Experienced at sailing is quite relative. Some pretty famous and much travelled sailors have never been in storms, or even in over 40 knots, partly as a function of where and when they've sailed, but mainly because they've deliberately tried to avoid such situations by using practiced observations, forecasts, charts, local knowledge and so on. My impression of the Canso/Strait area is that it's pretty tight and can build up very quickly if the wind is coming from the west or north east at certain speeds. May I ask if you were harnessed to the boat and did you downflood through hatches, or were you "battened down"?
A concern for me in situations where I've been well over (by which I mean 60 degrees or so, not knocked down) is the soundness of my motor mounts and whether I would pollute my fuel through a submerged vent. It's made me think I should put stopcocks at the fuel vents...but I'd have to remember to open them!