Nelson (3G, +2) used his speed to good effect while helping the Royals snap a six-game losing streak with a 5-3 road win over the Medicine Hat Tigers.
The Royals, on top of being in a losing skid, were missing three core 19-year-old players. But Nelson, a Buffalo Sabres fifth-round selection who ended up doubling his season goal total with his hat trick, opened the scoring late in the first period. The Minnesota native sniped two more third-period goals, each one re-opening a two-goal lead for the Royals. Two of Nelson's markers came on breakaways.
Sixteen-year-old Royals rookie Brandon Fushimi also sniped his first Western League goal to help Victoria head home on a positive note.
No. 2 star: Angelo Miceli, Victoriaville Tigres (QMJHL)
Miceli (1G-3A, +2) was The Man for the Tigres, who became just the second team to beat Nathan MacKinnon and the Halifax Mooseheads in regulation time this season. The Tigres, who kept MacKinnon off the scoresheet, went down a goal early, but the 18-year-old Miceli factored into two opening-period power-play goals that put wind into the Tigres' sails. The Montrealer also set up Dominik Rehak for the eventual winning goal with 10:42 remaining.
No. 3 star: Dyson Stevenson, Regina Pats (WHL)
The Queen City kids came into Saturday on a down note after learning No. 1 defenceman Colton Jobke is out indefinitely with a deep cut on his hand. Stevenson (3G-1A, +2) helped turned those frowns upside down by factoring into all Regina scoring in a 4-0 home win over the Lethbridge Hurricanes. The game was scoreless until the 19-year-old Stevenson, off a feed from Adam Brooks (2A, +2), broke the goose egg midway through the second period. Stevenson earned his apple on a Lane Scheidl strike fewer than three minutes later to point the Pats toward their third consecutive home win.
Honourable mention: Matt Rupert, London Knights (OHL)
The 18-year-old Rupert (3G-1A, +1) had a natural hat trick and also played his usual gritty defensive game, helping London blank the Plymouth Whalers 5-0. The Grand Bend, Ont., native's more heralded twin brother, Ryan Rupert, is currently out with a shoulder injury, but Matt Rupert scored goals 51 seconds apart to help the Knights take control on the road. The winger then potted another (giving him nine in 19 games, only three fewer than his 2011-12 output) on the power play in the second period. The Knights power play went 4-for-9 on the night, with Boston Bruins selection Seth Griffith earning three assists.
Honourable mention: Daniel Catenacci, Owen Sound Attack (OHL)
Catenacci (1G-4A) had a big night offensively against his old team, leading Owen Sound past Sault Ste. Marie in a 7-5 game that surely merited the description "Bayshore barnburner." There was a lot going on in this one, kind of like a scene in a Robert Altman film where the characters are having separate conversations concurrently. The 19-year-old Buffalo Sabres prospect scored late in the second period to put Owen Sound ahead to stay and set up Cameron Brace fewer than four minutes later to stretch the lead to 5-2. The Greyhounds, thanks to Sergey Tolchinsky's two goals, made a game of it, but Catenacci clinched it with a late power-play salvo. The big night moved Catenacci into a tie for second in OHL scoring, although Ryan Strome is five points clear of the pack.
Potent notables — Edmonton Oil Kings' Dylan Wruck (2G-1A, +3) was pivotal in his team's win at Prince George ... Portland rookie Joe Mahon, 18, scored his first WHL goal in a 9-1 Winterhawks win over rival Spokane ... In the OHL, Belleville Bulls 16-year-old Niki Petti had his first two-goal game, albeit in a 4-3 loss to Saginaw, which got a three-point night from veteran Garret Ross ... Niagara IceDogs yearling Anthony DiFruscia, 17, also had his first multi-goal game to help top Peterborough. Strome's three points gave him a league-high 37 ... Columbus Blue Jackets second-rounder Oscar Dansk stopped 49-of-50 shots in a 6-1 win over Oshawa ... In the QMJHL, Steve Lebel scored twice and was 13-of-19 on faceoffs to help red-hot Baie-Comeau win 4-2 at Val-d'Or ... Dmitri Jaskin (2G-2A, +3) helped Moncton thump Gatineau 6-2.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet.