Hunter Shinkaruk pulls off the hat trick in Utica Comets home opener

Thomas Drance
October 21 2015 07:57PM

Photo Credit: Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports

The Vancouver Canucks' American Hockey League affiliate, the Utica Comets, scored just one measly goal in their opening two games of the 2015-16 season. On Wednesday night the Comets, the AHL's reigning Western Conference champions, returned to the friendly confines of the Aud for their home opener and absolutely put the boot into the Rochester Amerks. 

Though the score remained close until late in the game, the Comets outshot their opponent 47 to 14. Newly named Comets captain Alex Biega led the way with seven shots on goal, but Hunter Shinkaruk managed five, and three of those shots found the back of the net. Last year Shinkaruk was snake bit in the extreme to begin his rookie season of professional hockey, but with three goals on six shots this year, it's fair to say he's off to a hot start.

Click past the jump to see Shinkaruk's goals.

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Report: Blue Jackets hire John Tortorella; will send Canucks 2nd-round draft pick as compensation

Thomas Drance
October 21 2015 07:52AM

Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports

The 0-7-0 Columbus Blue Jackets have hit the panic button. They've gone full Torts. And you never want to go full Torts. 

In a shocking move on Wednesday morning, the Blue Jackets have reportedly fired head coach Todd Richards and will replace him with controversial former Vancouver Canucks coach John Tortorella. Tortorella's one year Vancouver tenure was an unmitigated disaster. The brash, outspoken bench boss tried to fight Bob Hartley, alienated the room, and singlehandedly and ingloriously put an end to both the Mike Gillis and the Roberto Luongo eras of Vancouver Canucks hockey.

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Report: 'Good chance' Canucks Young Stars tournament will rotate between Penticton and Red Deer

Thomas Drance
October 08 2015 10:08AM


For five years now the Vancouver Canucks have hosted an annual Young Stars tournament in Penticton, British Columbia in the sunny heart of wine country. 

It was a small event to begin with, but the Young Stars tournament has begun to morph into something a bit more interesting. Initially the prospects wore practice jerseys, and the games were only occasionally broadcast. Now the prospects wear full jerseys and every team live streams every game with huge viewership numbers. 

I was there for the first time this year, and enjoyed myself enormously. 30 degree weather, excellent wine, the general managers and head coaches (except Willie, of course) from all four teams attended, a bevy of top-10 picks. Good hockey, good food, good weather, good access - there was a lot to like.

Unfortunately, at least from the perspective of this hockey writer, it seems that the Young Stars tournament in Penticton may become an 'every other year' event. Or at at least the Penticton part of it will, according to a report from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province.

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Canucks' Markstrom sustains lower-body injury; 3rd-stringer Bachman to backup Miller in opener

Thomas Drance
October 07 2015 11:26AM

Photo Credit: Bob Frid/USA TODAY Sports

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Jacob Markstrom was stellar for the Utica Comets in the Calder Cup playoffs, and brought some of that momentum into training camp and the preseason, where he looked in-control and nigh unbeatable in extended stretches. 

That momentum appears to have come to a crashing halt as a result of a lower-body injury, reportedly sustained at practice. There's no timeline at the moment, but the injury will prevent Markstrom from backing up Canucks starter Ryan Miller in Wednesday night's opener.

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@CanucksMOTB: How you can join CanucksArmy in supporting

Thomas Drance
October 06 2015 01:47PM

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 2.32.28 PM

We at Canucks Army love hockey, and we love our community - both our on-line community, and our local community in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia. 

In addition to our love of the sport, and of watching it played at the highest level by Vancouver-based professional athletes, we're passionate about mental health issues. We come by this passion honestly, based both on our experience as hockey fans, as Canucks fans, and our experience in life.

Tomorrow when the Vancouver Canucks open the 2015-16 regular season against the hated Calgary Flames, we're going to be hosting a social media based pledge drive called "Canucks Money on the Board" aimed at upping our enjoyment of the season opener, and at raising money and awareness for - a Canucks sponsored charitable endeavour that focuses on educating and helping adolescents cope with mental health issues. 

We want you to join in on the fun and help us raise money for a very important cause. Here's how you can participate.

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