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Vid’: Chippy, Physical Opener as Canucks ‘Young Stars’ Win 3-0

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It was much like one would expect from the opening game for two teams in a ‘Young Stars Classic‘. The Canucks-Flames tilt featured hungry prospects and organizational players looking to make an impression while figuring out how to play with mostly new teammates.

Or as one nearby scout said aloud: “They’re playing hard; their hands aren’t there.” Thus the scoreless tie almost six minutes into the 3rd period.

It was physical, it was chippy at times, and it was sloppy. Most of the even strength scoring chances came off turnovers or stretch passes, while both netminders answered the bell against a series of power play opportunities, particularly in the 2nd period.

Latvian goalie Arturs Silovs of the Canucks played very well, while the Flames Dustin Wolf played even better. He came up big against some golden opportunities for the Canucks shorthanded in the middle frame. They were likely Vancouver’s best chances of the period. That said, Silovs ended up with a shut-out.

22-year-old Swedish forward Linus Karlsson looked solid for the Canucks, as did winger and Surrey native Arshdeep Bains, who created a glorious scoring opportunity late in the second period. His centre on the top line Chase Wouters created plenty of chances and got stronger as the game went along.

Right on cue at 5:58 of the third period, Bains crashed the net and cashed in on a rebound on a right circle slapper by Wouters after a headman by Karlsson.

Tristen Nielsen, impressive in recent informal scrimmages with the big boys in Burnaby, had the hit of the night, crushing a Flames forward just inside the Canucks blueline midway through the 2nd period.

Whatayaknow, Nielsen would wrap things up with a strong move to the net and a backhander at 17:54 of the 3rd period on an assist to Danila Klimovich.

Karlsson would add an empty netter.

The Canucks outshot the Flames 36-24 and hit the post twice.

The Edmonton Oilers beat the Winnipeg Jets 3-2 in the early game on Friday.

VHN Managing Editor Rob Simpson has been covering the NHL for three decades on live TV, radio, and as a journalist. He worked his first ever game getting postgame sound as a teenager; it was Vancouver vs. Detroit.

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