Follow by Email

Friday, 28 February 2014

STEAM GET SET FOR GAME 3

24 hours after a disappointing result at the end of Game 2 with the North Okanagan Knights, the Steam took to the ice for practice on Thursday in advance of Game 3 on Friday. They got back to the high-pace, fast action in practice that they've shown the ability to put forth in games, and are looking ready for Game #3 on Friday night at the Summerland Arena. Hopefully the 'Neuralyzer' from Men In Black was found and used around the practice facility on Thursday night and was able to erase the memories of Game #2 and get set for Game #3.

Darren Hogg will get his first start of the series for the Steam after coming into the game on Wednesday night in relief of Brett Huber, who's team did not give him any help in the loss. Hogg, who went 5-1 vs the Knights this season, will hope his team gives him a better defensive effort than they did on Wednesday night for his partner Huber in Armstrong.

While a new face is in the crease for the Steam in Game 3, Zach Dyment is expected to get his 3rd consecutive start in the series as he has been very solid for the Knights in goal. The Steam will need to get traffic to the net and bang away at rebounds to try and get a jump on the Knights. Dyment was very good against the Steam in the regular season, putting forth stellar efforts multiple times, and has carried that trend over to the playoffs.

GAME 3 PREVIEW:



After Game 2 on Wednesday night in Armstrong, the message from Coach Depourcq and Coach Wilson to their team was 'Forget about it and move on,' and that's exactly what the Steam will need to do in Game 3. Getting back to a fast start like they consistently achieved in the latter half of the regular season will be critical on Friday night, and the Steam will look for a total team effort to try to get back in the win column.

The place they really struggled on Wednesday night in Armstrong was in their own defensive zone. It was reminiscent of late October when the Steam were having trouble clearing their own zone and were just simply trying to hard to make the fancy play instead of making the easy clear. They really turned their play around at the start of November, and their improvement in the defensive zone was a big reason for the climb in the standings that lead to an Okanagan Division Championship. They'll have to curb that and do their best to make the clear the first time if they want to be successful against a very dangerous and hard-working Knights offence. 

The Steam have a very dangerous offence as well, it's just a matter of getting everybody going at the right time. Dylan Burton and Jordan Boultbee are two players that have put up points on offence so far in this series, while all other lines for the Steam have played well and created solid chances only to be thwarted by Zach Dyment in the North Okanagan goal. 

As for those North Okanagan Knights, they've got two players in Logan Mostat and Blaine Caton who are coming off hat tricks in Game 2, and will look for the production from all parts of their lineup to continue in Game 3. They play an extremely blue-collar, hard-nosed type of hockey and it shows in the physicality they bring to the table every single night. 


MY 3 KEYS TO THE GAME:


1. Take Care Of Your Own
 
- Part of the Steam's demise in Game 2 was their softness in the D zone. They allowed the Knights to get in and throw their weight around on the forecheck and that created scoring chances in front of the Summerland net. The Steam will need to be more efficient in their own zone and take the opportunity to make the easy clear when available. 

2. Keep It Simple

- The Steam have to eliminate the 'cuteness' from their game in the offensive zone and get in hard on the forecheck to force the puck to the front of the net. Even if it is just to create rebound chances, it'll be important for the Steam to have a strong presence below the goal line in the O zone. 

3. Provide Some Stiffness

- Summerland has been physically outmatched so far in this series, allowing the Knights to 'bully' them all over the ice. They need to provide a little stiffness in Game 3 and start to crash & bang their way into the offensive zone and to the net. 

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:


The puck drops tonight, February 28th, at 7:30 at the Summerland Arena! Tickets are just $10 for Adults and $8 for Students, and we hope to see you LOUD & PROUD in Red, White, and Black in your seat before puck drop tonight! Make sure you bring your noisemakers with you and don't forget your voice, because stick man Jason Smith won't let you stay quiet for long! He's done a great job getting the crowd going for us all season long and will surely be doing the same thing tonight! 


As always, you can follow along with the Steam on Facebook at 'Summerland Junior B Hockey Club' as well as on Twitter @SteamKIJHL. You can also follow along with me on Twitter @Steam_Voice for all the latest information on the Summerland Steam and the rest of the KIJHL playoff picture!

** IF YOU'RE ON FACEBOOK & TWITTER, BE SURE TO USE THE HASHTAGS #BRINGTHENOISE AND #GOSTEAMGO in your tweets & Facebook posts so we can show the boys all our support! 

