Photo credit: Garrett James Photography (Littler, Bonkowski), Chaisson Creative (Buhr)
Wenatchee Wild forward Cade Littler, Surrey Eagles forward Jacob Bonkowski and Alberni Valley Bulldogs forward Brandon Buhr have been named the NAPA Auto Parts 3 Stars of the Week.
1st Star – Cade Littler (F) – Wenatchee Wild
Littler was the BCHL’s leading scorer last week, piling up three goals and four assists for seven points on Wenatchee’s three-game Island road trip.
The 18-year-old had his biggest outing of the season on Friday night, keying the comeback in the Wild’s dramatic 6-5 overtime comeback win against the Powell River Kings. With his team down 2-0, Littler potted his first of the game early in the second period to cut the deficit in half. Heading into the third, Wenatchee found themselves down 5-1, but Littler produced a goal and two assists, including a helper on the tying goal with five seconds left to force overtime. Once in the extra frame, it only took the East Wenatchee, Wash. native 38 seconds to score the winner and cap off a career-best five-point night. He was named first star of the game.
Littler was held off the score sheet the following night in a 4-1 loss to the Alberni Valley Bulldogs, but got back on track with a pair of assists in Sunday afternoon’s 4-1 victory over the Cowichan Valley Capitals.
The 2022 Calgary Flames draft pick now has 41 points in 33 games to sit tied for sixth in league scoring, while his 18 goals are tied for seventh in the BCHL.
2nd Star – Jacob Bonkowski (F) – Surrey Eagles
Bonkowski put together another solid performance last week, notching two goals and adding three helpers in two games for a five-point weekend.
The 19-year-old did the majority of his damage on Friday night against the Langley Rivermen where he was in on all four of the Eagles goals, scoring twice and adding a pair of assists in a 4-0 victory, setting a new personal career-high in points in a single game. His goal late in the first period stood up as the winner and he was named first star of the game.
Bonkowski went on to register another assist on Sunday afternoon in Surrey’s 4-3 shootout loss to the Coquitlam Express.
The University of Nebraska-Omaha commit is the BCHL’s fifth leading scorer with 42 points in 31 games and fourth highest goal scorer with 20 on the campaign. He is currently riding a six-game point streak with 14 points over that stretch.
3rd Star – Brandon Buhr (F) – Alberni Valley Bulldogs
Buhr was the most clutch player in the league last week with both of his goals standing up as game-winners. He chipped in a pair of assists as well to finish with four points in two games.
On Friday night, the Burnaby, B.C. native assisted on Alberni’s opening goal early in the first period against the Nanaimo Clippers, then scored on the power play early in the middle frame to give his team a 3-0 lead in a game they would eventually win 4-2.
The following night against the Wenatchee Wild, Buhr scored shorthanded to give the Bulldogs a two-goal advantage, then added an assist just 16 seconds into the third in a 4-1 victory. He was named first star of the game.
Since returning from Clarkson University in December, the 20-year-old has three goals and three assists for six points in seven games.
Alberni Valley Bulldogs G Hobie Hedquist: 2GP – 2W – .943 SV% – 1.50 GAA
Powell River Kings F Cameron Symons: 2GP – 1G – 3A – 4PTS
Powell River Kings F Anthony Lucarelli: 2GP – 1G – 3A – 4PTS
Chilliwack Chiefs D Abram Wiebe: 2GP – 2G – 1A – 3PTS
West Kelowna Warriors F Jaiden Moriello: 2GP – 3G – 3PTS
Langley Rivermen G Taje Gill: 1GP – 1W – .977 SV% – 1.00 GAA