Donaldson, Mackenzie, Gartner named 3 Stars of the Week

Photo credit: Garrett James Photography

Nanaimo Clippers forward Sean Donaldson, Coquitlam Express goaltender Connor Mackenzie and Cranbrook Bucks goaltender Evan Gartner have been named the BCHL 3 Stars of the Week.

1st Star – Sean Donaldson (F) – Nanaimo Clippers

Donaldson continued his impressive streak to start the season, scoring three times and adding five assists for eight points in three road games last week.

On Wednesday, the Vancouver, B.C. product produced a first-period power-play assist on Nanaimo’s second goal of the game, then scored one of his own late in the second as the Clippers skated to a 5-2 decision over the Cowichan Valley Capitals. Donaldson was at it again on Friday, this time with a three-point performance in a 4-2 win against the Surrey Eagles and was named second star of the game. Finally, on Saturday night, he notched his second straight three-point effort and third multi-point output of the week, chipping in a goal and an assist against the Langley Rivermen in a 5-3 defeat.

Donaldson leads the Clippers in scoring this year and is fifth overall in the league with 20 points in 13 games, just two off the league lead. His 12 goals put him in a three-way tie for most in the BCHL.

2nd Star – Connor Mackenzie (G) – Coquitlam Express

Mackenzie won both his starts last week, posting an impressive .986 save percentage while swatting away 73 of the 74 shots he faced over both contests and earning his first career BCHL shutout.

His shutout came on Wednesday as the Express faced off against the conference-leading Langley Rivermen. He made 33 saves on the night in a tight-checking affair to lead his team to the 3-0 victory. He was named the first star of the game. After getting the night off on Friday, the Toronto, Ont. native was back between the pipes on Saturday and he picked up right where he left off, stopping 40 of 41 shots in another low-scoring game and leading the Express to their third straight win, a 3-1 road decision over the Prince George Spruce Kings.

Mackenzie now sees his record improve to 4-4-2 after last week’s games as the Express have climbed into seventh place in the Coastal Conference.

3rd Star – Evan Gartner (G) – Cranbrook Bucks

Gartner’s stats are nearly identical to Mackenzie. He finished with two wins in two games, posted a .985 save percentage, making 65 saves on 66 shots over two contests, and earned his first career BCHL shutout.

Gartner got the start on Saturday against one of the top teams in the league, the Salmon Arm Silverbacks, and he proved he was up to the challenge. He made 34 saves, including 15 in the third period alone to earn the shutout and preserve the 4-0 Bucks win. He was also a big part of the Cranbrook penalty kill that blanked the Silverbacks on seven opportunities. Just 20 hours later, the Calgary, Alta. product was back in net in a rematch against Salmon Arm where he faced another 32 shots and stopped 31 of them to lead his team to back-to-back wins, this one by a score of 2-1. He was named the first star of both games.

Gartner now has a 4-1-0 record in his five starts this year. His .927 save percentage and his 2.33 goals-against average are both fifth-best in the BCHL.

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Honourable mentions:

Powell River Kings F Maxim Potvin: 2GP – 4G – 1A – 5PTS
Wenatchee Wild F Cade Littler: 2GP – 3G – 2A – 5PTS
Coquitlam Express F Jayden Sison: 3GP – 3G – 3A – 6PTS
Nanaimo Clippers F Max Itagaki: 3GP – 5G – 5PTS
West Kelowna Warriors F Felix Trudeau: 3GP – 4G – 1A – 5PTS