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

KNIGHTS SPANK STEAM 8-3, SERIES TIED 1-1

One night after a thriller in the Summerland Arena in Game 1, Game 2 was set to be much of the same. Unfortunately for the Summerland Steam, it was just the opposite. The North Okanagan Knights came to play in a big way, and got the early jump on the Steam, starting the game by outshooting them 5-1 in the first 3 minutes.

GAME RECAP


Logan Mostat got the party started for North Okanagan just 10 minutes into the hockey game as he managed to get a puck up and over Steam starting goaltender Brett Huber to give his team the lead. Blaine Caton then added to the lead for the Knights just about 4 minutes later before Daylan Robertson cut the lead back to one on the powerplay.

Off a won draw in the offensive zone at the start of the powerplay, Robertson took a pass from Josh Dacosta to the left of Knights' goaltender Zach Dyment and deposited it into the net. The Knights would then restore their lead on the powerplay with 11 seconds to go in the period as Morgan Johnston beat Huber from his right to make it 3-1 after a period.

To start the second the Steam looked as though they were going to come on with some life after North Okanagan took an early penalty. On that powerplay, Dylan Burton was able to take a pass from Jordan Boultbee and bury one behind Dyment to cut the lead to 3-2.

With the score 3-2 it looked as though the Steam were going to start to push for the tie. Logan Mostat had other ideas though, as he came down the wing and let go of a long wrister that beat Brett Huber under the blocker to restore the two goal lead for the Knights once again.

Again, the Steam tried to push back. They had a few chances, the best coming on a partial breakaway for Kienan Scott that Dyment did a good job keeping out of the Knights' net. That was the turning point, as that save was followed almost immediately by another Knights goal, from Mostat once again. He completed the hat trick on a cross ice pass at 10:01 of the second period, and it made the game 5-2 for the Knights.

Blaine Caton would then add his second of the night just 3 minutes later, and that would do it for Brett Huber. Huber would give way to Darren Hogg to play the rest of the game, and Hogg played well for the remainder of the 2nd and into the 3rd.

In that third frame, Sam Nigg would get the only Steam goal, while Blaine Caton would complete his own hat trick before Ryan Kelm would beat Hogg with just a couple of minutes to go and close out the scoring at 8-3 in favor of the Knights.

WHAT IT ALL MEANS


What it all means is that this series is tied at 1. It also means that we're guaranteed to have a Game 5, which will be played Sunday, March 2nd, at 7PM at the Summerland Arena. 

Game 2 was an all-out assault by the Knights who were ready from the get-go while the Steam were not. The Steam will need to have a very short memory when it comes around to Friday night when they host Game 3 at the Summerland Arena. They'll need to get back to what they've been doing in the back half of this season and that's take care of their own. If they take care of their own zone, it's far easier for them to create offense, and we saw it in Game 1. 

We didn't see it in Game 2, and it led to 8 goals behind a goaltending tandem that finished 3rd in the league in GAA. Another issue from Game 2, for both teams, was discipline. Both teams can score nearly at will on the powerplay, and it showed. The Steam will have to walk the line and try and draw penalties without taking them heading further through this series. 

DICKSON NETS WINNER AS STEAM TAKE GAME 1, GET SET FOR GAME 2

On Tuesday night the Summerland Steam opened the KIJHL playoffs with a 3-2 victory over the North Okanagan Knights. The series will shift back and forth without consecutive home games in this series, so it was important for the Steam to get a good start and they did just that.

Despite not scoring a goal in the first period, they fired 15 shots at Zach Dyment in the Knights' goal and he was forced to make two or three 5-alarm saves to keep the game scoreless. Dyment was very solid on this night once again, and made 27 saves on 30 Summerland shots by the time the night was over.

The Steam finally did open the scoring with 8:16 to go in the second period as Dylan Burton was at the business end of a beautiful 3 way passing play between himself, Jordan Boultbee and defenceman Josh Dacosta. Burton hammered one into the back of the net off a behind-the-back pass from Boultbee at the side of the net after Dacosta did a good job to keep the puck inside the offensive zone.

As the Steam worked their way down the bench during their celebration, all of a sudden Dacosta went down in a heap. It turned out he'd taken a spear to the midsection from the Knights' Matthew Halvorson, who was caught for his actions and sent off for 4 minutes. The Steam were unable to convert on the powerplay before Michael Winnitoy took a penalty of his own for the Steam, but they were able to get a goal to extend the lead to 2-0 not long after both penalties expired.

