Five Rangers prospects competed in postseason play on Saturday night in the QMJHL and WHL playoffs, and two had very big nights in leading their teams to victory.
Here is a player-by-player look at their performances:
Brandon Dubinsky Position: Center Team: Portland Winter Hawks (WHL) Playoff Series: Portland vs. Seattle (Portland leads series 3-2) Dubinsky's Playoff Scoring to Date: 5 games, 4 goals, 3 assists April 1: Portland 3, Seattle 2 (at Seattle)
After being held off the scoresheet for two games, Dubinsky, the Winter Hawks' MVP, exploded for a hat trick that overwhelmed the Thunderbirds. He score at even strength, on the power play and shorthanded in leading Portland to a 3-2 win and a 3-2 series lead. Dubinsky's big night began with an unassisted shorthanded tally at 2:04 of the first period to give the Winter Hawks an early 1-0 lead. Then, at 15:21 of the first period, he scored unassisted again, this time at even strength, for a 2-0 lead. Seattle, however, rebounded with two second-period goals, setting the stage for a thrilling third period. Dubinsky, the Rangers' second-round pick in 2004, finally broke the tie on a power play with 1:47 remaining in the game, completing his first postseason hat trick.
Brodie Dupont Position: Center Team: Calgary Hitmen (WHL) Playoff Series: Calgary vs. Lethbridge (Calgary leads series 3-2) Dupont's Playoff Scoring to Date: 5 games, 3 goals, 3 assists April 1: Calgary 3, Lethbridge 2 (OT) (at Calgary)
Like Dubinsky, Dupont had a huge night in the WHL playoffs, getting assists on two Calgary goals before notching the game-winner just 46 seconds into overtime. The 3-2 victory also gave Calgary a 3-2 series lead. Dupont began his scoring outburst with a second assist on Ryan White's goal at 5:21 of the second period, giving the Hitmen a 1-0 lead. With 29 seconds remaining in the second period, Dupont had the primary assist on Brett Carson's goal that gave Calgary a 2-1 lead. Dupont later ended the game in overtime.
Michael Sauer Position: Defense Team: Portland Winter Hawks (WHL) Playoff Series: Portland vs. Seattle (Portland leads series 3-2) Sauer's Playoff Scoring to Date: 5 games, 3 goals, 2 assists April 1: Portland 3, Seattle 2 (at Seattle)
After scoring a goal in Game 4, Sauer was held without a point in Game 5, but was plus-2 in the Winter Hawks' big win. Marc-Andre Cliche Position: Right Wing Team: Lewiston Maineiacs (QMJHL) Playoff Series: Lewiston vs. Halifax (Halifax leads series 3-2) Cliche's Playoff Scoring to Date: 5 games, 1 goal, 2 assists April 1: Halifax 2, Lewiston 0 (at Halifax)
Cliche's Lewiston team was shut out on the road and must win Game 6 at home on Monday to avoid being eliminated from the playoffs.
Jonathan Paiement Position: Defense Team: Lewiston Maineiacs (QMJHL) Playoff Series: Lewiston vs. Halifax (Halifax leads series 3-2) Paiement's Playoff Scoring to Date: 4 games, 0 goals, 2 assists April 1: Halifax 2, Lewiston 0 (at Halifax)
Paiement did not play in the 2-0 loss at Halifax. He is currently serving a five-game QMJHL suspension for his role in an altercation at the end of Game 4.