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Friday, 31 January 2014

KNIGHTS PULL INTO THE STATION

On Friday night the Summerland Steam will host the North Okanagan Knights in the 5th meeting of the season between the two teams. The previous four games played between them have all been decided by 2 goals, with North Okanagan winning both games in Summerland and the Steam winning both games in Armstrong.

The Steam come into the contest against the Knights after winning each of their past 5 games and have pulled away from the Osoyoos Coyotes to open up a 7 point gap in the Okanagan Division standings. Looking up, the Steam are hot on the tail of the Kelowna Chiefs, who remain 3 points ahead of Summerland in the same amount of games played. The Chiefs and Coyotes will play one another tonight in Rutland.

Here's what you need to know to get you set up for tonight's contest:

NORTH OKANAGAN KNIGHTS (21-21-0-1, 43 pts, 4th in Okanagan Division)

In Summerland tonight the Knights bring a bit of stiffness with them. They're known as a team that is very tough to play against because they bring skill and a physical edge that is not easily matched in the Okanagan Division. They, like the Steam, boast a solid goaltending tandem with Mitch Profeit and Zach Dyment giving them a chance to win each and every night. Steam fans will remember Dyment as he put on a spectacular performance in the Summerland Arena earlier this season to pick up a 3-1 win for his team.

The Steam will have to be sound in the defensive zone as the Knights boast several front line forwards that have no problem putting the puck in the net. The Knights' top 3 scorers are Brett Hawrys, Blake Culbert and Dennon Leibel, and the Steam will have to be cognizant each and every time those guys are on the ice. The Steam will also have to be aware of where they are on the ice at all times, because North Okanagan has no problem playing the physical game. The physical side of play is led by Knights' captain and Salmon Arm native TJ Christensen. He's the captain, the leader, and he's a big body that loves to hit whatever he can.

The stiffest test the Knights can put up for any team in the division and the league is their goaltending. Both of their goaltenders, whether it be Mitch Profeit or Zach Dyment, have the ability to steal a game for their team and have shown that against divisional opponents like the Steam and the Osoyoos Coyotes this season. The Steam will need to get traffic to the front of the net and get their shots through if they're going to have any chance of beating whichever backstop is in the North Okanagan crease.

SUMMERLAND STEAM (25-14-1-3, 54 pts, 2nd in Okanagan Division)

The Steam come into tonight's matchup at home on a 5 game winning streak that's seen them beat these North Okanagan Knights as well as the Osoyoos Coyotes, Princeton Posse, and the Kelowna Chiefs twice. They've put themselves in a good position to chase down first in the Okanagan Division, while leaving the Coyotes trailing them by 7 points. 

After a struggle at the beginning of the season that included a 7 game losing skid in October, the Steam turned the calendar to November 1 and haven't looked back. In 28 games played since November 1st, the Steam have only recorded 5 regulation time losses, gaining at least a point in 23 of those 28 games. 

They've been led lately in large part by their veteran players. The guys that don't get points every night but play a solid 2 way game are key for the Steam, and they've been led in that department lately by the likes of Olli Dickson and Braden Saretsky. Kienan Scott is back to contributing on the scoresheet as well as off of it every night, and same goes for Jordan Boultbee, Daylan Robertson, and Paulsen Lautard.

In recent games, particularly since acquiring Calvin Hadley at the trade deadline, the Steam have been much improved in their defensive zone. They're turning the puck over less and are making a conscious effort to clear the puck on the first opportunity rather than taking two or three attempts to clear.

Brett Huber will start for the Steam tonight, his third straight after Darren Hogg had his gear stolen on Thursday last week. Hogg is now in the middle of breaking in new equipment and hopes to possibly start Wednesday in Armstrong when these two teams convene once again. Huber has been solid this season, making 30 appearances and holding a record of 16-11-1 while maintaining a 2.74 GAA and a .916 SV%.


As always, the puck drops at 7:30 at the Summerland Arena and if you can't make it out we've got you covered at KIJHL.ca on the webcast. You can follow along with the two teams on twitter (@SteamKIJHL and @NOKnights) as well as myself (@Steam_Voice) for the latest updates leading up to game time!

Saturday, 25 January 2014

SARETSKY NETS WINNER, STEAM HANG ON FOR MONUMENTAL WIN

On Saturday night the Summerland Steam headed into Kelowna to face the division leading Chiefs, trying to narrow the gap and chase down 1st place. This matchup would go a long way in determining who would finish the season in 1st place in the Okanagan Division, and Summerland was able to come out with a well earned 4-3 victory. It was once again their veterans who led the way against the Chiefs, providing a strong forecheck and solid defensive play for the whole 60 minutes.

The Steam got the quick start they were after in this game, as they really took the play to the Kelowna Chiefs from the outset. They won the battles in all four corners early on and were rewarded just over 6 minutes to go when who else but Kienan Scott opened the scoring. He took a pass from Paulsen Lautard to the glove side of Chiefs' goaltender Tyler O'Donnell and went up high past his glove just under the crossbar. Daylan Robertson recorded the second assist on the play as he got the Steam moving forward with a pass to Lautard.

Jordan Salahor evened the score for the Chiefs before the end of the period on a shorthanded chance after a turnover by the Steam behind their own goal. He was allowed to walk out from the blocker side of goaltender Brett Huber and slide a puck into the back of the net. The lead wouldn't last long, however, as just under two minutes into the second period Olli Dickson finished off a three-way passing play between himself, Sam Nigg and Dylan Burton on a powerplay to give the Steam their lead back. Paulsen Lautard then added one of his own at the midway mark of the period on another powerplay, with assists going to Daylan Robertson and Jordan Boultbee.

