Buzzing The Net

Lethbridge Hurricanes’ Macoy Erkamps has career night: Friday’s 3 Stars

Lethbridge defenceman Macoy Erkamps (Larry MacDougall, The Canadian Press)No. 1 star: Macoy Erkamps, Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL)

The 17-year-old defenceman had the best offensive night of his young Western League tenure, factoring into four of the five consecutive goals that powered the 'Cane Train to a 6-4 divisional win over the Calgary Hitmen. Erkamps (1G-3A, +3) began Lethbridge's climb out of an early two-goal hole with an unassisted tally in the second period by intercepting bad pass and fogging a shot past Ottawa Senators-drafted goalie Chris Driedger. The Delta, B.C., native set up a pure effort goal by Axel Blomqvist in the final minute of the frame that put the Hurricanes ahead to stay.

Erkamps, who has a solid 31 points in 51 games so far in his sophomore season, assisted on two more third-period goals, including an out-of-the-penalty-box marker by Hurricanes newcomer Josh Derko with 7:27 left that stood as the game-winner. The win kept Lethbridge within three points of fourth-place Red Deer in the congested middle of the Eastern Conference playoff picture.

No. 2 star: Brock McGinn, Guelph Storm (OHL)

If only Sportsnet execs could have had some inkling that the front end of a home-and-home between Guelph and Owen Sound, who were seven points apart in the standings, might be a better Midwest Division matchup to put on national television than one between Erie and Kitchener, who were separated by 20 points. McGinn, a Carolina Hurricanes second-rounder who has been steady as rent during Guelph's six-game win streak, came through with both goals in taut, tense thrilling 2-1 triumph over Team Canada goalie Jordan Binnington and the Owen Sound Attack.

McGinn got the game's first goal 1:03 into the second period by burying a rebound. As Tony Saxon described it, he later scoring the deadlock-untying goal by somehow getting the puck over Binnington's shoulder despite being wrapped up by an Attack defender. The Storm, who are getting by without Toronto Maple Leafs-drafted captain Matt Finn while he recuperates from mononucleosis, made those two goals stand up as fellow Leafs pick Garret Sparks stopped 22-of-23 shots. It is a big win for Guelph if it follows up by getting points out of its return game Saturday at Owen Sound and a Sunday-night tilt vs. Kitchener.

No. 3 star: Brandon Magee, Victoria Royals (WHL)

Magee and the Royals had a memorable night, as two club records were tied simultaneously. Magee, who turned 19 earlier this week, became the third Royals player since the team moved to Vancouver Island to have a four-goal game, getting all of his snipes off setups from overage Alex Gogolev in the 6-4 win over the last-place Vancouver Giants. The victory matched the longest streak in the brief history of the Chilliwack/Victoria franchise.

The Edmonton native's first WHL hatter including a natural hat trick. Magee popped in a pair of power-play goals in the second period and then scored 32 seconds into the third for his fourth of the night, which also happened to be his 23rd of the season, matching his total from all of last season.

Honourable mention: Reid Boucher, Sarnia Sting (OHL)

Who says he needs Alex Galchenyuk? Well, no one does, because the New Jersey Devils prospect has nine goals in five games since Flight 94 left Sarnia for the Montreal Canadiens. Boucher tallied twice to become the first OHL 40-goal scorer this season to help Sarnia beat the Plymouth Whalers 5-4 in a shootout to pull into a tie for the West Division lead.

The New Jersey Devils prospect scored the game's first goal 2:07 into the proceedings. Boucher, a Michigan native, hit the big four-oh in the second period with an assist from veteran defenceman Craig Duininck. Once Plymouth levelled at 4-4, the teams bunkered down for 35 minutes of scoreless hockey to force a shootout. Sarnia's 19-year-old rookie goalie Knick Dawe (36 saves) turned aside all three Whalers attempts, creating a two-point swing in the standings in the Sting's favour. Not only are they getting by without Galchenyuk and Team USA defenceman Connor Murphy, but they have also held up through an injury to overage goalie JP Anderson.

Honourable mention: Tyson Baillie, Kelowna Rockets (WHL)

The 17-year-old who's a year away from his draft season fuelled the Rockets' 4-3 come-from-behind overtime win over the Seattle Thunderbirds, who put up a strong fight 24 hours after being blasted 8-0 in Kelowna. The Rockets spotted the T-Birds a pair of two goals lead, but had the finishing kick to come back. Baillie, of Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., set up Ryan Olsen's overtime-forcing goal with 2:27 left in regulation and bagged the winner 3:38 into extra time.

From this week's episode's of The Nate and Jo Show:

Try five passes before Jonathan Drouin drilled in what proved to be the winning goal during the Halifax Mooseheads' win over the Sherbrooke Phoenix. It was recorded "Drouin (Fournier, MacKinnon)" in the summary but the play actually went Drouin-Stefan Fournier-MacKinnon-Drouin-Martin Frk-MacKinnon. Unfortunately for Halifax, there's this two assists per goal, one point per player limit.

Potent notables — Toronto Maple Leafs first-rounder Morgan Rielly (2A, +1) set up the overtime winner as Moose Jaw beat Kootenay to end its 10-game losing streak ... Overage goalie Mac Carruth's 36-save shutout helped Portland stanch the bleeding by beating Spokane 3-0 to end a four-game losing streak ... Brandon's Corbin Boes stopped 43-of-44 shots in the Wheat Kings' 2-1 OT win over Red Deer ... Colorado Avalanche selection Colin Smith (2G-1A, +3) helped the Kamloops Blazers pick off a division leader by beating Prince Albert ... Eighteen-year-old Colby Cave (1G-2A, +3) led Swift Current to a 5-4 OT win over Regina, getting the tying goal with 1:04 left ... Phoenix Coyotes prospect Lucas Lessio scored in his second game back with the Oshawa Generals since missing three months due to a wrist injury, helping the Gennies shade Sudbury 3-2 in a shootout ... Carolina Hurricanes first-rounder Ryan Murphy (1G-2A, +4) led Kitchener past Erie 5-1 ... In the QMJHL, Montreal Canadiens selection Charles Hudon (2G-1A, +3) led the Chicoutimi Saguenéens to a road win at Rouyn-Noranda ... Sixteen-year-old Acadie-Bathurst Titan rookie goalie Mason McDonald stopped 52 shots during his team's 5-0 loss to Moncton.

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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