EVERETT — Make it a half-dozen straight.
The Everett Silvertips won their sixth consecutive game Saturday as they controlled the tempo from start-to-finish in a 4-0 win over the visiting Brandon Wheat Kings before 5,917 fans at Angel of the Winds Arena.
Brandon (28-14-3-1, 60 point) has now dropped four straight and five of six as the Wheat Kings continue their biennial trip to the U.S. Division.
“We’ve been in their situation,” Tips coach Dennis Williams said. “We needed to take advantage of a team that’s traveling right now and we have to keep the presence and pressure up in the offensive zone and make them come 200 feet and wear them down.”
Everett (29-16-1-1, 60 points) did exactly that as the Tips maintained their U.S. Division lead over Portland.
Carter Hart finished with 25 saves for his league-best sixth shutout of the season and his first since Dec. 8.
The Tips outshot the Wheat Kings 45-25, including 31-13 over the final two periods.
“Any time you put up those numbers you’re definitely firing on all cylinders,” said Hart, who has won all three starts since coming back from winning gold with Team Canada at the World Junior Championship earlier this month.
“I think the biggest thing was that we were just putting pucks on net and just trying to create scoring chances,” he added.
Co-captain Matt Fonteyne scored twice and added an assist while linemate Patrick Bajkov had a goal and two assists. Fellow co-captain Kevin Davis added two assists in the contest.
“That’s what your best players do this time of year,” Williams said. “The difference-makers are difference-makers.”
The Tips led 2-0 at the start of the third period. Hart made sure it stayed that way when a Tips turnover led to a breakaway chance that the Everett goaltender knocked away at 4:50.
Everett finally cashed in during its fourth power play. Connor Dewar was credited with the goal when his shot rebounded into the net off Brandon defenseman Luke Burzan for a 3-0 Everett lead at 7:54.
“We’re clicking right now,” said Davis, who drew the penalty that led to the power-play goal. “It was a nice play by our group and nice power-play goal.”
Fonteyne’s second of the game pushed it to 4-0 at 13:41. Fonteyne crashed the left side of the net and stashed a rebound past Brandon goalie Logan Thompson.
“I think definitely in the second half of the game we took it to them and took control of the game,” Hart said. “I think that has to do with getting pucks deep and grinding down their defensemen and just throwing pucks on net … A couple rebound goals — that comes just from throwing pucks on net.”
Fonteyne put Everett on the board at 16:16 in the first period when he out-maneuvered a Brandon defender and banked a shot that deflected off another Wheat Kings defender and into the net. Bajkov and Ondrej Vala had the assists.
It was the lone goal of the frame as Everett outshot Brandon 14-12 in the wide-open first period.
“They’re a fast team,” Davis said of Brandon. “I thought we were pretty slow defensively in the first period and then we kind of figured it out. But they’re a good team even losing those two top guys (Kale Clague and Tanner Kaspick).”
The Tips extended their lead in the second. Bajkov knocked a back-handed shot past Thompson during a net-front scrum at 12:35 for a 2-0 advantage.
Brandon’s best chance in the second came during a 3-on-2 opportunity, but Hart knocked away the puck with his blocker to preserve the shutout at 8:06.
It remained 2-0 after periods before Everett doubled its lead in the third.
The Tips finished 1-for-4 on the power play while the Wheat Kings were 0-for-1.
Everett has another quick turnaround as the Tips play host to Swift Current at 4:05 p.m. Sunday.
“(Swift Current has) very good offensive forwards,” Davis said. “It’s going to be a good one (today).”
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Silvertips 4, Wheat Kings 0
Brandon 0 0 0 — 0
Everett 1 1 2 — 4
1st Period—1, Everett, Fonteyne 26 (Bajkov, Vala), 16:16. Penalties—Bukac Bdn (hooking), 3:54; Mattheos Bdn (holding), 19:12; Dewar Evt (slashing), 19:46.
2nd Period—2, Everett, Bajkov 23 (O’Rourke, Davis), 12:35. Penalties—No Penalties.
3rd Period—3, Everett, Dewar 22 (Fonteyne, Davis), 7:54 (PP). 4, Everett, Fonteyne 27 (Richards, Bajkov), 13:41. Penalties—Wytinck Bdn (slashing), 2:14; Lewis Bdn (holding), 7:22.
Shots on Goal—Brandon 12-7-6-25. Everett 14-15-16-45.
Power Play Opportunities—Brandon 0 / 1; Everett 1 / 4.
Goalies—Brandon, Thompson 23-12-1-1 (45 shots-41 saves). Everett, Hart 16-3-0-1 (25 shots-25 saves).