Just three minutes later the Steam added another goal. This one was of the shorthanded variety and it was a thing of beauty. The Steam were able to clear a puck out of the zone on a penalty kill, straight to Braden Saretsky. Saretsky flew up the left wing with the puck before stopping on the half wall in the Kelowna zone to shake a defender, cutting to the middle, and absolutely roofing a shot over the blocker of Tyler O'Donnell. It went off the bar and straight down into the net, giving the Steam a 4-1 lead and seemingly deflating the Kelowna Chiefs.

The Steam kept pressure on and continued to frustrate the Chiefs into the middle of the third period before Kelowna put up some resistance and started to get some chances. With 6:03 remaining in the third period defenseman Kyle Hazelwood put a shot over the blocker of Brett Huber to shrink the lead to just 2. After this Kelowna goal, with 4:36 to go, Kelowna head coach Ken Andrusiak played a hunch and pulled his goaltender in favor of the extra attacker. It paid immediate dividends for him as his captain, Jordan Salahor, broke loose off a faceoff and potted his second of the night to bring the lead to 4-3.

Despite a late push and a powerplay in the final 4 minutes, Kelowna was not able to even the score and the Steam left Rutland Arena with a 4-3 victory. It was a solid team game that required sixty full minutes of solid play, and solid goaltending from Brett Huber.


The Steam clinch a playoff spot tonight as well, with their win combined with Princeton's 10-3 loss to the North Okanagan Knights. Osoyoos traveled to Kamloops tonight as well and fell 6-1 to the Storm. After all the dust settles on the Okanagan Division tonight, the Steam will sit just 3 points back of Kelowna, 7 points up on the Osoyoos Coyotes who sit 3rd, and are guaranteed to be playing meaningful games in a month when the playoffs begin.

The Steam will now take a couple days off before returning to practice on Tuesday in advance of a date with the North Okanagan Knights on January 31st at the Summerland Arena. The puck will drop that night at 7:30 and we'll have the call at KIJHL.ca if you can't make it out to support the Steam as they head to the playoffs!

SCOTT NETS 3 AS STEAM BEAT POSSE, LOOK AHEAD TO KELOWNA

On Friday night the Summerland Steam returned home after 3 weeks away and recorded a 3-2 double overtime victory thanks to a hat trick from their leading scorer, Kienan Scott. The Steam were sloppy early on in the game and allowed Princeton to score early, much like the game on January 7th in Princeton that resulted in a Steam loss.

Andrew Stack opened the scoring for the Posse in the first period as they carried the play and really took it to Summerland. That lead held until the 2:54 mark of the second period when Kienan Scott took a rebound off a Dylan Burton shot and bounced it off Princeton goaltender Scott Legault and into the back of the net.

Devan Siudy would then give the Princeton Posse the lead on the powerplay just 5 minutes into the third period, as he curled off the left wing wall and rifled a shot high to the blocker side of Summerland goaltender Brett Huber. It took only 4 minutes, however, before Scott brought the game back to a tie score on a breakaway after picking up a lob pass from Paulsen Lautard and burying a shot between the legs of Legault in the Princeton goal. That would round out the scoring for regulation time, as it would end in a 2-2 and send the two teams to overtime.

In extra time the teams played 5 minutes of 4on4 with no scoring before Kienan Scott ended the game on another breakaway just over a minute into 3on3 OT.

The win coupled with an Osoyoos loss to 100 Mile House last night puts the Steam 5 points up on the third place Coyotes. Kelowna did manage to beat the North Okanagan Knights 2-1 to keep their division lead at 5 points as the Steam try to chase them down.


Friday, 24 January 2014

STEAM START BIG DIVISIONAL WEEKEND, WELCOME POSSE TO TOWN

On Friday night the Summerland Steam will make their return to home ice after 3 full weeks of road games. The last time fans saw them at the Summerland Arena they were triumphant over the Princeton Posse by a score of 6-2. They will face the Posse again tonight, hoping for a like result. While ‘on the road’ these past three weeks the Steam have played a total of 5 games, gaining 8 of a possible 10 points and opening up a 3 point lead on the 3rd place Osoyoos Coyotes while trying to chase down Kelowna for 1st in the division. They were victorious in North Okanagan before falling 6-2 to Princeton in their home arena on Jan 7th, but have since rattled off 3 wins in a row over North Okanagan, Osoyoos, and most recently Kelowna on Tuesday evening. 

Here's what you need to know to head into tonight's matchup: 

SUMMERLAND STEAM

Tonight the Steam turn their attention to another familiar foe in the Princeton Posse. The two teams have played each other 6 times this season, with Summerland gaining 5 wins in those 6 games. Brett Huber will get the start for the Steam tonight after Darren Hogg started in Kelowna on Tuesday. Brett’s last action was the game before, in Osoyoos, where he backstopped the Steam to a 6-5 win over the Coyotes.
               
The Steam will be without a couple of bodies tonight as Alex Williams remains sidelined with a lower body injury that’s seen him miss the last 2 games, and Piers Egan will also be out as he deals with an illness. Williams has begun skating again but will not play tonight as per assistant coach/GM Gregg Wilson. Look for Rylan Sideroff to step back on defense in place of Williams and Egan. Newcomer Calvin Hadley, who has looked good since joining the Steam at the January 10 trade deadline from Comox Valley, will make his home debut tonight wearing #6.

