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3 Stars of the Week: March 23-29, 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: C Alex Broadhurst, Rockford IceHogs (AHL)
The Line: 3GP, 2G, 1A

Broadhurst compiled a three-game point streak for Rockford last week, tallying twice — his first goals of the season — and adding an assist. The Orland Park, Ill., native missed four months with a fractured arm, but has picked up the pace upon his return as the IceHogs are on the verge of securing a berth in the Calder Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2008 while challenging for the Midwest Division title.

(Photo courtesy AK Bars Kazan)

2nd Star: G Anders Nilsson, AK Bars Kazan (KHL)
The Line: 2-0-0, 1SO

Nilsson and AK Bars Kazan kept rolling in the KHL playoffs last week, winning their first two games against Sibir in the Eastern Conference Final. Nilsson allowed just one goal in the two games, picking up his fourth shutout of the postseason — ninth overall — with a 21-save effort in Game 1 on Friday. The 25-year-old improved to 10-2, with a 1.19 goals-against average and .949 save percentage, both ranking second among netminders in the playoffs.

(Eric Classen/UND Athletics)

1st Star: C Luke Johnson, University of North Dakota (NCHC)
The Line: 2GP, 2G

Johnson tallied a goal in each of North Dakota’s NCAA Tournament games over the weekend en route to clinching a Frozen Four berth. The 2012 sixth-round pick scored an empty-netter in UND’s 4-1 win over Quinnipiac on Friday, then tallied in the third period of a 4-1 victory over St. Cloud State to win the West Regional bracket. Johnson now has a collegiate career-high 10 goals and 23 points in 41 games this season. North Dakota takes on Boston University in the semifinals on Thursday in Boston.

Honorable mentions: RW Spencer Abbott, Rockford IceHogs (AHL); G Michael Leighton, Rockford (AHL)

Abbott scored twice and added an assist in three games for the IceHogs; he now has 10 points (7G, 3A) in 10 games since joining Rockford in early March. Abbott ranks third on the team with 34 points this season, split between the IceHogs and Marlies.

Leighton made 25 saves in his only start of the week, as Rockford blanked Adirondack 4-0 on Friday. It was the veteran netminder’s fifth shutout of the season and the 41st of his career, tying him with Gil Meyer for second in AHL history.

Around the system:

  • Matt Iacopelli, the Blackhawks 2014 third-rounder pick, notched a goal and two assists in three games for Muskegon in the USHL last week and now shares first on the team with 23 tallies in 53 games this season... Fredrik Olofsson tallied a goal and three helpers in two games for the Chicago Steel, including assists on both goals in a 2-1 win vs. Madison, extending his multi-point game streak to three in the process. The 2014 fourth-round pick ranks first on the team with 26 goals and shares first with 56 points.

  • Miami were dumped from the NCAA Tournament after losing 7-5 to Providence on Saturday, but 2013 sixth-rounder Anthony Louis did contribute a goal and an assist for the RedHawks. Louis ended his sophomore campaign with 36 points in 37 games, and his 27 helpers ranked second on the team... Freshman defenseman Luc Snuggerud posted two assists in Nebraska-Omaha’s 4-0 win over RIT on Sunday, as the Mavericks emerged as surprise winners in the Midwest Regional. They’ll face Providence in the Frozen Four semifinal on Thursday.

  • Along with Louis, John Hayden (Yale) and Chris Calnan (Boston College) were also eliminated with their teams in the regional rounds of the NCAA tourney. Four Blackhawks prospects remain in contention for the national title: Snuggerud for UNO, plus Johnson, Nick Schmaltz and Nick Mattson for North Dakota.

  • Mark McNeill posted two assists in Rockford’s 3-2 win over Lake Erie on Wednesday, then added another helper on Friday against Adirondack; the 2011 first-round pick ranks second on the team with 36 points (18G, 18A)... Peter Regin added two assists in three outings and leads the IceHogs with 26 helpers this season... Brandon Mashinter netted the game-winner on Wednesday against Lake Erie and now ranks third on the team with 15 tallies; he added his 12th assist of the season on Friday.

  • Defenseman Ville Pokka tallied a goal and an assist on the game-winner in Wednesday’s win over Lake Erie for his sixth multi-point outing of the season... Trevor van Riemsdyk posted a pair of helpers in Rockford’s win on Friday, including one on Dennis Rasmussen’s GWG.
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