Silvertips goalie Dustin Wolf led the U.S. Division in goals-against average, save percentage and shutouts this past season. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Silvertips goalie Dustin Wolf led the U.S. Division in goals-against average, save percentage and shutouts this past season. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Trio of Silvertips receive U.S. Division awards

Dustin Wolf, Cole Fonstad and Gage Goncalves are rewarded after their division championship season.

Dustin Wolf, Cole Fonstad and Gage Goncalves each compiled exceptional seasons this spring while leading the Everett Silvertips to another U.S. Division title.

Earlier this week, the three Silvertips standouts were rewarded with spots on the Western Hockey League’s U.S. Division All-Star team.

And on Friday, the trio received more accolades.

Wolf was named both the U.S. Division’s player of the year and goaltender of the year, while Fonstad and Goncalves split the U.S. Division’s top scorer award.

Wolf, the reigning Canadian Hockey League goaltender of the year, tied for first in the 22-team WHL in shutouts (four) and was second in both goals against average (1.80) and save percentage (.940). He led the five-team U.S. Division in all three categories during this season’s abbreviated division-only slate.

Wolf allowed one goal or less in 10 of the 22 games he played. The 2001-born Southern California native opened the season with three consecutive shutouts and set the franchise goaltending record for the longest scoreless streak at 216 minutes, 27 seconds.

Wolf, who signed with the Calgary Flames last year after being selected by the franchise in the seventh round of the 2019 NHL draft, ranks third in WHL history with 24 shutouts over the course of his Silvertips career. The WHL record is 26 career shutouts, held by former Silvertips goaltender Carter Hart (now a member of the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers) and former Vancouver netminder Tyson Sexsmith.

“Dustin Wolf has never taken his eyes off the mission of being an ultimate competitor, and we’re extremely proud of him today for being recognized,” Silvertips head coach and interim general manager Dennis Williams said in a team press release.

“Every year, he’s been handed a challenge. And every year, he’s succeeded with conquering those challenges —from being ready for his workload, to the NHL draft, to being ready for the next level. Both awards are symbolic of his effort, dedication, commitment and the outstanding job by goaltending coach James Jensen.”

Fonstad and Goncalves, meanwhile, earned their top scorer award by finishing tied atop the U.S. Division leaderboard in points. Both players produced 34 points in 23 games, which was tied for third in the WHL.

Fonstad, a 2000-born left winger from Saskatchewan, totaled 16 goals and 18 assists. He finished tied for the third-most goals in the U.S. Division and tied for the fifth-most in the WHL. He recorded at least one point in 20 of 23 games and netted three game-winning goals, including a pair of overtime game-winners.

Fonstad was selected by Montreal in the 2018 NHL draft, but the Canadiens didn’t ink him within the two-year signing window. So as an overager still in pursuit of an NHL entry-level contract, Fonstad certainly made a statement this spring during his final season in the WHL.

Goncalves, a 2001-born center from Mission, British Columbia, totaled 12 goals and 22 assists this season. He led the U.S. Division in assists and finished tied for sixth in the WHL.

Goncalves produced a pair of four-point games, including his first career hat trick against Tri-City on March 28. He also netted a pair of game-winning goals.

It’s been quite a rise for Goncalves, who went from an undrafted Silvertips training camp invite in 2016 and 2017 to a second-round NHL draft pick in 2020. He signed with the Tips in 2018, exploded onto the scene with a standout 2019-20 season and then was drafted and signed by the reigning Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning last year.

“Cole Fonstad and Gage Goncalves embraced the role each as go-to point producers, every shift and every night,” Williams said. “They were focused on making a difference. And in the end, it not only led to well-deserved standout recognition in our group, but across the league.

“We’re proud of their accomplishment, their passion for being their best, and their testimony to the results that come from dedication.”

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