No. 1 star: Chris Tierney, London Knights (OHL)
Tierney’s five-point night helped lift the Knights to a crucial 7-2 win over the Guelph Storm. The victory ties the series up at one apiece between the MasterCard Memorial Cup hosts and top regular-season squad.
After Mitchell Marner opened up the scoring for the Knights, Tierney netted his first of the game on the man advantage just over five minutes into the first period. With the score 2-1, the San Jose Sharks prospect notched back-to-back assists on goals from Ryan Rupert and Josh Anderson. The 19-year-old centre went on to close out the game’s scoring with his second power-play marker and third helper on a Brett Welychka goal late in the third period.
Buffalo Sabres first-rounder Nikita Zadarov potted a goal and two assists from the back end. Meanwhile, Marner and Anderson each racked up a geno and an apple.
With the shots 34-33 in favour of the Storm, Knights puck-stopper Jake Patterson was a major difference-maker in the game. The 19-year-old veteran turned away 32 shots and helped shutdown all six of the Storm’s chances on the man advantage.
No. 2 star: Curtis Valk, Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL)
Thanks to two crucial goals from Valk, the Tigers won’t head to Cranbrook down 2-0 to the Kootenay Ice. The 20-year-old forward tied the game up at two just over five minutes into the middle frame. He followed it up with the would-be game-winner at the 6:14 mark in the third period. Valk also notched an assist on Trevor Cox’s empty-netter in the 5-2 affair.
Like Valk, Steven Owre scored two important goals for Medicine Hat. He potted the first goal of the game just under three minutes into the first period and gave the Tigers an insurance marker at 17:01 in the final frame.
The Ice ultimately should feel fortunate to have split the opening two games of the series with top NHL draft prospect Sam Reinhart and Jaedon Descheneau failing to register a single point. The dynamic offensive duo combined for 12 goals and 34 points in their first-round series against the Calgary Hitmen.
No. 3 star: Barclay Goodrow, North Bay Battalion (OHL)
Following a scoreless 40 minutes of play, Goodrow found a crack in the Barrie Colts’ wall. The overage winger, who recently signed with the Sharks, notched the game first’s goal at the 4:54 mark and followed it up with another just over three minutes later. Just 58 seconds after Vincent Praplan put the Battalion up by three, Goodrow set up a Dylan Blujus power-play marker to seal the 4-1 victory.
Jake Smith stood tall in the Battalion’s blue paint by stopping 25 of 26 shots. The 5-foot-11, 183-pounder has now only allowed one of 47 shots get by him throughout the first two contests of the series.
Honourable mention: Daniel Altshuller, Oshawa Generals (OHL)
Just two days after posting an 18-game shutout, Altshuller notched his second consecutive perfect game against the Peterborough Petes. The Carolina Hurricanes prospect turned aside all 22 pucks that came his way and helped stymie all six of the Pets’ power-play chances in the 2-0 win.
Albeit his workload hasn’t been heavy, Altshuller’s playoff stats are extremely impressive. He’s posted three shutouts, a 1.50 average and a .932 save percentage throughout six games.
Dylan Smoskowitz scored the game-winner for the Generals on the man advantage only 2:10 into the match. Rookie Jacob Busch went on to give Oshawa some breathing room by netting his first playoff goal with just over 10 minutes left in the opening frame.
Kelly Friesen is a Buzzing the Net columnist for Yahoo! Sports. Follow him on Twitter @KellyFriesen