Buzzing The Net - Junior Hockey

Baie-Comeau’s Philippe Cadorette stymies Mooseheads in must-win Game 3: Tuesday’s 3 stars

No. 1 star: Philippe Cadorette, Baie-Comeau Drakkar (QMJHL)

Cadorette's 27-save night in the Drakkar's 3-1 Game 3 win roused the Halifax Mooseheads from their undefeated post-season dream, while turning the President's Cup final from a coronation to a competition. The 18-year-old sophomore goalie came back refreshed and refocused after getting a mercy pull in Game 2, making 27 saves in a who-blinks-first netminding matchup with likely NHL first-rounder Zach Fucale.

Cadorette helped keep the Mooseheads at bay with a big second-period save on veteran Stephan MacAulay to keep the game knotted at naught-naught until Russian rookie Valentin Zykov broke through for game's first goal with 4:10 left in the second. Another 1995-born Drakkar, Gabryel Paquin-Boudreau, scored 2:49 into the third for the eventual winning goal. Overage Carl Gélinas, an ex-Moosehead, assisted on that tally and also got the empty-netter.

Mooseheads star Nathan MacKinnon, who was originally drafted by the Drakkar in 2011, received a standing ovation from the packed house at Centre Henry-Leonard ... for getting a hooking penalty in the first period.

No. 2 star: Taylor Leier, Portland Winterhawks (WHL)

The 19-year-old Leier (1G-1A, +2) helped the Winterhawks get on the Edmonton Oil Kings early, as a three-goal first period lifted them to a 3-1 road win and 2-1 series lead in the Ed Chynoweth Cup final. The Saskatoon native, who would play in a Memorial Cup tournament in his hometown if the 'Hawks win the series, opened the scoring 4:39 into play with a shot from the slot after the Oil Kings committed a defensive-zone turnover. Leier also had the second apple when linemate Oliver Bjorkstrand buried a goal late in the first period.

Winterhawks goalie Mac Carruth stopped 38-of-39 shots. Ty Rattie had the other Portland marker, which was his WHL record-tying 47th career playoff tally.

No. 3 star: Oliver Bjorkstrand, , Portland Winterhawks (WHL)

Imagine what the dashing Dane will do when he gets some big-boy muscles. Winterhawks coach Travis Green recently told TSN it would not be shocking if Bjorkstrand (1G-1A, +2) breaks out as a 50-goal scorer in either his 18-year-old or 19-year-old seasons. The newcomer set up Leier's goal, then snapped in the 3-0 tally with a burst of speed punctuated by a sweet deke of Laurent Brossoit. Bjorkstrand might have had his third goal of the final if not for some thievery by the Edmonton goalie.

Honourable mention: Valentin Zykov, Baie-Comeau Drakkar (QMJHL)

The table was open late in the second period of the Mooseheads-Drakkar match when Zykov seized on a turnover for the opening goal. A Mooseheads turnover that left their defence out of position, creating an opening that Minnesota Wild prospect Raphaël Bussières exploited with a breakaway pass to Zykov. The 17-year-old Russian, who set a Drakkar rookie record for regular-season goals, outwaited and outwitted Fucale to score.

The Drakkar's shutdown defence pair, Alexandre Chênevert and Maxim Lamarche, were also critical to the victory.

Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet. Please address any questions, comments or concerns to btnblog@yahoo.ca.

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