Tue May 24 10:15pm EDT
MISSISSAUGA — Who shone the brightest in the Kootenay Ice's season-sustaining, tiebreaker-ensuring 5-4 overtime win over the Saint John Sea Dogs at the MasterCard Memorial Cup
No. 1 star: Matt Fraser, Kootenay Ice
Fraser scored two goals, including the winner 3:55 into overtime, as Kootenay extended its season for at least another 48 hours. Of all the Ice, the overage wing who had a WHL playoff-best 17 goals had to be feeling the most pressure to perform and he came through, first by putting the Ice ahead with a one-timer on the power play in the third period, and then by snapping the winner by Saint John's Mathieu Corbeil, a goal scorer's goal through the 5-hole. He'll just have to do it again on Thursday when Kootenay faces the loser on Wednesday's Mississauga-Owen Sound round-robin finale.
No. 2 star: Zack Phillips, Saint John Sea Dogs
The Fredericton native was up to shouldering extra responsibilities with veteran Michael Kirkpatrick resting an upper-body injury, refusing to let the Sea Dogs go quietly into their four-day break. The tying goal with 15 seconds left was all about Phillips not giving up on the play, as he dug out a loose puck and fired a shot that ricocheted off Tomas Jurco's helmet and behind Ice goalie Nathan Lieuwen.
(Yes, Tomas Jurco scored a goal with his head. As Sunaya Sapurji tweeted, "Yesterday, Tomas Jurco said, 'I am not a clown." He's right, he's the whole damn circus.")
Phillips also gave Ryan Tesink a sweet setup on the game's first goal early in the second period.
No. 3 star: Max Reinhart, Kootenay Ice
The Ice, albeit against an understaffed Saint John team, finally got somewhat untracked offensively and the Calgary Flames third-round choice helped make it happen. Reinhart had four assists on the night, including a fine cross-ice pass that set Fraser up to one-time home a go-ahead goal in the third period.
First honourable mention: Cody Eakin, Kootenay Ice
Only one assist on the scoresheet for the Ginger Jet, but once again he meant so much to the Ice in so many ways. There are no official faceoff stats at the Memorial Cup (yet the QMJHL has them during league play), but Eakin lost nary a draw, which is especially important to a lunch-bucket team such as the Ice. He was also the catalyst on the goal that gave the Ice their first lead of the night, setting up a shot that led to an easy rebound goal for Jesse Ismond.
Second honourable mention: Brayden McNabb, Kootenay Ice
The Buffalo Sabres blueline prospect returned from a one-game suspension to play a superb two-way game with the Ice's season on the line. McNabb was credited with two assists and was a major reason why Saint John could only muster 23 shots on goal.
Third honourable mention: Mathieu Corbeil, Saint John Sea Dogs
The Columbus Blue Jackets draft choice made 41 saves, including 30 in the first two periods. His best save came in the second, when he went post-to-post to rob Kootenay's Joe Antilla, who had been set up for a one-timer by (who else?) Cody Eakin.
Entertainment value: B+
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet (photo: CHL Images).