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Capitals first-rounder Tom Wilson puts Plymouth Whalers back in division lead: Saturday’s 3 Stars

Tom Wilson had 4 points on Saturday (OHL Images)

No. 1 star: Tom Wilson, Plymouth Whalers (OHL)

Whalers coach-GM Mike Vellucci's line-juggling paid off immediately. The Vince Trocheck-Ryan Hartman-Wilson line — the playmaker, the pest and physical presence — combined for 10 points and a +12 plus/minus in a 7-3 rout of the Owen Sound Attack which vaulted Plymouth back into the No. 2 playoff position in the Western Conference.

Wilson (2G-2A, +4), the 6-foot-4, 210-pound Washington Capitals first-round pick, indicated that he is capable of reading off skilled forwards such as Trocheck and putting up numbers. The Attack, fresh off a road win over league-leading London, were poised for more of the same after shooting out to a 2-0 lead. Wilson got the Whalers going with a bank shot from behind the goal line off Attack goalie Jordan Binnington, then assisted on a Trocheck tally to level the match. The Toronto native, who was a late cut of Team Canada earlier this season, scored again in the second period to tie it 3-3 after Hartman took a check to make a centring pass. Wilson then helped the Whalers go ahead for good by drawing a helper on a tally by Gianluca Curcuruto.

Hartman (4A, +4) also had a four-point outing. Trocheck (1G-1A, +4) now has 26 points in 12 games since moving south from Saginaw to Plymouth at the deadline.

No. 2 star: Nic Petan, Portland Winterhawks (WHL)

The WHL scoring leader and his Winterhawks bros were quick to show who is top dog in the Dub, as Petan (3G, +4) scored a natural hat trick within the game's first 22 minutes to lead Portland to a 5-0 win that completed a road sweep of the Kelowna Rockets. St. Louis Blues prospect Ty Rattie (1G-3A, +4) assisted on all three strikes. The big Winterhawks line that also includes WHL second-leading scorer Brendan Leipsic (who is one goal and one point behind Petan) was so devastating that they didn't even have to play in the third period.

The 17-year-old Petan, who is now up to a league-leading 40 goals and 98 points, lit the fuse just 81 seconds into the contest when he beat normally unimpeachable Rockets goalie Jordon Cooke with a sharp-angle shot. Petan scored a short-handed goal before the period was over and then turned the trick just 64 seconds into the second stanza, getting the puck in scoring range and waiting out Cooke to get the big four-oh. Rattie (1G-3A, +4) collected a Seth Jones rebound for the fourth goal, putting the contest well out of reach.

Petan, of Delta, B.C., could hit 100 points close to his home neck of the wood. On Monday, the Winterhawks, who are first in the standings and goals scored, have a matinee game against the Vancouver Giants, who are dead last and have allowed the most goals. Just like Brad and Dave believed they were the first people to ever make a stud finder joke in a recent Happy Endings episode, don't worry, you're the first to think that Petan should have no trouble getting points 99 and 100. .

No. 3 star: Alex Bureau, Cape Breton Screaming Eagles (QMJHL)

The 17-year-old rewarded the hardy diehards who trekked through a snowstorm to back their last-place Screaming Eagles. Bureau, whom Cape Breton chose 21st overall in last summer's QMJHL entry draft, relieved David Honzik and stopped 38-of-39 shots in a 5-3 stunner over the Baie-Comeau Drakkar, a division leader.

Cape Breton came into the contest having lost 15 of its last 16 games and sitting 49 points behind Baie-Comeau in the standings. After Honzik got hooked for allowing two goals on four shots, Bureau, the son of former National Hockey League forward Marc Bureau, settled in and played probably the best game of his infant QMJHL tenure. The Trois-Rivières, Que., native held it together through a third period when the Eagles were in a full defensive shell, getting outshot 17-2.

Honourable mention: Sean Monahan, Ottawa 67's (OHL)

Monahan was a spoiler nonpareil for his good friend Kerby Rychel and the Windsor Spitfires, leading the Ottawa 67's to an 8-5 win that damaged Windsor's playoff prospects. With NHL scouts and Winnipeg Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff on hand to watch the two prospective NHL first-rounders, Monahan (3G-1A, +2) put his last-place team on his back. The Brampton, Ont., had two points in the first five minutes, including a sweet feed that allowed Colorado Avalanche-drafted linemate Joseph Blandisi ample time to pick a corner. Monahan lso won several faceoffs in the final minutes when the youthful 67's were hanging on for dear life. Rychel (1G-2A, -1) also had an excellent game.

