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POSTED ON Monday, 03.25.2013 / 2:57 PM
By Emerald Gao - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog
(Martin Laroche/Victoriaville Tigres)

1st Star: G Brandon Whitney, Victoraville (QMJHL)
The Line: 2 GP, 1-0-1, .968 SV%, 1 SO

Whitney anchored the Tigres in their first two playoff games at Moncton, earning his first shutout of the postseason after stopping all 37 shots in Game 1 on March 22. The next night, Whitney made an astounding 55 saves on 58 shots, but allowed an overtime game-winner from former teammate and fellow Blackhawks prospect Phillip Danault. The 2012 seventh-round pick ended the weekend with 92 saves on 95 shots for a .968 save percentage and a 1.31 goals-against average, as the series heads to Victoriaville for the next three games.

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POSTED ON Monday, 03.18.2013 / 3:17 PM
By Emerald Gao - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog
(Daniel St. Louis/Moncton Wildcats)

1st Star: C Phillip Danault, Moncton (QMJHL)
The Line: 4GP, 6A, +2 plus/minus

Moncton wrapped up its regular-season game with four games in seven days, due to weather-related postponements from earlier this season. Danault collected six assists in three of the four tilts, including three on March 13 in a 6-1 victory over Saint John and a pair on March 17 in a 5-2 win at Acadie-Bathurst. Danault logged nine goals and 32 assists in 27 games for Moncton, and his 85 total points (including 14G, 30A with Victoriaville) were second-most on the team. The Wildcats finished the regular season with a 42-23-2-1 record and will face Victoriaville—Danault’s former team—in the first round of the QMJHL playoffs.

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POSTED ON Monday, 03.11.2013 / 5:54 PM
By Emerald Gao - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog

When the Blackhawks took the ice in Los Angeles on Jan. 19, the goal was merely to spoil the Kings' Stanley Cup banner-raising ceremony. Chicago won decisively, 5-2... and then they kept winning. Their six straight victories to begin the campaign set a franchise record, and it wasn't until Jan. 30 that the team dropped their first point in a shootout loss at Minnesota. Whispers about the NHL record started once the Blackhawks crossed the 10, 11, 12-game mark without a regulation loss, and history was made on Feb. 15 when Chicago claimed a 2-1 victory against San Jose for their 17th consecutive game with a point gained in the standings.

And still that was not enough. The team finished a seven-game homestand earning 13 of 14 possible points, then kept going strong—20, 21, 22. Another record approached on the horizon: the team's mark of nine straight wins, set in December 2008, with many of the same core players that were driving this current streak. That one fell on March 5 with an emphatic 5-3 victory over the Wild at home.

In the infograph below, we looked at the numbers and stats that defined the Blackhawks' amazing run and celebrated the workhorses and the difference-makers that helped make history.

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POSTED ON Monday, 03.11.2013 / 2:52 PM
By Emerald Gao - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog

1st Star: C/RW Jimmy Hayes, Rockford (AHL)
The Line: 3GP, 3G, 2A, +2 plus/minus, first career hat trick

The IceHogs swept a quick two-game stint in Oklahoma City over the weekend, coming from behind in both tilts, including a 7-4 stomping on Saturday, courtesy of a four-goal burst in the third period. Jimmy Hayes was the undisputed star of that game, notching his first professional hat trick and adding two assists for a career-high five-point night. Hayes opened the scoring on the power play in the second period, added a second tally later that period and capped off his night with an empty-netter.

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 03.06.2013 / 4:57 PM
By Emerald Gao - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog

As the Blackhawks embarked on historic point and win streaks to start the season, fans across the league started to take notice and show their colors. While Chicago dominated the standings on the ice, the team's rising popularity off it was reflected most starkly in the NHL's jersey sales numbers last month.

Captain Jonathan Toews led all players in the league, taking over the top spot from Philadelphia's Claude Giroux, while Patrick Kane's blistering start helped him jump 17 spots from No. 21 to No. 5. Marian Hossa, who recently passed the 1,000-game mark, rose 14 spots from No. 25 to No. 11.

The full top 20 list is below:

1. Jonathan Toews (CHI)
2. Ryan Callahan (NYR)
3. Sidney Crosby (PIT)
4. Claude Giroux (PHI)
5. Patrick Kane (CHI)
6. Evgeni Malkin (PIT)
7. James Neal (PIT)
8. Pavel Datsyuk (DET)
9. Joe Thornton (SJS)
10. Zdeno Chara (BOS)
11. Marian Hossa (CHI)
12. Henrik Zetterberg (DET)
13. Tyler Seguin (BOS)
14. Milan Lucic (BOS)
15. Kris Letang (PIT)
16. Alex Ovechkin (WSH)
17. Patrick Marleau (SJS)
18. Steven Stamkos (TBL)
19. Matt Duchene (COL)
20. Brad Marchand (BOS)

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POSTED ON Monday, 03.04.2013 / 2:17 PM
By Emerald Gao - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog
(Daniel St. Louis/Moncton Wildcats)

1st Star: C Phillip Danault, Moncton (QMJHL)
The Line: 3GP, 3G, 3A, +1 plus/minus

Phillip Danault extended his point streak to seven games as Moncton went 3-0 last week. The Blackhawks’ first-round draft pick in 2011 assisted on three of the Wildcats’ dozen goals on Feb. 26 against Cape Breton, then scored twice at Rimouski and once at Quebec over the weekend. Danault has racked up 33 points (9G, 24A) in 20 games since joining Moncton at the trade deadline, and has been held off the scoresheet just four times in that span.

