SUDBURY – The Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League’s 3 Stars of the week for the time frame concluding Jan. 5 were announced today with the trio of forward Brett Wagner (Elliot Lake Bobcats), goaltender Joel Horodziejczyk (Soo Thunderbirds) and forward Corbin Bean (Espanola Rivermen) all being recognized for their on-ice accomplishments.
BRETT WAGNER, (F) ELLIOT LAKE BOBCATS – In two games to commence play in 2014 Wagner was an offensive force posting back-to-back hat-tricks and potting a pair of game-winning goals while also dishing out two assists helping the Bobcats record a couple of victories over Blind River.
The 20-year-old native of Centennial, Colo., began by finding the back of the net three times in a 7-1 romp over the Beavers Friday on home ice.
Wagner then played a pivotal role the following night helping Elliot Lake storm back from a 3-0 deficit by tacking on three more tallies and setting up two others in 5-3 triumph in a neutral site affair staged in Thessalon.
On the season he leads all NOJHL skaters in goals with 29, sits fifth overall in the league in offensive production with 53 points, is tops in shorthanded markers and knotted for second in game-winning efforts with six in each category.
Wagner is also currently riding a 13-game point streak having scored 11 times and doled out 15 helpers in that span.
JOEL HORODZIEJCZYK, (G) SOO THUNDERBIRDS – Getting the nod in two starts last week Horodziejczyk came within 44 seconds of posting back-to-back shutouts with his efforts helping the Thunderbirds extend a winning streak to 15 games.
Friday evening, in a battle featuring the league’s top two teams in the standings, saw Horodziejczyk stop all 27 shots he faced to register his NOJHL-leading third shutout of the season as Sault Ste. Marie blanked Kirkland Lake on the road 1-0.
Saturday night the 18-year-old Sudbury standout came within a late minute power play tally from posting shutout number four on the campaign , but still turned aside 22 of the 23 attempts he saw to backstop the T-Birds to a 4-1 triumph in Iroquois Falls vs. Abitibi.
On the 2013-14 campaign last season’s NOJHL’s rookie of the year has been unbeatable the past three-plus months as he has won his last 18 starts in net while lowering his league-leading goals-against average to a stellar 1.65 along with an equally solid .936 save percentage.
CORBIN BEAN, (F) ESPANOLA RIVERMEN – It was another productive week for the 20-year-old Bean as the St. Thomas, Ont., product picked up five points in two games helping the Rivermen secure two wins to begin the 2014 portion of their regular season schedule.
Friday evening he buried his 24th goal of the season as the Rivermen slid past North Bay 4-2 at the Espanola Regional Recreation Complex.
Sunday afternoon he played set-up man doling out four assists to help his side defeat Blind River 5-2.
On the season Bean sits third in NOJHL scoring on 56 points on 24 tallies and 32 helpers, which are all Jr. A career highs.
His four shorthanded efforts and six game-winners place him in the top five in each of those as well as the above mentioned offensive categories.
Wagner, Horodziejczyk and Bean are all expected to see playing time this week as the NOJHL hosts its Showcase Weekend Friday and Saturday in Espanola with all eight league member clubs participating as part of regular season action.
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)