Mantha (2G, +2) had consecutive goals for the Foreurs to give them the upper hand in their 7-5 win over Saint John, as he took over the Q's goal-scoring lead with 25 and also moved into second in points. One hesitates to say those goals helped Val-d'Or "take control" since it was a 7-5 game with Jonathan Huberdeau playing for the other team, but the 18-year-old's Mantha's markers were momentous. The lanky striker converted from the slot in the first period after Michaël Beaudry found him with a pass. In the second period, according to Station Nation's recap, Mantha scored his goal on a shot where he broke his stick.
Huberdeau, whose three assists made him Saint John's leader in career points, eventually helped pull the Sea Dogs level at 5-5. Rookie Mason Gray's first QMJHL goal untied the game for good. The Foreurs, rather impressively, had two assists on all seven of their goals, but no player was credited with more than two points. Beaudry, centre Nicolas Aubé-Kubel and defender Matt Murphy all had two-assist outings.
Mantha's had quite a season. It feels like the photo illustrating this post has been on BTN as often as Marge Simpson wears a green dress.
No. 2 star: Stephen Pierog, Peterborough Petes (OHL)
Pierog (2G, +2) and the Petes stanched some of the bleeding, beating the Belleville Bulls 4-3 in a shootout for just their second win in their last 13 games. The Bulls rested star goalie Malcolm Subban rather than play him in back-to-back games. Pierog's goals, both of which were set up by promising 17-year-old rookie Greg Betzold, both helped restore the Petes' confidence after the Bulls had scored. The Guelph, Ont., native's first of night came just 40 seconds after Belleville had broken on top. Pierog also surprised the Bulls' Charlie Graham with a long shot from beyond the faceoff circle in the third period.
Brady Austin (1G-1A) forced overtime, but the Bulls' Subban-fuelled shootout supremacy apparently wore off without Malcolm in the middle of the net. Jordan Subban buried his attempt, but the Petes' splendid southpaw Michael Giugovaz stoned two other attempts.
No. 3 star: Andreas Athanasiou, Barrie Colts (OHL)
As a Detroit Red Wings selection on an OHL Eastern Conference team, Athanasiou gets only a few chances a season to play near his NHL organization's home base. The 18-year-old capitalized by scoring a highlight-reel goal in the Colts' 4-2 win at Windsor. Barrie was nursing a two-goal lead late in the second period when the fleet-footed Athanasiou stole the puck, went 1-on-2 with the Spitfires defence and then cut outside so quickly that defenceman Saverio Posa ended up falling down. That goal alone gave him first-star honours for the game.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet.