Tri-City’s Morgan Geekie (28) attempts a shot with the Silvertips’ Ondrej Vala (right) and goalie Carter Hart defending during a game on April 20, 2018, at Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Tri-City’s Morgan Geekie (28) attempts a shot with the Silvertips’ Ondrej Vala (right) and goalie Carter Hart defending during a game on April 20, 2018, at Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Silvertips’ Hart named top goalie in CHL for second time

The Everett standout is the first player to be named the CHL Goaltender of the Year twice

Carter Hart’s career with the Everett Silvertips is over, but the accolades are still rolling in.

On Saturday, Hart became the first two-time winner of the Canadian Hockey League Goaltender of the Year Award. His selection was announced as part of the Memorial Cup festivities in Regina, Saskatchewan. Hart won the award two years ago. Michael McNiven of the Ontario Hockey League’s Owen Sound Attack captured the honor last season.

“It’s a huge honor to win this award for a second time and it’s reflective of the great year we had in Everett,” Hart said in a press release.

Hart, a second-round draft pick of the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers who will play next season for Lehigh Valley of the American Hockey League, ended his Silvertips tenure as the most-decorated player in franchise history. He won three consecutive WHL Goaltender of the Year awards and was the WHL Player of the Year this season.

His latest award caps a stellar career that early this season seemed destined to end elsewhere. The Tips were not expected to contend for a title and Hart was their top trade chip. Then Hart contracted mononucleosis and missed most of September and October while the Tips stumbled to a 4-9-1 record.

But Hart returned, Everett started winning and the trade talk abated. The Silvertips went on to win their second straight U.S. Division title and first Western Conference championship since 2004. Everett eventually lost to Swift Current in the WHL finals.

“This was a special group that came together and had a huge run in the playoffs,” Hart said. “We had fun going to the rink every day and made a lot of memories together as teammates. I’ll never forget these guys, who created the tightest group I’ve ever been with in my WHL career. I’ll never forget my coaches, teammates, billet parent, Parker Fowlds, and roommate Riley Sutter, who was like a brother to me. They all made this moment possible.”

Hart led the WHL this season in goals against average (1.60), save percentage (.947), shutouts (seven), and was fourth in wins (31). He compiled a record of 31-6-1-3 in 41 games. He also helped Canada capture the gold medal at this season’s World Junior Championship tournament.

“Carter Hart is an elite level talent with tremendous dedication, and many congratulations go to him for a well-deserved honor …” Silvertips head coach Dennis Williams said in the press release. “He is a player who carries pro-ready skills for his position. His attitude, focus, and tireless work ethic are qualities that have sharpened those skills and helped set a tone for our group at the rink every day.

“We’re very proud of him for this accomplishment.”

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