NHL draft hopefuls Anthony Mantha, Nick Sorensen pull Foreurs, Remparts even: Saturday’s 3 Stars

No. 1 star: Anthony Mantha, Val-d'Or Foreurs (QMJHL)

Mantha and the Foreurs did their Cobra Kai strike-first, strike-hard thing, scoring five goals in little more than six minutes of the second period in their series-tying 8-3 win. Mantha, the 18-year-old who scored 50 goals in his draft season, had two goals and three assists, including three points during the Foreurs' decisive flurry.

The 6-foot-5 wing from Longueuil, Que., had two assists in the first period to help Val-d'Or get a 2-1 lead after a period. The Rocket reached level ground for all 43 seconds in the second period before Pierre-Maxime Poudrier and Mantha scored 39 seconds apart to put Val-d'Or ahead for stay. Poudier, overage Brandon Hynes and Mantha all had two-goal nights for Val-d'Or, which has the next three games on home ice.

No. 2 star: Nick Sorensen, Quebec Remparts (QMJHL)

Continuing a good night for lanky wingers with fall 1994 birthdates, Sorensen (3G, +1) had his first playoff goals as he sniped a hat trick during the Remparts' series-tying 5-1 win over the Chicoutimi Saguenéens. Quebec, which finished 22 points ahead of the Sags in the regular season, laid an egg during the opener on Friday. But Sorensen got his team off the deck by scoring two power-play goals in the first 3½ minutes of the second period, both off setups from fellow draft-eligible forward Kurt Etchegary (2A) and Calgary Flames-drafted D-man Ryan Culkin (2A).

Sorensen completed his hat trick in the third period off a setup by Mikhail Grigorenko (3A, +3).

No. 3 star: Joel Edmundson, Kamloops Blazers

The St. Louis Blues selection was likely a sleeper pick at best among WHL poolies since he's had 20, 23 and 25 points across his three seasons in the Dub. Experienced defenceman in their final junior season can sometimes figure out how to pitch in offensively, though. Edmundson (2G-1A, +3), who was Kamloops' big deadline addition from the Moose Jaw Warriors, is doing so with five points through six periods of playoffs.

The Brandon, Man., native scored two first-period goals during the Blazers' 6-4 Game 2 win over the Victoria Royals. Edmundson also factored into a quick-strike response in the second period that restored a two-goal lead. Less than a minute after the Royals got their first goal, Edmundson took a shot that Montreal Canadiens third-rounder Tim Bozon (2G, +2) deflected into the net.

Honourable mentions: Alex Delnov and Brandon Glover, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL)

Sure, some people had 15 seed Florida Gulf Coast bouncing Miami in the NCAA tournament, but no one had the 'Birds coming home to Kent, Wash., with a 2-0 lead over the Kelowna Rockets. It's quite possible that this might be chalked up to the Rockets underachieving massively against a team it outpaced by 50 points in the regular season. Seattle, though, hung around. Glover (21 saves on 22 shots) made a big save on Kelowna's leading scorer Myles Bell that kept the Rockets from getting the two-goal lead that would have put the game away. After Seattle forced overtime, Delnov scored just 2:41 into the extra session for a second consecutive overtime win.

Potent notables — Minnesota Wild first-rounder Mathew Dumba had two points as Red Deer edged Prince Albert 3-2 for a 2-0 series lead ... Ottawa Senators prospect Troy Rutkowski (1G-2A, +2) led Portland to a series-tying win over Everett, as the Winterhawks allowed only 11 shots on goal ... In the OHL, Buffalo Sabres pick Daniel Catenacci had three assists in Owen Sound's 4-2 Game 2 win over Sault Ste. Marie. St. Louis Blues goaltending prospect Jordan Binnington made 41 saves for Owen Sound ... In the QMJHL, Raphaël Bussières and Petr Straka each had two-goal, two-assist, plus-3 nights in Baie-Comeau's Game 2 blowout over Sherbrooke ... Victoriaville Tigres goalie Brandon Whitney stopped 55-of-58 shots in a series-tying 3-2 loss at Moncton ... Saint John's Sébastien Auger stopped 43-of-45 as the Sea Dogs lost 2-1 to Halifax after losing the series opener 11-1.

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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