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3 Stars of the Week: Dec. 29, 2014-Jan. 4, 2015

by Emerald Gao / Chicago Blackhawks

Each Monday, the Blackhawks Blog will highlight prospects who stood out for their minor-league, junior, college, or European teams in the previous week’s action. All prospect stats will be updated weekly throughout the 2014-15 season.

(Photo courtesy Rockford IceHogs)

1st Star: RW Mark McNeill, Rockford IceHogs (AHL)
The Line: 3GP, 1G, 2A

McNeill has rounded back into top form after returning from a lower-body injury, and he helped the IceHogs win two out of three outings last week. McNeill posted the game-winning goal and an assist in Rockford’s 3-0 win over Chicago on Sunday after picking up a helper on the team’s only goal in a 2-1 loss to Hamilton last Tuesday. With Teuvo Teravainen recalled to Chicago, McNeill now ranks second among active roster players with 22 points (11G, 11A) in 23 games this season.

(Photo courtesy Rockford IceHogs)

2nd Star: RW Ryan Hartman, Rockford IceHogs (AHL)
The Line: 3GP, 1G, 2A

Hartman snapped a long goal-scoring drought with his fifth tally of the season, along with an assist, in Rockford’s 3-2 shootout win over Grand Rapids on New Year’s Eve. Hartman added another helper in Sunday’s win in Chicago. The 2013 first-round pick now has 13 points and 54 penalty minutes while appearing in all 36 games so far this season.

(Photo courtesy Rockford IceHogs)

3rd Star: G Michael Leighton, Rockford IceHogs (AHL)
The Line: 2GP, 2-0-0, 1 SO

Leighton was in net for both IceHogs wins last week, stopping a combined 62 of 64 shots for a .969 save percentage; he logged his third shutout of the season with a 31-save performance on Sunday against the Wolves and shares second in the league in the category. He also ranks third all-time in AHL history with 39 career blankings. Leighton improved his record to 9-7-1-1 this season, with a 2.25 goals-against average and .919 SV%.

Honorable mentions: D Adam Clendening, Rockford (AHL); D T.J. Brennan, Rockford (AHL)

Clendening and Brennan notched two assists apiece in three games last week. Brennan notched helpers on both of Rockford’s goals in a 3-2 shootout victory over Grand Rapids on Wednesday, while Clendening had assists in each of the IceHogs’ wins. Clendening now has 10 points (1G, 9A) in 30 games this season, while Brennan continues to pace the team with 21 assists and 28 points while appearing in all 36 games so far.

Around the system:

  • Chris Calnan netted his eighth goal of the season in Boston College’s 3-2 win over Darthmouth on Saturday and continues to share the team lead in tallies. The 2012 third-round selection also shares third with 13 points in his sophomore campaign... Luc Snuggerud tallied his second goal of the season in Nebraska-Omaha’s 6-2 loss to New Hampshire last Wednesday. The 2014 fifth-round pick now has nine pointsin 20 games to begin his collegiate career.

  • Ohio State goaltender Matt Tomkins won his only start of the week, making 15 saves on 18 shots in a 6-3 win over Mercyhurst on Friday. The sophomore and 2012 seventh-round pick has been in net for four of Ohio State’s six wins this year, posting a 2.82 GAA and .890 SV% in 11 games.

  • Dennis Rasmussen netted Rockford’s only goal in the team’s 2-1 loss to Hamilton on Tuesday; Scott Darling made 28 saves on 30 shots in the contest... Matt Carey notched his sixth goal of the season to open the scoring for the IceHogs last Wednesday in Grand Rapids... Garret Ross returned from a six-game injury absence and notched the empty-netter to seal Rockford’s 3-0 victory over Chicago on Sunday; defenseman Klas Dahlbeck also tallied in the game, marking his third of the season.
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