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Young Stars preview: Canucks vs. Jets

by Tyson Giuriato / Vancouver Canucks
Another game, another opportunity to shine.

The Vancouver Canucks look to regroup and hit the win column at the 2015 Young Stars Classic on Sunday afternoon as they take on the Winnipeg Jets.

You can watch the game live on starting at 2:00 p.m.

The Canucks are coming off a lopsided 8-2 defeat against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday night, a game in which head coach Travis Green felt there were some positives to build on.

“After sleeping on it for a night and thinking about the game, there are still some things I really liked about it,” said Green. “Last year after our first game, I wouldn’t have said the same thing. Friday night didn’t feel like an 8-2 hockey game.”

As expected, Green will make some changes to his lineup, including the top line, which will now feature Jared McCann between Jake Virtanen and Brendan Gaunce after all three players impressed on Friday.

Jackson Whistle will get the start in goal. It will be his first full-game action since May 31 when he made 24 saves for the Kelowna Rockets in an overtime loss to Cole Cassels and the Oshawa Generals in the Memorial Cup Championship Game. Whistle played half a game for the Rockets in pre-season action on September 5, stopping 18-of-19 shots.

“Being here for my second year helps a lot,” said Whistle. “I have done all this before and know what to expect heading in. I know to just go out there and play, not be nervous and just have fun with it.

“My game feels pretty good right now. Obviously I didn’t have too long of an off-season, but that’s what you want.”

Whistle, a product of West Kelowna, BC, will have about 10 friends and family in attendance.

“I remember growing up and watching this tournament the last few years before I got the chance to play in it,” he said. “I have some friends and family coming out, so it’s nice to be here and not too far away from home.”

As for the opposition, the Canucks will have to deal with some crafty Jets players, including Whistle’s teammate from Kelowna, Josh Morrissey, Portland Winterhawks star Nic Petan and 2014 ninth overall pick Nikolaj Ehlers. Goaltender Connor Hellebuyck is expected to go the distance in net.

The Jets are coming off a 3-1 loss to the Calgary Flames on Friday night. Brendan Lemieux, son of four-time Stanley Cup champion Claude Lemieux, scored the lone Winnipeg goal on the night.

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