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3 Stars of the Week: Dec. 8-14, 2014

by Emerald Gao / Chicago Blackhawks
(Photo courtesy Rockford IceHogs)

1st Star: C Joakim Nordstrom, Rockford IceHogs (AHL)
The Line
: 3GP, 3G, 2A

The return of the captain from Chicago was a welcome sight for the IceHogs, who went 2-1-0-0 in three games this week. Nordstrom picked up an assist in a 4-2 loss at Lake Erie on Friday, then netted his first professional hat trick on Saturday, adding a helper for a career-high four points as Rockford posted a 5-2 win over the Monsters. The IceHogs continue to lead AHL teams with four hat tricks this season (Nordstrom, McNeill, Ross twice), and Nordstrom ranks third on the team with eight goals and eighth with 13 points in 17 games.

(Photo courtesy Rockford IceHogs)

2nd Star: C Phillip Danault, Rockford IceHogs (AHL)
The Line:
3GP, 1G, 3A

Danault notched points in all three games last week to extend his point streak to four contests and move into third in team scoring (4G, 15A in 23 games). The 2011 first-round pick collected a helper in Rockford’s 2-1 win over Milwaukee on Wednesday; he logged a goal and an assist in Friday’s loss to Lake Erie, then assisted on an empty-netter to seal the 5-2 result on Saturday.

(Photo courtesy Rockford IceHogs)

3rd Star: D T.J. Brennan, Rockford IceHogs (AHL)
The Line:
3GP, 2G, 2A

Brennan contributed two goals and two assists in three games last week, including the game-winner in Wednesday’s win over Milwaukee. He also scored a goal on Friday in Lake Erie, before posting a pair of helpers the next night. Brennan continues to pace the IceHogs with 17 assists and 24 points in 28 games, which shares the league lead among defensemen.

Honorable mentions: G Ivan Nalimov, Admiral Vladivostok (KHL); RW Chris Calnan, Boston College (H-EAST)

Nalimov started three games for Admiral last week, going 2-0-1 and collecting his second shutout of the season on Dec. 8 after making 24 saves in a 3-0 win over Lada. The 2014 draft pick made a combined 65 saves on 71 shots in his three outings and now has a 2.96 goals-against average and .894 save percentage in 20 games this season.

Boston College played just once over the weekend, resulting in a big 5-1 win over the University of Michigan. Calnan picked up a pair of assists in the victory and now shares the team lead with 12 points (7G, 5A) in 16 games during his sophomore campaign with the Eagles.

Around the system:

  • Goaltender Anders Nilsson went 1-1-0 in two games played for AK Bars Kazan last week, allowing just three goals in those contests. Nilsson now has a 12-4-7 record in 24 games, along with a 1.75 GAA (which ranks third among KHL netminders) and .936 SV% (T-2nd).

  • Winger Fredrik Olofsson netted a pair of goals for the USHL’s Chicago Steel in an 8-1 win at Madison on Friday. The 2014 fourth-round pick ranks second on the team with 11 goals and 22 points – all career highs – in 23 games this season... Fellow 2014 selection Beau Starrett notched a goal and an assist in two contests for the South Shore Kings of the USPHL and now has five points (2G, 3A) in six games so far this season.

  • Defenseman Luc Snuggerud helped Nebraska-Omaha achieve a weekend sweep of St. Cloud State with an assist in each of their two matchups. The 2014 fifth-round pick extended his point streak to four games (4A) and now has seven points in 16 games to begin his collegiate career... North Dakota blueliner Nick Mattson tallied a goal and an assist in his only game of the week, a 3-1 win over Denver University. The 2010 sixth-round pick opened the scoring with his first goal of the season and has four points in 10 games.

  • Garret Ross contributed a point in each of Rockford’s three games last week, including scoring the opening goal in the team’s 2-1 win at Milwaukee. The second-year winger leads the team with 11 goals this season and ranks second with 20 points... Brandon Mashinter posted a tally and an assist for the IceHogs in Saturday’s win and ranks seventh on the team with 14 points (6G, 8A) in 24 games... Teuvo Teravainen logged two helpers in three games last week and now shares second on the team with 15 assists this season... Mac Carruth made his second start for Rockford this season on Saturday and made 25 saves on 27 shots to record the win.
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