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Baie-Comeau’s Petr Straka sinks Titan with 6 points: Wednesday’s 3 Stars

Straka had 2 goals in 7 seconds (The Canadian Press)No. 1 star: Petr Straka, Baie-Comeau Drakkar (QMJHL)

The Drakkar were out to bounce back from a home loss last weekend against the Acadie-Bathurst Titan and Straka seemed to get every bounce. The 20-year-old Czech set a club record with two goals seven seconds apart on his way to a six-point night as the Drakkar got payback with an 8-4 win over the Titan. The official attendance in Bathurst, N.B., was 969, so the arithmetically minded among you probably don't need to be told that Straka scored one point for every 161½ fans.

Straka, who has had 10 points in his past two games, started off relatively modestly with two first-period assists to help stake Baie-Comeau to a four-goal lead. Early in the second period, he scored off a setup from the game's second star and fellow overage Maxim Lamarche. Off the ensuing faceoff, Drakkar defenceman Dominic Poulin (2A, +2) hit Straka with a pass that he converted for another snipe, giving him a team record for the fastest two goals by one player. All told, Straka has been earning his keep of late as a two-spot 20-year-old import player, with 19 points in his last nine games since returning from an injury. The Drakkar pulled within one point of the division-leading Rimouski Océanic with the win.

No. 2 star: MacKenzie Weegar, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)

Weegar, an Ontario kid who fell through the major junior cracks in his home province, was man of the match as the Mooseheads beat the second-place team in the QMJHL for the second time in less than week. The defenceman had three assists as Halifax and Rimouski fought tooth and nail only to be deadlocked through 65 minutes and then scored in Round 6 of the shootout to give the Mooseheads a 5-4 victory and snap the Océanic's 10-game win streak.

This was, for lack of a more profound phrasing, a hell of a game. Rimouski, which got a four-point night from new QMJHL scoring leader Peter Trainor (2G-2A, +3), maintained the lead for three-quarters of the contest. Weegar, however, drew assists on goals just more than two minutes apart from Marty Frk and Nathan MacKinnon (Nate the Skate's first regular-season point against Rimouski in four career meetings). Goalie Zachary Fucale made two game-saving stops in the shootout before Weegar beat Robin Gusse and Fucale made a game-ending save. How closely matched were these two teams? The final shots on goal were even at 31-31.

No. 3 star: Chris Driedger, Calgary Hitmen (WHL)

The Ottawa Senators selection was a streak-snapper, stopping 42-of-45 shots to allow Calgary to pull out a last-gasp 4-3 road win over the powerhouse Portland Winterhawks. The league-leading 'Hawks doubled Calgary on the shot counter throughout much of the match and levelled 19 shots at Driedger in the third period, only to see a two-goal lead get away.

The game turned when Portland had a 5-on-3 advantage for 1:58 early in the third period. Driedger made six saves, about five of which were Grade-A, as Calgary survived the long penalty kill. Sixteen-year-old standout Jake Virtanen set up the game-tying goal a few minutes after the Hitmen returned to full strength; captain Cody Sylvester buried the winner for Calgary with 1:32 remaining on a play created by a rush by defenceman Kenton Helgeson.

Honourable mention: Michael Ferland, Saskatoon Blades (WHL)

The Calgary Flames prospect had the hot stick as the Blades won their sixth in a row with a 7-1 pounding of the Prince Albert Raiders, whose Eastern Division lead is looking about as secure as Canadian student loan data.

The MasterCard Memorial Cup-host Blades spun their wheels for much of their season, but are now within four points of the Raiders and the No. 2 playoff seed in their conference. Main cogs such as overages Ferland (2G-1A, +2) and Brendan Walker (3A, +1) and 19-year-old Dallas Stars draft pick Matej Stransky (2G-1A, +1), along with goalie Andrey Makarov (30 saves) all had big nights. When that happens, Saskatoon is tough to defeat. Ferland got the party started, scoring the game's first two goals 1:57 apart in the first period. He drew an assist when Saskatoon scored twice in the opening minute of the second to put P.A. away early.

Honourable mention: Todd Fiddler, Spokane Chiefs (WHL)

Fiddler (1G-2A, +3), the Dub's second-leading goal scorer, had a big night as Spokane cooled off the Kelowna Rockets with a 5-0 victory. The 19-year-old notched two assists in the first period when the Chiefs jumped on Kelowna and forced goalie Jordon Cooke to get a mercy pull. In the second, Fiddler cannily got behind the Rockets' defence for a breakaway pass from captain and New York Islanders prospect Brenden Kichton (1G-1A, +2). Obviously, Fiddler went on to score, since you're hearing about it. That was his 36th of the season, one off the WHL pace.

Honourable mention: Jonatan Tanus, Peterborough Petes (OHL)

Tanus (2G-1A, +3) copped first-star honours while helping Peterborough continue pushing for a playoff berth by blowing out the last-place Ottawa 67's 10-6. Half-a-dozen Petes had three counters apiece, as Ottawa allowed an opponent to hit double digits for the fourth time this season. (Who was the last OHL team to do that?) The 17-year-old Tanus has been a big reason — or maybe just a big beneficiary of his team's overall improvement — for why Peterborough is only four points out of a playoff berth after once trailing the Kingston Frontenacs by 14 points. The Tappara, Finland, native has 15 points in 17 games since Christmas after getting just nine in his first 35 games. It's commonplace to see an import player pick it up once he settles into the league, but that's a marked improvement.

Potent notables — Seventeen-year-old Taylor Cooper (1G-2A, +2) led Brandon to a big 4-1 win over Lethbridge ... Vancouver Canucks prospect Frank Corrado (2A, +3) helped Kitchener beat Guelph 5-2 and move five points up on the Storm in the playoff race ... Toronto Maple Leafs first-rounder Stuart Percy also had two assists, helping Mississauga beat Kingston to end its three-game losing streak and extend the Frontenacs' slide to 12 games ... In the QMJHL, Rouyn-Noranda Huskies C Marcus Power (3A, +2) led his team to a home win over Shawinigan ... Étienne Marcoux had his fourth shutout of the season, making 33 saves in Blainville-Boisbriand's 4-0 win at Chicoutimi.

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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