McNabb plays big as ICE advance

Written By Kris Baker on Thursday, May 26, 2011 | 5/26/2011

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.

4 comments:

boos said...

hey, kris...

no hishon...no wilson...no energy from the attack after the first period...put it all together and you get six unanswered goals against...

gotta admit, after watching the two ice games vs. the attack, mcnabb's got some work to do...

he seems to have strong fundamentals, though, looks like he has loads of hockey sense and seems to have the work-ethic to overcome his deficiencies...

anyone jumping out at you during the memorial cup?

owen sound's andrew shaw went undrafted last year...possible late round pick-up at center?...he's a pretty tough, gritty player with a little bit of offense to his game...heard one announcer liken him to mike richards...

also, the attack's robby mignardi is eligible again this year...i think i read middle-rounder...he's got some skill and scoring touch and although he's not a center, the organization could still use a lot of help up-front...

thoughts?

Kris Baker said...

I don't want to give away too much (sandbag for draft preview!) but the vibe I get is that guys that were passed over could be prime this year. Shaw is one of them and they know him well from seeing him in Niagara before the trade to OS. I've written about him in the past (light mentions of his fearless, scrappy play). I've always liked his game. Same with Matt Petgrave, a dman I mentioned in last year's draft preview that was involved with Shaw in the Shipley trade. Both of these guys will be drafted. Shaw was always seen as smallish despite his style but really stepped up this season. Petgrave is a pretty steady horse for a team to look at in the later rounds.

Mignardi isn't draft eligible actually but I bet he's signed as a UFA in the coming days. He was eligible in 2008, 2009, and then again last summer. Same pool of players that Szydlowski was plucked from. Decent scorer. I can see the Sabres having "mild interest" but (as you say) need to find centers.

Kris Baker said...

and yes, as mentioned in today's post McNabb's feet primarily are the main thing preventing him from making a seamless transition to the NHL. People look at his numbers and don't understand...

Legit top-4 setup. He'll get there but not right away. That's just unreasonable.

boos said...

cool, kris

really looking forward to the draft preview...

sure would be nice if they could move up...say...into the top-six or seven..

a good center prospect just might be available there...

nice work, as always

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