3/24 Recap: Leduc leads way; Varone keys win

Jerome Gauthier-Leduc scored a goal and three assists Saturday as Rimouski got out to a commanding 2-0 series lead with an 8-5 win over Val-d'Or. The four-point night was the third of Leduc's 2011-12 year and first since early December. Cedrick Henley scored a goal and an assist for the Foreurs, who battled back from a 6-2 deficit to within one before the Nics closed it out with a pair of goals (including an empty netter) in the final two minutes of regulation. Game #3 is set for Tuesday in Val-d'Or.



Joel Armia (-1) sent five shots on goal as Assat was defeated for the second straight game by JYP, 2-1. The 6'3 wing competed hard after a disappointing effort in Thursday's opener, upping the physical ante early in hopes of setting a different tone. At one point he left the game after a collision with Sami Vatanen (below) but claimed during a second intermission interview that it was only to refill his sport drink. Assat now trails the series 2-0 with game #3 set for Monday in Jyvaskyla.



Dan Catenacci posted an assist as Owen Sound was defeated by Kitchener, 3-2. The defending OHL champion Attack, who played most of the game with just nine forwards, fall into a 2-0 series hole with game #3 coming Monday at Kitchener.

In the NCAA West Region semifinal, Brad Eidsness served as backup as #1 North Dakota defeated #4 Western Michigan, 3-1. The Sioux move on to a Sunday meeting with rival Minnesota, who advanced with a 7-3 win over Boston University. Gopher freshman Christian Isackson was a healthy scratch for the 10th straight game. UND defeated Minnesota last weekend for the right to play for the WCHA's automatic bid.

In AHL play, Phil Varone scored a goal and an assist in regulation and then secured the victory with the only marker in the shootout as Rochester earned a 4-3 win over Syracuse to get back into the final Western Conference playoff spot.

Vets Evan Rankin and Paul Szczechura netted the other Amerks goals, while David Leggio made 31 stops and another five in the shootout for his 24th win of the year.

The Rundown:
Varone: G, A, +1
Biega: 2A, +2
Brennan: A, +2
Lagace: -1
Adam: 4 SOG
McNabb: -2
Persson: -2
Szydlowski: -1

The Amerks will next play at Albany on Wednesday morning.
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