Buzzing The Net

Alexander Khokhlachev leads Windsor Spitfires’ comeback charge: Sunday’s 3 Stars

Khokhlachev has 10 points in 6 games since rejoining Windsor (OHL Images)

No. 1 star: Alexander Khokhlachev, Windsor Spitfires (OHL)

The Spitfires no longer have Koekkoek, but they have Koko and still have lost in regulation time since he returned from the KHL. Khokhlachev (1G-2A) and linemates Alex Aleardi (1G-1A) and Kerby Rychel (1G-1A) helped the Spitfires fight back from twice trailing by two goals to edge the Sarnia Sting 5-4.

The Spitfires pulled out the win despite giving up two short-handed goals, including New Jersey Devils fourth-rounder Reid Boucher's league-leading 38th. After Sarnia forged ahead 3-1, Khokhlachev and Rychel worked a give-and-go to keep Windsor in contact with the division-leading Sting. Early in the third period, Khokhlachev made a great read to pick off a pass from rookie Nikolay Goldobin, leading to another give-and-go collaboration between he and Aleardi. That perked up the Spitfires; within the next six minutes they got a tying goal from rookie Josh Ho-Sang and the winner from Remy Giftopoulos.

No. 2 star: Anthony DeLuca, Rimouski Océanic (QMJHL)

DeLuca (2G, +1) ran his goal-scoring streak to four in semi-halfway dramatic fashion, scoring the tying and winning goals to vault Rimouski to a 6-4 win over the Acadie-Bathurst Titan. The Océanic trailed by two goals halfway through the third period before 19-year-old stalwart Scott Oke (3G, -1), playing his second game since returning from an injury, scored on the power play with 9:20 left. The 17-year-old DeLuca, who's have a promising sophomore season, equalized 66 seconds later off a setup from Francis Beauvillier, then scored again with 5:40 to play.

All told, DeLuca is on a hot streak, with seven goals and 10 points in nine games since the end of the December holiday break.

No. 3 star: Joshua Winquist, Everett Silvertips (WHL)

Winquist (3G-1A, +2) and Manraj Hayer (3A, +2) carried the 'Tips past Vancouver 4-0, which might go down as their most complete performance since GM Garry Davidson took over the coaching chores earlier this month. Winquist, 19, got the all-important opening goal on the road, then set up the second Silvertips salvo by draft-year defenceman Mirco Mueller in the second period. Winquist went on to complete his first hat trick in the WHL by the time the night went down; he also reached the 20-goal mark in just 35 games after tallying 19 times in 68 contests last season.

Silvertips goalie Daniel Cotton, who was giving the busy Austin Lotz a night off, made 31 saves to record the shutout in his hometown.

Potent notables — Cam Lanigan's 26 saves gave Medicine Hat its second consecutive shutout, 3-0 over Red Deer ... In the OHL, Tampa Bay Lightning pick Tanner Richard had his first two-goal game this season in Guelph's win at Kingston ... Brian Hughes' two-point night helped Oshawa down Mississauga to retake top spot in the East Division ... Ryan Murphy (2A, +1) was first star in his return from the Carolina Hurricanes as he helped Kitchener to a 5-4 come-from-behind OT win at Sudbury. Toronto Maple Leafs third-rounder Josh Leivo had three points, including the winner for the Rangers, against his old team ... Buffalo Sabres prospect Dan Catenacci scored his 25th of this season in Owen Sound's win at Ottawa ... the Moncton Wildcats' Alex Dubeau had a 23-save shutout in a rout of Saint John, with Alex Saulnier and Ross Johnston each tallying two goals and an assist for the 'Cats ... Defenceman Mackenzie Weegar (1G-1A, +1) scored late to help league-leading Halifax beat Blainville-Boisbriand to complete a three-win sweep through Quebec.

Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet. Please address any questions, comments or concerns to btnblog@yahoo.ca.

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