Game 5: Birds notch first road win as Kyle Verdino scores game winner against Giants
(2-3) Seattle Thunderbirds 3, (4-4-0-1) Vancouver Giants 2
VANCOUVER–In their first trip north of the border this season the Thunderbirds play a strong 60 minutes and defeat the Giants 3-2 behind Kyle Verdino’s game winning goal late in the third period. The Birds out shot the Giants 37-20 and never allowed Vancouver to reach double digits in shots in any period.
Back to back early penalties (Marcel Noebels/Hooking, Verdino/Holding) leads to a Vancouver power play goal (James Henry..third goal of season) and an early 1-0 lead at 3:56 of the first period.
Two Vancouver penalties in the latter part of the period (Tyler Hart/Holding, Wes Vannieuwenhuizen/Holding). Braeden Laroque scores his first goal of the season (pp) to tie the game 1-1 at 18:02. Assists went to Connor Sanvido and Shea Theodore.
The Birds out shot the Giants 14-7 in the period.
Good pressure early in the second period by the Birds helps to draw a penalty (Teal Burns/Hooking) and Chance Lund (3…pp) gives the Birds a 2-1 lead at 4:13. Theodore got the assist.
Cain Franson (2) got the Giants even at 2-2 at 12:04 when he snuck one past Calvin Pickard (2-3).
The Birds once again out shoot the Giants by seven shots, 13-6. Despite out shooting Vancouver 27-13 through 40 minutes the game was tied 2-2 in part due to Giants’ goalie Adam Morrison (3-2-0-1).
Vancouver comes out strong in the third period and they register the first six shots on net before the Birds finally manage a shot as the game remains tied 2-2.
Some back and forth play ends up with Verdino scoring the go ahead goal to put the Birds up 3-2 at 16:53. It was his first goal of the season. Justin Hickman got the lone assist.
With Vancouver close to pulling their goalie for the extra skater they were called for a penalty (Burns/Hooking).
The Birds hold on to win 3-2 to pick up their first road win of the season.
Just like their last game against Victoria, a goal late in the third period would give the Birds the victory.
They also out shot the Giants in every period (14-7, 13-6, 10-6). After the Giants got the first six shots of the third period the Birds picked up the last 10. In fact except for the early part of the third period the Birds controlled the play and kept constant pressure on the Giants.
Seattle is getting contribution from some “supporting players” such as Verdino and Laroque tonight, while Lund now leads the team with three goals.
On the plus side:
-Seattle gets two power play goals and now has four in their last two games after not getting any in their first three games.
-Lund continues to play well and has three goals to show for it.
-The Birds out shoot the Giants 37-20 and really limit their scoring chances.
On the minus side:
– Not too much to report here except that if the Birds can get better at finishing their chances they might have some more breathing room come the latter part of the game.
– D Kyle Verdino returned to the lineup after being out with a concussion.
– D Cason Machacek returned after serving a two game suspension.
– D Jared Hauf and D Austin Frank were healthy scratches.
MyNorthwest.com three stars:
First star: Kyle Verdino (game winning goal)
Second star: Shea Theodore (two assists)
Third star: Adam Morrison (34/37 saves)
The Thunderbirds take on the Saskatoon Blades Saturday night at 7 pm at the ShoWare Center. The game can be heard live at MyNorthwest.com.
Game summary can be seen at the WHL website.