McNabb plays big as ICE advance

Brayden McNabb (+2) notched an assist Thursday as Kootenay came back from a two-goal deficit to eliminate Owen Sound from the Memorial Cup with a 7-3 victory. The 6'4 defenseman, who had a pair of helpers in the ICE's 5-4 OT win over Saint John on Tuesday, now has three points in three tournament games.

The game got off to an undesirable start for the ICE as the Attack came out buzzing to catch some early momentum. McNabb made a nice stick play in the slot right before getting spun around as Cameron Brace scored the game's first goal at 7:12 of the first period.

Trailing 2-0 in the early second period, McNabb got beat down the ice for a near goal against. After the ensuing whistle, his stick snapped as his neutral zone pass turned over for another rush into the ICE zone.

Kootenay would get it together as the period wore on though. Erik Benoit and Joe Antilla tied the game with goals just 13-seconds apart before McNabb, using his power play quarterbacking skills, got some space to open a lane for Matt Fraser to skate in and give the ICE a 3-2 lead.

Kootenay would maintain control in the third period. After being on the ice for a power play goal that gave the ICE a 4-2 lead, McNabb made two excellent defensive plays, one in his own end and a second in the neutral zone, to create a sequence of pressure that eventually lead to a big blast by Cody Eakin.

McNabb of course drew the ire of Attack fans for being suspended just one game after his elbow to the head of Joey Hishon earlier in the tournament. With the hit proving to be the end of Hishon's OHL career, critics didn't see it fair that McNabb was able to play in the game. Adding insult to the Attack's injury was the absence of star forward Garrett Wilson, who was lost to a concussion suffered in Wednesday's loss to Mississauga.

The elimination win advances Kootenay to Friday's Memorial Cup semifinal against Gregg Sutch and the Majors.
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