Mon May 16 01:43am EDT
No. 1 star: Jarrod Maidens, Owen Sound Attack (OHL)
For all the talk about experience winning out in the playoffs, the second-youngest player in the OHL final ended up being the man of the hour. Maidens (pictured) scored two goals, including the championship-clincher 3:27 into overtime that vaulted the Attack over the Mississauga-St. Michael's Majors for the city's first Ontario Hockey League championship.
Maidens, 17, got to the dirty area for the winner, digging the puck out of the skates of Majors forward Riley Brace to whack it into the net.
"I didn't get a chance to watch it fully go in, but once I realized it, it was the greatest feeling for sure," said Maidens, who squeaked the puck between J.P. Anderson's right pad and the post for the game winner 3:27 into overtime.
"To get two (goals) was obviously the cherry on top." (Mississauga News)
Maidens finished with six goals in the post-season, no mean feat for a rookie.
No. 2 star: Jonathan Huderdeau, Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)
What's left to say? Huberdeau carted off Quebec league playoff MVP honours after factoring into both regulation time Sea Dogs goals in the 3-2 win at Gatineau, including an overtime-forcing goal on a mad scramble with 23.3 seconds left in the third period. The likely Top 5 pick in the NHL entry draft was nails in the final minute. Off a faceoff outside the Gatineau blueline, Huberdeau cut in from his left-wing spot and carried the puck in deep to help the Sea Dogs set up, helped sustain pressure and then, moving without the puck, got into position to rap home a centring pass from linemate Stanislav Galiev.
He was a hands-down choice as MVP, finishing with 16 goals and 30 points in 19 games, good for second in QMJHL playoff scoring.
"It's nice to win and everything, but this was a team effort," Huberdeau said.
As a footnote, Quebec Remparts forward Jonathan Audy-Marchessault (33 post-season points) has the distinction of being the first player to lead the QMJHL in playoff scoring without benefit of playing in the final.
No. 3 star: Maxime Clermont, Gatineau Olympiques (QMJHL)
The New Jersey Devils-drafted netminder deserved a better fate than to be beaten by a bad goal. Huberdeau was MVP, but Clermont was arguably the most vital player in the President's Cup series, as he had 50-plus saves in each of the two longest games in QMJHL championship-series history. The Montreal native made 52 saves Sunday before Alexandre Beauregard, hopping on a loose puck after a turnover at the 'Piques blueline, zipped home the winner after 35:45 of overtime. Clermont was otherwise unimpeachable, giving the Sea Dogs next to no net to shoot for and allowing almost no second-shot chances.
Clermont finished the playoffs with a 2.22 goals-against average and .927 save percentage. Hand him a contract, Lou Lamoriello.
Honourable mention: Stuart Percy, Mississauga-St. Michael's Majors (OHL)
The draft-season defenceman scored a goal and turned in his usual solid effort for Mississauga in Game 7; he wasn't on the ice for a goal against.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet (photo: OHL Images).