Kirill Kabanov (2010 3rd) had assists on both Lewiston Maineaic goals to help them to a 2-1 win over the Montreal Junior and a 2-1 lead in the series.
Kabanov's first assist was a primary one tying the score in the second period. The second one was a secondary one but it was a dandy coming with just 5 seconds left in regulation settling off a happy celebration in Lewiston.
We called Kabanov one of the key's to any chance that Lewiston has in defeating the team that finished 2nd overall in the QMJHL. A 5 game scoring streak (2-7-9) has helped the Maineaic win 4 out of their last 5 games as maybe we are seeing the maturing of Kabanov right before our eyes.
We have to give Kabanov some real credit as he is working very hard at shedding his problem child reputation and the Maineaics are reaping the rewards. Garth Snow is going to look very smart if Kabanov continues on the path he is.
With Portland trailing 2-1 in the second period, it was Niederreiter who swung the momentum back to the Winterhawks. First he converted a feed from Sven Bartschi to tie the score at 2-2 at 4:07 for his 5th goal of the playoffs.
Then it was Niederreiter teaming with Ryan Johansen on the power play to give Portland a 3-2 lead at 13:42 on Niederreiter's 6th goal. Niederreiter is now 6-8-14 good for 4th in the WHL playoff scoring race.
Game 4 is Wednesday night in Kelowna.
Cizikas set up what eventually proved to be the game winning goal when he fed Justin Shugg for the Major's 4th goal at 13:21 of the 2nd period as the Majors pulled away for a 6-3 win.
The win gave the Majors a 3-0 series lead and a chance to end this series n 4 games on Wednesday night in Sudbury. If the Majors do wind up with the sweep then it is going to be very hard for anyone to beat them in the OHL Eastern Conference finals.
The Majors will be sitting and resting as the Niagara IceDogs and Oshawa Generals beat each other up in their series.
The only Ranger prospect to see action on Tuesday night was Ryan Bourque (2009 3rd) as his Quebec Remparts dropped game 3 to the Shawinigan Cataractes 6-3. The win cut the Rempart's series lead to 2-1 as this is one that the Remparts gave away.
Leading 3-1 going into the 3rd period, the Remparts gave a goal just 34 seconds into the period to cut their lead to 1. After that it was all Shawinigan as they kicked in 4 more goals to blow the game wide open.
Bourque was held scoreless with just 1 shot and he has to do more than that if the Remparts are to win this series.
In the NHL draft lottery, the New Jersey Devils were able to win it and move up to 4th from 8th and push the Islanders back to 5th again. The question now is who the Islander target with that pick as the options are wide open.
Introducing Tyler Biggs of USNTDP is as the name says big at 6'2 202 and we see him growing into 6'3-6'4 220. Biggs has been rising all year long breaking into the final CSB at 5 among domestic skaters.
Give us a player who is going to play for Enrico Blasi at Miami every day as we know that by the time the Islanders get him they will have a rock solid 2 way power forward with the Messier snarl and the body of John Connors of the Jets (AKA the Terminator).
We are going to hide our Ranger pick as long as we can because we think the Rangers should be looking not far from where they already picked.
Finally if you missed it Sunaya Sapurji did a nice write up on Islander prospect Calvin de Haan. It is a good read as it tells the story of how the future Islander blueliner grew into the player he is today.
Check it out here.
(Images: Kabanov/Ron Morin/Lewiston Maineaics, Niederreiter/Portland Winterhawks, Cizikas/Aaron Bell-OHL Images, Biggs/USA Hockey)