EVERETT — Carter Hart has traditionally been very strong in the month of November.
The star Everett Silvertips goaltender was named the Canadian Hockey Goaltender of the Month in 2015 and was the Western Hockey League Goaltender of the Month last year.
However, he hasn’t had a November quite like he’s having in 2017. Since returning from mononucleosis against Prince George on Nov. 3, Hart is 7-2-0-1 with three shutouts and a .960 save percentage. He’s the two-time reigning WHL Goaltender of the Week and a strong candidate to earn Goalie of the Month honors from one or both entities again this year.
Tuesday afternoon it was announced he had been named the CHL Goaltender of the Week for the fifth time in his career.
Hart will soon depart for Team Canada’s World Junior training camp that begins Dec. 12 in St. Catharines, Ontario. He will be among the favorites to start for the Canadians once again after leading the team to a silver medal in last year’s event.
Dewar returns to practice
Everett 18-year-old forward Connor Dewar was a full participant in Monday’s practice and listed as “returned” on this week’s WHL injury report. The Manitoba native suffered an upper body injury in a 2-0 loss at Seattle on Nov. 18 and missed the next four games. Prior to that stretch Dewar had missed only one game in his two WHL seasons.
Portland remains hot
The Portland Winterhawks (19-4, 38 points) have won 10 straight and continue to lead the U.S. Division by an eight-point margin over second-place Tri-City (14-7-2-0, 30 points).
Everett (13-12-1-1, 28 points) has won three straight and has points in seven of its last 10 games to move within a point of Spokane (13-9-1-2, 29 points), but the Chiefs currently have two games in hand. The Tips currently hold the first wild card spot with Seattle (11-11-1-1, 24 points), Kamloops (11-13-0-0, 22 points) and Prince George (9-12-2-2, 22 points) trailing. However, Seattle and Kamloops have three games in hand while Prince George has two.
Victoria (18-8-1-0, 37 points) is on top in the B.C. Division and is the only team within seven points of Portland in the overall standings. However, the Winterhawks have four games in hand.
East Division ruling Eastern Conference
There’s no question about who is controlling the Eastern Conference this season.
Moose Jaw (19-5-0-1, 39 points) has won eight of 10 and Swift Current (17-5-2-0, 36 points) has won seven of 10 and occupy the top two spots in the East Division and the Eastern Conference.
Brandon (15-7-0-1, 31 points) is third in both the division and the conference before Medicine Hat (15-9, 30 points) checks in as the only Central Division team with a winning record.
The Tips might have capitalized on a down year in the Central as this is the season they make their biennial trip to Alberta (and Cranbrook, British Columbia). However, Everett did so in October right after Hart went down with mono and before Dustin Wolf had fully recovered from offseason hip surgery. The Tips finished the trip 2-4.
Swift Current fully embracing “contender” status
The WHL trade deadline isn’t until Jan. 10, but the Swift Current Broncos aren’t waiting around.
The Broncos completed a seven-player blockbuster last week when they acquired overage center Matteo Gennaro and winger Beck Malenstyn from Calgary for three current players and two prospects.
Gennaro has 194 points in 293 career WHL games and adds secondary scoring depth to a Broncos team that already has the top three scorers in the league.
In a less-than-blockbuster deal, the Red Deer Rebels sent defenseman Jared Dmytriw to the Vancouver Giants Monday for a third-round pick in the 2018 bantam draft. After struggling for several years, the Giants (10-12-2-2, 24 points) are in the third playoff position in the B.C. Division with former first overall bantam pick Tyler Benson healthy for the first time in several seasons.
For the latest Silvertips news follow Jesse Geleynse on Twitter.