Jets pick Austen Brassard has five goals in 11 playoff games (Aaron Bell, OHL Images)
No. 1 star: Austen Brassard, Belleville Bulls (OHL)
The other Winnipeg Jets 2011 draft choice came up big in Game 1 of the OHL Eastern Conference final. Brassard (2G, +1) got the last touch on the puck during a goalmouth scramble in the final two minutes, tapping in the deciding goal to lift the Bulls to a 3-2 win over the Barrie Colts after a perhaps soft holding call on Colts defenceman Jake Dotchin a minute earlier. Brassard's linemates Alan Quine and Daniil Zharkov helped generate pressure around the Colts' nets, before Brassard flicked the puck out of the air to give Belleville its only lead of the night.
The 20-year-old Brassard also ensured a 2-2 tie through two periods with a solo effort in the second. Eight seconds after the Colts negated a power play with a penalty, Brassard took advantage of the open ice on the 4-on-4, coming out of the left wing corner and making a power move to beat goalie Mathias Niederberger.
Mark Scheifele assisted on both Colts goals.
No. 2 star: Martin Gernat, Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)
Game 2 of the Dub's Eastern Conference final got a little silly, with the host Oil Kings going 4-for-12 on the power play while pulling away for a series-tying 6-0 win over the Calgary Hitmen. Edmonton actually failed to cash in on its first nine extra-skater(s) opportunities during the game's first 35 minutes, before padding their stats late after the Hitmen finally wigged out.
Gernat (2G-3A, +2), the 20-year-old defenceman, probably set some sort of record by getting four points in the third period. The native of Kosice, Slovakia, scored back-to-back third-period goals on booming slapshots to open a 3-0 lead, then earned apples on the final two Oil Kings goals.
No. 3 star: Philippe Cadorette, Baie-Comeau Drakkar (QMJHL)
Cadorette remains perfect in the playoffs after his 33-save effort in Baie-Comeau's to a 2-1 Game 1 win over the Blainville-Boisbrand Armada in a QMJHL semifinal series. The 18-year-old doesn't have the cachet of his cord-cottage counterpart for B-B, Étienne Marcoux, but Cadorette was up to the challenge of trading saves with the older netminder. The St-Hyacinthe, Que., native was nonplussed after the Armada scored on the power play in the first minute of the third period to tie the game. Cadorette made sure not to let in another goal and was rewarded when NHL draft prospect Valentin Zykov wired in the winner with 12:14 remaining.
Honourable mention: Anthony Stolarz, London Knights (OHL)
The Philadelphia Flyers pick stopped 32-of-33 shots to lead London to a 2-1 win over the Plymouth Whalers in Game 1 of the OHL Western Conference final. The 6-foot-6 Stolarz increased his playoff save percentage to .949 — tied with the Belleville Bulls' Malcolm Subban for the OHL lead — after playing a virtually flawless game. The lone Whalers goal, from Washington Capitals-drafted defenceman Connor Carrick, came on a redirected shot.
Potent notables — St. Louis Blues prospect Ty Rattie (1G-2A, +2) led Portland to a 4-1 Game 1 win over Kamloops in the WHL Western Conference final. Montreal Canadiens third-round pick Tim Bozon returned to the Blazers' lineup after missing three weeks with a hand injury.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet. Please address any questions, comments or concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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