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Ryan Hartman saves the day for Whalers: Saturday’s 3 Stars

Plymouth Whalers centre Ryan Hartman (Rena Laverty, Plymouth Whalers)No. 1 star: Ryan Hartman, Plymouth Whalers (OHL)

The Whalers had just 15 skaters against Erie thanks to Stefan Noesen, Rickard Rakell and Tom Wilson being off at NHL camps, but Hartman made sure they would not have to write off two points. The 18-year-old completed a hat trick 20 seconds into overtime, snapping a shot from the half wall past Otters goalie Oscar Dansk to complete Plymouth's 4-3 comeback win.

Hartman (3G-1A, +3), his Team USA teammate Vince Trocheck (3A) and their linemate Cody Payne accounted for all Whalers scoring. The improving Otters had a two-goal lead late in the second period thanks to a three-point night from Connor McDavid on the eve of his 16th birthday. However, Hartman popped in a power-play goal before setting up Payne's equalizer, leading to his overtime heroics.

No. 2 star: Félix Girard, Baie-Comeau Drakkar (QMJHL)

Girard (3G-2A, +3), the Drakkar's captain, led the way during a 7-0 rout of the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, scoring a natural hat trick. The 18-year-old from Cap-Rouge, Que., assisted on the game's first goal by rookie Gabryel Paquin-Boudreau, then heated up with two power-play markers in the second period and another in the final frame. It was a command performance from Baie-Comeau's leader, to say the least.

No. 3 star: Jackson Houck, Vancouver Giants (WHL)

Houck (2G-1A) provided a pick-me-up for the rebuilding Giants, leading them to a 4-3 come-from-behind overtime win over the first-place Kelowna Rockets. The Rockets took an early two-goal lead and a long night was shaping up for the last-place Giants, but Houck got a power-play goal in the final minute of the first period, then outworked the Rockets defence for another extra-man goal in the second period. The Giants later forced overtime through 18-year-old grinder Travis McEvoy's second goal all season, which set the stage for Brett Kulak to get the OT winner with Houck earning an assist.

Honourable mention: Dmitrij Jaskin, Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL)

Jaskin (2G-2A, +2) helped the Wildcats pull out two points against the Gatineau Olympiques, scoring goals 1:49 apart in the third period to break a deadlock in a 5-3 win. The St. Louis Blues draft pick was dangerous all night, setting up 17-year-old Ivan Barbashev (1G-2A, +2) and Alex Saulnier for goals during the first two periods. Jaskin's decisive double gave him 25 goals on the season.

Honourable mention: Jonathan Drouin, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)

Drouin (1G-1A, +1) was the first star in Halifax's hard-earned 4-3 comeback win over the P.E.I. Rocket, mostly by virtue of scoring the game-winner on a breakaway off a saucer pass from Nathan MacKinnon.

MacKinnon (1G-2A, +1) and Martin Frk (1G-2A, +1) also had big nights for the Mooseheads, who held off an impassioned P.E.I. team.

Honourable mention: Jake Paterson, Saginaw Spirit (OHL)

The Spirit handed the London Knights their first regulation loss in more than two months, so the game's firs star must be acknowledged. Paterson stopped 32-of-34 shots in the Spirit's 5-2 victory, which was a total team effort from the goal out. The Detroit Red Wings draft pick, who was Canada's standby goaltender during the world junior championship

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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