The Steam's second goal came off the stick of Reid Brown, an absolute beauty of an individual effort to beat a defender and cut in on Dyment in the North Okanagan goal. Once in, he beat Dyment with a shot low to the blocker side to extend the lead.

The Knights would get two back, however, just a minute and a half apart coming to the end of the period. First it was a seeing eye shot by Halvorson that hit a Summerland defender in front and jumped in behind Steam starter Brett Huber. The Knights first goal was followed quickly, just 1:38 later, by a goal from Tanner Burns on the power play with :07 left in the 2nd period to knot the score at 2.

In the third the teams went back and forth, both doing their best to not give up the next goal. The pace was quick, but both teams were content to play most of the third period in the neutral zone. At the mid point of the period the shots on goal were just 5-4 in favor of the Steam, but with 5:44 to go, they were able to break the deadlock.

It came off the stick of 20 year old veteran Olli Dickson, who was able to get a long shot away through traffic on a powerplay that fooled Zach Dyment. The puck shot up and over the glove of the North Okanagan netminder and gave the Steam the lead.

All looked to be going according to plan for the Steam after that, until of course they took a penalty with 3:13 to play when Calvin Hadley took a penalty for elbowing. Despite immense pressure from a Knights' team desperate to tie the game, the Steam were successful in killing off the penalty and the remaining 1:13 after it to take the game by a final of 3-2.









Game 2 goes TONIGHT in Armstrong as the Knights host the Steam. You can expect the same two starting goaltenders to get the nod again and lineups to be fairly similar to what they were just a night ago. The only difference for the Steam will be Nelson Hurry drawing back into the lineup after sitting out last night's contest.

Monday, 24 February 2014

STEAM OPEN KIJHL PLAYOFFS vs KNIGHTS

WELL, here we are. The start of a brand new season. The Okanagan Division Champion Summerland Steam will open their brand new season on Tuesday night in Game 1 of the KIJHL playoffs versus the North Okanagan Knights.

During the regular season the Steam and the Knights played one another 8 times, with the Steam coming out on top in 5 of those games. Both teams have been good in the other's arena, with the Steam picking up 3 wins in 4 tries in Armstrong and the Knights were successful 2 of the 4 times they visited the Summerland Arena. The last meeting between the two teams, on February 16, was a 4-2 win in favour of the Steam, who put forth a gutsy effort at the end of a weekend that saw them play 3 games and attend a funeral in a 36 hour period.

They'll have to gear up for a long series with the Knights, who are a very solid hockey team and don't know the word 'quit'. They will continue to push the pace of play for the full 60 minutes whether they're up 9-3, down 9-3 or anywhere in between. All but one game in this season series has been decided by 2 goals or less and all have been strong, physical hockey games. Here's a break down of what needs to happen for either team to win this series:

SUMMERLAND STEAM (1ST SEED, OKANAGAN DIVISION)


The Steam come into the playoffs riding a hot streak of 7 wins in a row. For the Steam, it all starts with their goaltending. Coach John Depourcq is blessed to have two goaltenders who've both played well all season long and have both played exceptionally well against the North Okanagan Knights. The Steam have no problem putting the puck in the back of the net, but it all starts with solid goaltending and tidy defensive play. 

Kienan Scott will return to the lineup for Game 1 of the playoffs, and it looks as though Paulsen Lautard and Dylan Burton will both suit up for the Steam after taking cheap hits late in the final regular season game against the Osoyoos Coyotes.

In that game against the Coyotes it was the role players who got on the board for the Steam as Gordon Walters led the way with 2 goals while Cooper Holick, Kendell Wilson, and Olli Dickson all contributed a goal to the cause in an 8-4 victory. Easton Bodeaux also had a great game for the Steam, collecting three assists while being under the skin of the Coyotes all night long. In fact, the Steam got points from every guy in the lineup on Saturday night except for defensive specialist Calvin Hadley and forward Paulsen Lautard, who left the game before it's end with a cut that required multiple stitches.

All of these players who pitched in on Saturday night vs the Coyotes will need to do the same throughout the series with the Knights. It will be important for the Steam to use their tight defensive coverage and deep forward core to bury the Knights with every opportunity they earn, while getting good goaltending in the process.