PRINCETON POSSE

It could be very easy for the Steam to look past this game with a showdown with the Kelowna Chiefs taking place tomorrow. They’re going to have to be cautious and not look to far ahead and concentrate only on tonight’s game, because you better believe Princeton is going to bring it. The Posse possess firepower up front led by the likes of team captain Kurtis Klinger, Eric Kubis, Devan Siudy and newcomer Andrew Stack who now is performing at a point-per-game pace since being acquired from Kimberly in early December. They do a great job on the forecheck and Siudy in particular has an extremely heavy shot if he gets loose in the offensive zone. The 19 year old native of Langley, BC has 30 goals and 55 points in 70 career games with the Posse over the past 2 seasons and plays big minutes in all key situations for the Posse. At 6’3” and 190lbs, Siudy is a big body that’s tough to move in the offensive zone, particularly when he steps in front of the opposing goaltender.

               
Princeton will be without one of their top defenseman again tonight, as Cooper Prechel has been sidelined since before the Christmas break with a hand injury that required surgery. He was in the middle of a breakout rookie season as a sixteen year old when the injury occurred on December 13, and is hoping to get back in the lineup before season’s end. 

As always you can follow along with myself (Steam_Voice) and the team (SteamKIJHL) on twitter and on Facebook at 'Summerland Junior B Hockey Club'. If you're a fan of the Posse you can find Posse play by play man George Elliott (@PosseWebCrew) on twitter as well as on Facebook at 'Princeton Posse'

After a long 3 weeks off, I will have the call for you alongside Dave Desautels just prior to 7:30 puck drop with a bit of a pregame show including the starting lineups, an update on the standings, and the three keys to the game prior to the start of this divisional tilt! 

REMEMBER STEAM FANS, MAKE SURE TO COME OUT TONIGHT, BE LOUD, BE PROUD, AND CHEER ON THE BOYS AS THEY RETURN HOME FROM 3 LONG WEEKS AWAY!

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

VETERANS LEAD THE CHARGE, STEAM CLIP CHIEFS

On Tuesday night the Summerland Steam got their week off to an early start as they climbed on the bus and headed up Highway 97 for a divisional matchup with the Kelowna Chiefs. The Chiefs had won 3 of the 4 games played in the season series leading into tonight's action, but on this night it was the Steam who would come out victorious with a 4-2 victory. It's a big 2 points that brings the Steam to within 5 of the Chiefs with three head to head matchups to go. The Steam now sit 5 points clear of the 3rd place Osoyoos Coyotes with Osoyoos having 1 game in hand. The Steam were solid from the start tonight, save for a couple of minutes early in the game where they let Kelowna take advantage of some sloppy play in the D zone. Darren Hogg picked up the win for the Steam, his first of the season against the Chiefs, making 25 saves. He also recorded an assist on the Steam's first goal of the night.

GAME RECAP:

The Steam wanted to come out quickly and get a good start against the Chiefs in order to neutralize their offense, but it wasn't that easy. Braeden Cyra opened the scoring for the Chiefs after taking advantage of some sloppy defensive play. It looked as though the puck was covered up in the Steam crease before it was dug out and stuffed into the net.

Not long after, however, the Steam struck back on a powerplay. Hogg managed to get his stick on a dump in from Kelowna and moved the puck quickly up the left wing wall to a waiting Olli Dickson, who skated in and ripped a shot past former Steam goaltender Connor De Melo to tie the game at 1. Five minutes later, however, after Summerland had controlled play for several minutes, Colten Dachwitz broke the tie after coming down the right wing and putting a puck to the front of the net off his backhand. The puck ricocheted off a body or two in front of the net and found it's way behind Darren Hogg to give the Chiefs a 2-1 lead.

The Steam would continue to push without any result until the final seconds of the period when Paulsen Lautard fought off two Chiefs' defenders and potted a game-tying goal with just :6 on the clock. Daylan Robertson and Jordan Boultbee would pick up assists on Lautard's 17th of the season.

In the second the Steam were helped by their goaltender in a big way. He held the team in the game for the better part of the period until the shots were 13-2 in favor of Kelowna, when Josh Dacosta put the hammer down on a puck from the point on a 5-on-3 powerplay to give the Steam the lead.

That goal would prove to be the winner, as Jordan Boultbee would add a goal midway through the third to bring the lead to 4-2 and round out the scoring. Boultbee was the benefactor of a strong cycle and was allowed to curl out of the corner and have a clean shot at De Melo which he put in a perfect spot to extend his team's lead.

Boultbee and Dickson both finished the game with 1 goal and 1 assist each, and Michael Winnitoy added an assists as well in the victory.


WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

THE STEAM RETURN HOME THIS FRIDAY, JANUARY 24TH TO FACE THE PRINCETON POSSE FOR A 7:30 PUCK DROP. YOU CAN PICK UP YOUR TICKETS IN ADVANCE AT NESTER'S MARKET IN DOWNTOWN SUMMERLAND OR AT THE DOOR ON THE WAY INTO THE RINK.

BE SURE TO COME OUT AND CHEER ON THE BOYS AFTER 3 FULL WEEKS OF NOTHING BUT ROAD GAMES AS THEY CONTINUE TO ROLL TOWARDS THE PLAYOFFS. 

BRING SIGNS, WEAR RED, WHITE AND BLACK, AND DON'T FORGET TO BE LOUD! 

As always, you can join us on Facebook at Summerland Junior B Hockey Club or on twitter with myself (@Steam_Voice) and the team (@SteamKIJHL) for all the updates you'll need!

Monday, 20 January 2014

STEAM HEAD INTO CHIEFS' COUNTRY ON A ROLL

On Tuesday night the Summerland Steam will travel up Highway 97 to Rutland where they'll find the Kelowna Chiefs waiting for them. The Steam are coming in off a huge victory over the Osoyoos Coyotes on Saturday night by a score of 6-5. Paulsen Lautard was the catalyst that kept the engine running on Saturday night, recording a hat trick and being a force on the forecheck all night long against the Coyotes. He'll need to do that again against a very solid Chiefs team that leads the division by 7 points over Summerland.

