Buzzing The Net - Junior Hockey

No. 1 star: Ryan Verbeek, Kingston Frontenacs (OHL)

The newly-acquired Kingston forward is proving his worth with a four-goal performance in a Kingston 9-1 whitewashing against the Sarnia Sting. Verbeek had a real nose for the net in this game, scoring three of his four goals from near the goal mouth.

The left winger’s four goals nearly doubled his OHL career goals, pushing that total up to nine. They were his first goals as a Frontenac.

Verbeek hooked up with veteran Darcy Greenaway on three of his goals. The Frontenacs had 17 shots in each of the three periods, showing a dominant touch.

Five other Fronts scored in the win, which was Kingston’s 17th of the season, and holds them steady in third place in the Eastern Conference. Sarnia scored first in the game, and then gave up nine straight goals en route to the drubbing. They dropped to a Western Conference-worst 11-19-1-2.

Captain Michael Moffat had a goal and two assists and was a team-high +4. Matt Malahak got the win in net, sterring aside 25 shots, while Brodie Barrick took the loss, making 42 saves on the night.

No. 2 star: Matt Murray, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)

Murray stopped everything thrown his way by the Oshawa Generals as his Greyhounds won 3-0.

Murray made 40 saves and was named first star as the Sault improved to 22-8-0-3. Oshawa dropped to 24-9-0-2, but still enough to be ten points ahead of second place in the Eastern Conference. The Generals outshot the Greyhounds 40-23 in the game, including a 15-shot second period.

Center Blake Speers scored two goals, including the winner, and Jared McCann had a goal and an assist. The Hounds went 2-for-7 on the man advantage.

No. 3 star: Jean-François Plante, Sherbrooke Phoenix (QMJHL)

The overager from Richmond, Qc., netted a hat trick in the Phoenix’s 4-0 win over the Acadie-Bathurst Titan.

Plante scored his three goals three different ways: one shorthanded, one on the powerplay and one on even strength. He also scored one unassisted, one with one assist, and one with two assists. The markers gave Plante 29 goals on the year, enough to pull him into second place among goal-scorers and within six of the league lead.

Blueliner Simon Desbiens netted the game-winner in the second period, and Francis Desrosiers earned a 39-save shutout for his troubles. The win brought Sherbrooke to within two points in the standings, raising them to 12-20-1-2. The Phoenix were outshot in each period.

Honourable mention: Matthew Mancina, Guelph Storm (OHL)

Mancina earned a 35-save shutout as the visiting Storm defeated the Owen Sound Attack 4-0. He was able to hold off a 19-shot second period for the goose egg.

Guelph forward Robby Fabbri scored twice, including the winner, in the win, while blueliner Zac Leslie had two helpers. The Storm improved to 23-7-2-1, good enough for fourth in the OHL’s loaded Western Conference. They scored twice on the powerplay.

The Attack fell to 16-12-2-3, with Brandon Hope making 31 saves in the loss.

Honourable mention: Mackenzie Blackwood, Barrie Colts (OHL)

Blackwood makes the list because of his impressive first period of work against the Windsor Spitfires.

He stopped all 27(!) shots he faced in the first stanza, and stopped another 25 in the game and led Barrie to a 4-3 win over Windsor.

Barrie fired 15 shots of their own in the wild first period, which saw Andrew Mangiapane score his first of three on the night midway through the frame. The Colts improved to 17-13-1-2.

Windsor outshot Barrie 55-37 in the game. They fell to 20-11-1-0.

Notables: Tyson Baillie scored the game’s tying goal in the second period and had three assists in Kelowna’s 5-4 overtime win over Regina. … Matthew Greenfield stopped 45 shots as Kitchener beat Saginaw 5-1. Darby Llewellyn had two goals and an assist in the win. … Jackson Houck scored twice and added an assist as Vancouver doubled up Everett 6-3. … Brendan Perlini had a goal and two assists and three other IceDogs had two-point nights as Niagara beat Belleville 5-3 despite being outshot 38-24. … Mitch Holmberg and Mike Aviani each had three point nights as Spokane hung on against Prince George 4-3. Todd Fiddler had a goal and two assists in the loss. … Simon Tremblay had a goal and two assists as Chicoutimi demolished shorthanded Halifax 6-2. Jasmin Boutet and Sébastien Sylvestre each had a goal and an assist. … Rene Hunter had three assists from the back end as Brandon defeated Moose Jaw 4-1. Wheat Kings goalie Jordan Papirny had 36 saves in the win. … Dane Fox and Connor Brown each scored in the shootout to give Erie a 4-3 win over London. Devin Williams made 30 saves in the victory. … Carson Bolduc scored two goals, including the winner, as Kamloops edged Saskatoon 3-2. … Frédéric Gaudreau scored twice, including the winner in overtime, as Drummondville beat Val-d’Or 5-4. Louick Marcotte had a goal and two assists in a losing effort. … Patrik Bartosak made 42 saves in Red Deer’s 3-2 shootout win over Lethbridge. … Austin Carroll scored twice in a losing effort for Victoria as they fall 4-3 in a shootout to Medicine Hat. … Ryan Hartman had two goals in a losing effort as Plymouth fell to Peterborough 3-2 in a shoutout. … Kootenay netminder Mackenzie Skapski was at his best for his shorthanded squad, stopping 41 shots in the Ice’s 3-2 shootout win over Swift Current. The Ice were short three players for the contest.

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