Everett’s Michal Gut scores a goal past Seattle goaltender Roddy Ross in the third period Sunday evening at the ShoWare Center in Kent. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Everett’s Michal Gut scores a goal past Seattle goaltender Roddy Ross in the third period Sunday evening at the ShoWare Center in Kent. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

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Silvertips weekend wrap: Three wins in three days

Everett put on the defensive clamps, allowing just two goals and collecting two shutouts

KENT — There’s a phrase Everett Silvertips head coach Dennis Williams likes to use when talking about goal scoring.

Scoring goals, he contends, is like a pet dog: Sometimes it goes away, but in the end, it always comes back.

Defense, however, can be a consistent presence.

The Silvertips showed their defensive chops over the weekend with a pair of shutout performances against the Seattle Thunderbirds, first with an emphatic 8-0 win Saturday at home followed by a 2-0 win Sunday at the ShoWare Center in Kent.

“I thought we were better as the weekend went on,” Williams said. “To play a tough team like Seattle and shut them out both games, I think that says a lot about our details and how we’ve cleaned those areas up.”

The weekend was a massive bounceback for Silvertips goaltender Dustin Wolf, who claimed three wins and two shutouts in three starts in three consecutive nights after a pair of losses and 11 goals allowed in less than 120 minutes played in his first action in Everett since returning from the World Junior Ice Hockey Championships.

“It was good to get back last weekend and kind of bring yourself back to reality,” Wolf said. “It’s not the couple games you wanted to happen, but it’s definitely good for myself moving forward and my career.”

The Calgary Flames prospect shook the rust off after not seeing much action as Team USA’s No. 2 goalie at World Juniors.

“He played probably one game in a month,” Williams said. “I think the league’s just too good to just roll right in. But he had a really good week of practice with our goalie coach, James Jensen, to get back into his rhythm and I think what you saw was the Dustin Wolf we all know.”

Wolf didn’t see much action Saturday, with just 14 saves, but saw much more rubber Sunday with a 29 saves in his seventh shutout of the season.

The Silvertips scored the first goal Sunday on Michal Gut’s penalty shot goal at the 7:26 mark in the third period. The rookie import forward completed a backhand move to beat Seattle goaltender Roddy Ross for his ninth goal of the season.

Everett added an insurance goal on Wyatte Wylie’s power-play goal at 15:13, but it was the Silvertips putting the defensive clamps on Seattle that impressed Williams the most.

“After Gut scored that penalty shot, I didn’t think we gave up much after that,” Williams said.

The Silvertips claimed six of a potential six points in the weekend slate, but unfortunately for Everett, the team they’re trying to catch in the U.S. Division standings, the Portland Winterhawks, did the same thing.

The Winterhawks lead by 10 points with 25 games remaining in the regular season.

NEW TIPS SETTLE IN WITH GOALS

Not only was Ty Kolle’s goal on Saturday his first as a Silvertip, it comes with a new pair of Converse shoes.

After recording a goal, an assist and a fighting major in the 8-0 rout — colloquially referred to as a Gordie Howe hat trick — Kolle will get the custom Silvertips’ Converse Chuck Taylors made by season-ticket holder Jim Staniford when players record a hat trick or Gordie Howe hat trick.

“It feels unreal,” said Kolle, who was acquired from the Regina Pats on Jan. 4. “After the Christmas Break in Regina, I had a couple of goals and I’ve went the last four or so games without a goal. Especially being traded to here, I wouldn’t say there was a lot of weight on my shoulders, but they wanted me to come in and score goals this year for them. It feels really good to get that first one out of the way.”

Following Kolle’s goal, Everett native Hunter Campbell tacked on his first as a Silvertip in the first period on Saturday.

The Cascade High School graduate, acquired in a trade earlier this month, said it was a moment he’s been dreaming of.

“Obviously it’s my hometown,” he said, “so it was nice to have a lot of people watching.”

PUUTIO ARRIVES

After playing in the Canadian Hockey League Top Prospects Game last week, import defenseman Kasper Puutio made his Silvertips debut on Saturday and recorded two shots on goal.

Although Puutio, who was acquired from Swift Current at the trade deadline, didn’t make it onto the scoresheet, he impressed Williams.

“I like his poise, I like his defending. He plays physical and he’s had a good stick,” Williams said. “We haven’t seen much on the offensive side, which is difficult for a ‘D,’ especially when you’re not on the power play or anything yet.”

Puutio, a native of Finland, was paired up with overage defenseman Jake Christiansen. They also share the same billet house.

“It’s been a really busy week and a lot of stuff going on,” Puutio said. “At the same time, it’s a really fun week. I’m really excited to be here and I’m loving it so far.”

ZELLWEGER’S HIGHLIGHT GOAL

Of the 13 goals Everett scored over the three-game weekend, perhaps the flashiest belonged to 16-year-old Olen Zellweger, who spun around a Seattle winger and snapped a shot past Seattle goalie Roddy Ross from the high slot on Saturday.

“It’s a really good play, when it works out, I always say,” Williams quipped. “It goes to show his skillset. He’s one of those guys that just loves the game. Part of his game that makes him really good, and it reminds me a little bit of Jake Christiansen, he’s just kind of fearless out there and trusts his ability and his skillset. I think when you see a player do something like that, that goes to show his confidence in what he can do. … Getting his head up there and being able to score that goal, it was big time.”

SPECIAL-TEAM SUCCESS

The Silvertips’ penalty kill was nearly perfect by squelching seven of eight opportunities and Everett’s power play cashed in on four of its 11 chances over the weekend.

The most impressive special-teams moment for Everett came on Friday against Kelowna when the Silvertips killed off 1:51 of a 5-on-3 after taking two penalties within nine seconds of each other.

GONCALVES SCORING IN BUNCHES

The Silvertips’ top goal scorer over the weekend was 18-year-old forward Gage Goncalves, who potted a pair on Friday and a pair on Saturday.

After being a bit snake-bitten as a 17-year-old, with just one goal in his rookie campaign, Goncalves is creating more luck in his second season in the WHL with 23 goals.

“If you saw where all his goals were scored, they’re all around the net,” Williams said. “Very rarely can you toe drag and do all these fancy moves. You have to be willing to go to the blue-paint area. I think the difference from this year to last year he’s stronger, faster, he’s more tenacious and willing to get to the tough areas.”

QUOTABLE

Williams on the season-high eight goals Saturday: “I do really think it helps build that confidence with guys. I’ve said since Christmas, (the struggles) haven’t been from a lack of work ethic or attention to detail. They’ve done a good job of sticking together as a group and as a team. Tonight, it all kind of came together.”

Josh Horton covers the Silvertips for the Herald. Follow him on Twitter, @JoshHortonEDH

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