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  • Guelph Storm forward Scott Kosmachuk lit the lamp four times in Guelph's 7-3 home stomping of the Ottawa 67's. (CP Images - Mark Spowart)Guelph Storm forward Scott Kosmachuk lit the lamp four times in Guelph's 7-3 home stomping of the Ottawa 67's. (CP Images - Mark Spowart)

    No. 1 star: Scott Kosmachuk, Guelph Storm (OHL)

    Kosmachuk has been hot for the Storm in his last three games, earning eight points and being a catalyst on offense for Guelph in three wins.

    Make that four on both counts.

    The Winnipeg pick scored four times, including the game winner, and added an assist in Guelph’s 7-3 drubbing of the Ottawa 67’s. His five points gives him 21 on the season, putting him in a tie for fifth place overall in OHL scoring. Kosmachuk now has 13 points in his last four games. He is a proven 30-goal scorer in the OHL, having done it twice before, but he’s never scored at the goal-a-pace he’s at, with 12-in-12. His 12 goals puts him one off the league lead.

    The Storm outshot the 67’s 47-32 in a game where both teams had powerplay and shorthanded goals. Kosmachuk’s teammate Hunter Garlent had a goal and three assists, while both players were a team-leading +4. Zach Mitchell added two assists.

    Joseph Blandisi scored twice for Ottawa, who dropped to 5-8-0-0. Brendan Bell added two assists. Philippe Trudeau was saddled with the loss, stopping 40-of-47. Matthew Mancina got the win, making 29 saves.

    The Storm improve to 9-3-0-0, one point off the division- and league-leading Erie Otters. They have won four games in a row, matching their dominant first four games of the season. They play the mediocre Kitchener Rangers on Tuesday before another weekend homestand.

    Read More »from Kosmachuk has huge night for streaking Storm in rout of Ottawa: Sunday’s 3 stars
  • Lethbridge Hurricanes' sophomore Tyler Wong had 5 points on Saturday (The Canadian Press)No. 1 star: Tyler Wong, Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL)

    Lethbridge finally has a crooked number in the win column following Wong's career-high five points (3G-AA, +3) in their 8-5 win over the Saskatoon Blades. The 5-foot-9, 160-pound sophomore wing helped the 'Canes flip the Blades early, scoring 6:38 in on a power play and getting two primary assists before the first period mercifully expired for Saskatoon.

    The Cochrane, Alta., native built on his career night with a late second-period strike that pushed the lead to 7-0. Saskatoon made a run to within 7-5 before overage Brady Ramsey (4A, +2) slipped the puck to Wong to allow him to complete his first Western Hockey League hat trick.

    Read More »from Tyler Wong rights shaky Hurricanes with his first WHL hat trick: Saturday’s 3 Stars
  • McDavid and the Otters have outscored foes by more than a 2-to-1 margin in October (OHL Images)

    Connor McDavid, at 16, is already such a wizard with the puck that he could probably make it rain indoors — you can just picture the OHL office firing off a memo instructing referees what to do when that event occurs.

    How do you like apples? McDavid, in all his on-ice omniscience, had the primary assist on every Erie Otters goal in their 4-3 win on Friday over the Belleville Bulls. All four helpers were beauts. The big night bumped teammate Connor Brown, a Toronto Maple Leafs draft pick, into the OHL scoring lead, with McDavid moving up into fifth spot with a share of the OHL assist lead at 15.

    Another stat: McDavid has 14 points this month and the first-place Otters (!) have allowed only 14 goals in that span.

    Read More »from Erie Otters’ Connor McDavid gets 4 primary assists in one game; what to love about it (VIDEO)
  • Blainville-Boisbriand defenceman Daniel Walcott (85) has seven points in 11 games so far in the 2013-14, the 19-year-old's first in the QMJHL. (Photo credit: Marc Grandmaison)Blainville-Boisbriand defenceman Daniel Walcott (85) has seven points in 11 games so far in the 2013-14, the 19-year-old's first in the QMJHL. (Photo credit: Marc Grandmaison)

    Heading into the season, the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada were missing their top two defencemen from the previous season, Xavier Ouellet and Samuel Carrier. They had to look for a way to replace Carrier’s 49 points and captain Ouellet’s 41.

