Buzzing The Net - Junior Hockey

Kootenay forward Jaedon Descheneau's four points gives him 82 on the season, enough for fifth place in WHL scoring. (CP / Larry MacDougal)

No. 1 star: Jaedon Descheneau, Kootenay Ice (WHL)

#FreeJaedon earned four points, a goal and three helpers, in Kootenay’s 5-2 win over the Brandon Wheat Kings.

Taking his usual spot alongside Sam Reinhart and Tom Bozon, Descheneau took the reins of the Ice offence and took control of the game Saturday, earning two primary feeds and the winning goal on the powerplay.

Reinhart chipped in with a goal and an assist of his own, and Bozon scored into an empty cage to ice the victory for the Ice, who improved to 33-22-2-2 with the win. Mackenzie Skapski made 28 saves in the win.

Curtis Honey took the loss for the Wheat Kings, giving up four on 21 shots in a run-and-gun first period, before ceding the net to Jordan Papirny, who was spotless in two periods the rest of the way. Brandon dropped to 28-23-6-2.

Four points for Descheneau gives him 82 on the year, two back of Reinhart, the highly-touted prospect, and good enough for fifth in WHL scoring. The undrafted forward should hear his name called in June at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. This man needs a team to call his own.

Also, I’ll just leave this here.


No. 2 co-stars: Kerby Rychel & Zach Mitchell, Guelph Storm (OHL)

Rychel and Mitchell both had four point nights to propel the Storm past the Saginaw Spirit 6-4. They both had a goal and three assists in the win.

Guelph dominated the first period, taking 23 shots and scoring four times in the frame to coast to the victory, and thanks to two helpers each to Mitchell and Rychel. The four points give Rychel 70 points on the year and Mitchell 64. Saginaw scored twice in the second and the third, but it was too little, too late for the Spirit.

Their linemate Robby Fabbri had a goal and an assist, giving the trio a total of 10 points on the night.

Matthew Mancina stopped 36 shots in the win for the Storm, who improved to an OHL best 43-9-2-1, and kept pace with division rivals Erie (more on that below). Jake Patterson took the loss, steering aside 39-of-44 shots.

No. 3 star: Connor McDavid, Erie Otters (OHL)

McDavid was the offence for the Otters in their 3-2 come-from-behind win over the slumping Niagara IceDogs. He scored twice, including the winner, and set up the other goal in front of a sell-out crowd at the Erie Insurance Arena.

Nick Betz scored the other goal for Erie, who improved to 43-10-2-0. Devin Williams made 12 saves in the victory. The IceDogs led 1-0 and 2-1 in the game. Brent Moran stopped 27 shots in the loss, as Niagara dropped their third in a row to fall to 18-30-2-5. Anthony DiFruscia and Matt Gillard scored in the loss.

Honourable mention: Nikita Jevpalovs, Blainville-Boisbriand Armada (QMJHL)

Jevpalovs steered the Armada comeback over the Sherbrooke Phoenix Saturday, scoring twice in the third period en route to a hat-trick in a 6-4 win.

The Armada, the Q’s best team, fell behind 4-3 to the league’s worst team after two periods, but they snapped out of it in the third and took the win going away.

Sherbrooke’s Daniel Audette was the catalyst of the Phoenix offence, scoring twice and adding two assists, but it wasn’t enough, as the Phoenix dropped their nineth-straight loss, falling to 15-34-4-3. The Armada climb to 36-10-4-5.

Honourable mention: Adam Tambellini, Calgary Hitmen (WHL)

Tambellini scored a hat-trick and added an assist in Calgary’s 8-1 thrashing of the Lethbridge Hurricanes.

Tambo did most of his damage on the powerplay, earning three of his four points on the man advantage. The Hitmen went 4-for-8 on the PP on the night.

Mack Shields earned the win in net for Calgary, stopping 29 shots, while Teagan Sacher took the loss, giving up five goals in just over 49 minutes of work. The Hitmen fired 24 shots at the Hurricanes net in the third period.

Honourable mention: Mitch Holmberg, Spokane Chiefs (WHL)

The WHL’s second leading scorer netted two goals and added two assists as Spokane whitewashed the Tri-City Americans 7-0.

His four points give him 97 on the season, three back of the Dub’s only century-marker, Nicolas Petan of the Portland Winterhawks, who earned the three-digit-feat tonight.

Captain Reid Gow had three assists in the win. Spokane improved to 32-20-3-2 on the year, while Tri-City dropped to 27-25-3-3.

Notables: Alex Schoenhorn and Dominic Turgeon each had a goal and two assists, while Oliver Bjorkstrand had three apples in Portland’s 7-4 demolishing of Vancouver. The WHL’s leading scorer Petan earned two points, making him the first WHL player to 100 points on the season. … Julio Billia made 46 saves, but it wasn’t enough in Chicoutimi’s 2-1 loss to Rouyn-Noranda. Jean-Sébastien Dea had a goal and an assist. … Leon Draisaitl and Collin Valcourt had three assists for the Raiders and Brandon Magee of the Royals had three helpers as Victoria beat Prince Albert 5-4. … Victor Crus Rydberg scored at 3:07 of overtime to give Plymouth the 2-1 win in extra fun. Jordan DeKort made 40 saves in the loss. … Captain Colby Cave scored twice and Eetu Laurikainen made 41 stops as Swift Current defeated Regina 4-3 in a shootout. Glenn Gawdin scored the only goal in penalty kicks. … Cole Ully scored twice, including the winner in overtime, as Kamloops defeated Prince George in the battle of the Western Conference basement, 4-3. Todd Fiddler had a goal and two assists for the Cougars. … Tyler Gaudet had a goal and added two assists and Patrick Watling gave three helpers in Sault Ste. Marie’s 5-2 win over Windsor. … Ryan Graham scored twice as Saskatoon defeated Red Deer 4-1. Troy Trombley made 41 saves. … Charlie Graham was named first star for Belleville with a 28-save performance in their 3-1 win over Owen Sound. … Anthony Richard scored twice as Val-d’Or dispatched Shawinigan 5-2. … Sam McKechnie had a goal and an assist as Seattle defeated Everett 3-2. … Mackenzie Blackwood steered aside 33 shots as Barrie defeated Peterborough 2-1. … Zachary Fortin made 36 saves as Cape Breton defeated Gatineau 5-4. … Six different Tigers scored and Nick Schneider stopped 29 shots as Medicine Hat defeated Moose Jaw 6-1.

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