4/12 Recap: McNabb takes command; Boychuk pots winner

Brayden McNabb notched a goal and two assists Tuesday as Kootenay came within one game of eliminating the WHL's top regular season club with a 3-0 shutout of Saskatoon. The victory gives the ICE an unthinkable chance to use the brooms Wednesday in Cranbrook. After his power play point shot was followed-up on to give the ICE an early lead, the 6'4 McNabb took it coast-to-coast to bury a wrister for the 2-0 lead at the end of two periods. The Kootenay captain, who also displayed excellent power-play QB skills throughout, leads all Sabres prospects with two goals and 12 points through eight playoff games. The #1 star effort was his second three-point performance of the playoffs.

Elsewhere in the WHL, Riley Boychuk scored the power play game-winner and added an assist as Portland defeated Kelowna, 5-4. The 6'5 Boychuk made a key play late in the second period when he got the puck back to the point and set a screen for Tyler Wotherspoon's shot on the fourth Portland goal. The 20-year old, who is currently averaging 1.29 points-per-game in the playoffs after a mean of .58 in the regular season, later banged home a rebound with a two-man advantage to give the 'Hawks a 5-3 lead. The power-play goal was the third time this series that Boychuk has scored on a five-on-three. It's expected that Boychuk will remain on the Winterhawks top line when the clubs return for Wednesday's game #4 in Kelowna.

Matt MacKenzie skated even as Tri-City dropped a 4-1 home ice decision to Spokane. After winning the opener, the Americans find themselves in a 2-1 series hole heading into Thursday's game #4.

In the OHL, Zack Kassian scored his second goal of the playoffs as Windsor lost to Saginaw, 5-2. The unassisted breakaway tally, Kassian's ninth postseason point, came amidst a disappointing top-to-bottom effort from the defending Memorial Cup champions. The 6'3 winger was a little too late with the passion, getting assessed a misconduct at the final horn after a shoving match with former midget teammate and good pal, Dalton Prout. With the Spits trailing the series by a 2-1 margin, Kassian needs to bring that aggressive attitude back to the rink for Thursday's game #4.

Marcus Foligno continued his disappointing series, finishing -2 with a fighting major as Sudbury lost for the third straight game to Mississauga, 6-3. Gregg Sutch was even with an elbowing minor for the Majors, who with a Wednesday win can end Foligno's OHL career. The 6'3 Wolves captain sparked his team early, making a big hit along the boards then dropping the gloves for the first time since returning from his February knee injury to take on Rob Flick.

In Monday OHL action, Steven Shipley was +1 as Niagara defeated Oshawa, 5-3. The win gives the IceDogs a 2-1 series lead with game #4 Wednesday in Oshawa. Ryan Strome ('11) scored his fourth of the postseason for the victors.
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