Canucks.com is in beautiful Penticton tracking every move of all our top prospects that are competing in the 2013 Young Stars Classic. We will be running a live blog throughout each day bringing you updates and news as it happens.
11:55 a.m. – Welcome back to Penticton on this lovely Friday morning here at the 2013 Young Stars Classic. The Canucks just got off the ice after a morning skate in preparation for tonight’s clash with the Calgary Flames.
Bo Horvat and Hunter Shinkaruk will play again tonight and play together, this time on a line with Zach Hall. Nicklas Jensen is also expected to see game action on consecutive nights, as well as starting goaltender Joacim Eriksson. Frank Corrado slides in on defense, while Evan McEneny, Miles Liberati and Alex Friesen are also expected to play. Of note, Brendan Gaunce will be among the scratches this evening.
3:40 p.m. –Cole Cassels received high praise from head coach Travis Green after his performance in Thursday’s 3-2 win over the Sharks.
We caught up with Cassels this afternoon to get his thoughts on the way he played and what it means to receive praise from Green.
“The first period was kind of hard,” he said. “I didn’t know what to expect and it was kind of nerve racking but as the game went on I got into a zone and I thought I played the way I usually play.
“It’s nice hearing that (praise from Green) but that doesn’t mean you can stop working hard and be satisfied in yourself. You got to keep working harder to keep impressing him, but it’s definitely nice to hear that kind of compliment.”
4:51 –It goes without saying that emotions will be running high for Canucks prospect Hunter Shinkaruk as he takes on the Calgary Flames later tonight.
“Not even the fact they passed on me at the draft,” he said. “It’s my hometown team and I grew up watching them; it’s going to be pretty cool to go out and play them.
“It was tough on the day of the draft but at the end of the day I couldn’t be happier with where I am in Vancouver.”
Lines for tonight’s game against the Flames:
Shinkaruk – Horvat – Hall
Franson – Cassels – Jensen
De Champlain – Maillet – Mallet
Elliot – Friesen – Blomstrand
McEneny – Corrado
Guimond – Subban
Liberati – Tommernes
6:59 p.m. -- As the teams take to the ice for warm-up, let’s take a look at three questions going into tonight’s game:
--Will Bo Horvat and Hunter Shinkaruk’s chemistry carry over into tonight? The two were dominant last night against the Sharks with David Pacan on the right side. Tonight, the dynamic duo will have Zach Hall on the wing and will face a big Calgary defense that includes four guys over 6-foot-2, including 6-foot7, 240-pound monster Keegan Kanzig.
--How will Joacim Eriksson look in the second half of a back-to-back? The 23-year-old Swede gave up two goals he would like to have back against the Sharks, but was solid for the majority of the game, making 38 saves including some big stops on the penalty-kill.
--How will Cole Cassels and Nicklas Jensen click? Cassels is a heads-up playmaker and Nicklas Jensen is a pure goal-scorer. On paper, this looks like a match made in heaven and when you add Cain Franson, who expects to have 10-20 family members in the stands for his first game wearing NHL colors, to the mix, this line has the potential to be dangerous.
8:12 p.m. -- Scoreless after 20 minutes here in Penticton between the Canucks and Flames. The Canucks prospects did everything but score that period as Flames net-minder Joni Ortio absolutely stood on his head making 18 saves, yes, 18 saves in the period, including five in a span of about 10 seconds on a Canucks power-play. Henrik Tommernes had the best chance of the period with a wrist shot from the point that hit the crossbar at the midway point of the period.
9:16 p.m. -- 2-1 Flames after two periods. Calgary outshot the Canucks 17-10 in the frame and if wasn't for strong goaltending from Joacim Eriksson they could be up by more. Frank Corrado scored the lone goal for the Canucks on a one-timer from the point. Hunter Shinkaruk and Cole Cassels with the helpers on the power-play marker. Alexandre Mallet and Flames bruiser Michael Ferland exchanged a few bombs in a spirited scrap six minutes into the period.