The Steam and the Chiefs have tangled with one another 4 times so far this season, with Kelowna coming out victorious in 3 of those meetings. All four have been decided by 1 goal, and that is likely not going to change as both teams jockey for position heading towards the playoffs. Brett Huber has been the goaltender of record for Summerland in all 4 contests against the Chiefs this season, while former member of the Steam Connor De Melo has been in the Chiefs' net for 3 of 4 games against his former team.

Here's what you need to know to get you set for Tuesday night's tilt:

THE STEAM

The Steam brought a total team effort with them to Osoyoos and were rewarded with a big win, thanks to solid goaltending from Brett Huber and an outburst of offense from their forwards. Paulsen Lautard led the offensive charge with his linemates Kienan Scott and Daylan Robertson while all four lines had chances to score all throughout the game. Cooper Holick served a 1 game suspension on Saturday night but will be available for coach John Depourcq on Tuesday night.

Newcomer Calvin Hadley was impressive in his debut for the Steam in Osoyoos on Saturday. He is able to find the phyiscal edge as well as make a good first pass out of the defensive zone. He will surely work well in the Steam's D core providing some stability along with Josh Dacosta, Michael Winnitoy, Nelson Hurry, Alex Williams and Easton Bodeux. Williams missed the game vs Osoyoos with a lower body injury, but figures to return to the lineup on Tuesday evening in Kelowna. Shane Bennett also looked good in his return from a lower body injury that saw him miss 31 games.

Darren Hogg will start in net for the Steam in Kelowna and will look to continue his strong run of play since returning from injury on December 6th. Both Hogg and goaltending partner Brett Huber have provided a strong backbone for the Steam as they've really turned play around since the start of November. They give the Steam a chance to win every single night, which is all you can ask for from a pair of goaltenders night in and night out.


THE KELOWNA CHIEFS

Despite losing their leading scorer, Nick Josephs, to the BCHL's Salmon Arm Silverbacks in early January, the Chiefs have continued to roll forward . They've won three of their five games since his departure and have not missed an offensive beat, averaging near 3 goals per game in those five games. Josephs had carried most of the offensive load for the Chiefs until his departure, but the likes of Jagger Bowles, Jordan Salahor, and Nick Kovacik have continued to produce points and help the Chiefs get wins along with Brady Mende. Mende, a native of Winfield, BC, has maintained a point per game pace throughout this season while being one of the Chiefs best centermen and most depended upon penalty killers. At just 18 years old, Mende has proven to be an extremely valuable member of the Chiefs' team and has serious potential to be a force for years to come.

The Chiefs are led from the defensive side of the puck by Nick Headrick and Kevin Roth, who are both smooth skating defensemen that have the ability to help in the offensive zone whenever they're given the opportunity. Not many defensemen in the KIJHL carry nearly a point per game pace, but Nick Headrick is one of those players. The Steam will have to be extremely cognizant of where he is on the ice at all times as he acts as much like a 4th forward as he does a valuable defenseman, and that isn't a knock on his defensive play.

In goal the Chiefs boast a strong goaltending tandem in former Steam goaltender Connor De Melo and veteran tender Tyler O'Donnell. Both give their team a chance to win every single night and provide a stiff test for opponents when it comes to putting pucks in the net.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

The puck drops in Kelowna at the Rutland Arena on Tuesday evening at 7PM. It is sure to be a spirited tilt between the top two teams in the Okanagan Division as the Steam try to close the gap and the Chiefs try to extend their lead past 7 points. This is the first of 4 meetings in a calendar month as these teams will meet on January 25 in Rutland followed by a Valentine's Day date in Summerland on February 14th before closing out their season series in Rutland on February 21.

If you can't make it out to the arena to check out some great local Junior hockey action, be sure to follow along at KIJHL.ca on the webcast live from the Rutland Arena!

As always you can check us out on Facebook at 'Summerland Junior B Hockey Club' and follow along with myself (@Steam_Voice) and the two teams (@KelownaChiefs) & (@SteamKIJHL) for all the updates you need to keep up with some of the best junior hockey in the province!

Sunday, 19 January 2014

LAUTARD PLAYS ENGINEER AS STEAM DOWN COYOTES

On Saturday night the Summerland Steam traveled to Osoyoos to take on the Coyotes in what was their biggest game of the season to date. With an 8 day break since their last game, it gave the Steam a chance to rest and heal some bumps and bruises before taking on the Coyotes on Saturday night. 

Paulsen Lautard, who missed the January 10th game due to injury, returned to the lineup in a big way for Summerland. He recorded a hat trick in the hockey game and led the offensive charge for the Steam as they picked up a 6-5 victory. Reid Brown, Gordon Walters, and Dylan Burton also scored for the Steam as they scored five times on 22 shots on Coyotes' starting goaltender Nathan Alalouf before he was relieved to start the third period by Coyotes' AP goaltender and 16 year old Penticton native Brandon Lockett. Lockett stopped 8 of 9 Steam shots, the only goal he allowed being the hat trick goal from Paulsen Lautard which stood as the game winner after the Coyotes made a late push to make the score 6-5.

Brett Huber was solid in the Summerland crease making 32 saves and picking up his 4th win in 5 games against the Coyotes. 

