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3 Stars of the Week: March 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.

(Eric Classen/University of North Dakota Athletics)

1st Star: D Nick Mattson, University of North Dakota (NCHC)
The Line: 2GP, 1G, 3A

The senior defenseman had a huge weekend, helping ND move past Colorado College and secure a semifinal berth in the Frozen Faceoff. Mattson tallied the game-winner and added two assists in a 5-1 win on Friday, then posted a helper in North Dakota’s 3-2 win the next night. The 2010 sixth-round pick now ranks second among team defensemen with 20 points (4G, 16A) in 28 games this season.

(Photo courtesy Miami University Athletics)

2nd Star: C Anthony Louis, University of Miami (NCHC)
The Line: 3GP, 3A

Louis registered three assists in three games last weekend as Miami defeated Western Michigan in the NCHC tournament. The 2013 sixth-round pick notched a pair in a 7-5 loss on Saturday and picked up his third in a 1-0 win in the deciding game. Louis ranks second on the team with 25 helpers and fourth with 32 points in 34 games this year. Miami will face Denver in the semifinal game on Friday.

(Photo courtesy Rockford IceHogs)

3rd Star: RW Spencer Abbott, Rockford IceHogs (AHL)
The Line: 2GP, 1G, 1A

Abbott has fit in nicely with the IceHogs since being acquired in a trade with Toronto earlier this month, posting four points in his first four games with the club. The 24-year-old picked up a goal and an assist in Rockford’s 4-3 win over the Chicago Wolves on Sunday to help the team clinch this season’s Illinois Lottery Cup as the top AHL club in the state. Abbott now has a combined 28 points (9G, 19A) in 50 AHL games split between the IceHogs and the Marlies this season.

Honorable mentions: G Anders Nilsson, AZ Bars Kazan (KHL); G Mac Carruth, Indy Fuel (ECHL)

Nilsson backstopped AK Bars Kazan to a 1-1 tie with Avangard in the second round of the KHL playoffs, making a combined 63 saves on 67 shots in two games last week. He posted his first shutout of the postseason with a 33-save effort in a 4-0 win on Saturday. Nilsson ranks third among KHL netminders in the postseason with a 1.51 goals-against average and fifth with a .934 save percentage in seven starts.

Mac Carruth went 1-0-0-1 in two appearances for the Indy Fuel last week, including a 21-save shutout on Friday over Evansville. The 2010 seventh-round pick then stopped 37 of 40 shots the next night in a 4-3 shootout loss to Toledo the next night. Carruth has a 14-11-2-3 record with a 2.49 GAA and .916 SV% in 31 games this season.

Around the system:

  • Matheson Iacopelli, Chicago’s third-round pick in 2014, notched a goal and two assists in two games for Muskegon last week; he leads the team with 21 tallies and ranks seventh with 32 points in 48 games this season... Jack Ramsey posted points in each of Penticton’s first two games against Vernon in the second round of the BCHL playoffs. The 2014 seventh-round pick has three points (2G, 1A) in seven postseason matches so far.

  • Vincent Hinostroza notched an assist on Notre Dame’s game-winning goal in a 4-2 victory over UMass-Lowell on Saturday; the Fighting Irish dropped their three-game set and were eliminated from the H-EAST tournament. Hinostroza finished the regular season with a team-high 44 points (11G, 33A) in 42 games as a sophomore... Michael Paliotta picked up his team-leading 27th assist of the season in Vermont’s 3-1 win at Boston College on Saturday. The Catamounts recovered from a one-game deficit to eliminate the Eagles from the H-EAST tourney; they’ll take on UMass-Lowell in the semifinal on Friday.

  • North Dakota forwards Nick Schmaltz and Luke Johnson each picked up an assist in two games vs. Colorado College last weekend. Schmaltz ranks third on the team with 21 helpers this season, while Johnson shares sixth with 21 points. North Dakota will face St. Cloud State in the Frozen Faceoff semifinal on Friday.

  • Tyler Motte scored his ninth goal of the season on Friday, posting an empty-netter to secure a 5-3 win for Michigan over Michigan State. The 2013 fourth-round pick ranks fourth on the team with 29 points in 32 games this season, and Michigan will take on Wisconsin in the Big Ten quarterfinal on Thursday... Ohio State defenseman Sam Jardine posted an assist in a 4-3 shootout win over Wisconsin on Friday and now has 11 points in 31 games... Buckeyes goaltender Matt Tomkins made 17 saves in a 2-0 shutout over Wisconsin on Saturday in his first start since early Februrary. The 2012 seventh-round pick has a 5-7-1 record, including two shutouts, in 14 appearances this season. Ohio State will face Penn State in Thursday’s conference quarterfinal.

  • Mark McNeill tallied the game-winner for the IceHogs in their 4-3 win over Chicago on Sunday. He ranks second on the team in goals and third in points (32)... Peter Regin collected a helper in both of Rockford’s games last week and ranks fourth on the team with 29 points (8G, 21A) in 54 games this year... Brandon Mashinter and Matt Carey each logged a goal and an assist in two games last week.
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