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Three Stars of the Week: March 25-31, 2013

by Emerald Gao / Chicago Blackhawks
(Terry Wilson/OHL)

1st Star: C Alex Broadhurst, London (OHL)
The Line: 2GP, 3G, 2A, +4 plus/minus rating

Broadhurst’s star keeps rising, as the first-year player paced the top-seeded London Knights through the first round, tallying nine points (4G, 5A) in his first four OHL playoff games. Last week Broadhurst logged five points (3G, 2A) in two games, including his first playoff hat trick on March 26 in a 7-1 drubbing. London faces the Kitchener Rangers in the second round of the Western Conference bracket.

(Martin Laroche/Victoriaville Tigres)

2nd Star: G Brandon Whitney, Victoriaville (QMJHL)
The Line: 3GP, 3-0-0, 1SP

Whitney anchored the Victoriaville Tigres in a surprising upset over third-seeded Moncton Wildcats. After splitting the first two games of the series in Moncton, the 2012 seventh-round draft pick won all three home games last week and picked up his second postseason shutout with a 33-save outing on March 27. Through the first round of the playoffs, Whitney leads the QMJHL in shutouts and save percentage (.951), and ranks third in goals-against average (1.87).

(Getty Images)

3rd Star: D Dillon Fournier, Rouyn-Noranda (QMJHL)
The Line: 3GP, 1G, 3A

Fournier turned on the offensive jets as Rouyn-Noranda powered past first-round opponents Drummondville 4-1. Fournier collected four points (1G, 3A) in three games last week, including a stellar Game 4 performance where he scored a goal and added two helpers in a 4-3 overtime victory for the Huskies on March 27.

Honorable Mention: C Mark McNeill, Prince Albert (WHL); LW Jeremy Morin, Rockford (AHL)/Chicago (NHL)

Prince Albert captain Mark McNeill shared the team lead with a goal and three assists in four postseason games, as the Raiders were swept by Red Deer in the first round of the WHL playoffs. McNeill recorded a two-point game (1G, 1A) on March 27 and has been assigned to the American Hockey League’s Rockford IceHogs.

Morin appeared in two of Rockford’s three games last week before being called up by the Blackhawks on Saturday, tallying a pair of goals—including the game-winner—against Toronto on March 27. Morin went on to score in his season debut, opening the scoring for Chicago yesterday in a 7-1 win over Detroit.

Around the system:

  • Five defensemen prospects participated in the NCAA regional playoff brackets last weekend, though none were able to move on to this weekend’s Frozen Four in Pittsburgh. On Friday, Justin Holl logged two shots on goals as the second-ranked University of Minnesota lost 3-2 to Yale University. The next night, Yale continued their miracle run with a 4-1 upset of North Dakota. Blueliners Joe Gleason and Nick Mattson both finished with a -1 rating in the game, as Yale booked their first Frozen Four appearance for the first time in program history.

  • In the Northeast bracket, Paul Phillips logged two shots on goal as Denver lost 5-2 to New Hampshire on Friday. The next day, Notre Dame lost 5-1 to St. Cloud State in the first round of the Midwest region. Defenseman Stephen Johns registered two shots on goal, two penalty minutes and a -2 rating in the game.

  • Rockford won one of three contests last week and remain three points out of a playoff spot in the AHL’s Western Conference. Brandon Pirri, the club’s leading scorer, collected three helpers over the three games, all of them coming in the IceHogs’ 4-1 victory over the Marlies... Rostislav Olesz tallied an assist in each of his three appearances, bringing his season total to six points (2G, 4A) in five games... Defenseman Shawn Lalonde registered an assist on March 27 and scored in a 7-3 loss to Oklahoma City on March 30... Terry Broadhurst notched an assist in each of his two outings last weekend.

  • Goaltender Kent Simpson went 2-0-0 in two starts last week for Toledo, bringing his rookie-season record to 20-14-2-3. Simpson made 43 saves on 46 shots, including 17 of 18 in a relief appearance on March 29 against Wheeling... Defenseman Ben Youds logged five points (2G, 3A) in two games last week, including a four-point performance (1G, 3A) against Wheeling on Friday. Toledo will face the Cincinnati Cyclones in the first round of the ECHL playoffs this weekend.
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