January 07, 2011
No. 1 star: Adam Lowry, Swift Current Broncos (WHL)
The 6-foot-4 left wing had a night that was testament to his qualities as a finsher, scoring his first Western Hockey League hat trick to help last-place Swiftie shade the Calgary Hitmen 3-2.
Not only did Lowry, 17, break open a tight game with back-to-back goals in the game's final five minutes, but his natural hat trick came in his hometown and against the team which his father, Calgary Flames assistant coach Dave Lowry, used to coach.
No. 2 star: Robbie Czarnik, Plymouth Whalers (OHL)
The overage centre put Plymouth on his back, notching his second multi-goal game in five days by scoring twice to lead the Whalers over the rival Windsor Spitfires 5-4 in overtime. In a textbook road win, Czarnik scored late in the first period to put Plymouth in flight and later gave his team its first lead. All told, he has five goals in his past two games.
Thanks in large part to Czarnik, Plymouth had a chance to go to OT, in which Tyler Brown scored with 16 seconds left on a slapshot that went in off Windsor goalie Troy Passingham's trapper. The win helped the Whalers move two points of the Spits for fourth in the OHL's Western Conference.
No. 3 star: Taylor Beck, Guelph Storm (OHL)
The Nashviille Predators second-rounder scored two goals and beat Peter Di Salvo in the shootout, helping the Storm earn a wild 6-5 win over the Oshawa Generals. Guelph's big four — Beck, Richard Panik, Peter Holland and Michael Latta — helped the Storm prevail on a night when new coach Scott Walker had to make a mid-game goaltending switch.
Honourable mention: Colin Behenna, Barrie Colts (OHL)
Behenna, all 5-foot-8 and 157 pounds of him, had two goals and two assists to help Barrie beat the Brampton Battalion 6-3. In case you haven't noticed, the Colts have four wins in 10 games, as many victories as they had in their first 28. Draft-year centre Mark Scheifele, who had three assists and was plus-4, set up both Behenna goals.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Sports Canada. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet. (Photo: Getty Images.)