Gregg Sutch executed smartly in a limited fourth line role Sunday, skating without a point but keeping the puck deep as Mississauga evened their Memorial Cup record with a 2-1 win over Kootenay.
Sutch's unit, who didn't get any time in the middle period due to heavy special teams play, brought pressure over two hard shifts in the game's first five minutes with the 6'2 grinder helping set a tone with a board rattling finish to end his second run. The Sutch/Jamie Wise wing pairing later completed two strong shifts in the top half of the third period with the game tied 1-1. Sutch showed good defensive tactics in the ninth minute with a 40-second block that saw him come back deep, protect the crease in a net block posture, then win a one-on-one battle in the corner and calmly play the puck to himself off the boards to advance it out of the zone.
Cody Eakin (WAS) opened the scoring for Kootenay at 7:55 of the first period before Maxim Kitsyn (LAK) evened it up in a goal-mouth scrum nearly a minute-and-a-half later. The two-clubs would claw at each other and trade a few power plays for the next thirty minutes before Rob Flick (CHI) notched the game-winner at 11:55 of the third. Mississauga (1-1) now waits for Wednesday's OHL final rematch with champion Owen Sound.
Kootenay (0-2) played the tight checking affair without their physical, point-producing captain Brayden McNabb, who was suspended for the game after his major/misconduct in Saturday's loss to Owen Sound. The 6'4 defender will return to action Tuesday when the ICE complete the round robin versus Saint John.