If you’re eager for the return of our regular I Watched This Game feature, you’ll have to wait a little longer. Since the game itself isn’t really the point of the Young Stars tournament, we’re instead looking at the games with a three stars format looking at individual performances and who stood out the most. We’ll be looking at the three best players from among the Canucks prospects as well as making a few other observations.
3rd Star: Henrik Tommernes
Tommernes had a pretty bare statline in this game, with only 1 shot and 2 penalty minutes showing up in the boxscore, but he played a quietly effective game alongside Frank Corrado on the Canucks top defence pair. Tommernes is cool, calm, and collected and never seems to panic in stressful situations.
There isn’t anything truly spectacular to Tommernes, but he made nice outlet passes all game and his one shot forced a very nice save from Joni Ortio, which was the theme of the game. He showed good vision in the offensive zone as well, most notably setting up Cole Cassels for a tip from the high slot, though he could stand to get a quicker release on his slapshot.
In a 4-1 loss, Tommernes was solid defensively, making few to no errors, and wasn’t on the ice for a single goal against.
2nd Star: Nicklas Jensen
In the third period, Jensen wanted to score badly. He wanted the puck on his stick whenever he was on the ice and wanted to be a difference maker. That kind of confidence and desire can only be a good thing, though he was perhaps a little too eager to shoot the puck late in the third. That desire was most keenly demonstrated when he backchecked hard while on the powerplay, picking a Flames’ players pocket and immediately turning the puck up ice himself.
Jensen had 5 shots on goal and should have had a goal in the first period, but he was robbed by Ortio on a rebound from a Jordan Subban slapshot. Jensen also demonstrated his vision, making a stellar pass to Tommernes late in the first for the Swedish defenceman’s one shot of the game. He was confident with the puck, eager to be creative in the offensive zone, and responsible in the defensive zone.
1st Star: Frank Corrado
Corrado demonstrated why he’s one of the Canucks’ top prospects as well as the difference a little NHL experience can make. The 20-year-old was easily the best Canuck on the ice, looking solid at both ends of the ice. He tied with Jensen for the team-high in shots with 5 and scored the only Canucks goal with a booming slapshot past a Bo Horvat screen on the powerplay.
Corrado’s confidence with the puck was readily apparent and it was encouraging to see him stand out among the other prospects, particularly since many have him pencilled into the Canucks’ starting lineup. He also showed his physical side, making a big hit while pinching in the first period and battling hard in front of the net and along the boards all game.
Invitee of the Game
Sacha Guimond had some nice moments, but he also had some head-scratching moments as well, so he falls short of being the invitee of the game. Instead, that goes to Cain Franson, who seemed to be around the puck all game. His best moment came in the second period, when he levelled a Flame with a nice open ice hit while forechecking, freeing up the puck for a scoring chance for Cassels in the slot.
Franson also drew two penalties, as he always kept his feet moving while battling for the puck. He only had one shot on goal, but he had a couple other scoring chances to go with it. He was definitely noticeable all game.
Of course, he wasn’t always noticeable for the right reasons. He made one egregious error, as he got caught puckwatching and standing still at the blueline on the Flames’ second goal, as his man had all sorts of time and space to score. Still, his overall game was quite good and definitely better than the other invitees in this game.
Miles Liberati wasn’t awful by any means, but he looked incredibly shaky during this game, particularly in the first period. He seemed to settle down as the game went on, but several things need improvement for Liberati for his next game. In particular, his decision-making was slow and his skating was suspect, as he fell several times.
His worst moment came in the second as he lost his stick in the defensive zone, then laid down on the ice in an attempt to block a pass with his glove. That decision took him completely out of the play and led to a dangerous scoring chance.
Still, you can see that there is some ability and potential there, as he had some moments in the latter half of the game where he looked much better. More of those moments, please, fewer Bieksa-slides.
Also, Jordan Subban was a bit of a mess in his own end in this game and was on the ice for three goals against, including two powerplay markers. He isn’t really a penalty killer.Tags: Frank Corrado, Henrik Tommernes, Nicklas Jensen, young stars, Young Stars Three Stars