PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. — Tuesday was going to be an historic evening for Everett Silvertips goaltender Carter Hart no matter what happened.
Hart made his 100th career Western Hockey League game a memorable one as he recorded 19 saves for his first shutout of the season as the Tips stunned the previously unbeaten Prince George Cougars 4-0 before 2,625 fans at the CN Center in Prince George.
The Cougars, the top-ranked team in this week’s CHL poll, suffered their first loss of the season as the B.C. Division leaders slipped to 8-1. The Tips improved to 5-1-1-0 and remain in second place behind Portland (6-3) although the Tips have two games in hand of the Winterhawks.
The shutout was the 11th of Hart’s career.
Following a scoreless opening period, the Tips got all they needed when they erupted for three goals in the second period to take a commanding 3-0 lead.
Graham Millar got it started when he played the puck toward the net and Devon Skoleski cashed in the rebound for a 1-0 Everett lead at 1:03 in the second period.
Everett pushed it to 2-0 at 5:55 when Wyatte Wylie’s shot was deflected right to Sean Richards at the far post and Richards put it into the wide-open net. Dominic Zwerger added an unassisted goal with his backhand to make it 3-0 at 9:51 in the second.
Brett Kemp tallied the game’s final goal with 38 seconds to play when he flicked a rebound off the boards to make it 4-0.
Everett’s top chance in the opening period came at 3:17 when Richards had a breakaway, but was stoned by Prince George netminder Ty Edmonds.
Everett finished with a 27-19 shot advantage. The Tips were 0-for-6 on the power play, but managed to kill both of Prince George’s chances on the man advantage.
The teams return to the ice at 7 p.m. Wednesday to complete the two-game series. The Tips play at Spokane Friday and return to Xfinity Arena Saturday for the “Pink the Rink” game against the Seattle Thunderbirds.
Silvertips 4, Cougars 0
1st Period—No Scoring. Penalties—McDonald Pg (tripping), 4:52; Zwerger Evt (boarding), 10:34; McAuley Pg (inter. on goaltender), 12:34.
2nd Period—1, Everett, Skoleski 3 (Millar, Dewar), 1:03. 2, Everett, Richards 2 (Wylie, King), 5:55. 3, Everett, Zwerger 3 (Onyebuchi), 9:51. Penalties—Onyebuchi Evt (major-fighting), 1:48; Anderson Pg (major-fighting), 1:48; Morrison Pg (tripping), 13:01; Bajkov Evt (unsportsmanlike cnd.), 19:55.
3rd Period—4, Everett, Kemp 2 (Juulsen, Richards), 19:22. Penalties—Olson Pg (interference), 10:52; Martin Pg (spearing, spearing), 19:57.
Shots on Goal—Everett 7-11-9-27. Prince George 7-7-5-19.
Power Play Opportunities—Everett 0 / 6; Prince George 0 / 2.
Goalies—Everett, Hart 3-1-1-0 (19 shots-19 saves). Prince George, Edmonds 5-1-0-0 (27 shots-23 saves).