EVERETT — The high-scoring game some envisioned never broke out Sunday.
Instead, the Everett Silvertips turned in their typical workmanlike effort as they defeated the visiting Swift Current Broncos 4-1 in a Western Hockey League game before 4,089 fans at Angel of the Winds Arena.
Everett (30-16-1-1, 62 points) has won seven straight games. Sunday’s victory was its second in as many nights over a team from the East Division after the Tips shut out Brandon 4-0 Saturday.
“We just challenge our guys day in and day out to get reset and refocused,” Everett coach Dennis Williams said. “Obviously, they came out and did a good job of resetting and refocusing and getting the four points this weekend.”
The Tips never trailed in a convincing win over the Broncos (33-10-3-1, 70 points) in the lone regular-season matchup between two WHL title contenders from opposing conferences.
Swift Current has lost two in a row and saw its nine-game point streak snapped.
The Tips outshot the Broncos 34-24 and held Swift Current, the league’s third-highest scoring team, to just two shots in the second period.
Everett goaltender Carter Hart saved 23 of the 24 shots he saw, Riley Sutter had a goal and an assist and Wyatte Wylie had two assists in the victory.
“We just had to be hard on their top guys and I think we did a good job and Carter did a good job backing us up as usual,” Sutter said. “I think we put lots of pucks in front of their net, which helps, and played as much as we could in their end.”
Everett’s second line of Sutter, Garrett Pilon and Connor Dewar combined for two goals and two assists. Pilon has five goals with Everett since being acquired from Kamloops on Jan. 7.
“We clicked pretty quick and I think we’re still jelling together a bit more,” Sutter said of Pilon joining the line he shares with Dewar. “It will still come over time, but I think we’ve been pretty successful so far and hopefully we can keep that going down the stretch.”
Matt Fonteyne’s wrister from the point at 14:59 in the third period was the final goal, after which tempers began flaring at every whistle.
Everett’s Sean Richards was issued a match penalty after scrapping with Swift Current’s Beck Malenstyn following Fonteyne’s goal. Match penalties are given for deliberately injurying or attempting to injure another player.
There were seven combined penalties in the final 5:01.
“After the goal, a lot of stuff escalated,” Williams said. “We want to stick up for our team and one another and that’s what we did, so I was proud of our guys and the way we handled it.”
Everett led 2-1 heading to the second period. Sutter pushed it to 3-1 when he followed his initial shot and roofed the puck past Stuart Skinner at 4:04.
The Tips had an apparent fourth goal by Dewar waved off at 16:30. It was Everett’s second apparent goal that was disallowed.
The Tips held Swift Current to two shots in the second period and led 3-1 through two complete.
“After we went up two goals, you could tell they were getting a little bit frustrated and they started to run around a bit,” Sutter said. “Even the coaches were getting a little bit heated. But it was just nice to come out with the win.”
The Tips wasted little time taking a two-goal lead. Pilon redirected a feed from Wylie by Skinner at 3:33 in the first.
Then Richards tipped a Fonteyne point shot past Skinner for a 2-0 lead at 4:20, prompting Swift Current coach Manny Viveiros to take his timeout.
Both the Pilon and Richards goals came courtesy of strong net-front presence by the Tips.
“They’re a tough hockey team to score goals against and I said to the guys before the game, ‘If (Skinner) sees the puck, he’s going to play catch with it,’” Williams said. “In order to score against a goalie of his caliber we have to get net-front presence and get bodies over the top and with that we scored a couple.”
Everett nearly made it 3-0 two minutes later, but an apparent Ethan O’Rourke goal was waved off for a high stick.
Swift Current got one back at 8:59 in the first period when Andrew Fyten stashed a rebound past Hart.
Both teams finished 0-for-5 on the power play.
The Tips return to action Friday at home against the Seattle Thunderbirds. The puck drops at 7:35 p.m.
Silvertips 4, Broncos 1
Swift Current 1 0 0—1
Everett 2 1 1—4
1st Period—1, Everett, Pilon 23 (Wylie, Sutter), 3:33. 2, Everett, Richards 18 (Fonteyne, Davis), 4:20. 3, Swift Current, Fyten 7 (Gawdin, Heponiemi), 8:59. Penalties—Fyten Sc (checking from behind), 0:20; Vala Evt (holding), 19:56.
2nd Period—4, Everett, Sutter 20 (Wylie, Dewar), 4:04. Penalties—Fyten Sc (high sticking), 11:48; Alexander Sc (hooking), 16:30; Richards Evt (hooking), 18:29.
3rd Period—5, Everett, Fonteyne 28 14:59. Penalties—served by Richards Evt (bench), 3:40; Richards Evt (elbowing), 6:45; Estephan Sc (roughing), 14:59; Malenstyn Sc (cross checking), 14:59; Richards Evt (roughing, match-attempt/injure), 14:59; Nagel Sc (interference), 19:13; Anderson Sc (10-minute misconduct), 19:33; Gable Sc (slashing), 19:33.
Shots on Goal—Swift Current 8-2-14-24. Everett 10-17-7-34.
Power Play Opportunities—Swift Current 0/5; Everett 0/5.
Goalies—Swift Current, Skinner 18-16-2-0 (34 shots-30 saves). Everett, Hart 17-3-0-1 (24 shots-23 saves).