Buzzing The Net

Saginaw’s Locke picks apart Greyhounds for 5 points: Friday’s 3 Stars

Eric Locke has 29 goals this season for Saginaw (photo: OHL images)No. 1 star: Eric Locke, Saginaw Spirit (OHL)

Locke figured in all five goals in Saginaw's crucial 5-3 home win over Sault Ste. Marie, picking up a hat trick and two assists. It's the first five-point game in the OHL for the 19-year-old, who last had a hat trick when he scored four times on Dec. 11, 2010.

With 29 goals on the season, Locke's up to a tie for third in the OHL in that category. Garret Ross scored the other two goals for the Spirit on Friday, giving him 26.

The Spirit moved within two points of the seventh-place Greyhounds in the Western Conference with their sixth consecutive victory.

No. 2 star: Jonathan Drouin, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)

Really, you could pick from among a half-dozen or so Mooseheads as they embarrassed the Quebec Remparts 11-2 in front of more than 13,000 fans at Le Colisée. Drouin seems as good as any for this slot, as he scored once and added three assists in a balanced effort that saw 15 of 18 Halifax skaters hit the scoresheet.

MacKenzie Weegar had four assists, and Konrad Abeltshauser, Dominic Beauchemin and Stephen MacAulay each contributed two goals and a helper. Nathan MacKinnon had a quiet night, with "just" a goal.

The Remparts have lost five straight and eight of 10, tumbling to seventh place overall and clinging tenuously to home-ice advantage for a first-round playoff series.

No. 3 star: Jaedon Descheneau, Kootenay Ice (WHL)

Sam Reinhart gets all the buzz in Cranbrook, but Descheneau is putting together a nice 17-year-old season for the suddenly resurgent Ice.

Descheneau scored both goals as the Ice improved to 8-1 in January with a 2-1 road win at Regina. The centre from Edmonton is riding a nine-game point streak and has 41 points in 43 games this season.

Kootenay, left for dead in December, has stunningly rallied to move within two points of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Goaltender Mackenzie Skapski has been a big key to the run, posting a 2.23 GAA and .928 save pct. in January. He stopped 29 shots in Friday's win.

Honourable mention: Tyler Graovac, Belleville Bulls (OHL)

He wasn't even named one of the three stars in the building, but with two goals, two assists and a +6 rating for the night, Graovac deserves some mention somewhere.

Brendan Gaunce also posted four points (1G-3A) and a +6 as the Bulls went to St. Catharines and blasted the IceDogs 7-2 Friday. Belleville and Niagara are going opposite directions, as the Bulls have moved up to second in the Eastern Conference with a four-game winning streak while the IceDogs have lost three in a row and sit in a tie for fourth place.

Honourable mention: Kohl Bauml and Austin Lotz, Everett Silvertips (WHL)

Bauml notched two goals and an assist as the Silvertips sent the reeling Seattle Thunderbirds to their 15th straight loss with a 5-1 decision in Everett. The late-birthday 18-year-old has a new career high in goals with 15, and has scored six times in his last 10 games.

Meanwhile, Lotz engineered a heroic effort in net by stopping 44 Seattle shots as the Thunderbirds nearly doubled up the Silvertips on the shot counter (45-23).

Everett moved three points clear of Seattle for seventh place in the Western Conference with the win, while the Thunderbirds are just three points ahead of Prince George for the final playoff spot.

Honourable mention: Dmitrij Jaskin, Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL)

The St. Louis Blues prospect is almost impossibly hot right now, as he recorded his third straight game with at least four points in Friday's 6-3 win over cellar-dwelling Cape Breton.

With another goal and three assists, Jaskin has collected 13 points in his three games since returning from the world junior championship, where he played for the Czech Republic. He's now tied for fifth in the league in scoring (though everyone above him has played at least 10 more games).

Moncton has won all three of its games since acquiring Phillip Danault from Victoriaville at the trade deadline, and the Wildcats are now in sixth place in the league standings.

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