November 07, 2010
No. 1 star: Michael Latta, Guelph Storm (OHL)
Latta had a big day against his original major junior team, scoring a hat trick to help the Storm knock off the Ottawa 67's 6-4. All three tallies were timely, as the 19-year-old scored in just 27 seconds after the opening faceoff and then showed his speed by converting two second-period breakaways.
Guelph, which won despite being outshot 42-20, also had a two-goal effort from Team Canada hopeful Taylor Beck.
No. 2 star: Ramis Sadikov, Erie Otters (OHL)
It is not every day a team which is last in its conference knocks off a team in first overall. Sadikov, 19, made 36 saves to help the Otters knock off the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors 2-1.
The Moscow native preserved the tie through 60 minutes with a great right pad save to stop Majors leading scorer Justin Shugg on a rebound chance in the third period. Sadikov also stopped Shugg and Majors captain Casey Cizikas in the shootout while his teammates went 2-for-3.
No. 3 star: Chandler Stephenson, Regina Pats (WHL)
Stephenson, 16, just back from missing a game due to family reasons, scored the first two of what should be many Western Hockey League goals in a 4-1 Pats win over the Brandon Wheat Kings.
The fifth overall pick in the 2009 Western Hockey League bantam draft helped the Pats open a two-goal lead with his first tally with 3:21 left in the second period by converting a sweet feed from Colin Frazee. Stephenson also showed some nice hands on his second goal, banging the puck home after a point shot ricocheted out off the end boards.
Honourable mention: Mitchell Heard, Plymouth Whalers (OHL)
Heard, 18, had likely his best game this season, recording four assists to help Plymouth beat the Sault. Ste Marie Greyhounds 6-3. Heard helped draft-year right wing Stefan Noesen complete a hat trick, setting up Noesen's first goal and getting the puck to him for an empty-net clincher. (As a native of the Dallas suburb of Plano, Noesen presumably could use anything to take his mind off the Cowboys.)
Heard was also prominent when the Whalers took over the game late in the second period, getting two assists when Plymouth scored four goals in a span of 3:43.
Second honourable mention: Alex Saulnier, Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL)
The 18-year-old centre scored the first two Wildcats goals to start his team back from a three-goal deficit in an eventual 5-4 road shootout win over the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. Saulnier was also 14-of-23 on the dot, so he gets a mention over his twin, who was actually named the game's second star. Allain Saulnier, a right wing, scored a game-tying goal in the third period and also had a successful shootout attempt.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Sports Canada. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet.
(Photo: OHL Images.)