No. 1 Star - Charles Hudon, Chicoutimi Saguenéens (QMJHL)
After a four five-point night (!) in a 9-2 win for the Halifax Mooseheads, one might expect to see perennial Buzzing the Net first star Jonathan Drouin once again occupying the top spot in our Three Stars. However, a Chicoutimi team, without Phoenix second round pick Laurent Dauphin out to suspension, crushed the Charlottetown Islanders 6-3 Friday night on the back of a five-point night from Montreal fifth rounder Charles Hudon.
The Sags scored the first three and the last three goals of the contest, with Hudon factoring in on all of them save the last. From le Courrier du Saguenay, translation mine:
Captain Charles Hudon may not have been playing with Jonathan Drouin and Anthony Mantha Friday night, like he had the chance in the Subway Super Series, but all the same that didn't stop him from scoring two goals and three assists. Twinned with forwards William Gignac and Simon Tremblay, the Montreal Canadiens prospect had one of his best games ever on the ice of the Centre Georges-Vézina. It was the same for his linemates.
So there you have it. Glowing praise from le Courrier there.
No. 2 Star - Bo Horvat, London Knights (OHL)
Not the biggest night offensively for the London Knight and Vancouver Canucks first rounder, but per pal Thomas Drance, Bo Horvat was matched up against the Erie Otters' dominant top line of Connor McDavid, Connor Brown and Andre Burakovsky:
Horvat matched up head to head vs. McDavid, unsurprisingly.
— Thomas Drance (@ThomasDrance) November 23, 2013
Domi opens the scoring with a bit of a softy off of a wrist shot on Dansk. Horvat hasn't taken a shift where he didn't shadow McDavid yet. — Thomas Drance (@ThomasDrance) November 23, 2013
The Otters had scored 39 goals in eight games in the month of November coming into this game, but the Knights and their top line, centred by Horvat, held them to a single goal in a 4-1 victory. Horvat also scored an insurance marker midway through the second period and assisted on the clincher midway through the third period and was named first star in probably the biggest OHL battle on the night. Both teams are Western Conference contenders, and the return of Nikita Zadorov from his NHL try-out stint with Buffalo makes the Knights even more dangerous. As of Friday night, they're third in the Midwest Division, five points behind Erie and three behind Guelph, with a game in hand.
Oh, and Anthony Stolarz stopped 38 of 39 pucks. Pretty big effort for the Green Monsters.
No. 3 Star - Sam Reinhart, Kootenay Ice (WHL)
There were some big offensive performances in the WHL Friday, but we'll focus on the 2014 top draft prospect Sam Reinhart, who scored a hat-trick in a big 7-3 win for the Ice over Brandon. Jaedon Descheneau, the diminutive scorer of Jeff Skinner Rankings fame, assisted on his first two goals, which game in quick succession in the second period as the Ice built up a lead. He complete the hat-trick with 7:19 to go on an unassisted shorthanded tally.
Surprisingly for a seven-goal game, there weren't a lot of multi-point nights for the ice. There was Reinhart and Descheneau, and Levi Cable also had a couple of tallies, one in the second and one in the third, and rookie Zak Zborosky had a 1G, 1A performance as well. You have to think the Ice are a sleeping giant in a way. They're just five points behind top spot in the Eastern Conference late in November, and big pickup Tim Bozon has yet to get it going offensively since his big trade from the Kamloops Blazers. Bozon had an assist Friday, has just four goals and nine points in 14 games since the trade.
Honourable Mention - Todd Fiddler, Prince George Cougars (WHL)
I hesitate to give Three Stars honours to overage players, just a five-point night is worth recognizing. With Tristan Jarry not in the lineup Friday night for Edmonton, the Cougars offence came alive in an 8-3 win at Rexall. Todd Fiddler, recently acquired from Moose Jaw, had a hat-trick and two more assists. Captain Troy Bourke had two goals and two assists and utility forward Jordan Tkatch had three assists, giving him ten on the year.
Honourable Mention - Nic Petan/Brendan Leipsic, Portland Winterhawks (WHL)
Big night for the Portland Winterhawks after five days off, putting up six against a tough Spokane Chiefs team. Winnipeg prospect Nic Petan had a goal and three helpers, while Nashville's Brendan Leipsic had two goals and a helper. Three of Petan's points game in the first period as the Winterhawks jumped out to a 3-0 lead after 20. They had a bit of an easier job against backup Garret Hughson, who stopped 27 of 32, than they would against overager Eric Williams who has been nails for the Chiefs so far this season. Portland open up a three point lead over the Chiefs as they both chase after Everett for the U.S. Division lead.
Honourable Mention - Brady Vail, Windsor Spitfires (OHL)
Sportsnet's nationally televised game Friday pit the Spits against the Storm, with the Spits knocking off a tough Guelph team at home, thanks to Habs prospect Brady Vail's goal and two assists. The Spitfires swarmed Guelph's net all night, with Vail finishing a sweet play set up by linemates Kerby Rychel and Josh Ho-Sang on a rush early into the game. Big night also for Alex Fontinos in Windsor's net, stopping 37 of 39 shots against a potent Storm offence.
Potent Notables: As noted above, Drouin had five points for Halifax, and Darcy Ashley recorded four assists. Saint John goalie Sebastien Auger stopped 39-of-40 Cape Breton shots in a 2-1 shootout win, including three in OT… Two assists for Bolts prospect Adam Erne for Quebec… Hat-trick for Winnipeg Jets camp invitee Jérome Verrier in a 4-3 win over the Shawi, including the winner with 41 seconds left… Three points for Anthony DeLuca, coming off his Team QMJHL outing… Hat-trick for Jean-Sebastien Dea (is it fall of 2012 again?)… Etienne Marcoux holds Anthony Mantha to one assist and Val-d'Or to two goals in a 4-2 BBA win. In the OHL, goal and an assist for Nick Baptiste in a 6-1 Wolves win over Niagara… Goal and a helper for expected first rounder Jared McCann for the Soo… Plymouth rookie backup Zack Bowman picks up the win despite the Whalers being outshot 46-31 in Saginaw… Two goals for first-time eligible Darby Llewellyn and Ryan MacInnis for Kitchener in a big 8-4 win against Belleville. To the 'dub, three points for Russian import Nikita Scherbak for Saskatoon in their win over reeling Lethbridge… David Volek, son of beloved former Islander Dominik, ripped a slapshot through the net in Red Deer's shootout loss to Regina… Two goals and an assist for Western Conference-leading Everett's Josh Winquist… two goals for Kelowna's Madison Bowey, as the Rockets out-shot Tri-City 46-19 in a 4-1… Multi-point nights for Victoria's Ben Walker, Brandon Magee, Logan Nelson, Austin Carroll in a big 6-1 win by the Royals over Kamloops… Seattle's Mat Barzal again held point-less in his hometown in a 6-3 loss to the Vancouver Giants.
More from Buzzing the Net's Friday CHL coverage: