Sat Apr 16 01:37am EDT
No. 1 star: Louis-Marc Aubry, Montreal Juniors (QMJHL)
The Detroit Red Wings third-rounder doubled his playoff production in one night by scoring a natural hat trick during regulation time to help the Juniors force Game 6 with a double-overtime 5-4 Game 5 win over the Lewiston Maineiacs. Aubry scored twice in the second period to give the Juniors life and scored his second third-period go-ahead goal of the series with 5:41 left.
The 19-year-old Trois-Rivières, Que., native might have experienced some déjà vu when his big tally merely set the stage for the Maineiacs to tie the game in the final 90 seconds, since it happened exactly one week ago in the same rink. Lewiston won that time, but the Juniors held firm and prevailed on Dylan Anderson's first post-season goal on their first shot of the second OT.
No. 2 star: Adam Brown, Kelowna Rockets (WHL)
Brown was California cool personified, making 54 saves to keep Kelowna's season alive with a 2-1 Game 5 overtime win over the Portland Winterhawks, cutting Portland's series lead to 3-2. The 19-year-old kept Portland from pulling away with one of its trademark second-period surges by making 20 saves in the second period and was stellar in the third when the Rockets were leaking oil slightly after injuries temporarily reduced them to four defencemen. Without Brown, the Rockets would not have gone to overtime, where Jessey Astles won it 7:08 into overtime with a breakaway goal on Portland's Mac Carruth (36 saves in his own right) after a Portland turnover.
No. 3 star: Zack Phillips, Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)
The likely first-round NHL pick scored two goals, including the series-winner with 7:06 left to help Saint John vanquish valiant Victorville with a 3-2 Game 5 win. The Sea Dogs were down two goals after 6½ minutes and found few openings in the first 20 minutes. Starting the second, Phillips solved the Tigres' human roadblock, David Honzik, by converting a 2-on-1 feed from Jonathan Huberdeau. His deciding goal was a beaut, as Phillips pounced on a turnover to start a beauty three-way passing play with Washington Capitals draft choice Stanislav Galiev and Huberdeau before finishing off the play.
Honourable mention: David Honzik, Victoriaville Tigres (QMJHL)
The goalie should get a contract to promote Roget's Thesaurus, since people need new words to describe how well he played for the underdog Tigres. Honzik made 42 saves in Victoriaville's season-ending 3-2 loss to Saint John, capping a terrific three weeks where he did wonders for his NHL draft stock. Friday's effort marked the seventh time in nine games that the 17-year-old Honzik (3.28 goals-against average, .919 save percentage in the post-season), made at least 38 saves.
Second honourable mention: Steven Shipley, Niagara IceDogs (OHL)
The Buffalo Sabres draft choice had three points in Niagara's 7-3 knockout of the Oshawa Generals, including his first goal of the playoffs. It was timely, reopening a two-goal 95 seconds after the Gens' Josh Graves had jammed a goal by Mark Visentin. The Ilderton, Ont., native bumped Oshawa defenceman Scott Valentine off the puck and quickly snapping a shot past Peter Di Salvo, sparking Niagara to score twice more within the next five minutes. Shipley also had primary assists on each of linemate Darren Archibald's goals.
Third honourable mention: Philip Halley, Gatineau Olympiques
The 19-year-old centre lit the fire for Gatineau as it became the first home team to win in its series with Sean Couturier and the Drummondville Voltigeurs, prevailing 5-1 to take a 3-2 series lead. Halley got his sixth goal of the playoffs with 1:16 left in the opening frame to put the Voltigeurs on edge, then assisted on a tally as his team scored three in the opening four minutes of the second to chase struggling netminder William Nadeau (four goals on 13 shots). That was more than enough cushion for New Jersey Devils-drafted 'Piques goalie Maxime Clermont, who made 29 saves.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet.