2014 Young Stars Tournament: Canucks Game Two Recap

Canucks Prospects Lose 5-4 To The Winnipeg Jets

The Vancouver Canucks played the second game of the Young Stars Tournament tonight in a losing effort against the Winnipeg Jets by a score of 5-4. This game displayed a better effort from Vancouver as the team seems to be getting more comfortable. The game was largely dominated by a noticeably bigger and faster Winnipeg team but displayed moments of tantalizing skill including a last minute buzzer beater goal by Hunter Shinkaruk to force a sudden death overtime.

Vancouver’s Defense Was An Adventure

Vancouver’s defensive prospects had difficulty adjusting to the quality of play with several miscues. Despite having a few gaffs, Jordan Subban once again was the main standout on the Canucks blueline. Subban played a quality game in the offensive zone notching an assist on the power play. Frank Corrado also showed flashes of potential tonight and notched an assist on the last minute tying goal.

Jordan Subban
Jordan Subban once again the most noticeable defenseman for the Canucks. [photo: David Chan]

Flashes Of Skill And Clutch Play Upfront

Hunter Shinkaruk
Hunter Shinkaruk (Shoot the Breeze Photography)

The Canucks drafted a very a special player at the 2013 draft when they selected Hunter Shinkaruk 24th overall. The scoring winger continues to get better period by period through the tournament and made his presence felt with two goals tonight. Shinkaruk displayed a surprising tenaciousness to fight for space in dirty scoring areas and an excellent shot. It is difficult to remember the last Canucks’ prospect who oozes the offensive potential of Shinkaruk. But the question will be can Shinkaruk hold up to professional hockey as he was caught with a big hit tonight that rang his bell.

Canucks’ free agent invite Curtis Valk once against stood out with a clutch goal in the third period and impressive two-way work down the middle. Valk has arguably been the most stand out Canucks forward (along with Shinkaruk) in the tournament having scored 3 goals in 2 games. There is a lot of buzz that Valk will likely be offered a pro contract at some point later in training camp.

B0 Horvat had an unremarkable game as he didn’t appear on the score sheet and was largely invisible. The Canucks’ faithful seems to be getting frustrated with the 19-year old as he’s displayed very little flash in this tournament and has a played a quiet strong positional game. While Horvat’s performance in this tournament has been underwhelming so far, his real test will come in the Canucks main training camp which opens after the tournament.

Is Gaunce ready for the NHL?
Brendan Gaunce played a good game tonight.

Brendan Gaunce played a much better game tonight over his previous effort. Gaunce notched a power play goal and showed a noticeable improvement in his physical game throwing a couple of big hits. There was also noticeable chemistry between Gaunce and Michael Zalewski as both players had effective games on the boards tonight. Gaunce was on the ice for three of the Canucks’ goals and was one of the most consistent Canucks’ forwards.

Dane Fox had another notable outing engaging in a fight early in the second period. Fox is definitely one of the feistiest Canucks’ prospects in recent memory and was agitating the Jets’ players throughout the game. The frustration from the Jets towards Fox led to one of the most spirited scraps seen yet in the tournament as Jets’ prospect J.C. Lipon had a long but fairly even bout with Fox. Both players were ejected from the game for starting the fight before the puck dropped.

Whistle Shelled Tonight

Western Hockey League goaltender Jackson Whistle was in net for the Canucks tonight. The 19-year old free agent invite from the Vancouver Giants had a pedestrian evening as he allowed 5 goals on 29 shots. Whistle displayed some impressive athleticism and showed skill in the crease. However Whistle was beaten on a couple of ugly goals and failed to outplay the other Canucks’ invite goaltender Austin Lotz.

The next Canucks’ game is Monday, Sept. 15th at 5:30 PM against the Calgary Flames. The game will be streamed on Canucks.com and played on Canucks’ radio affilates.