It’s the first game day here at the 2013 Young Stars Classic in Penticton, BC as the Vancouver Canucks prospects take on the San Jose Sharks prospects at 7:30 p.m. We will be posting updates as they happen on this page throughout the day so be sure to check in regularly!
10:00 a.m. (PST) -- The Canucks prospects are in the dressing room getting ready to hit the ice for their morning skate in preparation for their clash with the San Jose Sharks prospects tonight.
For a lot of guys, tonight’s game will mark the first time they will be wearing the Canucks jersey.
“Putting on the uniform is going to be pretty exciting,” said Hunter Shinkaruk. “Obviously at the draft was the first time I got to put it on and that was exciting, now I can’t wait for the first game to put it on again. It’s going to seem surreal and it might take a little bit to settle in.
“It’s going to be a pretty cool experience and hopefully it’s the first of many times putting on that jersey.”
That’s all for now, we will check back in after the skate with any lineup news that’s available.
P.S. Anyone want to take a gander on what the name of Eddie Lack’s fantasy football team is?
12:15 p.m. (PST) -- Practice has concluded and the team is just finishing up a quick meeting going over the game plan for tonight’s tilt against the San Jose Sharks.
Head coach Travis Green says we will be seeing a younger line-up tonight as Bo Horvat and Hunter Shinkaruk will play and most likely play together on a line with David Pacan. In fact, all of four of the Canucks latest first-round picks will be in the lineup tonight, as Brendan Gaunce and Nicklas Jensen will also play.
Joacim Eriksson will get the start in goal tonight for the Canucks.
“I have heard a lot of good things about him,” said Green when asked about Eriksson. “He has looked sharp the first couple days here and hopefully that carries over.”
Green also says we will see the “Swedish Contingent” on defense tonight as Henrik Tommernes, Anton Cederholm and Peter Andersson are all expected to play.
A couple prospects will do battle against current or former teammates that are playing with the Sharks tonight. Shinkaruk goes up against his teammate for the past two years, Spenser Jensen, while Horvat will play against Chris Tierney, a good friend and teammate the past two seasons in London.
“It’s going to be a little different,” said Horvat. “I am looking forward to it, we are pretty good friends and have a lot of respect for each other so I think it’s going to be a pretty good battle.”
3:08 p.m. -- Ran into Canucks prospect Brendan Gaunce earlier today and talked some football. The 2012 first round pick will have some interest in tonight’s NFL regular-season opener between the Denver Broncos and the Baltimore Ravens.
While Gaunce will be on the ice tonight battling the San Jose Sharks, over 2000-kilometers away his favorite NFL team will be battling the Broncos on the gridiron.
“The Ravens are my favorite team and I know it sounds like I’m a bandwagon jumper,” laughed Gaunce, who will check the score when he gets back to his hotel later this evening. “I had a Ray Lewis jersey when I was in Grade 2 or 3.”
Gaunce offered up some thoughts on which team he thinks will be crowned the Super Bowl champion in February.
“The Ravens might be able to do it,” he said. “The Falcons will be real good this year with Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and company. I could see Denver; Peyton is coming up to the end of his career pretty quick and I think he wants another ring.”
What about the Seahawks!?!?
6:56 p.m. PST -- The Canucks have taken to the ice for pre-game warm up here in Penticton. For most of the players on the ice, this is the first time throwing on a Canucks jersey in a game situation and for Wes Myron, this has been a day he has waited for his entire life.
“It’s going to be pretty special,” said Myron, who hails from Victoria and has been a life-long Canucks fan.
“I have been thinking about it a lot lately coming into this camp and there will definitely be some goose bumps and a lot nerves but I think it will help me play.”
Living not too far away, Myron will have a few familiar faces in the crowd tonight.
“I’m going to have a lot of family coming in, somewhere between five to eight family members coming to Penticton to watch.”
8:05 p.m. PST -- 1-1 after 20 minutes between the Canucks and Sharks. The Canucks controlled the play for the majority of the first 10 minutes before the Sharks gained back the momentum after Vancouver took a couple penalties.
The trio of Bo Horvat, Hunter Shinkaruk and David Pacan was the best line on the ice for the Canucks, while Wes Myron and Nicklas Jensen also had strong periods. Goaltender Joacim Eriksson allowed a soft goal off a bad angle before turning it on the rest of the way making 10 saves in the period, including a couple big ones while shorthanded.
8:58 p.m. PST -- 2-1 Canucks after two periods. Not much happening out there that period until Nicklas Jensen snipped home the Canucks second goal with 36.7 second left in the frame.
Credit to Ludwig Blomstrand for taking the huge hit to create the play. Eriksson continues to be impressive between the pipes for the Canucks.
10:33 p.m. --Daniel Johnston’s wrist shot from the sidewall with 6:39 left in the third period proved to be the winner as the Vancouver Canucks edged the San Jose Sharks 3-2 in Penticton on Thursday night.
Bo Horvat and Nicklas Jensen also scored for the Canucks, who got tremendous goaltending from Joacim Eriksson, especially on the penalty kill.
What we learned
-- Joacim Eriksson can stop the puck. The Swedish net-minder allowed a soft goal in the first period, but rebounded with some huge saves, including four on a penalty kill towards the end of the first period.
--Henrik Tommernes can play the point on the man-advantage. The smooth skating defenseman was calm all night back there has a knack of getting his point shots on goal.
--Bo Horvat and Hunter Shinkaruk have chemistry together. They were drafted in the same round, in the same year, signed contracts with the Canucks on the same day and it looks like they may have a future playing on the same line. The duo, along with invitee David Pacan was the best line on the ice for the Canucks from start to finish, creating a ton of dazzling plays.
--Wes Myron played very well tonight, especially in the first and third periods. The former Victoria Grizzlies forward did everything but find the back of the net.
--Head coach Travis Green was very impressed with Cole Cassels’ game tonight. Green also singled out Horvat, Shinkaruk, Tommernes and Eriksson for having strong games.
That is all for today from Penticton. Thanks for following along and we are right back at it tomorrow with practice in the morning and then a game against the Calgary Flames at 7:30 p.m.