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Three Stars of the Week: March 4-10, 2013

by Emerald Gao / Chicago Blackhawks

1st Star: C/RW Jimmy Hayes, Rockford (AHL)
The Line: 3GP, 3G, 2A, +2 plus/minus, first career hat trick

The IceHogs swept a quick two-game stint in Oklahoma City over the weekend, coming from behind in both tilts, including a 7-4 stomping on Saturday, courtesy of a four-goal burst in the third period. Jimmy Hayes was the undisputed star of that game, notching his first professional hat trick and adding two assists for a career-high five-point night. Hayes opened the scoring on the power play in the second period, added a second tally later that period and capped off his night with an empty-netter.

2nd Star: LW Jeremy Morin, Rockford (AHL)
The Line: 2GP, 3G, 1A, +3

Were it not for Hayes, Morin’s four points in two appearances over the weekend would have been a good argument for first star honors. Morin missed Friday’s tilt, but returned the next night to contribute three points (2G, 1A) to the 7-4 win over the Barons. He opened the scoring in Sunday’s 3-2 loss in Chicago with his third goal of the weekend.

3rd Star: G Matt Tomkins, Sherwood Park (AJHL)
The Line: 4GP, 3-1-0, 2.25 GAA, .933 SV%

Sherwood Park, which finished seventh in the North Division in the regular season, began their playoff run by upsetting second-seed Grande Prairie 3-1 in a best-of-five series. Tomkins, Chicago’s 2012 seventh-round draft pick, continued to play a big part in his team’s success, starting all four games in net and making 125 saves on 134 shots in the first-round series win.

Honorable Mentions: C/RW Mark McNeill, Prince Albert (WHL); C/LW Garret Ross, Saginaw (OHL)

A pair of captains in the Canadian major-junior leagues led their teams into the playoffs last week: Mark McNeill logged five points (2G, 3A) in four games for Prince Albert, including two consecutive outings with a goal and an assist. McNeill’s 65 points (23G, 42A) leads the Raiders, who currently sit in the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference.

For Saginaw, Garret Ross also netted five points (2G, 3A) in four games, including the game-winner on March 9 at Guelph. The Spirit went 2-2 and clinched the eighth and final spot in OHL’s Western Conference with three games left in the regular-season slate.

Around the system:

Teuvo Teravainen logged two points (1G, 1A) on March 5 against Lukko, including the game-winner. Teravainen ranks fifth on Jokerit with 32 points (16G, 16A) in just 42 games played.

  • A couple of blue line prospects made an impact for their college teams over the weekend. Michael Paliotta logged a pair of assists for Vermont on March 8 against Boston College in a 4-4 tie... Paul Phillips collected three assists and finished with a +5 rating as Denver swept a two-game homestand against Alaska by a combined score of 13-2.

  • Rockford has won seven of their last 10 contests, thanks to hefty contributions across the board. Defenseman Adam Clendening netted the game-tying goal on March 8 at Oklahoma City and added three assists the next night as part of a five-point week (1G, 4A)... Ryan Stanton scored his first goal of the season in Sunday’s 3-2 loss in Chicago... Martin St. Pierre collected three assists in Rockford’s two wins in OKC and finished the week with a +4 rating.

  • Alex Broadhurst contributed an assist in two games last week as the London Knights captured their sixth-ever Hamilton Spectator Trophy—awarded to the top OHL tem in the regular season—and their second straight.
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