The Canucks looked to finish the last month of 2019 on a high note, as they entered the final stretch of the year sitting in the top half of the Manitoba Major Junior Hockey League standings.
That started with a tough game in St. Vital against the second place Victorias on Thursday, Dec. 5.
Despite out-shooting the Vics and carrying play in the back half of the game, the Canucks would fall 4-1.
Cam Brakel scored the only Canucks goal, with assists from Brady Whitely and Jarrett Neudorf.
Next up was a match-up with the River East Royal Knights on Sunday, December 8 at the St. James Civic Centre.
The Canucks put on a show in their home barn, blanking the Royal Knights 6-0 and recording a whopping 64 shots on net.
Kurtis Luke and Cam Brakel each scored a pair of goals, with Cam Danylchuk and Zach Greenwood getting in the goal column as well. Luke also had a pair of assists in the game and Brakel added an assist as well. Rounding out the offence was Jarrett Neudorf, Price Kale, Adam Thurlbeck, Brandon Hughes, Brady Whitely and Ethan Unruh who all had helpers.
Nathan Cvar stopped all 29 shots that came his way to pick up his 6th win of the season.
After that the Canucks headed to Seven Oaks SportsPlex to take on the Raiders Junior Hockey Club on Friday, Dec. 13. It was a game that didn’t go the Canucks way, as they fell 7-3.
Kieran Ursel had a goal and an assist in his return to the lineup and has seven points in six games this season. Defencemen Ethan Unruh (1G 1A) and Brady Whitely (2A) also had multi-point games. Chris Sass scored the other Canucks goal.
The Canucks looked to rebound on Sunday, Dec. 15, when they hosted the Transonca Railer Express in an afternoon matchup.
It was a tightly contested match-up that the Canucks would go on to win 3-2 in overtime.
Ethan Unruh and Craig Wiess scored in regulation, and Brady Whitely got his second overtime winner of the season in the victory. Kurtis Luke had an assist, with Brady Whitely and Kieran Ursel and Zach Greenwood recording additional assists.
The Canucks followed that game up with a 5-4 loss to the Charleswood Hawks on Friday, Dec. 20, despite out-shooting the Hawks 50-29.
Chris Sass had a pair of goals in the game, with Graeme Shingleton and Kale Price getting goals as well. Craig Wiess (3) and Eric Wankling (2) both had multi-assist games, with Price and Zach Greenwood adding assists as well.
The Canucks wrapped up the 2019 portion of the MMJHL schedule at home against the Stonewall Jets.
It was a close game the Canucks would ultimately go on to win 3-2 in a shootout.
Trent Halfdanson and Kurtis Luke scored in regulation for the Canucks and Graeme Shingleton scored the shootout winner.
Cole Chicoine, Kieran Ursel, Adam Thurlbeck and Craig Wiess had assists. Noah Gilbert picked up the win in net, stopping 33 of 35 shots.
The Canucks wrapped up 2019 in third place in the MMJHL standings with a record of 15-10-0.
Chalk Talk Three Stars:
3 – Nathan Cvar – The veteran net-minder put up a 3-2-0 record during this stretch with a .922 save percentage.
2 – Kurtis Luke – Luke had three goals and four assists during this six game stretch and leads the Canucks in scoring this season.
1 – Brady Whitely – The rookie defenceman had a great month of December, putting up a goal and seven assists in seven games. Six of those eight points came during this recent stretch.
The Canucks open 2020 with a three game home-stand, hosting the St. Boniface Riels, Pembina Valley Twisters and St. Vital Victorias.