No. 1 Star: Anthony Mantha, Val-d’Or Foreurs (QMJHL)
Anthony Mantha is the leading scorer in the CHL, and he proved it in a big way Saturday. The Detroit first rounder netted a hat-trick and added two assists in Val-d’Or’s 6-5 overtime win over the Sherbrooke Phoenix. The three goals put him at 16 on the year, by far the most in Canada, and his five points gave him 28 on the year in only nine games.
It was a game that took a herculean effort from the forward, as the team nearly blew it in the third period. Val-d’Or held leads of 3-1 and 5-2 in the game, and coughed up the lead late, only to salvage it with the winner in overtime. Samuel Henley pocketed the winner less than a minute into the extra frame, with assists from Guillaume Gélinas and Mantha. The assist was Gélinas’ third of the game.
Randy Gazzola added two assists for the winners, and Henley and Louick Marcotte each had a goal and an assist. Jean-Christophe Laflamme and rookie Jérémy Roy each had two assists in the loss, while Simon Desbiens, Daniel Audette and Tim Weiser had a goal and an assist.
The Foreurs improved to 7-4-0-0 on the year and won their fifth straight. The Phoenix dropped to 3-7-1-1, enough for 17th in the 18-team circuit. Keven Bouchard, in a rare start, earned the win for Val-d’Or, stopping 18 shots. Gabriel Parent turned aside 38 in the loss.
The former 50-goal scorer bagged two goals in the first to put the Foreurs ahead heading into the first intermission. He then scored the goal to put the Foreurs ahead 5-2 early in the third period.
No. 2 Star: Brock McGinn, Guelph Storm (OHL)
McGinn had five points in a key weekend split for the Storm, who ran into a hot goalie Saturday and took out their frustration on the offensive Sunday.
McGinn had an assist on Saturday in Guelph’s 6-5 loss to the Belleville Bulls and he had a hat-trick and added an assist in Guelph’s 9-3 win over the Kingston Frontenacs on Sunday. The loss was Kingston’s first in regulation.
Saturday, the Storm fired a ton of shots but could only score five times (more on that below). Winger Jason Dickinson had two goals and an assist in the loss. Tyler Bertuzzi added three assists.
Sunday, against the OHL’s best team, the Storm let go their frustration. McGinn drew first blood late in the first, and then scored twice in the third to put the game out of reach. Zach Mitchell and Brody Milne each scored twice for the Storm, who improved to 6-3-0-0. Mitchell added two assists, while Scott Kosmachuk had a goal and three apples.
No. 3 Star: Charlie Graham, Belleville Bulls (OHL)
Graham is the reason McGinn and the Storm couldn’t come away with the win on Saturday, and he saw more rubber than a dead shunk on the Trans-Canada highway.
Graham stopped 67(!) shots in Belleville’s 6-5 win. He stopped all 20 shots he faced in the first, stopped 24-of-27 in the second stanza, and turned aside 23-of-25 in the third period. The Storm were on all-out-attack mode in the game, and Graham kept turning them aside. Guelph outshot Belleville 72-29 in the contest.
Remi Elie led the offence for the Bulls with a goal and two assists. Brendan Gaunce had a goal and an assist, and Michael Cramarossa had two helpers in the win. The win improves Belleville’s record to 2-6-1-1.
Honorable mention: Frédéric Gamelin, Baie-Comeau Drakkar (QMJHL)
Gamelin was at his playmaking best on the weekend, earning five assists in a pair of wins for the Drakkar.
He had an assist on the winning goal in Baie-Comeau’s 2-1 win over Gatineau on Saturday. Philippe Cadorette stopped 26-of-27 in the victory.
Sunday, Gamelin had four assists to lead the Drakkar in an 8-1 rout of the Acadie-Bathurst Titan. Jérémy Gregoire, who increased his goal total to 12, and blueliner Alexis Vanier each potted two goals for the winners, who improved to 7-4-0-2 on the year. Baie-Comeau blew the game open with four goals in the third period.
Honorable mention: Derrick Pouliot, Portland Winterhawks (WHL)
Penguins prospect Pouliot had two goals and an assist for the Winterhawks in their 7-4 whitewashing of the Kamloops Blazers. He snapped a 1-1 tie with a powerplay goal early in the second period, and added an empty netter. Nicolas Petan bagged three helpers in the win, while Oliver Bjorkstrand and Alex Schoenborn each had a goal and two assists.
It was the ’Hawks four goals in just under seven minutes that did the Blazers in. Brendan Burke had the win in net. Portland improved to 4-3-0-1 in the young season.
Chase Souto scored twice for the Blazers, who dropped to 2-7-0-0 on the year. Starter Taran Kozun was chased from the net after giving up five goals in a little under 28 minutes of work.
Honorable mentions: William Carrier/Jérémy Beaudry, Cape Breton Screaming Eagles (QMJHL)
This mention is more a credit to the team effort by the Screaming Eagles, rather than an individual effort. The Screaming Eagles defeated the then-undefeated Blainville-Boisbriand Armada 5-4 in overtime on Sunday.
