Fri May 27 09:42pm EDT
MISSISSAUGA — The game's three stars from the Mississauga-St. Michael's Majors' 3-1 semifinal over the Kootenay Ice at the MasterCard Memorial Cup:
No. 1 star: Devante Smith-Pelly, Mississauga-St. Michael's Majors
Make it Snipe-Pelly. Known to teammates as Devo, the right wing whipped it good by scoring the game's first two goals on well-placed shots from 20-plus feet out. The Anaheim Ducks prospect, taking advantage of a tweak Majors coach-GM Dave Cameron made to his power play, opened the scoring with a power-play goal 1:03 into the game after setting up on the left point. Late in the second period, Smith-Pelly, Jordan Mayer and Maxim Kitsyn cycled the puck effectively in the Kootenay zone, creating an opening for DSP to move in from the left wing and zip a wicked wrister past Ice goalie Nathan Lieuwen just inside the goal post. It was a big-league shot, to say the least, and it proved to be the game-winning goal.
No. 2 star: Marc Cantin, Mississauga-St. Michael's Majors
Cantin, aiming to play in his second MasterCard Memorial Cup final, manned the blue line like a barracuda for Mississauga, winning puck battles along the boards and throwing some big body checks. He had one of the several thankfully clean shoulder-to-chest hits, including one in the second period when he flattened Ice centre Steele Boomer — lowering the Boom, as it were. Cantin's strength was also evident on a third-period penalty kill, when he muscle a couple Kootenay forwards off the puck to help the Majors maintain their slim lead. Cantin also contributed an assist.
No. 3 star: Joe Antilla, Kootenay Ice
One last time for the season, his name is Joe! The 20-year-old Kootenay forward scored for the second game in a row, redirecting a Cody Eakin feed home for the Ice's lone tally with one second left in the second period. That ensured there would not be a quiet going into the night for Kootenay and made the game more compelling going into the third period than it would have been if the Majors had gone into the final 20 minutes with a multi-goal lead.
First honourable mention: J.P. Anderson, Mississauga-St. Michael's Majors
The San Jose Sharks prospect bore up well in a game that was either tied or had a one-goal margin for 56 of its 60 minutes. Anderson played his typical technically sound, confident game, making 28 saves, few of them flashy but none of them lacking in attention to detail. He didn't give up the lazy or weak rebound that might have given the Ice their opening to spring the upset.
Second honourable mention: Nathan Lieuwen, Kootenay Ice
The Western Hockey League playoff MVP, who had a superb tournament, kept Kootenay in the game by stopping 23-of-25 shots. His best and biggest came in the third period, when he sprawled full out to deny Majors captain Casey Cizikas on a short-handed break.
Third honourable mention: Brett Flemming, Mississauga-St. Michael's Majors
The Majors' best puck-moving defenceman did not get many chances offensively due to the nature of the game. However, his quick feet and ability to read the ice played a big part in helping the Majors keep a slight territorial advantage. He also seemed to draw the assignment of trying to contain Eakin, a fellow Washington Capitals prospect, on many shifts.
Entertainment value: C
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).