GAME RECAP

The scoring started early in this contest courtesy of Wyatt Trumbley just 3:49 into the hockey game. Assists on the goal went to Colten Braid and Cameron Dobransky, and the Coyotes had an early edge. It didn't take long for the Steam to even the score, however, as Paulsen Lautard buried one behind goaltender Nathan Alalouf on a powerplay just under 6 minutes later. That goal was assisted by Josh Dacosta and pulled the Steam even at 1-1. The period ended with the same score despite some good chances for Osoyoos on a powerplay after Steam newcomer Calvin Hadley took a cross-checking penalty late in the frame. 

The Steam took the lead early in the second period by once again scoring in bunches. Paulsen Lautard, Reid Brown, and Gordon Walters scored in a 4 minute and 30 second span early in the second period to turn a 1-1 tie into a 4-1 Steam lead. Penticton product Michael Crawford drew the Coyotes within 2 at the 4:34 mark of the period, before Dylan Burton added another Steam goal late in the second period that pushed the score to 5-2 heading to the third period. 

That would be all for Coyotes' goaltender Nathan Alalouf as he turned things over to Brandon Lockett to start the third period. The Coyotes started their comeback on a powerplay near the midway point of the third when a shot from Cameron Dobransky found it's way into the back of the net behind Brett Huber to bring the score to 5-3. Paulsen Lautard answered back, however, just 4 minutes later to complete his hat trick and restore the Steam's 3 goal lead. 

The Coyotes would push late, adding goals from Brock MacDonald and Brendan Smith in the final 2 minutes, but ultimately would come up short at the final buzzer. 

Jordan Boultbee had 2 assists in the game for the Steam, and Kienan Scott, Daylan Robertson, Olli Dickson, Sam Nigg, Josh Dacosta and Kendell Wilson also added an assist each to the score sheet. 

Dobransky led the way for the Coyotes with a goal and 2 assists, while Michael Crawford had a goal and an assist. Colten Braid, Brock McDonald, Brendan Smith, Luc Gradisar, Brock Anderson, Colin Chmelka, and Liam Neary also added assists for the Coyotes in the losing effort. 

WHAT IT ALL MEANS

The win for Summerland pushes them 3 points up on the Coyotes, who still maintain a game in hand advantage. It essentially guarantees the Steam one of four spots in the playoffs with 11 games remaining.

 The Coyotes will use that one game in hand on Sunday when they take to the ice to face the North Okanagan Knights at 1:35. The Steam will have 2 short days off before they travel to Kelowna to face the division leading Chiefs on Tuesday night. 

The Steam will return home on Friday night, January 24th when they host the Princeton Posse. It will be the first home game in 3 full weeks, so make sure to come out and support the boys and tell them how much you've missed them! 




Make sure you follow along with us on Facebook at the Summerland Junior B. Hockey Club, and on twitter at @SteamKIJHL and @Steam_Voice for all the roster updates and news to do with the boys!

Saturday, 18 January 2014

STEAM ENTER COYOTES' DEN LOOKING FOR 2 POINTS

After what's felt like a layoff lasting forever, the Summerland Steam will kick it back into gear tonight as they head into the Sun Bowl Arena in Osoyoos for an 8:05 puck drop against the division rival Coyotes. These two teams last played each other in a home and home series on December 28th and 29th, each taking a 3-2 victory in the other's home rink. Tonight's matchup will mark the 7th time these two teams have faced off this season, with each team picking up 3 victories.

Each team's last game came in Armstrong against the North Okanagan Knights, with Osoyoos picking up a 5-2 loss on January 12th and Summerland coming home with a 5-1 win on January 10th.


WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: SUMMERLAND STEAM

The Steam come into tonight's game off an 8 day break. Their last game was a 5-1 win in Armstrong against the Knights that saw a total team effort and a solid 35 save performance from Darren Hogg in the Steam net. It was a good bounce back performance for the team after a dismal effort in Princeton three nights prior.

Tonight it will be Brett Huber who takes the crease for Summerland as he looks make a strong start and help his team get a very valuable 2 points in the Okanagan Division. This will be the 4th time this season that Huber has faced the Osoyoos Coyotes, with is record to date being 3W-1L. He has allowed 2 goals or less in 3 of his 4 starts against the Coyotes, and will want to continue that trend through this evening's contest.

The Steam lead the Coyotes by a point in the division, even though Osoyoos does carry 1 game in hand over through tonight's contest. The Steam have seen a vast improvement in their ranking in the standings in the past couple of months, and will look to continue strong play against their division in order to gain even more ground. On November 1st they sat 1 point out of last place in the Okanagan Division and now, 2 months later, they sit in 2nd place, 1 point up on 3rd place Osoyoos and trailing the division leading Kelowna Chiefs by just 7 points.

Lineup Notes:

Tonight the Steam will welcome a couple of 'new' faces to their lineup. One will be the newest member of the Summerland Steam, Calvin Hadley, who was acquired from the Comox Valley Glacier Kings of the VIJHL at the trade deadline last week. In 77 games played with the Glacier Kings over the past 2 seasons, Calvin has amassed 6 goals and 12 assists for 18 points to go along with 230 PIMS.

The other 'new addition' will be Shane Bennett, a member of the Steam since the start of the season who's missed the last 31 games and roughly 15 weeks with a lower body injury. In 8 games this season before his injury occurred, Shane accumulated 1 goal and 3 assists for the Steam. Shane is expected to skate on a line with Jordan Boultbee and Reid Brown in his first game back for Summerland.

