SUDBURY – The Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League announced its 3 Stars of the week for the time frame concluding Feb. 2 and garnering accolades were a trio of forwards in Darcy Haines and Gavin Burbach of the Soo Thunderbirds along with Samuel Wilbur of the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners.
DARCY HAINES, (F) SOO THUNDERBIRDS – Haines returns for a second straight week in the NOJHL 3 Stars as he continues his stellar play for the league-leading Thunderbirds.
In three games during the week that was the 20-year-old veteran forward amassed 10 points on four goals and six assists helping the now No. 1 CJHL-ranked Sault Ste. Marie run their winning streak to 22 straight contests.
Haines began by picking up an assist in a 4-3 road victory at Sudbury Wednesday before returning home Friday against Abitibi where he recorded a hat-trick, including the game winner, and dished out three helpers in a 9-0 romp.
He followed that up Saturday by setting up the deciding tally as part of a three-point night as the T-Birds rallied for a 3-2 come from behind triumph over visiting Elliot Lake.
Last season’s NOJHL most valuable player now has 50 points in just 23 games with the Sault including 17 during an active five-game point streak.
He now leads the league in point-per-game average at 2.17 and is rapidly closing in on the top 10 point producers in the NOJHL as well.
SAMUEL WILBUR, (F) KIRKLAND LAKE GOLD MINERS – Wilbur is also back for a second consecutive stint as a NOJHL 3 Stars recipient.
In a pair of Kirkland Lake victories last week the 20-year-old Saginaw, Mich., product scored once and dished out four assists in aiding the Gold Miners efforts to extend their winning streak to seven straight outings.
Wilbur started off by setting up all three Kirkland Lake tallies in a 3-2 road triumph at North Bay.
Friday night saw him assist on his fourth straight game-winning goal for his side and also tack on a tally in a 5-0 shutout at home vs. Sudbury.
In the midst of a six-game point streak where he has totalled 19 points, Wilbur has now cracked the top five in NOJHL offensive production with 25 tallies and 39 helpers for 64 points.
GAVIN BURBACH, (F) SOO THUNDERBIRDS – Another one of the key contributors to the Soo Thunderbirds success has been their captain Gavin Burbach.
Last week saw the 20-year-old from Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., rack up five goals and two assists in a trio of T-Birds’ triumphs.
Burbach scored once in the 4-3 win at Sudbury Wednesday, notched three more and added an assist in the rout of Abitibi Friday and capped off his week with the game-winner and a helper in a 3-2 comeback vs. Elliot Lake.
He has now scored at least once in eight straight games and has points in nine in a row.
Burbach also leads the NOJHL in goals and points with 39 and 73 respectively while sitting tied for fourth in power play markers with eight, sharing third in shorthanded efforts at four as well as being knotted for third in game-winners with six.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)