By Staci C. – Silvertips Staff Writer
EVERETT, Wash. – Dominic Zwerger, Patrick Bajkov and Matt Fonteyne combined for nine points while Carter Hart’s 42 saves helped lift the Everett Silvertips to a 4-1 victory over the Portland Winterhawks before a crowd of 5,513 at XFINITY Arena on Friday in WHL action.
With the victory, the Silvertips extended their lead to three points for first place in the U.S. Division, now with the third best record in the Western Hockey League. Everett is now 22-6-2-1 at home.
Also with the Silvertips win, they reduced their magic number to two points to clinch a playoff berth and are 5-3-1-0 against Portland for the regular season.
The Silvertips started the first period strong with a goal from Patrick Bajkov at 1:17 thanks to a terrific pass from Matt Fonteyne and a helper from Dominic Zwerger.
The next ten minutes saw a lot of end to end hockey with limited quality shots by either team. At 13:09 Eetu Tuulola took a hooking penalty to give Portland their first power play of the evening. The penalty kill looked solid but with one second left, Joachim Blichfeld got a puck past Carter Hart to tie up the score 1-1.
Shortly after, to the left of Carter Hart, a scrum ensued which lead to roughing penalties for Matt Revel, Ryan Hughes and Wyatt Wylie to give the Tips a power play.
Just 33 seconds into the power play, Alex Overhardt took a slashing penalty to give the Tips a two man advantage. At 17:50, Dominic Zwerger gets the power play goal thanks to great passing from Riley Sutter and Patrick Bajkov to make it 2-1. Shots for the first period were 16 for Everett and 11 for Portland.
The second period saw a re-energized Portland team, who came out strong, and caused the Silvertips to defend a majority of the period. At 4:26, Matt Fonteyne took a slashing penalty to give Portland their second power play of the evening. 1 minute and 28 seconds later, Noah Julien took a roughing penalty which gave Portland a 2 man advantage for 32 seconds.
Thanks to brilliant goaltending by Carter Hart, the Silvertips managed to kill off both penalties. The Tips continued to struggle getting the puck out of their own end but Portland did not get a lot of quality shots off and when they did, Carter Hart was there to make key saves.
At 11:16, Connor Dewar took a holding penalty and the Hawks were back on the power play. Special teams were solid and killed the penalty with ease. Shortly after the penalty expired, Jake Christiansen got an insurance goal with a nifty pass from Matt Fonteyne and help from Dominic Zwerger at 14:20. The Tips ended the period up 3-1 and Portland dominated the shot clock with a 17-9 edge.
The third period saw more dominance from the Winterhawks but even more dominance from Hart. Alex Overhardt knocked Connor Dewar with a high stick and drew blood at 2:27, which gave the Tips a 4 minute power play.
Unfortunately, the Tips were unable to capitalize on the power play as Cole Koehler made solid saves. Shortly after the power play ended, Riley Sutter took a high sticking penalty at 6:52. The special teams and Carter Hart continued to look sharp, keeping the score at 3-1. At 11:59, Captain Noah Juulsen sealed the deal with a tap in goal from Zwerger and Bajkov to make it 4-1.
Portland continued to press and Hart continued to impress. Kevin Davis took a last minute roughing penalty but it was too little too late for the Hawks, who were unable to capitalize with 6 attackers.
Hart’s counterpart, Cole Kehler, made 28 saves.
The Silvertips will return with a game against Kamloops tomorrow, February 25 at 7:05 PM PT (Fox Sports 1380 / WHL Live). The Silvertips can clinch their playoff berth tomorrow with a win, or a Spokane loss in regulation, or any combination of a point gained by the Tips plus a point lost by Spokane.
SILVERTIPS LINE COMBOS
96 / ZWERGER 17 / FONTEYNE 8 / BAJKOV
43 / DEWAR 28 / SKOLESKI 19 / KINDOPP
15 / RICHARDS 14 / SUTTER 82 / TUULOLA
18 / HEIN 33 / KING 4 / WALKER
24 / SKRUMEDA 3 / JUULSEN
23 / CHRISTIANSEN 38 / DAVIS
29 / WYLIE 55 / IRVING
70 / HART
31 / PETIT
Notes: Silvertips scratches included Montana Onyebuchi, Keith Anderson and Orrin Centazzo … Juulsen has eight points in the last seven games … both Bajkov and Zwerger earned the 40th multi point games of their careers.
Silvertips season ticket or mini-plan packages are available at www.everettsilvertips.com/season or by calling (425) 252-5100.
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