Mike Zalewski scored the winner just 34 seconds into the 3rd period, while stingy defensive play and a full 60-minute effort guided the Vancouver Canucks to a convincing 4-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets in Young Stars action on Sunday afternoon.
“We were good today,” said head coach, Travis Green. “Our guys played a real good 60-minute hockey game.”
After giving up eight goals and 35 shots to the Edmonton Oilers on Friday night, the Canucks rebounded with a solid effort all-around, especially on the backend where they limited the Jets’ chances while outshooting them by a wide margin of 41-18.
“Our defence did a great job tonight,” said Green. “We talked to them a lot over the last few days about getting back hard, working together and having good low centre support. Give the defencemen credit; they did a real good job tonight.”
Jared McCann opened the scoring with a hard wrist shot that beat Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck over the shoulder. After the goal, things got a little comical as McCann decided to celebrate with the referee, giving him a hug and pat on the head.
Reid Gardiner added an insurance marker just over two minutes after Zalewski pulled the club out in front, while Shinkaruk rounded out the scoring with an empty-netter in the final two minutes.
Free agent invite Jackson Whistle stopped 17-of-18 shots for the Canucks between the barber poles.
Tempers flared a bit in the later stages of the first period when Jordan Subban took first-rounder Nikolaj Ehlers hard into the boards, prompting Jets forward Brendan Lemieux to toss the gloves aside and start throwing punches at the Canucks defenceman.
The Canucks close out the 2015 Young Stars Classic against the Calgary Flames on Monday afternoon. Watch the game live on Canucks.com starting at 3:30 p.m.