EVERETT — Friday night in Kelowna, Patrick Bajkov broke Zach Hamill’s Everett Silvertips franchise record for points.
On Saturday, he wasted no time adding to that record as he had a hat trick and two assists in an 8-2 Everett win over the Kelowna Rockets before 6,758 fans on “Star Wars Night” at Angel of the Winds Arena.
Bajkov’s franchise points record now stands at 269. Next up in the Silvertips record book is Tyler Maxwell’s franchise record of 107 goals. With Saturday’s hat trick Bajkov has scored 106 times in his Western Hockey League career.
“Looking back it’s something that’s pretty special with all the players who have gone through this organization,” Bajkov said. “Right now it’s something to enjoy for a couple hours, and we were focused on what was important coming into tonight.”
More importantly, the Silvertips (34-17-1-2, 71 points) moved three points up on Kelowna (32-16-3-1, 68 points) for the top spot in the Western Conference. Everett has defeated the Rockets in all three meetings this season with one more home game remaining.
“They’re a great team. They’re a fast, skilled team with some size in the back end,” Bajkov said. “It says a lot about our character as a team about what we can do as a team if we’re working closely on our details.”
Garrett Pilon added two goals and two assists in the victory.
“He’s a huge part of what we have going on,” Bajkov said. “Picking up (defenseman Ondrej) Vala and Pilon are both key parts of what we want to accomplish down the road. With Pilon’s skill set, it’s unbelievable. Same with Vala. He’s a big D-man back there who can control the play.”
Kevin Davis added a goal and an assist and Sean Richards had two helpers as 12 different Silvertips reached the scoresheet.
Carter Hart finished with 23 saves on 25 shots for his second victory over the Rockets in as many nights.
Bajkov finished the hat trick when he potted a rebound at 12:14 in the third period to push Everett’s lead to 6-2.
Pilon added a power-play wrister from the slot at 18:46, and Martin Fasko-Rudas completed the scoring with 2.6 seconds to play.
The Tips never trailed as they took control with a three-goal second stanza in which they outshot Kelowna 24-5.
“I thought they out-worked us and out-competed us on puck touches and were stronger on pucks (in the first period),” Everett coach Dennis Williams said. “We were kind of chasing the game even though we had a 2-1 lead. We challenged them in the second to play really the way we know how to play, and I thought out our play picked up. We were first on the play, on puck touches, we were carrying the puck, we were physical and putting pucks behind their ‘D.’”
Pilon got it started when walked in with the puck from the corner. Kelowna defenseman Gordie Ballhorn attempted to clear the puck, but it deflected off Cal Foote and past goalie Cole Tisdale into the net for a 3-1 advantage at 2:19.
Foote’s wrister from the slot at 5:39 made it 3-2, but Everett answered with a pair of goals. Riley Sutter buried a rebound of Dawson Butt’s shot at 10:57, and Bajkov rifled a shot past Tisdale from the left circle at 19:39 as Everett took a 5-2 lead into the third.
It was Bajkov’s second goal of the game. His first goal came on a power play during the first minute of the game when he scored on a shot into the upper left corner from the right circle thanks to a goalie screen from Connor Dewar at 45 seconds.
However, the Rockets drew even 14 seconds later when Foote’s wrister hit the post, bounced off Hart’s back and trickled over the goal line to tie the game 1-1.
Davis’s rocket from the point beat Tisdale to give Everett a 2-1 lead at 11:51 in the first period.
“I think we needed a little bit of a wake-up call coming out in the second, and I think we answered the bell,” Bajkov said. “We were lucky to come out of the first with a lead, but we knew it wasn’t good enough for a team like Kelowna because you know they’re always going to be pushing.”
Everett was 2-for-5 on the power play while holding Kelowna scoreless on the man advantage. The Tips finished with a 42-25 shot advantage.
The Tips return home for a 7:35 p.m. Friday game against the Spokane Chiefs at Angel of the Winds Arena.
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Silvertips 8, Rockets 2
Kelowna 1 1 0 – 2
Everett 2 3 3 – 8
1st Period-1, Everett, Bajkov 25 (Davis, Pilon), 0:45 (PP). 2, Kelowna, Foote 12 (Dube), 0:59. 3, Everett, Davis 7 (Richards, Bajkov), 11:51. Penalties-Topping Kel (hooking), 0:18; Pow Kel (major-fighting), 16:54; Butt Evt (major-fighting), 16:54.
2nd Period-4, Everett, Pilon 24 (Kindopp), 2:19. 5, Kelowna, Foote 13 (Mattson, Zabransky), 5:39. 6, Everett, Sutter 21 (Butt, Pilon), 10:57. 7, Everett, Bajkov 26 (Richards), 19:39. Penalties-Bruggen-Cate Kel (roughing), 7:19; Dube Kel (interference), 7:19; Richards Evt (roughing), 7:19.
3rd Period-8, Everett, Bajkov 27 (Dewar, Wylie), 12:14. 9, Everett, Pilon 25 (Fonteyne, Bajkov), 18:46 (PP). 10, Everett, Fasko-Rudas 3 (Walker), 19:57. Penalties-Pilon Evt (inter. on goaltender), 2:37; Chizen Kel (slashing), 9:53; Sutter Evt (charging), 16:20; Twarynski Kel (interference), 16:48; Chizen Kel (roughing), 17:57.
Shots on Goal-Kelowna 12-5-8-25. Everett 7-24-11-42.
Power Play Opportunities-Kelowna 0 / 2; Everett 2 / 5.
Goalies-Kelowna, Tisdale 2-1-1-0 (31 shots-26 saves); Salmond 6-6-0-1 (11 shots-8 saves). Everett, Hart 21-4-0-2 (25 shots-23 saves).