By Carmen Dittoe – Silvertips Staff Writer
In their fourth and final meeting against Victoria this season, the Everett Silvertips reached an achievement and then some – after starting the season at 4-9-1 captured the U.S. Division title in a 8-1 victory, setting a new franchise record for goals in a season.
The goal series that helped set the new record included a Patrick Bajkov hat trick along with goals from Bryce Kindopp, Connor Dewar, and Matt Fonteyne.
In a thrilling first period, the Silvertips posted three unanswered goals. Kindopp kicked off the hot streak as he buried the puck off a Dewar rebound. The following two goals smashed the end of the first, with Bajkov netting his first of three 15:07 into the period from the right circle amid a power play. Only two minutes later, Dewar scored a power play goal to close out the period.
Dewar put up his second goal of the evening off a beautiful tic-tac-toe assist sequence from Garrett Pilon and Fonteyne while face to face with rookie Royals goalie Dean McNabb only 0:39 into the second period. Victoria forward Matthew Phillips answered with a power play goal redirected by teammate Dante Hannoun at 5:55, scoring the team’s only goal of the evening.
With his 32nd goal of the season, Bajkov posted his second power play goal of the night from the left dot at 10:37 with Davis and Fonteyne on the assist. The star forward logged his second hat trick of the regular season less than nine minutes later on a breakaway goal with only 0:34 left in the second period.
With a comfortable 6-1 lead going into the third period, Everett pulled Hart to rest as rookie goalie Dustin Wolf hit the ice. Wolf continued the game with a huge right-pad save, followed by a Kindopp goal from the left circle at 6:46. With less than five minutes left in regulation, Fonteyne closed out the huge victory with a late-third period goal off a redirect from Davis.
In total, the Silvertips logged 21 points in 60 minutes through eight goals and 13 assists, solidifying their capture of the U.S. Division. They broke the franchise record for most goals in a season with 16 games left to go, scoring at least eight goals in a game for the fifth time since September.