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THREE STARS: Gravel, Ryczek closing in on championship series

A weekly look at how Blackhawks prospects are performing at their various levels

by Austin Siegel / blackhawks.com

Every Thursday throughout the 2018-19 season and playoffs, Blackhawks.com will highlight prospects who have stood out for their junior, college or professional team in the previous week's action.

Here are this week's Three Stars.

FIRST STAR
G Alexis Gravel (Halifax)
THE NUMBERS: 15 GP, .922 Save Percentage, 2.46 GAA

Backstopping the QMJHL heavyweights throughout their playoff run, Gravel has continued his strong form in the semifinals. Through four games, the 2018 NHL Draft pick has posted a .922 save percentage with a 2.46 GAA. He earned First Star of the Game honors in a crucial Game 3 win over the Voltigeurs, stopping 34 shots in a 2-1 Mooseheads win to give Halifax their first lead of the series. Gravel nearly matched the feat a night later, taking home First Star of the Game honors again after stopping 33 shots in a Game 4 win over Drummondville. 

SECOND STAR
D Jake Ryczek (Halifax)
THE NUMBERS: 15 GP, 0 G, 10 A

In a QMJHL matchup between Blackhawks defensive prospects, most fans are probably more familiar with Nicolas Beaudin than Jake Ryczek. After all, Chicago grabbed Beaudin with a first round pick last year, 176 spots higher than where the team selected Ryczek in the 2016 NHL Draft. But the former seventh-round pick is playing above his draft pedigree this week, with a three-game point streak in the QMJHL semifinals. The Springfield, MA native has recorded four points (0 G, 4 A) in four games for the Mooseheads, who lead 3-1 in their series with Beaudin and the Drummondville Voltiguers. 
 

THIRD STAR
RW MacKenzie Entwistle (Guelph)
THE NUMBERS: 11 GP, 5 G, 7 A (No. 4 Guelph faces No. 2 Saginaw in OHL Semis)

A trade deadline pickup in Guelph, MacKenzie Entwistle has helped the Storm reach the penultimate round of the OHL playoffs, battling Saginaw for a spot in the league championship. With two assists in the first four games of the conference finals, Entwistle has maintained his steady playoff production and now has 14 points in 15 playoffs games (5 G, 9 A) as the Storm trail 3-1 in the series. Guelph will look to keep their season alive in a Game 5 battle with Saginaw on Friday night. 

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