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WHL Roundup: Strong power play lifts the Giants over the Thunderbirds

Sunday, 02.24.2013 / 11:14 PM / News

The Canadian Press

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WHL Roundup: Strong power play lifts the Giants over the Thunderbirds

A strong power play and a big night from goaltender Payton Lee lifted the Vancouver Giants to a 4-1 win over the visiting Seattle Thunderbirds in Western Hockey League play Sunday.

Carter Popoff, Brendan Rouse and Brett Kulak scored on the power play for the Giants (16-45-2), who halted a four-game winless streak, and Cain Franson had a goal and an assist.

Rookie Alexander Delnov scored the lone goal for the Thunderbirds (21-33-8), who lost in regulation for the first time in six outings.

Shea Theodore picked up an assist on Delnov's goal, which extended his point streak to five games.

After giving up five goals on 17 shots and being pulled on Friday in a 6-0 loss to the Kamloops Blazers, Vancouver's Lee stopped 23-of-24 shots for his 10th win of the season. Brandon Glover made 30 saves in a losing cause for Seattle.

After going a woeful 2 for 20 on the power play during its recent four-game road trip, Vancouver scored three times on seven chances while Seattle went 1 for 6.

The Giants entered the game with the 20th-ranked power play in the league.

Elsewhere in the WHL, it was: Medicine Hat 5, Red Deer 4; Swift Current 6, Brandon 1; and Kootenay 2, Lethbridge 0.

At Vancouver, the Giants dominated the first period, outshooting the Thunderbirds 17-3, and Popoff gave his club a 1-0 lead to take into the first intermission after putting the puck in from the side of the net.

Rouse tipped in a point shot from Kulak at 12:09 of the second period for what turned out to be the eventual winner.

Seattle gradually fought its way back into the game and at 17:32 of the second, while on the 5-on-3, Delnov buried a close-range wrist shot past Lee after taking a pass from Theodore.

Kulak made it 3-1 with a one-timer from just inside the blue-line at 12:04 of the third period and Franson added an empty-net goal at 18:11.

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Ice Hurricanes

At Lethbridge, Alta., Jaedon Descheneau scored twice as Kootenay (31-29-2) beat the Hurricanes (25-28-9) to win its fourth straight game.

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Tigers 5, Rebels 4

At Medicine Hat, Alta., Curtis Valk scored a hat trick to lift Medicine Hat (33-28-3) past Red Deer (34-23-6).

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Wheat Kings Broncos

At Swift Current, Sask., Graham Black and Colby Cave each scored twice as the Broncos (29-27-7) cruised past lowly Brandon (21-37-5).

Quote of the Day

We think that Randy is a very good coach. Our players think that Randy is a very good coach. We think that he's going to get the most out of this group. With the addition of the two assistants, a bit of a different dynamic, we're very comfortable that this is a quality coaching staff that's going to maximize the potential of this team.

— Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis on head coach Randy Carlyle and his staff