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3 Stars of the Week: March 2-8, 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.

(Richard Gagnon/Notre Dame Athletics)

1st Star: C Vincent Hinostroza, University of Notre Dame (H-EAST)
The Line: 3GP, 3G, 2A

Hinostroza’s five points in three games against UMass helped Notre Dame advance in the Hockey East tournament; the 2012 sixth-round pick also moved into a tie for 10th in the nation in points, with 43 (11G, 32A) in 39 games. Hinostroza tallied once in the NCAA record-setting 5OT contest on Friday that opened the series, added two more goals in a 5-3 win the next night and posted two helpers in Sunday’s 7-0 victory to cap off the first round. Notre Dame moves on to face UMass-Lowell in the conference quarterfinals next weekend.

(Photo courtesy Vermont Athletics)

2nd Star: D Michael Paliotta, University of Vermont (H-EAST)
The Line: 3GP, 4A

Paliotta picked up assists in all three games against Maine in the first round of the H-EAST tourney last weekend, helping the Catamounts move on to a quarterfinal series at Boston College. Vermont’s captain continues to lead the team offensively, and he shares third among NCAA defensemen with 35 points (9G, 26A) in 37 games as a senior.

(Photo courtesy Rockford IceHogs)

3rd Star: D Stephen Johns, Rockford IceHogs (AHL)
The Line: 2GP, 1G, 2A

Johns netted his first goal of the season in Rockford’s 5-1 win over Oklahoma City on Friday and added two helpers for a career-high three points. The former second-round pick ranks second among team blueliners with 13 points in 35 games this season, while his +18 plus/minus rating shares second overall.

Honorable mentions: G Anders Nilsson, AK Bars Kazan (KHL); C Peter Regin, Rockford IceHogs (AHL)

Nilsson continued exhibiting strong playoff netminding, going 2-0-1 in three games against Avtomobilist last week to help AK Bars Kazan win the first-round series 4-1. The 24-year-old made a combined 53 saves on 58 shots and hasn’t allowed more than two goals per game in each of his five postseason starts. AK Bars Kazan moves on to the Eastern Conference semifinals against either Avangard or Barys.

Regin posted a point in each of Rockford’s games last week, opening the scoring in Friday’s 5-1 win over OKC and adding an assist in a 3-2 overtime loss to Grand Rapids the next night. Regin ranks fourth on the team with 27 points (8G, 19A) in 52 games this season.

Around the system:

  • North Dakota and Miami split a pair of games last weekend to cap off the NCHC regular-season schedule, with several Blackhawks prospects getting onto the scoresheet. For UND, Nick Schmaltz posted an assist and Luke Johnson scored twice in a 6-3 Miami win on Saturday; RedHawks sophomore Anthony Louis contributed an empty-net goal and an assist in the game. Next weekend, UND will face Colorado College in a best-of-three series, while Miami will take on Western Michigan.

  • Sophomore forward Tyler Motte collected a helper in both of Michigan’s games against Penn State over the weekend; he ranks third on the team with 20 assists and fourth with 28 points.

  • Right wing Spencer Abbott, who was acquired from Toronto for T.J. Brennan at the trade deadline, made an immediate impact for the IceHogs last week, notching a goal and an assist in their 5-1 win on Friday... Cody Bass and Garret Ross also tallied for Rockford in that game.

  • Defenseman Kyle Cumiskey picked up an assist in each of his two appearances last week and now has 12 helpers on the season... Michael Leighton stopped 29 of 30 shots to record his team-leading 15th win of the season on Friday.
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