EVERETT — The Everett Silvertips had a new look Wednesday night.
But it was a pair of long-time Tips veterans who provided the offense as Connor Dewar and Kevin Davis each scored twice in Everett’s 4-0 win over the visiting Tri-City Americans before 2,997 fans at Angel of the Winds Arena.
Wednesday marked the much-anticipated debut of forward Garrett Pilon and defenseman Ondrej Vala for Everett (25-16-1-1, 52 points).
Pilon centered Everett’s top line while Vala joined Everett native Wyatte Wylie on the Tips’ second defensive pairing. Both players saw plenty of ice time including on special teams in their debut.
“I thought they did well,” Everett head coach Dennis Williams said. “I think they were struggling for air a little bit out there sometimes when I saw them. But it’s exactly what we wanted out of them. I think Pilon is going to get better and better. I think I might have to harp on him to shoot pucks a little bit more … Vala, he hits pucks strong. He’s strong on first-touch passes, he’s physical, he brings a different presence that we haven’t had back there.”
The Americans (22-13-5-0, 49 points) were without star forwards Morgan Geekie and Michael Rasmussen, and were also missing defenseman Juuso Valimaki and recently acquired Jake Bean, both of whom have yet to return from the World Junior Championship.
Everett rookie goaltender Dustin Wolf saved all 29 shots he faced for his third career shutout. With Carter Hart due to return this weekend Wolf figures to be relegated to his regular backup role for the remainder of the season.
“I think my confidence has grown,” Wolf said. “I wouldn’t say I’m too happy with the last three games — giving up 12 in a weekend — but it’s good to get a bounce-back here and get a shutout before Carter comes back.”
Davis’ second goal was a thing of beauty as he pushed Everett’s lead to 3-0 in the third period. Matt Fonteyne threaded a pass through the defense to Davis at the top of the crease. Davis got Patrick Dea committed to the left, then stuck the puck past his right-side blocker for the three-goal advantage at 4:35 in the third.
Dewar’s second of the contest came on a netfront scrum at 8:35 in the third and was Everett’s only power-play goal of the game.
Everett led 2-0 entering the third as the first goal by Davis doubled Everett’s 1-0 lead after one. Davis corralled a loose puck at center ice on the penalty kill and potted a breakaway past Dea at 10:41 in the second for a 2-0 advantage.
“Obviously, I don’t get breakaways a lot,” Davis. “I was kind of shocked and happy when it happened … I saw Suttsy (Riley Sutter) do a great job tying that guy up and then the puck kind of got loose so I just got on my wheels there.”
That’s how it remained through two periods.
Dewar gave Everett the 1-0 lead at 5:27 in the first period. The puck sprung loose along the right half wall and Dewar collected it, skated into the slot and fired a wrister past Dea glove-side for the early lead.
“He’s just Dewar,” Williams said. “He goes hard to the net, shoots pucks hard, does everything hard. He gets under teams’ skins, but that’s what you need this time of year. The goals are going to be hard to get and it’s like playoff hockey this time of year. You’re going to get bumped, you’re going to get knocked down but you have to just get up and keep working.”
It was the only goal of the opening period as Tri-City rang a shot off the post at 14:30 and Wolf made several sprawling saves.
The Tips finished 1-for-4 on the power play while holding the Americans scoreless on their two opportunities.
Everett plays at Spokane at 7:05 p.m. on Saturday
Silvertips 4, Americans 0
Tri-City 0 0 0 — 0
Everett 1 1 2 — 4
1st Period—1, Everett, Dewar 17 5:27. Penalties—Gatenby Tc (interference), 16:40; Kindopp Evt (embellishment), 16:40.
2nd Period—2, Everett, Davis 5 10:41 (SH). Penalties—AuCoin Tc (delay of game), 1:51; Fonteyne Evt (slashing), 9:27; Gatenby Tc (interference), 12:10.
3rd Period—3, Everett, Davis 6 (Fonteyne, Bajkov), 4:35. 4, Everett, Dewar 18 (Davis, Fonteyne), 8:35 (PP). Penalties—Johnson Tc (roughing), 3:18; Butt Evt (roughing), 3:18; James Tc (boarding, major-charging, game misconduct), 7:24; Sutter Evt (roughing), 7:24; Fasko-Rudas Evt (interference), 9:51; Butt Evt (tripping), 12:33; Brown Tc (high sticking), 15:27; Yaremko Tc (major-fighting), 18:17; Butt Evt (major-fighting, 10-minute misconduct), 18:17; served by Bajkov Evt (bench – coach), 19:15.
Shots on Goal—Tri-City 12-12-5-29. Everett 14-24-19-57.
Power Play Opportunities—Tri-City 0 / 3; Everett 1 / 4.
Goalies—Tri-City, Dea 10-8-4-0 (51 shots-47 saves); Warm 12-5-1-0 (6 shots-6 saves). Everett, Wolf 9-5-0-0 (29 shots-29 saves).