Goaltending has been a pillar of strength for the Steam this season, as both Brett Huber and Darren Hogg have picked up key victories and played very well in the process. Both have played well against the Knights this season and no matter who is in the net tomorrow night for Game 1, they will give the Steam the confidence needed to drive play forward and keep the puck on the offensive side of center.

NORTH OKANAGAN KNIGHTS (4TH SEED, OKANAGAN DIVISION)


As good as the Steam's goaltending has been, the Knights' goaltenders have been equal. Both have played extremely well against the Steam and have even stolen games for their team in the season series. If the Knights want to come out on top in this series, the crease is where it starts. Between Mitch Profeit and Zach Dyment, they give the Knights a chance to win every single night and leave it up to the Knights' offence to get the job done. 

The Knights are led up front by Brett Hawrys, who took home the team scoring title with 18 goals and 47 points while playing all 52 games for his team. The Knights possess a core leadership group that boasts plenty of experience up front as captain TJ Christensen, assistant captain Tanner Burns and assistant captain Blake Culbert are all in their final season and will want to go out on a positive note. 

The Knights are the defending KIJHL Champions from last season, so they'll come out looking to defend that title one game at a time. They're a team that provides a lot of 'stiffness' in their game, which means every chance they get they'll put a body on an opposing player and make sure their presence is felt on every shift. They're particularly good when they control the puck below the goal line in the offensive zone, as their forwards are very good at using their bodies to shield the puck and making it difficult for the opposition to get it back. 



WHEN AND WHERE


Game 1 goes Tuesday night at the Summerland Arena. The puck drops at 7:30 and tickets are just $10. Make sure to get into the arena early and BRING THE NOISE to the Summerland Arena. This means whatever you've got, be it horns, air horns, cow bells, thunder sticks, or any other noisemaker you can find, bring it with you and lets pack the Summerland Arena and make it louder than it's ever been! 

As Always, you can follow along with the Steam on Facbook ( 'Summerland Junior B Hockey Club' ) or either team on twitter (@SteamKIJHL) (@NOKnights). 

If you're looking for more information than those can provide you with regards to the series or anything else (content on the blog, webcast, or Social Media; GOOD OR BAD), follow along and tweet me @Steam_Voice on Twitter or send me an email at timhogg@summerlandsteam.com!

Saturday, 22 February 2014

STEAM HOST COYOTES IN SEASON FINALE

After a big, emotional, Okanagan Division Championship win on Friday night in Kelowna, the Summerland Steam will return home to close out their regular season schedule against the Osoyoos Coyotes on Saturday night. Both teams are coming into tonight's contest on 6-game winning streaks, and besides coming to an end in a tie, one is likely to end tonight.

The Steam and the Coyotes have played each other 7 times so far this season and Summerland leads the season series thus far 4 games to 3. Each team has one win on their home ice, but that's it. 5 of the 7 games played between the two teams have been won by the road team. This means Summerland is going to have to come out with a fast start again tonight in order to get the jump on the Coyotes. Here's what you need to know about each team:

SUMMERLAND STEAM (32-15-1-3, 68 PTS, 1ST PLACE, OK DIVISION)

The Steam are coming off their biggest win of the season last night in Kelowna. It was a division clinching 
3-1 win that saw the Steam jump out to an early lead once again, scoring on the powerplay just a minute and a half into the game. The Steam's best players came to play last night, and it showed as three different lines were in on scoring plays and the fourth was extremely solid in their own end of the ice as well as Kelowna's end all night long. The Steam will need much of the same tonight against a tough Coyotes' squad.

Darren Hogg is likely to start the final game of the season against his former club after Brett Huber performed admirably in the win last night. Huber made 18 saves on 19 QUALITY Chiefs' shots and was particularly good when the Steam were a little slow in the second period. Huber SHOULD take home 'Goaltender of the Year' Honours for the Okanagan Division, as he sits 3rd in the league overall among goaltenders and the next closest Okanagan Division goaltenders are Tyler O'Donnell and Connor DeMelo from the Kelowna Chiefs who sit 13th and 14th, respectively.

Hogg this season has appeared in 20 games, amassing an 11-7 record while compiling a 3.24 GAA and a .909 SV%. He also has 2 assists to his credit this season. He has battled some adversity this season first with an ankle injury that saw him miss nearly 7 weeks followed by having his gear stolen in late January. He has bounced back, however, and found a way to get back into the net to finish his Jr career off with hopefully a long playoff run with the Steam. 