Cooper Holick will sit out tonight's game against the Coyotes while he serves a 1 game ban for accumulated fighting majors after an early tilt with North Okanagan Knights forward Matthew Halvorson early in that January 10th victory. Alex Williams will be also absent from the Steam lineup tonight as he rehabs a lower body injury suffered in the early stages of that 5-1 victory over the North Okanagan Knights on January 10th. He hopes to return to action in the Steam's next game, January 21st at the Rutland Arena vs the Kelowna Chiefs.

Paulsen Lautard will also return to the Steam lineup after sitting out vs North Okanagan on Jan 10th.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: OSOYOOS COYOTES

The Osoyoos Coyotes come in tonight after a loss in North Okanagan, so they'll be looking to get back on track and get back in the win column against the Steam. The Steam will have to be wary of the Coyotes' top line of Aaron Azevedo, Colin Chmelka, and speedster Troy Maclise. This line carries most of the offensive load for the Coyotes up front along with Rainer Glimpel and Jackson Dematos, and all five players are always dangerous each and every time they're on the ice.

The Steam will also have to be very cognizant of Coyotes' veteran defenseman and Osoyoos native Cameron Dobransky every time he hits the ice. A veteran of 169 career KIJHL games, Dobransky provides the Coyotes with very solid defensive play with his D partner Wyatt Trumbley, and leads all Coyotes' defensemen in points with 25 this season. In his KI career Dobransky's stat line reads 17G and 58A for 75 pts to go along with 141 PIMs. At 5' 8" and 165 Lbs, he has no problem planting an opponent when he gets the chance and he won't hesitate to jump in the rush as the Coyotes move up the ice out of their defensive zone. Look for him to be especially motivated to throw checks against Summerland, a team who possesses 6 players on their roster who Dobransky grew up playing with and against shift in and shift out for the better part of the past 13 seasons.

The Steam will not be the only team to have a new face in their lineup tonight. The Coyotes will have a new addition to their lineup in 21 year old (01/14/93) Osoyoos native Brock Anderson. Brock has returned to play the remainder of the season with the Coyotes after spending the previous 2 seasons with the club. Brock has amassed 95 games of KIJHL experience over three seasons, all with the Yotes. In those 95 games, Anderson has picked up 30 points (12G, 18A) and an astounding 363 PIM. Listed at 5' 11" and 185 LBS, he isn't afraid to use his body on the forecheck or anywhere else on the ice, so the Steam will need to make sure they know where he is at all times when he's on the ice.

Coyotes goaltenders Lawrence Langan and Nathan Alalouf have both played against the Steam this season, and both have proven that it doesn't matter which of them is in the net on Saturday night, it will  be tough for the Steam to score goals.

The puck drops tonight at 8:05PM at the Sun Bowl Arena in Osoyoos! If you can't get to the rink, make sure to join Tom Shields and Randy Bedard for the call on KIJHL.ca just before puck drop!

Saturday, 11 January 2014

STEAM CRUISE PAST KNIGHTS, MOVE TO 2ND IN DIVISION

The Summerland Steam took to the ice on Friday night in Armstrong as they faced the North Okanagan Knights for the 5th time in just over 50 days, gaining a hard fought 5-1 victory. It was a gritty affair that started with a goal from Daylan Robertson, (assisted by Reid Brown and Easton Bodeaux) just over a minute into the game. That's when the blood began to boil between the two division rivals, as just a couple of minutes later Cooper Holick and Mathew Halvorson dropped their mitts for a spirited tilt that resulted in them each receiving 5 minutes for fighting and an early shower.

Gordon Walters extended the lead for the Steam at the 15:49 mark of the period on a goal that was assisted by Braden Saretsky and Daylan Robertson. The Steam lost one of their top defensemen, Alex Williams, early in the first period after a collision with a Knights' player that resulted in Williams leaving the game and not returning with what is expected to be some degree of knee injury.

In the second period the Knights got one goal back, as Blaine Caton beat Steam goaltender Darren Hogg with a tip on a point shot from Paul Biegel just in front of the Summerland net to bring the score to 2-1. In the third period though, the Steam came out with purpose. Sam Nigg started the scoring at the 14:35 mark of the third period with a goal that was set up by Rylan Sideroff and Reid Brown. That was followed just three minutes later by the Steam's leading scorer, Kienan Scott, potting one on the powerplay assisted again by Sideroff and Brown. Jordan Boultbee would round out the scoring for the Steam and bring the score to 5-1 on the powerplay, a goal that was set up by Daylan Robertson and Gordon Walters.

Darren Hogg was solid in the Summerland goal stopping 35 of the 36 shots he faced while Zach Dyment stopped 36 of 41 Steam shots for the Knights.

The win brings the Steam to 2nd place in the Okanagan Division, a point ahead of the Osoyoos Coyotes and just 5 points back of the division leading Kelowna Chiefs. Both teams, however, do hold 2 games in hand over the Steam, so Summerland will need to continue to play solid hockey down the stretch to secure their desired playoff berth.

The Steam now have an eight day break before taking to the ice again on the 18th of January when they travel to Osoyoos for what will be their biggest game of the year to date. They then go up the road to Rutland three nights later on the 21st to face the division leading Kelowna Chiefs.

The Steam will return home once again on January 24th to face the Princeton Posse for a 7:30 face-off, so be sure to come out and support the boys as they push their way up the Okanagan Division standings in search of a playoff berth!

Friday, 10 January 2014

STEAM ROLL INTO ARMSTRONG TO FACE KNIGHTS

After a disappointing outing in Princeton on Tuesday night that resulted in a 6-2 loss, the Summerland Steam will travel to face the North Okanagan Knights tonight. The Steam got off to a slow start on Tuesday evening in Princeton, giving up 2 early goals that had them trying to play catch up. They ultimately couldn't, as Princeton continued to drive play and kept Summerland chasing.

