KELOWNA, British Columbia – Carter Hart turned in 35 saves in his return while Matt Fonteyne’s goal in the third round of a shootout capped a come-from-behind, 4-3 shootout victory over the Kelowna Rockets before 4,718 fans at Prospera Place on Friday in WHL action.
The Silvertips, who rallied out of a 3-0 deficit, leaned on goals by Matt Fonteyne, Connor Dewar and Riley Sutter to force overtime while Hart, making his season debut, stopped six shots in overtime and two of three in the shootout.
Kelowna played to the role of rude hosts starting at 5:21 on Cal Foote’s shot from traffic from the left circle, followed by Libor Zabransky’s first career WHL goal at 16:18 when he buried a blast from the outside of the right circle, putting the Tips in a 2-0 hole after 20 minutes.
The tide almost turned when the Silvertips had 1:20 of a two-man advantage, but failed to cut into the deficit early in the second period. James Hilsendager’s finish of a Kole Lind pass from behind the net put the Tips down 3-0 at 9:05, but the momentum quickly shifted.
On a power play, Matt Fonteyne corralled Patrick Bajkov’s tape-to-tape pass and got behind the defense for a backhanded breakaway goal, 11:47 into the second period to bring the Tips to within two.
Connor Dewar then finished a snapper from the left circle on a late two-on-one break, 4:29 into the third period to cut the deficit to 3-2. With the Tips generating more puck possession and confidence, they tied the game with 2:11 left in regulation. Riley Sutter, stationed at the right boards, snuck a low shot through traffic and through Brodan Salmond’s five-hole for his third goal of the season.
With Hart turning away two high-grade looks by Kelowna, the Tips carried the tie into shootout stages where Bajkov and Tomas Soustal traded goals. After Hart shut down Nolan Foote on five-hole bid in the third round, Fonteyne closed out the Rockets on a forehand deke to Salmond’s blocker, sending the Tips bench into euphoria.
Salmond stopped 20 shots to take the shootout loss.
The Silvertips continue the nine-game road trip on Saturday, visiting the Tri-City Americans at 7:05 p.m. (Fox Sports 1380 & FM 95.3 / WHL Live / Tips App) to start a season long nine-game road trip. The Tips return home Wednesday, Oct. 18 vs. Tri-City at 7:05 p.m. Tickets are available at www.everettsilvertips.com/tickets.
SILVERTIPS LINE COMBOS
DEWAR – FONTENYE – BAJKOV
CENTAZZO – SUTTER – FASKO-RUDAS
RICHARDS – VITELLI – KINDOPP
HEIN – LIWISKI – BUTT
CHRISTIANSEN – DAVIS
WYLIE – ONYEBUCHI
FAIRBROTHER – WALKER
NOTES: The Silvertips scratches included Pavel Azhgirei (healthy), Kyle Walker (upper body, 3-5 weeks), Ethan Browne (upper body, 1-2 weeks), Riley Bruce (healthy), and Dustin Wolf (lower body, 5-7 weeks) … the Tips are now 7-0-2-1 in the last ten games against Kelowna and have won back to back road games against the Rockets … Bajkov leads the Silvertips with seven points in the first three games.
Silvertips season ticket or mini-plan packages are available at www.everettsilvertips.com/season or by calling (425) 252-5100.