OSOYOOS COYOTES (29-21-0-1, 59 PTS, 3RD PLACE, OK DIVISION)

The Coyotes come into Summerland tonight after beating up on the North Okanagan Knights last night to extend their winning streak to 6 games. They come in as hot as the Steam and will look to even the season series at 4. 

Rainer Glimpel had a hat trick for the Coyotes against the Knights last night, and has looked dangerous each and every time he's played the Steam this season. He provides a scoring threat on the Coyotes' second line, just in case their top line of Maclise, Chmelka and Azevedo get shut down. 

The Coyotes also boast the guy who very well could be named the Okanagan Division's Top Defenseman in Osoyoos native Cameron Dobransky. Dobransky plays in all key situations for head coach Ken Law and will be counted upon to shut down the Steam just like every other night these two teams play. He also possesses the threat to jump into the rush as well, so that will be something the Steam need to look out for. 

The likely starter for the Coyotes tonight is Lawrence Langan. in 34 appearances this season the 18 year old has put up solid numbers, posting a 3.30 GAA and a .898 SV% while picking up 18 wins in those 34 appearances. 


The puck drops at the Summerland Arena at 7:30PM and it will be one heck of a hockey game. Make sure to come out and support Jr Hockey in the community and BRING THE NOISE to cheer on the Steam as they return home as the OKANAGAN DIVISION CHAMPIONS!!

STEAM DOWN CHIEFS 3-1, CLINCH OKANAGAN DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP

It was pretty simple, really. It came down to just one game. One win for the Summerland Steam on Friday night against the Kelowna Chiefs, and they would be Okanagan Division Champions. They certainly didn't disappoint those who were cheering them on as they got another fast start thanks to an early powerplay, and played the Chiefs to a 3-1 victory in favour of The Steam.

GAME RECAP


The Steam got off to a good start once again, as they applied pressure early and forced the Chiefs to take a penalty just thirty seconds into the hockey game. Ryan Baim went off for boarding and the Steam took advantage, as Michael Winnitoy took a beautiful pass from Jordan Boultbee and buried it behind Chiefs' starting goaltender Tyler O'Donnell to give his team an early lead. 

The powerplay goal from Winnitoy was his 8th of the season (and 4th on the powerplay) and would be the only scoring of the period. The teams did trade penalties as there were a couple of roughing after the whistle calls and a few cross-checking calls to be made by referee Brent Hazel (who was very good all night). 

There was no scoring in a back and forth second period, just lots of fast action and good chances at either end. Kelowna carried the bulk of the play and got some good looks at the Summerland net, but none resulted in goals for the Chiefs. 

Before the start of the third period, knowing his team had been outworked in the second, the Steam's stick boy, Jason Smith, stood on the bench by himself and looked at the ice. He realized there were Steam fans by the plenty in the crowd, and decided he should try to get them going before the boys came out for the third period. 

It worked. 

Jason started waving his arms in the air as if to say 'LOUDER' and the Steam fans got louder, and continued to make their presence known throughout the third period. With all the noise and all the adrenaline flowing, it didn't take long for the Steam to add to their lead as Braden Saretsky scored an absolute beauty with 16:46 to go in the third period. 

Rylan Sideroff moved the puck forward to Shane Bennett who left it for Saretsky. Saretsky then used his speed to the outside to burn a Kelowna defender before cutting clear across the front of the net from the left wing corner and sliding a puck between the legs of the Kelowna goaltender to extend the Steam's lead to 2-0. 

Kelowna's captain, Jordan Salahor, would cut the lead in half just a minute later with a goal off a scrum that found it's way behind Steam starter Brett Huber. It would be the only puck to get past Huber on the night, however, as the Steam's leading scorer, Kienan Scott, would fire one into an empty net in the final minute to bring the score to 3-1. Despite immense pressure in the final minutes by the Chiefs they could not find a way to tie the hockey game. 

Huber was stellar in the Summerland goal when the Steam needed him to stand tall. He was particularly good in the second period when the Chiefs really brought the pressure to the Steam. He only had to make 18 saves on 19 shots, but the shots from the Chiefs came in quality, not quantity. 

With the win, the Steam clinch the Okanagan Division and will meet the North Okanagan Knights in the first round of the playoffs while the Kelowna Chiefs will host the Osoyoos Coyotes in what will surely be a hot blooded, no love type of affair. Both series' start Tuesday night and will be a battle throughout. 

DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP


The division title is unthinkable, to be honest. It's sweet for the Steam because of everything they've had to go through this season through the midst of the ups and downs and having two teammates pass away earlier this month. The unexpected passing of teammates Alex Fraser and Ryan Donaldson was and continues to be a very difficult thing to cope with for the Summerland Steam, but it has also brought them together as a group and has allowed them to thrive in a team sport that relies so heavily on emotion. The players and their coaches have done a wonderful job of not letting their emotions affect them in a negative way. Instead they've been able to harness that emotion and really come together, and it shows in their play. 

Particularly in the play of Steam forward Braden Saretsky, who was very close with both teammates. Braden has been able to come back to the team, albeit with a heavy heart, and be one of the Steam's best players of late, including scoring the game (and division clinching) goal last night with a wonderful individual effort against the Kelowna Chiefs.

Looking back on how an Okanagan Division Championship came to fruition, it really is an amazing tale of 2 totally different seasons. On October 31st it looked unattainable, the Steam were tied for last place with the Princeton Posse with 11 points and just 5 wins through their first 15 games. After a 3-2 loss to the Sicamous Eagles at home on November 1st that extended the losing streak to 7 games, the Steam were forced to take a serious look at what was happening and where they wanted to go with their season.

They ultimately chose that losing wasn't really an option anymore. In the 36 games since, the loss on November 1 to the Eagles is one of only 9 total losses (2 in OT). That means the Steam have recorded 26 wins and points in 29 of 36 games, leading to the 1st place finish and Okanagan Division Championship. A remarkable run by a truly remarkable group of young men, led by a core group of 20 year olds who've been playing together since they were five years old. 

Olli Dickson, Josh Dacosta, Sam Nigg, Dylan Burton, and Darren Hogg have all done their part to help build a winner in Summerland this season, and the season really turned when Dylan Burton returned to the team in early November. The addition of Burton gave the forward lines some constant structure and allowed Steam head coach John Depourcq to be able to roll 4 lines at any given time. This championship is especially sweet for those 5 guys of mention, as they also won a Provincial Midget Championship together in their final year of minor hockey in the Penticton Minor Hockey Association. 

WHAT'S NEXT?


The Steam will close out their regular season schedule AT HOME on Saturday night when the Osoyoos Coyotes pay their final visit to the Summerland Arena. The puck drops at 7:30! Come out and enjoy a great hockey game, BRING YOUR FRIENDS, FAMILY, NEIGHBOURS, AND COWORKERS, AND BE LOUD AS WE WELCOME HOME THE OKANAGAN DIVISION CHAMPIONS!

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

STEAM OPEN PLAYOFFS FEBRUARY 25

We've just received confirmation that the Summerland Steam will host either the North Okanagan Knights OR the Osoyoos Coyotes in the first round of the KIJHL playoffs on Tuesday night, February 25! Here's the playoff schedule as it stands right now:

Game 1: FEBRUARY 25, 2014, 7:30pm // SUMMERLAND ARENA
Game 2: FEBRUARY 26, 2014, Time and place TBA
Game 3: FEBRUARY 28, 2014, 7:30pm // SUMMERLAND ARENA
Game 4: MARCH 1, 2014, Time and place TBA
**Game 5: DATE AND TIME TBA // SUMMERLAND ARENA
**Game 6: Date, Time and place TBA
**Game 7: DATE AND TIME TBA // SUMMERLAND ARENA

** - If Necessary

The Steam will open the playoffs and begin their run towards the Cyclone Taylor Cup on February 25th at the Summerland Arena where they will host either the North Okanagan Knights or the Osoyoos Coyotes. Who they meet in the 1st round depends on the outcome of their 2 games this weekend, a big first place showdown in Kelowna with the Chiefs on Friday before closing out the regluar season AT HOME on Saturday night against another division rival, the Osoyoos Coyotes.

Make sure, if you can, to head up to Kelowna to cheer on the Steam as they try to seal the deal on 1st place on the Okanagan Division on Friday night. Following that, come out and welcome them home for what is hopefully a very long and successful playoff run!

