Cedrick Henley rallied for a Gordie Howe hat trick Saturday, posting two goals including the game winner, an assist, and a third period fight to lead Val-d'Or to a 4-1 win over visiting Lewiston. The 6'5, 196-pound forward was physically dominant in his first game since returning from Sabres camp, rounding out his night with a game-high seven hits while helping the Foreurs sustain pressure down low. Henley's younger brother, 6'3 Samuel ('11), finished -1 for the MAINEiacs and will look to avenge his bro getting the better end when two clubs play it back on Sunday.
Henley's Gordie was the first for a Sabres prospect since PEI's Jordon Southorn scored, dished, and scrapped his way to one back on March 6, 2009 - also against Lewiston. Niagara's Drew Schiestel pulled one off on September 26, 2008 against Oshawa.
In the OHL, Marcus Foligno notched his first two goals of the year as Sudbury downed Plymouth, 8-4. Wearing an "A" for the Wolves but conducting business as the team's heart and soul leader on a line with Kris Kontos and John MacFarland (FLA), Foligno is looking to step up his both his physical and offensive games this season, and so far the early returns look good. Stefan Noesen ('11) had two goals and an assist for the Whalers, who dropped a home game to the Wolves for the first time in 15 years.
Steven Shipley scored his second goal of the year late in the third period to force overtime, but Niagara failed to capture the momentum in a 4-3 loss to Brampton. Defenseman Dylan Blujus ('12), a 16-year old product of the Wheatfield Blades and Buffalo Regals, had an assist for the Battalion. Shipley and the Dogs will continue to gel through a wekk of practice in preparation for Friday's meeting with Foligno's Wolves.
Gregg Sutch earned an assist on the game winning goal as Mississauga defeated Belleville, 5-3. Austen Brassard ('11) finished -3 for the Bulls in the loss. Sutch and the Majors will host Ottawa on Sunday afternoon.
In the WHL, co-captain Matt MacKenzie scored a goal and an assist in his first game back as Calgary dropped Moose Jaw, 6-2. With the game tied 2-2 at the first intermission, the Hitmen outshot the Warriors 21-6 the rest of the way to get their season on track after a 0-2 start. The shutdown MacKenzie scored an insurance goal on the power play with a little over five minutes to play.
Kevin Sundher was -1 as Chilliwack shellacked Kamloops, 6-1. Corey Fienhage was even for the Blazers. After a quiet statisitical night, the pair of Sabres draft picks came together to earn offsetting minors with 2:55 to play. Sundher's Bruins will next face Spokane on Tuesday, while Fienhage and the Blazers will get the Chiefs the following night.
Riley Boychuk finished -1 as Portland fell to Seattle, 4-3 in a shootout. Calvin Pickard was masterful for the Thunderbirds with 44 saves. The Winterhawks will close the weekend with a Sunday evening contest with Lethbridge.
In USHL opening weekend action, Christian Isackson finished -1 with a shot on goal as Sioux Falls was blanked by Sioux City, 5-0. The Stampede will continue their season next Friday at expansion Muskegon, where over 4,000 fans showed up for Saturday's season opener.