5/21 Recap: McNabb ejected as ICE drop opener

Brayden McNabb earned a late ejection for a vicious elbow Saturday as Kootenay opened the 2011 Memorial Cup with a 5-0 shutout loss to Owen Sound. McNabb, who used his long stick and physical frame throughout, showed that 'the simpler the better' is the way to play his game. He did a good job stepping into guys and using the boards to safety, and showed good hustle on an early power play (below), but there were other moments when McNabb tried to leg the puck only to succumb to the forecheck and keep the play in his end. Also of note was a miss against the speed of Cameron Brace (clip #2) that nearly resulted in an Owen Sound tally.

After a rough third period that saw him take a hooking penalty and then get beat for a goal as his up-ice pass was turned over, the 6'4 McNabb took some frustration out with 5:35 to play by landing a huge open ice elbow to the head of star forward Joey Hishon.

McNabb received a five-minute major and a game misconduct for the blow, and could face additional discipline from the CHL if the headshot is deemed suspension worthy. Stay tuned as the ruling will come quick in the year-end tournament.

On Friday, Gregg Sutch executed his grinding role in spot duty as Mississauga opened the tournament with a 4-3 loss to QMJHL champion Saint John. The Majors and ICE will play game #3 of the tournament's round robin on Sunday. With Sutch regularly shuffled in and out of the lineup and McNabb possibly facing a suspension, Sabres reporters looking for a spring beat could be SOL come puck drop.
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