December 16, 2010
No. 1 star: Colin Behenna, Barrie Colts (OHL)
The 19-year-old centre might not be sticking around the Colts much longer, but to paraphrase Dazed and Confused, he's doing all he can while he's stuck in that place. Behenna had two goals, one short-handed, and an assist to help Barrie snap a 15-game losing streak by beating a strong Plymouth Whalers team 4-3. The Colts never trailed again after his shorty, suggesting it allowed some self-doubt to seep in for the Whalers. Behenna also got the eventual game-winning goal in the third period.
Anyone who ever played on a hard-done-by team, at any level of sport, can relate to what it's like to lose almost every game. Behenna (pictured) helped give the young Colts, who have just five wins in 32 games, something positive to work off heading into the midpoint of the season.
No. 2 star: Robert Steeves, Acadie-Bathurst Titan (QMJHL)
Olivier Roy's understudy played a leading role and as bonus, blanked his hometown team, the Moncton Wildcats. Steeves, the 17-year-old rookie who's filling in for a Team Canada netminder, handled 25 shots to help the Titan skunk Moncton in a Maritimes Division matchup.
With the goose egg, Steeves lowered his goals-against average to 1.52, albeit in limited action, often against the Rouyn-Norandas of the universe. Nevertheless, Thursday showed why Steeves is moving on quickly from losing half of last season to a knee surgery suffered at the World Under-17 Challenge.
No. 3 star: Jason Akeson, Kitchener Rangers (OHL)
Please, no jokes about a second blizzard hitting the Sarnia area after the Rangers routed the Sting 11-2. It would be insensitive, considering the circumstances. Akeson totalled six six points (one goal, five assists) to retake the Ontario Hockey League scoring lead, but it was in a one-sided game.
The Orleans, Ont., native did not stat-pad, getting his final point on Kitchener's ninth goal early in the third period. Ryan Murphy (knew you'd ask) had three points in his first game since being cut from Team Canada. He has 47 points in 29 games, putting him on pace for a 109-point season. Again, he's a defenceman.
Honourable mentions: Matt Puempel and Austin Watson, Peterborough Petes (OHL)
The OHL's two worst teams each won on the same night. Puempel, 17, had two goals and an assist to lead the Petes to a 4-2 home win over the Brampton Battalion. The potential first-round pick got into the dirty areas for both goals, bringing him to 18 on the season. (Having 20 at the break would be no mean feat given the upheaval in Peterborough and the fact the team traded its No. 1 centre, Ryan Spooner).
Watson, the Nashville Predators first-round pick, had assists on each Puempel goal, included a beauty centring pass for his linemate's second of the night.
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.)