Honourable mention: JC Lipon, Kamloops Blazers (WHL)

Whether this was Lipon's best game since coming back from Team Canada is a question for those who see him, but it was his most prolific. Lipon (2G-2A, +2) led the Blazers to a 5-3 home win over the Red Deer Rebels in his first four-point game since prior to the world junior championship. The Regina native took over the game for a spell in the second period, scoring his 30th to put Kamloops ahead to stay before teeing up defenceman Marek Hrbas for the 4-2 marker, which stood as the eventual game-winner.

Honourable mention: Lane Scheidl, Regina Pats (WHL)

Like Bureau and Monahan, Scheidl's brilliance gave a morale boost to a struggling team. The Pats, losers of eight of their previous nine, scored six unanswered to beat the Brandon Wheat Kings 7-3 on the road. Scheidl (2G-1A, +2) scored a pair of beauties in the second period to tie the game up through 40 minutes, including a laser from the high slot. Those two goals seemed to convince Regina that it could crack the second most porous defence in the Dub, since they pumped in four in the final 20 minutes.

Honourable mention: Andrew D'Agostini, Peterborough Petes (OHL)

D'Agostini and the Petes summoned one of their best games in front of a Hockey Day In Canada/Pink The Rink sellout of 3,907, beating the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 3-2. The 19-year-old goalie matched counterpart Justin Nichols save for save, stopping 40-of-42 shots and doing a great job to see through traffic and stop some rockets from the point from Ryan Sproul, perhaps the best offensive defenceman in the OHL. The Petes are now only two points behind eighth-place Kingston, whom they once trailed by 16.

Friday's finest

No. 1 star: Dmitrij Jaskin, Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL)

Thanks for pointing this out, Mr. Day Late. Jaskin (3G-1A, +3) dominated while helping the 'Cats produce a statement performance in a nationally televised 8-5 win over the Halifax Mooseheads. The St. Louis Blues prospect, who might be the most irresistible force in the Quebec League at this writing, got Moncton off the deck by scoring their first goal on a solo effort, winning a battle in the corner and circling out to beat Zachary Fucale. That started a run of five consecutive 'Cats goals, including one where Jaskin made a great move cutting in from the right wing to best Fucale with another high shot and another where he stole the puck behind the net from defenceman Matt Murphy and muscled the puck through traffic to give Brad Penny a tap-in goal.

No. 2 star: Brandon Magee, Victoria Royals (WHL)

Magee (2G) and Ben Walker (1G-2A) helped the Royals beat the Tri-City Americans, their possible first-round playoff opponent. Tri-City had a second-period lead, but Magee, who had not scored in five contests after getting nine goals in one four-game stretch in January, shoke off the echoes by tallying twice in the second period to put the Royals ahead for keeps.

No. 3 star: Jimmy Lodge, Saginaw Spirit (OHL)

Lodge (2G) was selected first star in Spirit's 6-2 victory at Sarnia, which was part of a big weekend where Saginaw opened up a seven-point lead over Windsor for the final OHL Western Conference playoff spot. The Downington, Pa., native is absolutely ripping it up lately, with 14 points in his past six games. Friday, the lanky centre helped Saginaw get its footing on the road as he scored in the first period, then added what proved to be the game-winner in the second.

Potent notables (Saturday games only) — Winnipeg Jets pick Adam Lowry (1G-1A, +2) and Eetu Laurikainen (35-save shutout) led Swift Current to a divisional win over Prince Albert ... the line of Brenden Walker (2G-1A, +2), Calgary Flames prospect Michael Ferland (3A, +2) and Dallas Stars draftee Matej Stransky (1G-1A, +2) combined for eight points to help Saskatoon beat Lethbridge in front of a crowd of more than 13,000. It was the Blades' eighth win in a row ... highly regarded 2014 draft prospect Sam Reinhart had two points to help Kootenay whip Moose Jaw 4-0 to move to within one point of the playoff picture ... Spokane rookie Riley Whittingham had his first WHL two-goal game in the Chiefs' rivalry-game win over Tri-City ...New York Islanders first-rounder Ryan Strome scored his 100th OHL goal during Niagara's 4-2 home loss to Oshawa. Philadelphia Flyers prospect Scott Laughton had a three-point night ... Mark Scheifele had one-goal, one-assist efforts in each of his first two games back with the Barrie Colts since being returned by the Winnipeg Jets ... Ottawa's Daniel Walsh, who sustained a concussion in October thanks to a headshot by Laughton, scored his first OHL goal in the 67's win over Windsor... Minnesota Wild pick Tyler Graovac scored two goals in 48 seconds in Belleville's win over Erie; Boston Bruins pick Malcolm Subban stopped 38-of-39 shots for the Bulls ... Jacob Harris, in his second game back from a hip flexor, scored a goal in Sudbury's 3-2 shootout win over Mississauga. The Wolves took 3-of-4 points from the weekend ... In the QMJHL, Florida Panthers pick Logan Shaw scored twice in the Quebec Remparts' 3-1 win over Victoriaville.

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

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