He just needs a chance.
Shinkaruk got an opportunity to shine in Vancouver’s first pre-season action and the 18-year-old made the most of it.
A minute and 15 seconds into the third period with the Canucks trailing the San Jose Sharks 2-1, Shinkaruk flew down the left wing and let a shot rip from below the face-off circle. The sharp angle laser went top shelf on Sharks netminder Alex Stalock before Shinkaruk leapt into the glass in celebration.
The Sharks eventually took a 3-2 lead and held on for the win, outshooting the Canucks 42-16 along the way, but it won’t be the final score Shinkaruk will remember.
“I saw a little bit of corner up there, it’s not all the time that goes in, I try it every now and then and I’m lucky it just worked out,” smiled Shinkaruk, discussing his goal post-game.
“It was a game I’ll never forget and it was a lot of fun.”
Adding to the moment was the jumbotron shot of Hunter’s parents, Roger and Patricia, both grinning ear-to-ear, teary eyed.
“I glanced up there and I saw my parents, that was pretty cool,” said Shinkaruk, with pride. “They’re the biggest reason why I’m here, so it was definitely cool they got to experience that.”
Brendan Gaunce scored the other Canucks goal potting a rebound off a Dale Weise shot in the first period, while Eddie Lack played the first 40 minutes stopped 25 of 27 shots.
For Lack, this was his first action since suffering a season-ending injury last November. Suffice to say he was happy to be back in the heat of things.
“I’ve been working so hard for this and I felt ready,” said Lack. “You never as a goalie what kind of game it’s going to be, I thought I played a pretty good game, my stick handling was shaky sometimes and I want a couple of rebounds back, but other than that I felt pretty good.”
Ryan Kesler also played a great game putting in 26:26 of ice time; he had a team-high four shots, but deflected all the attention to Vancouver’s youth movement post-game.
“All the kids, Hunter, Gaunce, Bo, they all played well tonight,” said Kesler, adding he was glad Shinkaruk was able to light the lamp the way he did.
“That was amazing, that was a great goal by him. You could see after he scored how excited he was and I’m very happy for him.”