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3 Stars of the Week: Feb. 9-15, 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: D Ville Pokka, Rockford IceHogs (AHL)
The Line: 3GP, 1G, 3A

Pokka extended his point streak to a career-long four games with contributions in all three Rockford games last week. The rookie defenseman picked up an assist on Friday at Milwaukee, posted a goal and a helper the next night against Oklahoma City, then finished off the weekend with his 16th assist of the season against San Antonio. Pokka ranks second among team defensemen and sixth overall with 23 games in 45 games this season.

(Photo courtesy Rockford IceHogs)

2nd Star: G Scott Darling, Rockford IceHogs (AHL)
The Line: 2-0-0, 52 saves

Darling was in net for the IceHogs on Friday and Sunday and allowed just one goal in each game, improving his record to 13-7-2-0; his 13 wins tie an AHL career high, set last season with Milwaukee. The 26-year-old stopped 23 of 24 shots in a 2-1 win over the Admirals and 29 of 30 in another 2-1 win over San Antonio, posting a .963 save percentage over that span.

(Eric Classen/UND Athletics)

3rd Star: C Luke Johnson, University of North Dakota (NCHC)
The Line: 2GP, 4A

Johnson played a central role over the weekend as UND went 1-0-1 against Denver in NCHC action. The 2013 sixth-round pick posted two assists in a 4-2 win on Friday and added another pair of helpers the next night in a 4-3 shootout loss. Johnson shares fifth on the team with 12 assists and ranks sixth with 18 points in 29 games this season.

Honorable mentions: D Michael Paliotta, University of Vermont (H-EAST); G Ivan Nalimov, Admiral Vladivostok (KHL)

Paliotta led Vermont to a weekend conference split against Boston College with helpers in both contests. The senior captain assisted on the overtime game-winner in a 3-2 victory on Friday, then notched two more the next night in a wild 6-5 loss. Paliotta continues to lead the Catamounts with 22 assists and 30 points in 30 games; he ranks second among NCAA defensemen in points and paces the group with eight tallies.

Nalimov won both of his starts last week, including a 28-save effort in a 3-0 blanking of Lokotmotiv on Monday, his third shutout of the season. The 2014 seventh-round pick made a combined 51 stops on 53 shots, improving his record to 10-10-5, with a 2.76 goals-against average and .900 save percentage.

Around the system:

  • Vincent Hinostroza was instrumental in Notre Dame’s 2-0 win over Providence on Friday, posting an assist on the opening goal (and game-winner) and adding a late insurance goal. The 2012 sixth-round pick continues to lead the Fighting Irish with 33 points, and his 26 assists share fifth in the nation... Anthony Louis picked up a pair of assists as Miami swept Colorado College over the weekend, including one on the game-winner in Saturday’s 2-1 result... John Hayden netted his sixth goal of the season on the power play as Yale blanked Union 2-0 on Friday; he second on the team with 17 points in 21 games.

  • UND freshman Nick Schmaltz tallied the game-winning goal in Friday’s 5-2 win over Denver, then added an assist the next night; he ranks fifth on the team with 21 points (4G, 17A) in 25 games this season... Senior defenseman Nick Mattson extended his point streak to five games with a goal and a helper for North Dakota last weekend. The 2010 sixth-rounder has 11 points (2G, 9A) in 20 games in his senior campaign.

  • Brandon Mashinter tallied twice over the weekend, netting the game-winner in Rockford’s 3-1 win over Oklahoma City and opening the scoring the next night against San Antonio. He ranks third on the team with 10 goals this season... Peter Regin scored his sixth goal of the season on Saturday and added an assist on Mashinter’s goal the next night; he ranks seventh on the team with 23 points in 46 games... Joakim Nordstrom made an immediate impact upon his return to Rockford, compiling a goal and an assist in three games, including the game-winner on Friday at Milwaukee. The IceHogs captain has 15 points (9G, 6A) in 20 AHL games this season.

  • Defenseman Stephen Johns collected two helpers in three games for Rockford over the weekend, including one on Cody Bass’ game-winner against the Rampage on Sunday... IceHogs Goaltender Michael Leighton won his lone start of the week, making 26 saves on 27 shots in 3-1 result over the conference-leading Oklahoma City Barons and improving his record to 13-9-2-2, with a 2.10 GAA and .927 SV%.
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