STEAM VISIT CHIEFS WITH FIRST PLACE TIED TO THE TRACKS

A lot of us thought it might come to this in the Okanagan Division, and at last it has. With the 3rd seed having gone to the Osoyoos Coyotes and the 4th seed being locked down by the North Okanagan Knights, there are only the top 2 seeds left to settle. The Summerland Steam and the Kelowna Chiefs have locked up those two spots it's just a matter of who finishes on top, and one weekend and possibly one game will tell all. The Steam and the Chiefs will go head to head in what truly is a first place showdown in Kelowna on Friday night at the Rutland Arena. The teams will then go their own ways so that Summerland can finish their schedule AT HOME against the Osoyoos Coyotes on Saturday night, while the Chiefs will head North to Armstrong to face the North Okanagan Knights.

With any type of win on Friday night in the head to head matchup, the Steam can clinch 1st place in the Okanagan Division. The Steam have clawed their way back up the standings from 5th to 1st since November 1, and will look to close out the climb with a win on Friday and a 1st place finish. With a loss, however, the Steam will need a win against Osoyoos and a Chiefs loss on Saturday night.

PREVIEW:


What can be said that hasn't been said already? It's no secret that these teams have been battling one another hard and tough since the start of the season, and it's also no secret that they have a pretty serious hate on for one another. The season series between the two teams is heading into it's 8th and final installment this season, with the Steam winning 4 of the 7 previous meetings. Six of their seven meetings this season have been decided by 2 goals or less, and Summerland was the first of the two teams to get a win on home ice in their last meeting by a score of 6-2.

Their last meeting essentially ended with the score 6-2 and 8:12 to go in the third period in a skirmish that resulted in a 3 game suspension to Alex Gran (Hair Pulling, Match Penalty) and a Gross Misconduct to Chiefs' Associate Coach Jason Tansem. Tansem, with his team yelling 'stay classy' at the time, was assessed the misconduct after squirting water over the glass partition onto the Summerland bench during a verbal confrontation between the two clubs. The coach will sit a minimum 3 game suspension that comes with a Gross Misconduct, while there has been no word from the league on further disciplinary action. Steam forward Cooper Holick picked up a misconduct out of the fracas as did d-man Calvin Hadley, who had been involved with Gran after Gran took exception to a hit from the Steam's Reid Brown on Jagger Bowles.

Here's the prospective for each team heading into THE biggest game of the season, by far:

SUMMERLAND STEAM (31-15-1-3, 66 PTS, 1ST PLACE OK DIVISION)


Coming off an emotional week last week with the loss of teammates Alex Fraser and Ryan Donaldson on Tuesday and Saturday, respectively, the Steam carried on with heavy hearts as they had business to take care of. They played Friday at home against Kelowna and took a 6-2 victory before attending Alex Fraser's Memorial Service on Saturday and playing (and beating) the Princeton Posse on the road on Saturday night. They then returned home for a Sunday afternoon battle with the North Okanagan Knights in which they picked up a 4-2 victory and the rights to sole possession of 1st place in the Okanagan Division. 

They did all this without their leading scorer, Kienan Scott, who remained sidelined with an injury. His linemates however, Paulsen Lautard and Daylan Robertson, found a new linemate in Sam Nigg and LIT IT UP in the three games 'Scotty' missed. Lautard picked up 8 points in 3 games, while Robertson did him one better with 9 points in those same 3 games. Robertson carries a 13 game point streak into Friday's game in Kelowna, while Lautard has collected at least a point in 10 of his last 11 games. Nigg was also hot last weekend, collecting a goal and four assists in the 3 games over the weekend. They'll need to continue the trend of scoring big goals if the Steam want to finish with the first seed in the Okanagan Division.
  
The Steam have had the luxury this season of being able to rotate their goaltending duties between both Brett Huber and Darren Hogg. It will likely be Brett Huber between the pipes for the Steam on Friday night as per that rotation, after Darren Hogg started and picked up a W on Sunday afternoon. 

Huber,the 19 year old native of Calgary, AB has a solid 19-11-1 record in 34 appearances this season, posting a 2.74 GAA and .916 SV%. In his second season with the Steam he has given them stability between the pipes and both he and Darren Hogg (20GP, 11-7, 3.24 GAA, .909 SV%) carry a level of confidence with them that transfers to all of their teammates. The two of them have combined for the 3rd best team GAA in the KIJHL this season at 2.94 per game, and that allows the Steam to play a more free and offensive game knowing they've got solid goaltending behind them each and every night.

