EVERETT — The Silvertips entered the weekend shorthanded and became more and more banged up as it went on, but Everett was still able to claim four of a possible six points in a daunting three-and-three against a trio of Western Conference contenders.
The finale, a Sunday win at Spokane in which Everett gutted out a win despite only suiting 10 forwards and 16-of-18 total skaters after traveling across Interstate-90 overnight to play a 5 p.m. game, was a particularly nice feather in the Silvertips’ cap.
“That was probably our proudest moment of the season so far,” Silvertips head coach Dennis Williams said.
Everett has not iced a full lineup this year. The team was patiently waiting the return of import forward Martin Fasko-Rudas, but as soon as he entered the lineup for the first time in 2019-2020 against Vancouver on Oct. 25, Cole Fonstad, a Montreal Canadiens prospect Everett acquired from Prince Albert earlier this season, was injured at practice, just two days prior, and has missed the past four games with an upper-body injury.
With rookie forward Jacob Wright also out of the lineup with an upper-body injury, the ailments accumulated after 2002-forward Tyson Phare was hit in the face by a puck in the first period on Saturday against Kamloops and overage forward Max Patterson wasn’t in the lineup on Sunday with a lower-body injury.
How does a shorthanded squad nab two key victories? It starts with stellar goaltending.
Dustin Wolf was removed from Friday’s 4-1 loss to Portland after he allowed four goals on 26 shots, but he bounced back with two rock-solid performances, first by saving 42 shots in a 3-2 win over Kamloops on Saturday, followed by a 37-save outing in a 4-3 overtime win at Spokane on Sunday.
Williams said the initial plan wasn’t to play Wolf on Sunday, but backup goaltender Keegan Karki fell ill and wasn’t able to play.
“It”s one those (situations) where it’s not ideal, but if anyone can do a three-and-three, Dustin can,” Williams said. “He’s in great shape and condition to do that, but you try to balance it out.”
Patterson and Wright were full participants at practice on Tuesday and are likely to play on Friday at Spokane, according to Williams.
Fonstad is still questionable for Friday, per Williams. He was a limited participant in Tuesday’s practice while donning a red non-contact jersey.
Phare won’t play Friday, or Saturday at Seattle, Williams confirmed.
After a day off on Sunday, Silvertips veterans Bryce Kindopp, Wyatte Wylie, Gianni Fairbrother, Gage Goncalves and Martin Fasko-Rudas did not skate on Tuesday for a “maintenence day.” Williams said it was necessary extra rest after a long, intense weekend.
KINDOPP RISES RANKS
With his 92nd and 93rd career goals on Sunday at Spokane, Silvertips forward and captain Bryce Kindopp passed Matt Fonteyne on the franchise’s career-goals list. He needs 29 more to match Patrick Bajkov for the most goals in Silvertips history for a career.
INTERNET REACTS TO WOLF’S HUGE SAVE
In case you missed it, Wolf made a remarkable save over the weekend that not only stole a goal away from Kamloops, but stirred up hockey twitter. Not only was it unsurprisingly named the WHL’s highlight of the night, but popular hockey podcast Spittin’ Chiclets shared it on its Twitter account that boasts nearly 200,000 followers.
Dustin Wolf immediately on the most wanted list for this highway robbery
— Spittin' Chiclets (@spittinchiclets) November 4, 2019
Everett lost its lead briefly in the U.S. Division and Western Conference standings after its loss to Portland on Friday, but the Winterhawks fell to Kamloops on Sunday and Everett topped Kamloops to reclaim the lead with 22 points. The Silvertips’ .733 winning percentage is third in the WHL, behind Edmonton (.844) and Prince Albert (.781).
ZELLWEGER, TEAM CANADA RED MOVE ON
Silvertips rookie defenseman Olen Zellweger and Team Canada Red are moving on to the quarterfinals of the under-17 World Hockey Challenge in Medicine Hat, Alberta, and Swift Current, Saskatchewan, after routing Finland, 7-2, on Tuesday. Zellweger played in two of three games and had an assist on Tuesday.
Josh Horton covers the Silvertips for the Herald. Follow him on Twitter @JoshHortonEDH