual winner.

Chris Dreidger made 22 saves in the third period to secure the win. Only Mitch Moroz made a dent in Dreidger’s third stanza. He steered aside 38 shots in total. The Hitmen rose to 43-15-3-4, snapping a tie atop the WHL’s Eastern Conference with the Oil Kings in the victory. Edmonton dropped to third place and 44-16-2-1 on the year.

Henrik Samuelsson had the primary assists on both Oil Kings goals. Tristan Jarry stopped 31 shots in the loss.

No. 3 star: Jayce Hawryluk, Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)

Hawryluk was the star for the Wheat Kings with a five-point night in Brandon’s 8-5 thrashing of the Saskatoon Blades.

He scored twice and added three assists in the win. Five points gives the sophomore pivot 62 points on the year.

The win improved Brandon to 31-26-6-2, enough to sit them comfortably in seventh place in the Eastern Conference. No other Wheat King had more than two points in the win.

Nick Zajac scored twice in the loss, which dropped the Blades to 16-44-2-3.

Notables: Oliver Cooper had two goals and an assist, while Noah Zilbert and Marcus Cuomo each scored twice and Jurij Repe had a goal and two assists in Saint John’s 9-3 whitewashing of Cape Breton. Nathan Noel had three assists. Sébastien Auger had 37 saves, as the Screaming Eagles outshot the Sea Dogs 40-27. … Curtis Valk and Trevor Cox each scored twice and added two assists in Medicine Hat’s 7-1 blowout win over Kamloops. Miles Koules added three helpers. … Andreas Athanasiou had a hat trick in Barrie’s 7-1 demolishing of Ottawa. Zach Hall had three assists. … Dmitry Sinitsyn had two goals and added two helpers in Regina’s 7-3 win over Moose Jaw. Morgan Klimchuk also scored twice, while Colby Williams had three assists. … Sébastien Sylvestre had a goal and three assists and Frédéric Gauther had two goals and an assist as Rimouski defeated Rouyn-Noranda 5-2. The win was Rimouski’s 11th in a row, and Philippe Desrosiers’s 10th straight. He made 38 saves. … Eric Ming scored twice and added a helper as Niagara defeated Sudbury 5-2. … Julius Honka led the charge with a pair of goals in Swift Current’s 7-4 barnburner win over Lethbridge. Graham Black had a goal and two assists. … Ryan Kujawinski and Darcy Greenaway each scored twice as Kingston nailed Belleville 5-2. Matt Malahak made 45 saves. … Alex Nedeljkovic had a 26-save shutout as Plymouth beat Windsor 5-0. Francesco Vilardi had two goals and an assist, while Matt Mistele had a goal and two assists. … Jérémy Grégoire scored twice and added a helper as Baie-Comeau throttled Victoriaville 5-1. … Leon Draisaitl had a goal and an assist as Prince Albert doubled up Kootenay 4-2. … Eric Comrie stopped 34 shots for the goose egg as Tri-City blanked Spokane 3-0. … Brandon Hope steered aside 36 shots as Owen Sound defeated Mississauga 4-1. … Marek Tvrdon scored the winner as Kelowna came from behind to beat Vancouver 3-1. Jordon Cooke made 32 saves in the win. … Nick Ritchie scored the winner in overtime as Peterborough defeated Sarnia 2-1 in the extra frame. Ritchie and Eric Cornel each had a pair of points. … Christophe Boivin scored the winner in the shootout as Acadie-Bathurst edged Charlottetown 3-2. … Taran Kozun stopped 41 shots as Seattle beat Portland 4-1. … Blake Speers scored the winner midway through the third period as Sault Ste. Marie defeated Kitchener 2-1. … Michael Curtis scored twice as Erie doubled Saginaw 4-2. … Patrik Polivka stopped 31-of-32 as Victoria defeated Prince George 2-1.

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