Tonight the Steam will look to get off to a fast start and avoid having to chase against a very solid North Okanagan Knights hockey club. This will be the 5th meeting of the season between the two clubs, all of which have come since November the 19th. As we head into meeting #5 the season series is currently tied at 2, which each team gaining their two wins on the road. The two teams are evenly match and have played hard, competitive hockey against one another so far this season. Being separated in the Okanagan Division standings by 11 points, the Steam will be looking to gain more ground while the Knights will look to close the gap and get back in the race up the standings as the playoffs creep closer.

Darren Hogg is projected to start for the Steam tonight after entering the game on Tuesday night in relief of Brett Huber with 7 minutes to play in the second period. As for the Knights, both goaltenders (Zach Dyment and Mitch Profeit) have been solid in games against the Steam this season so no matter who is in the North Okanagan goal crease, they will provide a stiff test for a Summerland club who's looking to breakout after being held to 2 goals on Tuesday night.

The puck drops at 7:30 at the Nor Val Arena in Armstrong. Make sure to join in on KIJHL.ca for the webcast and cheer on the Steam as they chase down a playoff spot!

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

STEAM ROLL INTO POSSE'S TERRITORY

After just one day off, the Summerland Steam will take to the road again tonight to face the Princeton Posse. The Tuesday night game comes quickly on the heels of a 4-2 come from behind victory over the North Okangan Knights in Armstrong on Sunday afternoon. The Steam started the third period trailing 2-0, but got two goals from Paulsen Lautard along with singles from Riley Hunt and Jordan Boultbee. Boultbee's goal was his sixth of the season, and the game winner scored with :55 seconds left on the clock.

Tonight the Steam turn their attention to the Princeton Posse. It is sure to be a physical affair as these two divisional rivals lock horns in search of an important 2 points in the ever tightening Okanagan Division. The Steam sit in 3rd place, trailing the Osoyoos Coyotes by a point and the Kelowna Chiefs by just five points at the top of the division. Princeton, meanwhile, has really turned their play around of late and trail the 4th place North Okangan Knights by six points as the enter play tonight.

Princeton is a hard-nosed hockey team that gives a lot of teams a really rough ride throughout the KIJHL and the Steam are no exception to that. When they played one another on Friday night in Summerland there were bodies flying all over the ice, and we should expect to see the same type of game in Princeton tonight.

Projected starters are Brett Huber for Summerland and Scott Legault for the Posse. Both played Friday night, Huber making 23 saves and Legault making 29. Huber will look for another strong effort in the Summerland crease while Legault will look for a solid performance for Princeton.

The puck drops at 7PM at the Princeton & District Arena. Make sure to get out and support Junior Hockey in the community and if you can't make it to the rink, be sure to join George Elliott and the crew on the KIJHL webcast at KIJHL.ca!

Sunday, 5 January 2014

STEAM DOWN DIVISION RIVALS FOR CLEAN WEEKEND SWEEP

The Summerland Steam took to the ice on Sunday afternoon in Armstrong to face the North Okanagan Knights and finish up their weekend. On Friday night the Steam downed the Princeton Posse by a score of 6-2 thanks to a pair of goals from Kienan Scott along with singles from Josh Dacosta, Riley Hunt, Dylan Burton, and Cooper Holick. Brett Huber was solid when called upon against the Posse, stopping 23 shots in the win. 

 On Sunday afternoon Darren Hogg took to the net for the Steam, and was solid in making 29 saves on 31 Knights' shots to pick up a 4-2 win and 2 more points for the Steam. The Knights got up early in the game on a goal from Ryan Kelm. They then got a shorthanded marker from Dennon Leibel early in the second to give the Knights a 2-0 lead. In the third the Steam stormed back, and it all started with a goal from Riley Hunt on the powerplay just 36 seconds into the third period. Paulsen Lautard followed that up with another tally to tie the game at 2 just under 4 minutes later. 

The score stayed tied at 2 until the final minute of the third period when Jordan Boultbee broke the tie in Summerland's favor with :55 to go. Paulsen Lautard then iced it with an empty netter just :35 seconds later to round out the scoring at 4-2 in favor of the Summerland Steam. 

The Steam's week starts early next week as they travel to Princeton for a Tuesday night matchup with the Posse. They then return to the Nor-Val Arena on Friday night to face the Norh Okanagan Knights once again. The Steam return home on January 24th when they host the Princeton Posse for a 7:30 face off at the Summerland Arena. 

STEAM ROLL DOWN THE TRACKS INTO KNIGHTS' TERRITORY

The Summerland Steam will take to the ice Sunday afternoon to play the North Okanagan Knights, just 36 hours after completing a great team victory on Friday night, 6-2 over the Princeton Posse. In the game on Friday night the Steam got scoring from all four lines, strong defense, and solid goaltending from Brett Huber.

This afternoon it'll be Darren Hogg who gets the start in net. He has been great since returning from injury and was solid the last time these two teams played in Armstrong, making 38 saves in a 3-1 win that saw Kienan Scott score all three Steam goals. It'll take a team effort once again to beat a very solid North Okanagan Knights team, who sits just behind the Steam in the standings in the middle of the Okanagan Division.

Each and every time these two teams get together there are certainly no pleasantries exchanged. It's no secret they don't like each other, and that should be on full display once again this afternoon. The two teams have played each other three times so far this season, all in a span of 31 days that saw the Knights' win 2 of the 3 games, both on the Steam's home ice in Summerland. In their last meeting, tempers flared in the first period when an altercation occurred involving Gordon Walters and Logan Geefs, which resulted in a 1-game suspension for each player.

