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Seattle goaltender Pickard posts second straight shutout in win over Giants

NHL.com @NHL

VANCOUVER, B.C. - Calvin Pickard made 25 saves for his second straight shutout as the Seattle Thunderbirds blanked the Vancouver Giants 5-0 in Western Hockey League action Sunday night.

Sena Acolatse and Prab Rai scored two goals apiece as the Thunderbirds (8-12-4) posted their fourth straight win - all on the road - after a slow start to the season.

Charles Wells also scored for Seattle.

The Giants (15-7-3) saw their win streak end at three games before a disappointed crowd of 7,876 at the Pacific Coliseum.

Pickard showed why he is expected to be among the first goaltenders chosen in next summer's NHL draft, keeping a clean sheet even though the Giants outshot the Thunderbirds 25-22.

Pickard and his older brother Chet, a Nashville Predators prospect who is in his first pro season with Milwaukee of the AHL, are part of a rare modern-day goaltending brother act trying to reach the NHL.

Calvin Pickard has made 54 saves in the past two games.

Seattle's power play was the difference as the Thunderbirds scored on three of five man-advantage situations. The Giants were blanked on five power play attempts.

The Thunderbirds got off to a strong start and led 2-0 after the first period and 3-0 after the second.

Pickard did not face much action in the early going as Vancouver managed just two shots in the first 10 minutes and was outshot 10-7 in the opening frame. But he held the fort in the second as the Giants outshot the Thunderbirds 9-3.

The Thunderbirds took their early 2-0 lead midway through the first as Acolatse and Wells scored less than two minutes apart. The second goal came on a power play as Milan Kytnar was serving a hooking penalty.

Kytnar was in the box again in the second as Acolatse skated up ice from his own zone unchecked and beat Vancouver goaltender Brendan Jensen with a low shot at 15:35, giving the Thunderbirds a 3-0 lead. Seattle effectively enjoyed a two-man advantage at the time, because Pickard was pulled in favour of an extra attacker during a delayed Vancouver penalty. It was Acolatse's sixth goal in the past six games.

Rai accounted for all of the third-period scoring as he poked in Lindsay's Nielsen's rebound on a power play at 11:13 and then scored into an empty net with 40.8 seconds left.

Vancouver defenceman Kevin Connauton sat out a one-game suspension after receiving two game misconducts in a one-sided fight with 5.5 seconds left Friday against Red Deer. Meanwhile, fellow rearguard Zach Hodder sat out with a shoulder injury suffered in the final minute of the first period Friday.

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