Carrier scored the winner in overtime and added two assists, and Beaudry scored two goals in the third period to come back from a 4-2 deficit to hand the Armada their first loss of the season. Justin Haché added a goal and an assist for the winners, who improved to 6-3-0-2.
The Armada got a goal and two assists from forward Danick Martel in the loss. They dropped to 10-0-1-0 on the year in a game where one wonders if they even wanted it. The Armada only took seven shots in the first two periods, and were in the final game of a three-games-in-five-night Eastern swing. The Armada were the no. 1 team in the CHL this past week.
Potent notables: Owen Sound’s Brandon Hope (36 saves), Kootenay’s Mackenzie Skapski (33 saves), Sault St. Marie’s Matt Murray (24 saves), Halifax’s Kevin Darveau (21 saves in his third career start) and Medicine Hat’s Marek Langhamer (21 saves) all pitched donuts over the weekend. … Erie Otters forward Connor Brown scored twice and then scored in the shootout in a wild 6-5 win over the Saginaw Spirit Saturday. Nikita Serebryakov stopped 43 shots in the loss in a battle of the backups. … Jérome Verrier scored twice for the winners as the Drummondville Voltigeurs edged the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies 4-2 on Saturday. Blueliner Nicolas Brouillard had three helpers, while Georgs Golovkovs and Chris Lalancette each had a pair. … Spencer Martin stopped 36-of-37 for the Mississauga Steelheads in their 2-1 win over the Barrie Colts Saturday. … Chicoutimi Saguenéens forward Janne Puhakka had two goals, including the winner, in a 3-2 overtime win over the Acadie-Bathurst Titan on Saturday. … Acadie-Bathurst goaltender Jacob Brennan saw a lot of rubber on the weekend. He stopped 51-of-54 shots in the loss on Saturday. Chicoutimi took 20 shots in both the first and third periods, and outshot the Titan 54-27. Brennan went on to stop 34-of-40 and got yanked in an 8-1 loss to Baie-Comeau Sunday to round out the weekend. … Eric Brassard stopped 38-of-39 shots for the Charlottetown Islanders in a Sunday matinee 4-1 win over the Sea Dogs. … Blake Speers scored twice for the ’Hounds in their 5-0 win on Saturday. Darnell Nurse, Jared McCann and Michael Bunting each had two apples. … Chase Witala had two goals in Prince George’s 4-3 overtime win over Everett. The Cougars overcame 2-0 and 3-2 deficits to come back for the victory. … Roberts Lipsbergs had two goals for Seattle in their 4-2 win over Tri-City. … Gatineau Olympiques goaltender Anthony Brodeur earned his third win of the season in a 3-2 road victory over the Baie-Comeau Drakkar. His partner, Robert Steeves played the anything-you-can-do-I-can-do-better game and stopped 40-of-42 in a 3-2 road win for Gatineau against Chicoutimi on Sunday. … Alex Nedeljkovic steered 37 shots aside in the Kitchener Rangers’ 4-2 win over the Plymouth Whalers. … Ottawa 67’s goalie Philippe Trudeau stopped 48 shots in their 5-4 win over the Sudbury Wolves on Sunday. … Blueliner Julius Honka had a goal and two assists as Swift Current defeated Vancouver 5-2. Eetu Laurikainen had 35 saves in the win. … Alex Moodie made 38 saves in the Saskatoon Blades’ 5-3 win over the Brandon Wheat Kings. Four Blades had a goal and an assist. … Conor Garland had a goal and two assists in Moncton’s 5-4 shootout win over the Rimouski Oceanic. Newcomer JC Campagna, acquired from Quebec earlier in the day, had a goal and an assist. Both players scored in the shootout. … Quebec Remparts forward Nick Sorensen netted a goal and bagged two assists in a 4-2 win over Moncton Sunday. Moncton forward Ivan Barbashev had a goal and an assist in the loss. … Chase Clayton had a goal and an assist for the Calgary Hitmen in their 4-3 win Saturday over the Prince Albert Raiders. … Carter Hansen scored the winner in the shootout as the Regina Pats defeated the Moose Jaw Warriors 3-2. Four players had 17 PIMs or more in the rough outing. … Assistant captain Mike Aviani had a goal and an assist in the Spokane Chiefs’ 3-2 win over the Red Deer Rebels. Patrik Bartosak stopped 34-of-37 in the loss. … Corbin Boes stopped 45-of-49 for Lethbridge, but they coughed up a 3-2 lead with under six minutes to go to fall 4-3 against Victoria Saturday. … Defenceman Jason Fram scored the only goal in the shootout in Spokane’s 3-2 win over Calgary on Sunday. WHL leading scorer Mitch Holmberg added a goal and an assist to his total, giving him 25 points. … Maple Leafs first rounder Frédérick Gauthier finally broke the goose egg and added two assists in the Oceanic’s 5-1 win over winless Shawinigan. Rimouski’s Peter Trainor added two goals. The Cataractes remain the last winless team in the CHL.