McGinn shows 67's Howe to do it

DON BRENNAN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:42 AM ET

KINGSTON -- So if scoring a goal and an assist and having a fight all in the same game is a "Gordie Howe," what's getting two goals -- including the winner -- an assist and scrapping with a 6-foot-7, 236-lb. defenceman called?

"Leadership," 67's coach Brian Kilrea said without hesitation after his team completed a perfect, season-opening weekend on the road with a 5-3 victory over the Frontenacs. "That's what that was. A 'Leadership Gordie Howe.' "

A huge statement by the architect, new captain Jamie McGinn, too.

The future San Jose Shark dropped the gloves just once last season and a total of 10 times in his three-year OHL career prior to being presented the 'C' by Kilrea last week. Obviously, McGinn took the responsibilities that come with the letter to heart.

Having missed 17 minutes of Thursday's season opener while serving instigating, fighting and misconduct penalties in response to a cheap shot on first-round pick Michael Latta, he doubled his league-leading penalty minute total with a similar act of bravado yesterday.

With Ottawa up by one and eight minutes plus change remaining in the third period, Logan Couture hurled his body at Frontenacs defenceman Ben Shutron behind the home team's net. Taking exception was Kingston's gigantic Justin Wallingford, who cross-checked Couture into the boards. As his centre fell to the ice in pain, McGinn threw caution to the wind and a flurry of punches at Wallingford.

As if giving up seven inches, 36 lbs. and more than a little bit of arm length wasn't enough, McGinn would soon be at yet another disadvantage when he had his jersey yanked over his head. But that didn't stop him from chucking the knuckles, either. The fight ended with Wallingford going down and McGinn landing on top of him.

Couture played only one more shift than McGinn, pained by having his back driven into the boards. Barring a flare-up of any sort, he'll be okay to play in Friday's home opener against the Niagara Falls Ice Dogs.

"I'm just protecting my teammates," said McGinn, who last season led the team with 46 goals. "I don't like to fight, but I'm wearing the 'C' this year and I've got to lead by example. We're a huge family here, and if one guy goes down, we have to pick him up."


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