    Enter Daniel Walcott.

    The 19-year-old QMJHL newcomer is having an effect on both ends of the ice for the Armada. He came seemingly from nowhere, having spent last season with Lindenwood University, near St. Louis. They play in the ACHA, a college circuit that is not affiliated with the NCAA.

    “We got a phone call from a friend who was coaching him in the United States,” Armada head coach and general manager Jean-François Houle says. “The kid is from Montreal and he wanted to come home to Montreal to play. He fell through the cracks a bit; kind of a late bloomer.”

    Walcott’s seven points in 11 games is enough to lead the Armada blueliners in scoring. The Armada have been the CHL’s best team so far this season, with a 10-0-1-0 record, including a 10-game winning streak. Walcott’s two-way game has been a noted reason for the streak.

    “He’s been great for us,” Houle continued. “He’s been great defensively and he’s been great offensively. He replaced some big bodies that we lost last year on defence and he’s taking a lot of minutes.”

    Walcott’s story doesn’t begin there. A child of a recent separation at 14, he stopped playing organized hockey in pee wee, opting instead to play at his high school so it would be cheaper on his parents. After five years with his high school team, He joined his father in Chicago, where he spent his summers as a kid, to play high school hockey there. After one year there, Lindenwood University offered him a place on their team, and he jumped at the chance.

    Read More »from Blainville-Boisbriand Armada’s Daniel Walcott turns heads as 19-year-old newcomer on overhauled blueline
  • Curtis Lazar went No. 17 overall to the Ottawa Senators (Larry Macdougal, The Canadian Press)

    No. 1 Star - Curtis Lazar, Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL) - Big night for the Edmonton Oil Kings against Red Deer. The Kings not only crushed the Rebels 4-0 on the scoreboard, but also out-shot their Alberta rivals 45-21. A couple of their prospects had big nights, the most notable being Ottawa Senators first round pick from this past spring Curtis Lazar, who had one of the many four-point nights. Lazar scored twice in the third period, and assisted on both Oil Kings goals in the first period. Those were scored by Islanders 2012 first rounder Griffin Reinhart and Mitch Moroz, who went 32nd to the Oilers back in 2012.

    The Oil Kings need the dominant performance. They've yet to win two straight on the season, but now they have Saturday and Sunday games against the Kootenay Ice, both at home. That's before going out on an 8-game road trip, so banking these early wins is somewhat important even though it's relatively early in the season. Goaltending has been a bit of an issue for the Kings so far, but Tristan Jarry stopped all 21 shots on the night to drive his save percentage up to .897.

    No. 2 Star - Felix-Antoine Bergeron, Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL)

    How do you spell 'at least'? In the Shawi, it would be E-N-F-I-N, but that's beside the point right now. The Shawinigan Cataractes began the season at 0-9-2 and were the last club in the nation to secure a victory, but they finally managed their first on the campaign Friday night with a 4-3 overtime win over the visiting Rimouski Oceanic. Kris Hodge beat Philippe Desrosiers 31 seconds into the extra frame, with Felix-Antoine Bergeron drawing the second assist. Bergeron paced the offence for the Cataractes Friday night, with a goal and two assists.

    Bergeron also went 14-for-17 at the dot and was one of eight Cataractes players to register a team-high of three shots on goal. The Cataractes started the game down 2-0, but fought back to take a 3-2 lead and probably should have hung on after Samuel Morin took a misconduct with two minutes to go. Michael Joly scored shorthanded to force the game to OT, delaying Shawinigan's first win on the season for just that much longer.

