EVERETT — After the final horn sounded and the Everett Silvertips finished congratulating each other on another victory, Carter Hart and Riley Sutter did their customary victory celebration jump at center ice.
But Saturday’s celebration was special for the two roommates as Hart’s 5-0 shutout victory over the Vancouver Giants propelled the Tips’ star netminder into a tie for the most career shutouts in WHL history before 5,982 fans at Angel of the Winds Arena.
“It’s definitely pretty humbling to be tied for the shutout lead,” Hart said. “But we had 50 shots on net and only gave up (23) so it made my night a lot easier.”
Hart, who also tied Leland Irving’s franchise record with 107 wins, recorded his 26th career shutout to tie Tyson Sexsmith who set the mark in four seasons with the Giants.
U.S. Division-leading Everett (25-17-2-2, 74 points) beat Vancouver (29-18-5-3, 66 points) for the third time in four meetings this season.
It was a fitting bounce-back effort following and disappointing defeat Friday in which Everett surrendered a 1-0 lead in the final two minutes of regulation to Spokane and lost 2-1 in overtime.
“Losing like that was not the way we want things to happen, but that’s hockey and some bounces aren’t going to go your way,” Hart said. “Vancouver has some pretty good players and they’re a pretty good team. I think tonight we all just focused for the full 60 minutes and compared to (Friday) night I thought we were engaged for the full 60 tonight.”
Matt Fonteyne and Ethan O’Rourke each had a goal and an assist, and Patrick Bajkov had a pair of assists for the Tips, who led 2-0 after two periods and added two more early in the third to take control.
Fonteyne pushed the lead to 3-0 when he drove hard to the net, missed his initial shot, then kept jamming at the puck until it went past Vancouver goalie David Tendeck into the net at 1:20.
Ian Walker then scored during a net-front scrum at 6:38 to chase Tendeck and push Everett’s lead to 4-0, and Bryce Kindopp made it 5-0 with a snap shot from the left circle at 14:56.
“I thought as the game went on I thought we played better (but) we need to start better,” Everett head coach Dennis Williams said. “I didn’t think our starts were where we needed them. But nonetheless that’s a good hockey club over there and as the game went on I liked our skating, I liked our intensity and I liked our compete. I thought we played a pretty good hockey game for the last 30 minutes.”
The Tips scored twice in the second period to break up the scoreless tie.
O’Rourke, acquired on a New Year’s Day trade from the Prince George Cougars, opened the scoring with his first goal as a Silvertip at 11:34 in the second.
The puck sailed high in the air before the 6-foot-5 O’Rourke settled it and flicked it past Tendeck from the slot.
Sean Richards pushed the lead to 2-0 when he finished a pass from Bajkov off the rush at 14:12.
Later in the period Everett had a four-minute power play, but the Tips were unable to add to the advantage and took a 2-0 lead into the final period.
The Tips play at Spokane at 5:05 p.m. Sunday.
Silvertips 5, Giants 0
Vancouver 0 0 0 – 0
Everett 0 2 3 – 5
1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Popowich Van (interference), 4:06; Dewar Evt (tripping), 12:00; Holt Van (tripping), 17:26; Byram Van (roughing), 20:00; Richards Evt (roughing), 20:00; Sutter Evt (roughing), 20:00.
2nd Period-1, Everett, O’Rourke 6 (Gerth), 11:34. 2, Everett, Richards 19 (Bajkov, Fonteyne), 14:12. Penalties-Holt Van (high sticking, high sticking), 15:38.
3rd Period-3, Everett, Fonteyne 31 (Richards, Bajkov), 1:19. 4, Everett, Walker 1 (O’Rourke, Fasko-Rudas), 5:38. 5, Everett, Kindopp 16 (Vala), 14:56. Penalties-Fonteyne Evt (tripping), 1:45; Ho Van (roughing), 7:59; Ormsby Evt (roughing, roughing), 7:59; served by Sourdif Van (too many men), 12:16.
Shots on Goal-Vancouver 8-11-4-23. Everett 13-18-19-50.
Power Play Opportunities-Vancouver 0 / 4; Everett 0 / 5.
Goalies-Vancouver, Tendeck 20-11-2-2 (42 shots-38 saves); Miner 1-0-0-0 (8 shots-7 saves). Everett, Hart 22-4-1-2 (23 shots-23 saves).