No. 1 star: JC Campagna, Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL)
Perhaps there should have been an S on Campagna's chest in of a C. The journeyman forward who grew up mostly in Colorado before moving east then farther east after changing leagues had the night of his junior hockey life, scoring twice in the last 1:13 of regulation and tallying again to give Shawinigan a 5-4 overtime win over the Quebec Remparts.
The division-leading Remparts had a two-goal lead with two minutes to play against the rebuilding, cellar-dwelling Cats, which ought to have been safe. But Campagna scored his first goal in four weeks to make it a one-shot game and forced overtime with 32 seconds left off a setup from overage Loïk Poudrier (who was named first star at Centre Bionest, since the Cats traded him to Val-d'Or right after the game). The Remparts never recovered and Campagna buried the OT winner.
No. 2 star: Mitch Holmberg, Spokane Chiefs (WHL)
Holmberg (3G-2A) led a four-goal third-period rally that lifted the Chiefs to a stunning 7-6 shootout win over the Seattle Thunderbirds. The 19-year-old scored a natural hat trick and assisted on the last-minute tying goal, all within the last 12 minutes of regulation, to hand Seattle a devastating loss.
It should have been over when Connor Honey capitalized to put the T-Birds ahead 6-2 early in the third period. However, Seattle took two undisciplined penalties and Holmberg scored from the left faceoff circle on the ensuing 5-on-3. The 19-year-old Sherwood Park, Alta., native scored from a similar point on the ice with 5:29 left to get Spokane to 6-4, then completed the hat trick with 2:51 remaining.
Holmberg was denied on an overtime breakaway, but scored in the first round of the shootout to extend Spokane's surge. All told, he has 22 goals and 41 points in just 27 games. New York Islanders-drafted defenceman Brenden Kichton had four assists ont he night.
No. 3 star: Shane McColgan, Saskatoon Blades (WHL)
The New York Rangers prospect delivered the decider with 8:29 left, lifting the Blades over the Swift Current Broncos 4-3 for their fifth win in a row. McColgan (1G-2A, +3) and overage Josh Nicholls (2G-1A, +3), who reached the 25-goal mark, were electric in a game that was full of skilled goals. The pair were part of a three-way passing play for the winning goal. McColgan also assisted on both of Nicholls' goals, hitting the overager with a lead pass for his first and and teeing up a point shot that led to a redirect tally.
McColgan, who turns 20 on New Year's Day, has eight points during the Blades' five-game streak. Dallas Stars prospect Matej Stransky has 13 across this span.
Honourable mention: Jakub Izacky, Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)
The 19-year-old Czech had two third-period goals while the Sea Dogs came from three down to stun the Moncton Wildcats 4-3 in overtime. Moncton was up 3-1 with 6:45 left when Izacky went top cheddar from a tight angle off a pass from St. Louis Blues draft pick Ryan Tesink (3A). Then he scored again with six seconds left after overage defenceman Pierre Durepos saved the Sea Dogs possession with a play at the blueline. Defenceman Kevin Gagné, who is on a 10-game point streak, struck for the OT winner.
Honourable mention: Tim McGauley, Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)
The Wheat Kings tightened up their defence and broke a seven-game divisional losing streak by downing Moose Jaw 4-2. All six goals came in the final 16 minutes and McGauley (2G, +2) had two 'response tallies' that were integral to Brandon getting a much-needed result. The 17-year-old's first came 80 seconds after the Warriors had opened the scoring vs. Curtis Honey and his second put the game away with 2:31 left, fewer than one minute after the Warriors had pulled within a goal. Jens Meilleur (2A, +2) set up both McGauley goals.
Honourable mention: Nick Cousins, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL)
Cousins scored short-handed 1:09 into overtime, giving the Philadelphia Flyers prospect both goals in the Greyhounds' 2-1 win over the Saginaw Spirit. Pittsburgh Penguins-drafted 'Hounds goalie Matt Murray (34-of-35) and Spirit counterpart Nikita Serebryakov (37-of-39) were named the first two stars, but scoring twice while offence was at such a premium trumps it. The extra point was big for Sault Ste. Marie, which moved into a tie for seventh in their conference and opened a three-point cushion over the Spirit for the last playoff berth.
Potent notables — Pittsburgh Penguins pick Derrick Pouliot had two assists to help Portland beat Everett in his first game since being cut by Team Canada ... New Jersey Devils pick Damon Severson (1G-2A, +3) helped Kelowna win 5-2 at Medicine Hat, improving to 3-0 on their road trip ... In the OHL, Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Josh Leivo (4A, +4) led Sudbury past Plymouth 7-3 ... Vancouver Canucks first-rounder Brendan Gaunce factored into both Belleville Bulls goals in a 3-2 loss to Oshawa ... Boston Bruins prospect Seth Griffith (2G, +1) gave London its winning margin in a 3-2 decision over Owen Sound, the Knights' franchise-record 19th consecutive win ... Undrafted 18-year-old Connor Crisp had his second three-point, first-star effort to help the Erie Otters down Kitchener 6-2 ... Goalie Mike Morrison stopped 27-of-28 in the game and 3-of-3 in the shootout to help Kingston edge Mississauga. The Frontenacs are an OHL-best 4-0 in the circus ... In the QMJHL, P.E.I.'s Josh Currie (2A, +4) and Ben Duffy (1G-3A, +3) pulled into a tie for the scoring lead with 55 points each ... Gabriel Desjardins had four points in Rouyn-Noranda's home win over Gatineau ... Thomas Gobeil, 18, had three points in Baie-Comeau's win over Victoriaville.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet.
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