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Anaheim Ducks pick John Gibson calms the Storm: Thursday’s 3 stars

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Anaheim Ducks draft pick John Gibson

No. 1 star: John Gibson, Kitchener Rangers (OHL)

Gibson has turned heads left and right for the Rangers against the Guelph Storm in their first-round playoff matchup. Throughout the first three games of the series, the Anaheim Ducks second-round pick only allowed five goals past him on 125 shots, maintaining .947, 1.00 and .930 save percentages in that respective order.

In game 4, Gibson continued his trend of posing as a brick wall in the blue paint, stopping 40 of 41 shots for a .976 save percentage in the 2-1 win.

Dallas Stars first-rounder Radek Faksa and Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Josh Leivo scored the Rangers’ pair of goals.

Even though Guelph has outshot Kitchener 171-149, the Rangers have a 3-1 stranglehold on the series thanks to the outstanding play of Gibson.

No. 2 star: Scott Laughton, Oshawa Generals (OHL)

Every time the Generals got on the board against the Niagara IceDogs in their 4-1 win, Scott Laughton's name was on score sheet. Down by a goal, the Philadelphia Flyers first-round pick scored a short-handed marker in the first five minutes of the second period to even out the score. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound centre went on to notch his second of the night and add two apples for a four-point showing.

Laughton has been on fire in the playoffs, racking up six goals and 11 points. Only the Plymouth Whalers’ Vincent Trocheck sits ahead of him in points.

The third-place Generals and sixth-place IceDogs’ series has been a back-and-forth affair, as they are tied up at two after four.

No. 3 star: Kale Kessy, Kamloops Blazers (WHL)

Kessy arguably had the best performance of his career in game 5 of the Blazers’ series against the Victoria Royals. The 6-foot-3, 202-pound winger led his team on the scoreboard with a hat trick. Colorado Avalanche prospect Colin Smith and 19-year-old star JC Lipon assisted all three of Kessy’s goals.

But even though Kessy, who is more known as an energy guy than a goal scorer, had a hat trick throughout 60 minutes of play, it took extra time for the Blazers to take a 3-1 lead on the series. Matt Needham (2A, +1) setup Dylan Willick at the 17:47 mark to clinch the 5-4 victory.

Honourable mention: Chris Driedger, Calgary Hitmen (WHL)

Following Swift Current Broncos forward Coda Gordon tallying one on the man advantage early in the first period, Driedger shut the door for the Hitmen. The Ottawa Senators prospect stopped 34 of 35 shots for a .971 save percentage in the 3-1 series clinching victory.

First-overall bantam pick Jake Virtanen scored the game-tying goal for the Hitmen, followed by Carolina Hurricanes second-rounder Victor Rask and Elliott Peterson closing out the game’s markers.

Honourable mention: Remi Elie, London Knights (OHL)

Elie helped the Knights sweep the Saginaw Spirit in a 6-2 win with a two-goal performance. He scored in the first period to give the Knights a 2-1 lead and put the nail on the coffin in the latter half of the final frame by netting London’s sixth of the night.

The 6-foot-1, 200-pound rookie forward has really stepped up for the Knights in the second season. After potting seven goals and 17 points in 65 regular-season games, the Green Valley, Ont., native has three goals and five points in just four playoff contests.

Honourable mention: Alessio Bertaggia, Spokane Chiefs (WHL)

Bertaggia racked up three assists in the Chiefs’ 4-3 win over the Tri-City Americans, giving Spokane a 3-1 series lead. He setup Adam Helewka (1G-1A), Brenden Kichton (1G) and Blake Gal for the overtime winner.

Honourable mention: Dominik Kubalik, Sudbury Wolves (OHL)

After the Sudbury Wolves blew a three-goal lead to the Brampton Battalion, Kubalik played hero in overtime, scoring the game winner for the Wolves in the 5-4 affair for a 3-1 series lead. The 6-foot-1, 175-pound winger’s marker is his third of the playoffs.

Kelly Friesen is a Buzzing the Net columnist for Yahoo! Sports. Follow him on Twitter @KellyFriesen

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