    No. 3 Star - Connor McDavid, Erie Otters (OHL)

    The Otters are heating up, which is bad news for the rest of the OHL. They've won six straight in the month of October and out-scored the opposition 32-14 since the five-game road trip to start their season. Connor McDavid earns the Star honours, earning the primary assist on all four Erie goals in a 4-3 win over Belleville. Also of note… two goals by Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Connor Brown and two by the undrafted Dane Fox.

    Belleville staged a late rally, scoring two third period goals so Oscar Dansk wound up having to stop just 18 shots on the night out of 21 Bulls attempts. Nothing incredibly scary, as the Otters had out-shot the Bulls 26-16 through two periods. Incidentally, all four of McDavid's assists were primary, as the likely 2015 first overall pick has four consecutive multi-point games, and 19 points so far in his first 11 games.

    Read More »from Lazar, McDavid record four-point nights, Cataractes get first W: Friday’s 3 Stars
  • Wilson debuted with the Capitals during last spring's playoffs (Patrick Semansky, The Associated Press)

    A big-bodied hole has opened in Team Canada's player pool for the world junior championship. The Washington Capitals, while acknowledging there is no "perfect formula" for bringing along budding 19-year-old power winger Tom Wilson, have opted to keep him up for the season rather than return him to the Ontario Hockey League's Plymouth Whalers.

    Wilson is averaging fewer than seven minutes of ice time through seven games with Washington. However, the 6-foot-4, 210-pounder is going to have to learn to play at 'man speed' sooner rather than later, so the Caps have committed to using the first year of his NHL entry-level deal. From Katie Carrera:

    [Capitals coach Adam] Oates believes Wilson is better served even with a minor role in the NHL than he would be as a standout against his peers in juniors. “We’ve obviously liked his progression, so many things he brings. It’s a tough decision. We’ve talked about it a lot of times, about how we don’t want to hold him back,” Oates said. “He can go back to junior and score goals and get assists and play 20 minutes but develops a lot of bad habits and they’re not the goals you’d score here, not the assists you’d get here. They’re not the situations or the speed you’d get here. We don’t have the perfect formula, no question, but we think he belongs and we want him and the teammates love him. Hopefully he’ll continue to grow.” (Washington Post)

    Read More »from Plymouth Whalers — and Team Canada — lose Tom Wilson to Washington Capitals
  • Hargrave went 13th overall in the 2012 OHL priority selection (OHL Images)

    Forward Brett Hargrave has size that cannot be taught, which means the Sarnia Sting has probably already had numerous inquiries about their former top pick.

    The 17-year-old, who's a strapping 6-foot-4 and 206 pounds, left the Sting on Thursday. Hargrave had yet to work into a scoring-line role with Sarnia, but his other tools, including his defensive awareness, might get him a look at the NHL draft in June. It's anyone's guess how long Hargrave will have to wait for a new address, but when it happens, he will be the sixth first-rounder from the 2012 OHL priority selection to change teams since last January. That is exceptionally high.

    From Shaun Bisson:

    “Brett has elected to go home,” said Sting assistant general manager Mark Glavin. “He and his family feel that he needs a fresh start with another team.”

    While the former OHL first round draft pick has requested a trade, Glavin says the team is in no rush to make a move and will wait for a deal that best fits their needs.

    Read More »from Brett Hargrave leaves Sarnia Sting, would be sixth OHL first-rounder from 2012 to change teams
  • Sean Day is the OHL's fourth exceptional status player, but first to not go No. 1 overall in the priority selection (OHL Images)

    Once in a while, Sean Day will offer a reminder of why Hockey Canada green-lighted him as the latest 15-year-old to start his path through major junior hockey a year early.

    While there is healthy skepticism that Day was a "a reach" as an exceptional status player, on Thursday the Rochester, Mich., native scored a sweet goal for the Mississauga Steelheads that one doesn't often see from OHL defenceman even two years older. Using a short stick, showing more certitude with the puck than a 15-year-old who's already 6-foot-2 and 217 pounds should have any right to, Day gave 19-year-old Colorado Avalanche pick Michael Clarke a how's-it-going move and roofed a shot for his second goal of the season.

