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Kyle Verdino scores winner as Thunderbirds edge Giants 3-2 in WHL

NHL.com @NHL

VANCOUVER - Kyle Verdino?s goal with 3:07 left in the third period gave the Seattle Thunderbirds a 3-2 victory over the Vancouver Giants in WHL action Friday night.

Verdino, a 19-year-old defenceman from Phoenix, netted his first goal of the season as he moved up into the offensive zone and converted a pass from Justin Hickman.

Braedon Laroque and Chance Lund also scored for the Thunderbirds as they improved to 2-3-0 while handing the Giants (4-4-1) their first regulation-time loss at home.

James Henry and Cain Franson replied for Vancouver.

After a slow start, Seattle outshot the Giants 37-20 while controlling much of the play in the first two periods.

The Thunderbirds scored twice on five power-play chances while the Giants were good on one of three.

Despite Seattle?s large edge in shots, the score was tied 1-1 after the first period and 2-2 after the second.

Henry opened the scoring for Vancouver on a power play 3:56 into the game as he took a pass from Brendan Gallagher, sidestepped Seattle goaltender Calvin Pickard and slid the puck into the net.

Laroque drew the Thunderbirds even at 18:02 of the first as he ripped a slapshot from the blue-line through screened Vancouver goaltender Adam Morrison during a power play.

Laroque, 19, was playing his first game for Seattle after being acquired a day earlier in a trade from Edmonton for a 2012 bantam draft pick.

Lund put the Thunderbirds ahead 2-1 during a man-advantage situation 4:33 into the second period as he put in Sea Theodore???s rebound off the end boards into a gaping net. Theodore shot off the boards was a shrewd move after he drew goaltender Morrison and a Vancouver defenceman with him.

Franson created a 2-2 tie midway through the middle frame as he snuck behind defenders and put in Greg Lamoureux???s cross-ice pass. It was the third goal of the season for Franson, matching his total for 50 games last season. The 18-year-old Sicamous, B.C., native is the younger brother of Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Cody Franson.

Seattle wound up outshooting Vancouver 10-6 in the third, but was helped by a late power play that resulted after Nathan Burns took a hooking penalty with 2:14 left, ending Vancouver???s comeback hopes.

Notes: Vancouver assistant coach Glen Hanlon coached Seattle head coach Steve Konowalchuk with the Washington Capitals of the NHL. Giants assistant Yogi Svejkovsky and Konowalchuk were teammates in the Capitals organization. ...Thunderbirds rearguard Cason Machacek returned after sitting out a two-game suspension for a one-sided fight with an unwilling participant Oct. 1 against Portland.

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