Hart has 31 saves, Silvertips beat Vancouver 3-2

EVERETT — Val Fonteyne’s professional hockey career ended four decades ago, but the experience he imparts continues to give his grandson confidence that manifests itself today.

“My grandpa always told me that when you get the chances they’ll find their way in,” Everett Silvertips forward Matt Fonteyne said Saturday after Everett’s 3-2 victory over the Vancouver Giants before 5,208 fans at Xfinity Arena.

“I thought we have had a lot of chances in our past games — (it’s) just that bounces were going our way this time.”

Everett (8-4-0-1, 17 points) won its third straight one-goal game while playing its fifth-straight such contest. The Tips have made a habit of making the most of each tally so far in this young season.

“We don’t score in a way that you’re going to play in a lot of wide-open games or games that we have a big lead,” head coach Kevin Constantine said. “It’s probably not going to happen a lot, so we’ve just got to get used to this. We’re going to be in a lot of these kinds of games.”

The reeling Giants (4-10-2-1, 11 points) lost their eighth straight and 12th of their last 13.

All five goals came during the second period with Patrick Bajkov’s power play goal at 8:13 ultimately proving the game-winner.

It gave Everett a 3-1 lead at the time, but Vancouver’s Ben Thomas cut the deficit to one at 11:53 when teammate Ty Ronning screened Everett goaltender Carter Hart allowing Thomas to find the net with a slap shot from the point.

It was still 3-2 as the teams entered the final period.

A penalty on Everett captain Dawson Leedahl gave the Giants their final power play opportunity with four minutes to go. Hart kept Vancouver off the board en route to 31 saves.

The 17-year-old netminder hasn’t allowed more than two goal in a game since a 5-1 loss at Portland on Oct. 16, a span of seven games.

“(Our confidence) is based on how our team is feeling,” Hart said. “We’re feeling really good and feeling really confident. It’s feeding off of everyone right now and it’s critical in the amount of games we have coming up in a lot of short nights, that everyone has this confidence level going.”

A scoreless first period preceded a five-goal flurry in the second as Graham Millar scored on Everett’s first power play 58 seconds into the second session. Thomas tied the game with a shot from the right circle at 5:41 before Everett broke the deadlock with two goals in a 59-second span.

At 7:14 Bajkov left the puck for the trailing Fonteyne who corralled it at the left circle, deked a defender and went top shelf for a 2-1 lead.

Everett scored again on the power play at 8:13 when Noah Juulsen collected a pass at the right side of the goal from Fonteyne, then fired to Bajkov at the left circle, who put it past Vancouver goaltender Daniel Wapple for the two-goal advantage.

“I think we’ll still be able to say at the end of the day that we had our fair share of shots and our fair share of chances,” Constantine said, “and the nice part tonight is that our power play hasn’t been scoring and that was something we addressed during the day, was trying to do a couple things different on our power play. The guys got some power play goals so that was timely for us.”

After leading in shots for most of the game, the Tips finished with 28 to Vancouver’s 34. Hart recorded 13 of his 31 saves in the final stanza.

“He’s great,” Fonteyne said of Hart. “Whenever we have breakdowns he’s there to back us up, and that’s what we needed sometimes is someone to back us up.”

Everett heads east Wednesday for a mid-week match-up with the Spokane Chiefs.

Silvertips 3, Giants 2

Vancouver 0 2 0 — 2

Everett 0 3 0 — 3

1st Period—No Scoring.Penalties-Leedahl Evt (holding), 10:47; Thrower Van (hooking), 20:00.

2nd Period—1, Everett, Millar 2 (Juulsen, Bajkov), 0:58 (PP). 2, Vancouver, Thomas 1 (Lang, Ronning), 5:41. 3, Everett, Fonteyne 4 (Bajkov), 7:14. 4, Everett, Bajkov 3 (Juulsen, Fonteyne), 8:13 (PP). 5, Vancouver, Thomas 2 (Popoff), 11:53. Penalties-Osipov Van (checking from behind), 8:02.

3rd Period—No Scoring.Penalties-Leedahl Evt (kneeing), 16:00; Popoff Van (high sticking), 17:37; Juulsen Evt (delay of game), 17:37.

Shots on Goal—Vancouver 9-11-13-33. Everett 10-14-4-28.

Power Play Opportunities—Vancouver 0/2; Everett 2/2.

Goalies—Vancouver, Wapple 5-5-1-0 (28 shots-25 saves). Everett, Hart 8-4-0-1 (33 shots-31 saves).

A—5,208

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