(Terry Wilson/OHL)

2nd Star: C Alex Broadhurst, London (OHL)
The Line: 3GP, 3G, 2A, +3

Broadhurst continued his stellar first season in the OHL with a five-point week for the league-leading London Knights. The 19-year-old native of Orland Park, Ill., scored the game-winner in a 5-2 win at Windsor, logged a helper on March 1 against Sarnia and contributed three points (2G, 1A) in a 6-1 romp over Kitchener the next night. Broadhurst’s 60 points (23G, 37A) and +31 rating this season rank third on the team.

3rd Star: C/RW Mark McNeill, Prince Albert (WHL)
The Line: 3GP, 5A, +3

The Raiders won two of three outings last week, and Prince Albert captain Mark McNeill played a big part in those victories, logging three primary assists in a 4-1 victory at Moose Jaw on Feb. 26 and adding two more helpers in a 7-0 win over Regina the next night. McNeill leads the team with 60 points (21G, 39A) in 58 games this season.

Honorable Mentions: C Brandon Pirri, Rockford (AHL); G Brandon Whitney, Victoriaville (QMJHL)

Pirri overtook Martin St. Pierre as the IceHogs’ points leader with a four-assist weekend. He contributed to three of Rockford’s goals in their 4-1 win over Peoria on March 1 and added one more the next night against Milwaukee.

Whitney capped off an excellent February with a 30-save win on Feb. 28 at Acadie-Bathurst, boosting his record to 7-1-0-0 with a 2.01 goals-against average, .930 save percentage and two shutouts, good enough to earn the QMJHL’s third star of the month honors.

Around the system:

  • University of Vermont defenseman Michael Paliotta scored his first goal of the season—his first career game-winner—on March 2 in a 5-2 win at Boston University. The 2011 draft pick also logged a career-high +4 in the game.

  • Defenseman Joe Gleason logged points in both of North Dakota’s games against Bemidji State this weekend, tallying his fifth goal of the season in a 4-2 win on Friday and adding a helper in a 2-2 tie on Saturday.

  • Blueliner Braden Birch netted his first goal for Cornell this season in a 4-1 win at Brown.

  • Rockford forward Jeremy Morin extended his point streak to seven games with a pair of goals on March 1 against Peoria, but was held off the scoresheet the next night. Ben Smith scored the IceHogs’ other two goals in the 4-1 win over the Rivermen.

  • IceHogs defensemen Shawn Lalonde and Adam Clendening both chipped in over the weekend with two assists each. Both of Lalonde’s helpers came against Peoria, while Clendening logged one in each contest.
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POSTED ON Monday, 02.25.2013 / 4:09 PM
By Emerald Gao - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog
(Daniel St. Louis/Moncton Wildcats)

1st Star: C Phillip Danault, Moncton (QMJHL)
The Line: 3GP, 3G, 5A, +5 plus/minus

Danault week-to-week performance just keeps reinforcing why Moncton gave up the farm to get him at the midseason trade deadline. The Wildcats swept their slate last week, going 3-0 and outscoring opponents 16-6 in the process. Danault logged an assist on Feb. 19 vs. Acadie-Bathurst and enjoyed a three-point night in a 7-2 win over Drummondville on Friday, then exploded for two goals and two assists in a tightly-contested 4-3 overtime win over P.E.I., contributing to all four Moncton goals, including the game-winner in the extra frame.

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POSTED ON Monday, 02.18.2013 / 2:27 PM
By Emerald Gao - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog
(Barry Rankin/Saginaw Spirit)

1st Star: LW Garret Ross, Saginaw (OHL)
The Line: 3GP, 3G, 5A, +3 plus/minus

Although Saginaw went 1-2-0 this week, Spirit captain Garret Ross continued his offensive excellence, registering at least one point in the three contests. After scoring Saginaw’s lone goal in a 5-1 loss to Plymouth on Feb. 13, he recorded a pair of helpers in a 6-4 loss to Oshawa two nights later. Ross saved his best performance for the last game of the homestand, exploding for five points (2G, 3A) in a 7-4 victory over Windsor on Feb. 16.

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POSTED ON Monday, 02.11.2013 / 3:19 PM
By Emerald Gao - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog
(Courtesy Rockford IceHogs)

1st Star: LW Jeremy Morin, Rockford (AHL)
The Line:
3GP, 2G, 2A

Rockford broke their six-game slide last week, winning two of their three contests. Morin contributed to both victories, recording multi-point games on Feb. 5 at Texas (1G, 1A) and Feb. 8 at Peoria (1G, 1A). Morin’s 16 goals ties him with captain Martin St. Pierre for the team lead that category, and his 27 points are tied for third on the squad, after St. Pierre and Brandon Pirri.

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POSTED ON Monday, 02.04.2013 / 3:35 PM
By Emerald Gao - chicagoblackhawks.com / The Blackhawks Blog

1st Star:
G Mac Carruth, Portland Winterhawks (WHL)
The Line: 2GP, 2-0-0, including his sixth shutout, setting a single-season franchise record

Carruth’s 26-save shutout on Feb. 2 vs. Spokane was his league-leading sixth of the season, breaking yet another Portland goaltending mark. The 2010 seventh-round draft pick currently boasts a 23-3-2 record, a 1.83 goals-against average and a .935 save percentage (tied for best in the WHL), and has yet to lose more than one game in regulation in each month of play this season.

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