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3 Stars of the Week: Motte paces Michigan, two defensemen contribute

by Emerald Gao / Chicago Blackhawks

Each Monday, the Blackhawks Blog will highlight players who stood out for their minor-league, junior, college, or European teams in the previous week’s action. All prospect/system stats will be updated weekly throughout the 2015-16 season.

(Daryl Marshke/Michigan Photography)

1st Star: C Tyler Motte, University of Michigan (BIG10)
The Line: 2GP, 2G, 2A

Motte helped the Wolverines complete an impressive sweep over in-state rival Michigan State last weekend, outscoring the Spartans 15-5 in two games. The 2013 fourth-round pick recorded a goal and two assists to go along with a team-high seven shots on goal in Friday’s 9-2 drubbing, then added his 14th goal of the season the next night in a 6-3 victory. Motte ranks third on the team with 21 points and paces the club with 71 SOG in 19 games this season.

(Photo courtesy Rockford IceHogs)

2nd Star: D Ville Pokka, Rockford IceHogs (AHL)
The Line: 1GP, 2A

Pokka picked up a pair of helpers to help the IceHogs prevail 3-1 over the Iowa Wild in their only outing of last week. Pokka assisted on the opening goal as well as the insurance goal, and now leads Rockford with 17 on the season; he also ranks third with 22 points, which shares sixth among AHL defensemen.

(Getty Images)

3rd Star: D Robin Norell, Djurgardens (SHL)
The Line: 2GP, 1G, 1A

Norell is not known as a big offensive producer, but he had a big outing for Djurgardens in a 5-3 loss to Orebro on Saturday. The 20-year-old assisted on his team’s first goal of the contest, then added his second tally of the season in the third period. The 2013 fourth-round pick has six points and 14 penalty minutes in 32 games this season.

Honorable mentions: LW Graham Knott, Niagara IceDogs (OHL); G Michael Leighton, Rockford IceHogs (AHL)

Knott tallied in back-to-back games for Niagara last week, helping the IceDogs win all three of their tilts. The 2015 second-round pick scored in Wednesday’s 5-3 win over Hamilton and added his seventh of the season on Friday to open the scoring in a 3-1 win over Saginaw. Knott now shares seventh on the team with 22 points in 39 games.

Leighton stopped 33 of 34 shots in Rockford’s win on Sunday—including all 20 he faced in the second and third periods—to pick up his 17th win of the season, which shares second among AHL netminders. The 34-year-old, who was named to the AHL All-Star Game along with forward Ryan Hartman, now has a .925 save percentage and 2.33 goals-against average in 2015-16.

Around the system:

  • Roy Radke notched a goal and a helper to help Barrie win two of three last week in the OHL. The 2015 sixth-round pick assisted on an empty-netter on Thursday in a 7-4 win over Mississauga, then posted the game-winner in a 3-1 win over Windsor on Saturday. Radke has a career-best 27 points (15G, 12A) in 39 games this season... Defenseman Jake Massie collected two assists in two games for Omaha in the USHL, doubling his point total for the season.

  • Boston College forward Chris Calnan’s second goal of the season was a big one, tying the score at 4-4 against Providence in an eventual tie. The junior forward has seven games this season... Freshman forward Jack Ramsey collected his first NCAA point in his 17th game, assisting on Minnesota’s final tally of a 7-1 rout against Penn State on Saturday.

  • Ryan Haggerty tallied the game-winner for the IceHogs on Sunday against Iowa; sine returning from injury in mid-December, the 22-year-old has three goals and one assist in eight games.
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