The puck drops today at 3PM at the Nor-Val Arena in Armstrong. If you can't make it to the rink, make sure to follow along on  KIJHL.ca as the Knights will have all the action on the web.

Friday, 3 January 2014

STEAM SEND POSSE HOME WITHOUT THEIR LOOT

This Friday night the Summerland Steam played host to the division rival Princeton Posse. The pace was set immediately as both teams got fired up right from the start, the end result being a 6-2 Summerland Steam victory.

 In the first period after the initial pace was set it was deterred a little by a few penalties. Summerland got the first powerplay but couldn't convert before Bryan Kromm opened the scoring for the Princeton Posse on the powerplay at the 12 minute mark of the period. The teams continued to trade penalties in the period and the Steam finally got their chance to score on the powerplay and Riley Hunt made no mistake. After a shot from the point scuttled off the side of the net, goaltender Scott Legault made an unbelievable save off the first rebound from Reid Brown, but could not stop the second shot, which Riley Hunt deposited into the yawning cage to tie the game at 1.

In the second the play was even all the way to the 4:29 mark when on a 5-on-3 powerplay the Steam cashed in with Josh Dacosta firing a low, hard wrister that got through the maze of bodies and had just enough to trickle past Legault and over the goal line. Kienan Scott was then the benefactor of a tipped pass from Paulsen Lautard to send him in on a breakaway. With 1:57 to go in the second, Scott was able to break in on Legault and slide a puck through his legs as he sprawled out to give the Steam a 3-1 lead. 26 seconds later the Steam struck again as Dylan Burton took a pass from behind the net from Olli Dickson and got it through Legault to give Summerland a 4-1 stranglehold to end the second period.

The third started much in the same way it ended, with Summerland providing relentless pressure that resulted in Kienan Scott's second goal of the night at the 15:50 mark of the third. Then, at 13:05 the scoring was rounded out by Cooper Holick, who deposited a rebound into an open net at the right post.

Overall it was a great team win for the Steam. All four lines were in on the scoring and they played solid defense in front of Steam goaltender Brett Huber, who only saw 25 total shots on the night.

The Steam will take to the ice next on Sunday afternoon when they travel to Armstrong for a 3PM start against the North Okanagan Knights. They will not return home again until January 24th when they face these same Princeton Posse for a 7:30 puck drop here inside the Summerland Arena.

3 Stars:
3) Bryan Kromm (PP)
2) Daylan Robertson (SS)
1) Kienan Scott (SS)


POSSE RIDE IN TO FACE THE STEAM

On Friday night the Summerland Steam will host the Princeton Posse at the Summerland Arena. After a dismal October the Steam have put together a stellar November and an equally good December to put them within reach of 2nd place in the Okanagan Division.They'll be looking to start the New Year with a win tonight against the Posse.

 The Steam split a home and home series last weekend with the Osoyoos Coyotes who sit in that 2nd spot, winning in Overtime on Saturday night in Osoyoos before falling 3-2 to the Coyotes at home on Sunday afternoon. The Steam got stellar goaltending in both games from both of their goalies, Brett Huber on Saturday and Darren Hogg on Sunday afternoon. Both faced over 40 shots as Huber made 45 saves on 47 Coyotes' shots on Saturday, while Hogg made 38 saves on 41 shots on Sunday afternoon.

This pivotal home and home series with the Coyotes leaves the Steam 3 points behind Osoyoos in the Okanagan Division, still with a game in hand. These two teams will face each other two more times this season, and those dates will surely be marked on the calendar as the race gets tighter and tighter heading to the playoffs in the Okanagan Division.

In the past few games for the Steam it's been a total team effort, with no one player carrying the load for the team. All four offensive lines and three defensive pairs have really come together as a team to get the job done. If there's any one player to watch for the Steam it's newcomer Riley Hunt. He possesses unbelievable speed and vision on the ice, and has looked very good of late since joining the team in early December.

As dangerous as the Steam are on offense with 4 lines that can score any time, their opponent tonight will provide a stiff test. The Princeton Posse also have 4 lines that can score at any given time to go along with a stingy defense and good goaltending, which makes them extremely tough to play against. Here's a little deeper look for those who may not be familiar with the Posse:

THE PRINCETON POSSE

The Posse come into tonight's game inside the Summerland Arena coming off a 14 day break over the Christmas holidays. Heading into the break the Posse were enjoying what is probably their best stretch of play this season through December, winning 5 of their 7 games including a 5-0 drubbing of the Osoyoos Coyotes on December 18.

The Posse are led by two Americans on the offensive side of the puck in team captain Kurtis Klinger (Santa Rosa, CA) and 20 year old veteran Eric Kubis (Philadelphia, PA). Both are point per game players for the Posse along with Devan Suidy and all three play meaningful minutes in key situations, including powerplay and penalty killing.

On defense the Posse are led by Penticton Minor Hockey product Cooper Prechel, who at 16 years old leads the Posse's d-core with 7 points through 29 games played. Prechel gives the Posse a solid effort every night and at 6 feet tall and 170 lbs, has the ability to give opposing forwards a rough ride as they come up the ice or go into a corner.

In goal the Posse boast a goalie tandem of Scott Legault and Spencer Huff, both who have played well for most of the season, particularly through the month of December.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
This divisional battle goes down tonight at 7:30PM at the Summerland Arena. Tickets for the game are just $8 for adults, $6 for seniors/students, and kids under 6 are FREE! We've also got family packages available as well for $25 (Family of 4 or more). If you can't make it to the game tonight, join us on the web at KIJHL.ca as we'll have all the action for you starting just before puck drop around 7:25!