Canucks Young Stars Game Recap: Shinkaruk Shines!

Dec 19 2017, 12:04 pm

The second game of the Canucks Young Stars tournament is in the the books and it ended just like the last game, with 5-4 OT loss, this time to the Winnipeg Jets .

Our own Ryan Biech is in Penticton, keeping a close eye on the Canucks prospects at the Young Stars Tournament.

The Canucks prospects were much better in the early part of this game and got out of the first period tied at 1. Hunter Shinkaruk scored the opening goal, while Scott Kosmachuk replied for the Jets. The Canucks then came out for the second period and looked as they did during the first period on Friday. This inevitably led to the Jets taking a 4-1 lead into the 3rd period.

With the Canucks entering the third period down 4-1, most would have expected that the Jets would cruise to an easy victory in regulation. But the Canucks clawed back to force overtime with goals from Brendan Gaunce, Curtis Valk and Hunter Shinkaruk. The extra frame was back and forth with very few whistles, with Nic Petan winning the game for the Jets on a backhand shot.

Quick Hits

  • Shinkaruk stood out throughout the entire game and finished the game with 2 goals. He was relentless on the puck and had a nose for the net. Both of his goals were scored within 5 feet of the net, which is a great sign. The rust, from only playing 17 games last year, is apparent but he is trending in the right direction.
  • When Dane Fox got a game misconduct for a ‘staged’ fight with JC Lipon, a player needed to be moved into the top 6. I would have expected it to be Brendan Gaunce, however he only lasted one shift there before moving back to the 3rd line centre role. The spot vacated by Fox was filled in by a variety of invitees. Gaunce was probably left in the 3rd line centre spot due to the lack of centres, but it seems like Utica coach Travis Green isn’t enamoured with Gaunce’s game.
  • Goaltender Jake Whistle did not have as good of a game in net as Austin Lotz did on Friday night. If their play is the barometer for Monday’s start, I would expect Lotz to be back in net.
  • During Saturday’s game between the Oilers and Flames, I noticed Jake Virtanen sitting in the row beside me. Based solely on his popcorn eating, it looks like Virtanen’s shoulder is doing great. He was reaching all the way down the bag for those last few pieces. Only time will tell if these snacking skills will be able to translate onto the ice.
  • One thing that has stuck out to me throughout these games in Penticton is the lineups for concessions. During the non-Canucks games, it has been reasonable. During Canucks games, it takes about 30 minutes to get food or a beer.

As I suggested on Friday night, the Canucks would need a better performance to compete with the Jets. That effort was there for 40 minutes but the middle frame proved costly. The Canucks play again on Monday at 5:30 pm versus the Calgary Flames who, on paper, have the most skilled team here.

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