Silvertips’ goalie Dustin Wolf prepares to block a shot during the game against the Spokane Chiefs on Nov. 17, 2019, in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / Herald file)

Silvertips’ goalie Dustin Wolf prepares to block a shot during the game against the Spokane Chiefs on Nov. 17, 2019, in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / Herald file)

Silvertips’ Wolf earns WHL honor

The 18-year-old goaltender was named a Western Conference first-team All-Star on Tuesday.

EVERETT — Dustin Wolf is continuing the Everett Silvertips’ monopoly on WHL Western Conference goaltending honors.

Everett’s star netminder was recognized for his excellence during the 2019-20 season on Tuesday when he was announced as a Western Conference first-team All-Star.

This is Wolf’s second straight Western Conference first-team selection. It’s also the fifth straight season Everett has had the conference’s first-team goaltender, as Carter Hart earned that nod every year from 2016-18.

“It’s definitely pretty awesome,” Wolf said about the honor. “After last year it was kind of another goal of mine, to retain that and improve upon it as much as I can. Obviously it’s not only myself, it’s a pretty clear testament of our group. As a goaltender I wouldn’t get where I’m at without the defense and forwards helping out countless times each and every game.”

Everett also had two players named to the Western Conference’s second team when it was announced Monday, those being forward Bryce Kindopp and defenseman Jake Christiansen.

Wolf, who just completed his 18-year-old season, lapped the field statistically. In 46 games the California native, who now resides in Lake Stevens, led the league in goals-against average at 1.88, save percentage at .935 and shutouts with nine — Victoria’s Shane Farkas finished second in goals-against average at 2.20 and save percentage at .929, while Brandon’s Jiri Patera and Prince Albert’s Max Paddock tied for second in shutouts with five. Wolf went 34-10-2-0, tying with Portland’s Joel Hofer for the league lead in wins.

“I thought it was a pretty good season,” Wolf said about his own performance. “There’s always room for improvement, you can get nitpicky and pinpoint games where I didn’t have my best effort. But there were also quite a few where I was able to keep the team in the game and steal a few points. But perfection is pretty much non-existent, it’s always a work in progress in that regard. I just try to come to the rink every day and put forward my best effort each time I’m on the ice.”

Wolf’s efforts helped Everett compile a 46-13-3-1 record, which was the WHL’s second-best when the league was shut down as part of the measures to slow the spread of coronavirus. Everett had five regular-season games remaining at the time.

Being named the Western Conference’s first-teamer means Wolf will be the Western Conference’s nominee for the Del Wilson Trophy as the league’s Goaltender of the Year. Wolf was the Western Conference nominee for the award last year after winning the league’s goaltending triple crown, but lost out to Prince Albert’s Ian Scott. He will be up against Patera, the Eastern Conference first-team selection, for the award this year. Patera was 24-12-2-2 with a 2.55 goals-against average and .921 save percentage.

Kindopp, one of Everett’s three overagers and the team’s captain, finished his WHL career with a flourish. The right winger from Lloydminster, Alberta, scored a career-high 40 goals, placing him fourth in the league, and led the Tips in points with 74. He was stalking Patrick Bajkov’s franchise record for career goals, as his 110 career tallies was just two behind Bajkov’s mark when the remainder of the season was canceled.

Christiansen, also an overager, had a tremendous impact after returning from the professional ranks, where he spent the first two months of the season. The West Vancouver, B.C., native finished with 22 goals and 28 assists in just 38 games, and his 22 goals set a new franchise record for goals by a defenseman in a single season.

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