Buzzing The Net - Junior Hockey

Windsor Spitfires’ Kerby Rychel gets hatty in comeback win: Thursday’s 3 Stars

No. 1 star: Kerby Rychel, Windsor Spitfires (OHL)

Rychel (3G-1A, +3) capped off an inspired comeback, untying the game with 77 seconds left to beat Plymouth 6-5 and lift Windsor to its sixth win in a row. It's vague at best whether the Columbus Blue Jackets first-rounder will play out his OHL string with the Spitfires, but on this night, he was part of an emotional comeback win as Windsor chiseled away at 4-1 and 5-3 deficits.

The 19-year-old captain, who now has 14 goals and 30 points in 16 games, got Windsor off the deck with a goal in the first minute of the second. Rychel scored again in that period and assisted on rookie Cristiano DiGiacinto's equalizer with 3:39 left. Then Rychel blocked a shot by defenceman Alex Peters, tore off on a breakaway and buried the winner.

Fun fact: Rychel's first goal of the night was his 100th in the OHL. His third was his 100th for the Spitfires. He scored twice during a half-season with Mississauga as a 16-year-old.

No. 2 star: Ryan Penny, Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL)

The 'Cats captain had gone 17 games without a goal, but he came alive with a hat trick in an 8-3 rivalry game runaway over the Saint John Sea Dogs. It was actually a close game for 40-ish minutes, with the 19-year-old Penny (3G, +3), scoring early to put Moncton up 2-0. Saint John hung around until Penny scored with 90 seconds left in the second period and again 1:45 into the third to open a commanding lead. Fellow forwards Conor Garland (1G-4A, +5) and JC Campagna (2A, +1) contributed to Penny's huge night.

No. 3 star: Nathan Pancel, Sudbury Wolves (OHL)

Pancel (1G-2A, +3) became the first OHLer to reach the 20-goal milestone when he scored a short-handed unassisted goal with 5:10 left to vault the Wolves to a 4-3 road win over Northern Ontario rival North Bay. The 19-year-old Ottawa native created offence for Sudbury throughout the night before a loud crowd of 3,800 in North Bay, twice assisting on tying goals that kept the wind in the Wolves' sails. Pancel assisted on Jimmy McDowell's 2-2 marker late in the second and set up 17-year-old Stefan LeBlanc (1G-1A, +2) to tie the game again with 7:17 left.

Honourable mention: Dakota Mermis, London Knights (OHL)

Mermis (1G-1A, +1) scored off the rush 3:27 into overtime, lifting London over Guelph 6-5 to snap the Storm's 10-game win streak. The 19-year defenceman made a great change-of-pace move to beat the Storm's best defender, Toronto Maple Leafs second-rounder Matt Finn, then cut out front to beat Matt Mancina five-hole to end a wild game. Mermis was beaten to the outside on Guelph's go-ahead goal in the opening seconds of the third (which also led to Anthony Stolarz getting hooked), but he made up for it on the game-winner.

Honourable mention: Louis-Philippe Guindon, Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL)

The surging Volts took down league-leading Blainville-Boisbriand 4-1, with their goalie copping first-star honours. Guindon stopped 25-of-26 shots as Drummondville produced a solid, thorough effort, capitalizing in the late stages of each of the first two periods. That put the Armada in the unaccustomed situation of having to play catch-up and the 18-year-old goalie was there when tested.

Potent notables — Columbus Blue Jackets draft pick Peter Quenneville scored in his first game for the Brandon Wheat Kings, but Saskatoon's Alex Moodie stopped the other 40 shots he faced to lead the Blades to a 4-1 win ... In the OHL, Toronto Maple Leafs third-rounder Carter Verhaeghe (3G, +2 for Niagara) ended his three-game goalless drought ... Pittsburgh Penguins prospect Matt Murray had his third shutout, making 26 saves in Sault Ste. Marie's 3-0 win over Owen Sound ... NHL draft prospect Nick Ritchie (2G-1A, +2) returned from a four-game absence to lead Peterborough's 7-0 pasting of Kitchener. Ritchie's roommate, overage D Clark Seymour, also had two goals ... Antoine Waked scored his first QMJHL goal to help Rouyn-Noranda down Victoriaville.

Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet. Please address any questions, comments or concerns to

Related Articles

Buzzing The Net

Add to My Yahoo RSS

Blog Roll

Featured Sports Video