EVERETT — If you didn’t know better, you’d think the Everett Silvertips hadn’t taken any time off.
Following a light practice Tuesday, the Tips produced a franchise-record 11 goals in Wednesday’s 11-0 dismantling of the Vancouver Giants at Langley Events Centre.
“You don’t know what you’re going to get sometimes, right?” head coach Dennis Williams said Wednesday after practice. “We kept it light and loose and fun (Tuesday) and they came out and played a great game (Wednesday).”
The phrase “great game” is something of an understatement. The Tips broke or tied four different franchise records including most goals. The previous high came in a 10-4 win over Portland in 2009. Everett also set a new mark for margin of victory while tying the club record it set 11 days earlier for goals in a period with five.
Lastly, Riley Sutter tied the franchise record with four goals in the contest, a feat last accomplished by Remi Laurencelle in 2015.
“I’ve had quite a few big games, but nothing that special,” said Sutter, a draft-eligible prospect who centers Everett’s second line. “My teammates made it pretty easy for me to play.”
Sutter’s linemate Connor Dewar had two goals and three assists, and fellow linemate Bryce Kindopp added a pair of helpers. That line has combined for 23 points in Everett’s past three games.
The Tips are 3-0 in those games with scores of 4-0, 8-3 and 11-0.
“I just think they’re shooting pucks, playing with confidence and we’re doing a much better job of our net-front presence,” Williams said. “Our (defensemen) are doing a good job with getting shots off with traffic net-front.”
Sutter completed his first career WHL hat trick just 2:21 into the second period Wednesday. The Calgary native’s mother and one of his two sisters were there to witness the event. His father, Ron, works for the Calgary Flames player development staff and is in Buffalo, N.Y., for the World Junior Championship, so he missed his son’s historic evening.
“He shot me a text after the game,” Riley Sutter said. “I gave him a call after and he was pretty excited.”
Sutter now has 17 goals and 14 assists. He has seven goals and 10 points in Everett’s past three contests. Sutter is now tied with Matt Fonteyne for second on the team in goals scored.
“I think it comes with confidence,” Sutter said. “Everyone is positive now and we know that we’re capable of scoring goals. We just have to keep it going.”
Everett (22-13-1-1, 46 points) has won 11 of 12. The Tips remain first in the U.S. Division and the Western Conference, but just six points separate the top seven teams in the standings.
Vancouver (18-14-2-2, 40 points) visits Angel of the Winds Arena at 7:35 p.m. Friday. The Tips expect a different team than the one they crushed Wednesday.
“After any win or loss you have to reset the next day,” Williams said. “We enjoyed the win on the bus, but we have to come back with a mindset that it’s a desperate game on Friday. Obviously we’re going to see a different team than what we saw.”
Goaltender Dustin Wolf figures to be back in net as Carter Hart remains away with Team Canada at World Juniors. The 16-year-old Wolf is 6-2 with a 1.75 goals-against average, a .947 save percentage and two shutouts.
“I thought he was really good (Wednesday),” Williams said. “Before Christmas break I know we went 2-1, but I thought he fought it a little bit and that might just be his first go at everything. But last night he was really calm. Rebound control was very good, smothered all his pucks and didn’t give up any second opportunities.”
Everett defenseman Gianni Fairbrother remains week-to-week with an upper-body injury. Fairbrother hasn’t played since he was injured in a fight on Dec. 6.
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