We're still less than a quarter of the way into the hockey season, but the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies have covered half of the teams' total wins from last season. Last year, the team won just 24 times and scored 3.33 goals per game. The team won its 12th game in 16 games this season on Sunday, and after putting up an 8-spot on the Rimouski Oceanic, have now scored 4.88 goals each game.
However, of the teams' 70 goals going into the game, none had been scored by Cody Donaghey, the Huskies' offensively-minded defenceman selected 14th overall in the QMJHL Draft this summer. Touted for his size (he's listed by the Huskies as 6'1" 182 despite being just 16 years old) and instincts at both ends, Donaghey had actually not scored a point this season. That changed for the 3-1 goal at 4:25 into the first period, the 73rd goal on the season, Donaghey's first as a QMJHLer.
Just minutes later, Donaghey got an assisted on a Redgie Bois tally, and scored again in garbage time during the team's 8-3 rout.
No. 2 Star - Michael Giugovaz, Peterborough Petes (OHL)
Nothing quite like a goaltender in a white helmet going on a hot streak and winning games for his team. Michael Giugovaz, the rookie for the Petes, has won his team a pair of games in as many nights, stopping 80 of his last 83 shots faced, for an un-worldly .964 save percentage in two games. On the season in his nine games, his .912 hovers around league average, but he's the only rookie starting goaltender listed on the OHL's stats page, so we can't stack him up against other guys in his situation.
Draft-eligible this season, Giugovaz's weekend was something that might have had a few scouts jot down some notes in their book. He stopped 45 of 47 Oshawa Generals shots Sunday, plus two more in the shootout on Cole Cassels and Boone Jenner, and held the Gens to a 1-for-6 night on the powerplay.
No. 3 Star - Ty Rattie, Portland Winterhawks (WHL)
The Portland Winterhawks haven't been going to town on the rest of the U.S. Division like last season, but Sunday night at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum, you could have fooled me into thinking that we were midway through the 2011-12 season. St. Louis Blues' 32nd overall pick from 2011 Ty Rattie, who has a four-game multi-point streak going, had four assists in the Winterhawks' 6-0 win.
Rattie assisted on both of Portland's first two goals, a marker at 4:12 to Taylor Leier and on the powerplay at 6:35 to Chase De Leo. Also scoring twice for the Winterhawks was Nashville Predators prospect Brendan Leipsic, and first-time draft eligible Nic Petan had a goal (his sixth of the season) and an assist as well.
Honourable Mention - Colin Miller, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL)
The Soo was in a bit of a rough spot defensively with the injury to Miller last month, but the team's captain returned a few days ago and now the Hounds have won two straight, including a Sunday road win against Guelph, 6-2. The Kings' prospect had two goals and an assist. If a Gordie Howe hat-trick includes a goal, an assist and a fight, what is it if a player gets a goal, an assist, and gets kicked out of the game for slashing?
Honourable Mention - Colin Smith, Kamloops Blazers (WHL)
Down 2-0 early in the second period to the Seattle Thunderbirds, it looked like the Kamloops Blazers' unbeaten-in-regulation-and-overtime record was in jeopardy. The Blazers fought back on goals by JC Lipon and Sam Grist, and the game was tied at 3-3 heading into overtime. Colorado-select Colin Smith, his name incorrectly pronounced "Smythe" by Seattle's P.A. announcer (how do you get "Smith" wrong?) on both of his assists on Lipon's goals, eventually got the OT winner. The Blazers are now 14-0-0-1.
Potent Notables: Nathan MacKinnon was held to a single assist in a 7-3 rout by Halifax over P.E.I…. Two assists for Russian superstar Nikita Kucherov for the Remparts… OT winner by Olivier Cooper for Saint John over Chicoutimi… Kitchener's Matt Puempel scored again for the Rangers, his 10th in 14 games… 1 G, 2 A for the red-hot Habs prospect Alex Galchenyuk… Mississauga's Spencer Martin stopped 31 of 33, has won his last seven starts… Two more assists for Leafs prospect Morgan Rielly… Another goal for Predators prospect Colton Sissons, now 9 on the year…