Brendan Gaunce

Gaunce, Zlobin, Bardaro earn CHL’s weekly awards

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The Ontario Hockey League had no matches scheduled between Dec. 17-26 and the time off seemed to be good for Vancouver Canucks prospect Brendan Gaunce. He was named the OHL Player of the Week after scoring two goals and five points in just two games.

Gaunce has 12 goals and 23 points in 28 contests with the Belleville Bulls after the Canucks took him with the 26th overall pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

Also being recognized for his recent efforts was Pittsburgh Penguins prospect Anton Zlobin. He received the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s first star of the week after recording four goals and nine points over the span of the Val d’Or Foreurs’ matches on Saturday and Sunday.

That gives Zlobin 19 goals and 49 points in 32 games this season.

Anthony Bardaro earned the Western Hockey League’s weekly honors by scoring four goals and seven points in two contests. He is among the Prince Albert Raiders’ offensive leaders with 14 goals and 22 assists in 36 contests.


Sabres’ Brennan named AHL player of the week

Video: Flyers, Bolts confirm 3-on-3 OT is pretty much the greatest thing ever

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Well, the NHL’s two new initiatives for ’15-16 seem to be going swimmingly.

Not long after Ottawa successfully made the second-ever coach’s challenge, fans got their first look at 3-on-3 overtime.

And what a look it was.

In the span of 137 seconds, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers combined for eight shots on goal, a few breakaways, some tremendous saves — including one on a penalty shot — and, finally, Jason Garrison‘s game-winning goal on a breakaway from center, giving the Bolts a 3-2 win.

It was, in a word, fun.

Lots of fun.

A quick sampling of reviews:

Of course, not everybody was a fan:

Now, to temper things a bit — this was the first time we’ve seen 3-on-3 with something on the line, so there was a novelty factor at play. There’s also no guaranteeing future OT sessions will be as exciting as this.

But none of that takes away from the fact 3-on-3 made for appointment viewing, and immense entertainment value. The prospect of future games like this? That’s pretty exciting.

In Jets return, Burmistrov delivers headshot to Bergeron (Updated)


Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.

Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:

Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).

The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.

Update: Bergeron stayed in the game, but B’s head coach Claude Julien was none too pleased with the hit. Following the game, he called for the NHL’s Department of Player Safety to look at it…