    Read More »from Sean Day goal hints at 15-year-old’s sky-high ceiling with Mississauga Steelheads (VIDEO)
  • Combing all corners of the country and the blogosphere for your junior hockey headlines ...

    WHL

    It will be (Sam) Reinhart vs. (Griffin) Reinhart in two Kootenay-Edmonton games this weekend. The Oil Kings' back end has been thinned out by injuries. (Edmonton Journal)

    The Brandon Wheat Kings' attendance is down for the fourth consecutive season since the club's Memorial Cup host year in 2009-10, writes James Shewaga. (Brandon Sun, paywall)

    Forward Cain Franson, among others, is off the injured list for the Vancouver Giants, who are in their second season in a row as the B.C. Division's resident struggler. (Vancouver Province)

    The franchise coming off hosting the Memorial Cup is supposed to struggle, yet the Saskatoon Blades are on a seven-game point streak. May we get #StubbornBlades trending if this continues? (Saskatoon StarPhoenix)

    A scoring outage is raising questions about whether Tri-City can extend that streak of seven 40-win seasons. (Tri-City Herald)

    OHL

    Venerable Gare Joyce took in Guelph's 9-3 win at Kingston on Thanksgiving Sunday and is dubious that the 7-1-0-1 Frontenacs are legit: "just on the play of the backend alone, I’d presume the rest of the conference will close on Kingston when the snow falls." Kingston has its first western swing vs. Kitchener and Owen Sound this weekend. (Sportsnet, Waterloo Record)

    The Pittsburgh Penguins are using experienced defencemen at forward in practice, which might extend Olli Maatta's absence from the London Knights. (City of Champions Sports)

    Kerby Rychel's synopsis of Windsor's home loss to Guelph: "I think we’re finding ways to lose games rather than finding ways to win." (Windsor Star)

    Sure, he was/is small, but how did the London Knights manage to draft Mitchell Marner with the No. 19 overall pick last April? (HockeyProspect.com)

    Read More »from Reinhart vs. Reinhart squared, surging Kingston heads west: the coast-to-coast
  • Charlottetown's Antoine Bibeau made 48 saves vs. Val-d'Or on Thursday (Francis Vachon, The Canadian Press)No. 1 star: Antoine Bibeau, Charlottetown Islanders (QMJHL)

    Two weeks ago, Bibeau lasted only a period and change when the Val-d'Or Foreurs pumped his Islanders for nine goals in their first regulation loss. The Toronto Maple Leafs sixth-rounder made sure revenge was a dish best served with a side of P.E.I.-grown potatoes as Charlottetown pulled away for a 7-1 home win.

    The 19-year-old goalie made 48 saves, including 19 in the second period to maintain a one-goal Islanders lead. Charlottetown, led by two goals from their first-rounder Daniel Sprong — who's sniped six goals already this month — blew it open with four in fewer than five minutes early in the final frame. The Islanders' checkers also did a job on Quebec League scoring leader Anthony Mantha. The Detroit Red Wings first-rounder was minus-2 with one shot on goal after having 28 points (and 63 shots) in his first nine games. That would help account for defenceman Ryan Graves (1A, +1) representing Charlottetown's defence corps in the three stars selection in the building.

    No. 2 star: Nikita Korostelev, Sarnia Sting (OHL)

    The Sting's bright young hope got his first two junior goals, including the icebreaker in a rousing 6-3 win over the Saginaw Spirit. Korostelev (2G, +1), a Moscow native by way of the Greater Toronto Hockey League who's been generating chances in nearly every game he's played, had a great night working with countryman Vladislav Kodola (1A, +2) and Davis Brown (+2). The 16-year-old also put the Sting ahead to stay with a 5-on-3 power-play goal late in the second period after some great trigger work by draft-year defenceman Anthony DeAngelo (1G-3A, +2).

    Read More »from Leafs pick Antoine Bibeau keeps Anthony Mantha off scoresheet: Thursday’s 3 Stars

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