KELOWNA CHIEFS (31-16-0-3, 65 PTS, 2ND PLACE OK DIVISION)


After sitting on top of the Okanagan Division for most of the season, the Chiefs now find themselves in a must-win situation on Friday night when they host the Summerland Steam. Led by the likes of their captain, Jordan Salahor, and others such as Nick Kovacik, Brady Mende, Nick Headrick, and goaltenders Tyler O'Donnell and Connor DeMelo, the Chiefs will surely come out with urgency in trying to regain the coveted 1st seed. 

Tyler O'Donnell started in goal last weekend for the Chiefs and I would suspect more of the same with Connor DeMelo having been out a couple of weeks with a suspected upper body injury. O'Donnell has been solid for the Chiefs this season, giving his team a chance to win every night while seeing a lot of action. The 20 year old native of Fountain Valley, California has posted a 20-9 record this season while maintaining a 3.10 GAA and a .910 SV%. 

With the departure of their leading scorer, Nick Josephs, in late December the Chiefs have relied on a total team effort and have gotten it night in and night out. The one guy that has impressed me this season so far, among others, is Brady Mende. Mende is a native of Winfield, BC playing for his 'hometown team' and at just 18 years old has emerged as one of the Chiefs' leaders in ice time as well as being a top tier penalty killer. Not only does Mende play heavy minutes, but he's become a point per game player in the KIJHL this season while playing EVERY GAME for the Chiefs and recording only 2 PIM(!!!) all season long. He'll be a guy the Steam need to watch for throughout the hockey game on Friday night. 

The puck drops on this 'Clash of the Titans' in the Okanagan Division at 7PM at the Rutland Arena on Friday night, February 21st. If you can't make it out to watch the game, be sure to join Justin McCartney and the crew on KIJHL.ca for the webcast starting right around 7PM! 

As always you can follow the teams on Facebook: 
Summerland Steam : 'Summerland Junior B Hockey Club'
Kelowna Chiefs: 'Kelowna Chiefs Junior Hockey Club"

And on Twitter:
Summerland Steam: @SteamKIJHL
Kelowna Chiefs: @KelownaChiefs

You can also follow along with myself (@Steam_Voice) on twitter for all the latest updates heading into the playoffs! 



Sunday, 16 February 2014

STEAM COMPLETE PERFECT WEEKEND, TAKE OVER FIRST PLACE

On Sunday afternoon the Summerland Steam hosted the North Okanagan Knights in hopes of going 3 for 3 on the weekend and gaining control of top spot in the Okanagan Division. They were looking to catch the Kelowna Chiefs and pull a point ahead in the 1st place position, with a pivotal matchup with the Chiefs coming up next Friday night in Kelowna. The Steam were able to come out on top on this Sunday afternoon with a 4-2 win thanks to 3 points each from Daylan Robertson, Paulsen Lautard, and Sam Nigg, as well as 31 saves from goaltender Darren Hogg.

The 3 points for Robertson on the afternoon gave him 9 points (5G 4A) in 3 games on the weekend, and extended his point streak to an astounding 13 straight games.


Paulsen Lautard recorded 3 points on Sunday as well, giving him 8 points in 3 weekend games (3G, 5A), and he has recorded a point in 10 of his last 11 games.

GAME RECAP:


The Steam got another fast start, as just 24 seconds into the hockey game the captain, Daylan Robertson, found Paulsen Lautard wide open in front of the net where he deposited the puck behind Knights' goaltender Zach Dyment to give the Steam the early lead.

Robertson then scored one of his own after pulling a puck out of a scrum in front of the Knights' goal to extend the Steam's lead to 2-0 at 2:24 of the 1st period. Dennon Leibel would then respond for the Knights as he put a good tip on a Mathew Halvorson shot in front of Darren Hogg to cut the Steam's lead in half.

The score stayed 2-1 Summerland until just under 4 minutes into the second period when Sam Nigg took a nifty pass from Robertson and went high over the glove of Zach Dyment in the Knights' net to restore the Steam's 2 goal lead. Paulsen Lautard drew the second assist on Nigg's goal which was the Steam's 3rd goal of the night, giving the whole line each 3 points.

Josh Dacosta would then take a shot off the wall just 4 minutes later that bounced off a North Okanagan defender and into the net behind Dyment to give the Steam a 4-1 lead.

The Knights got one back on the powerplay late in the period as Logan Geefs took a deflected shot and lifted it up over the glove of Hogg in the Steam goal to cut the lead to 4-2.

This goal rounded out the scoring as there was no scoring in the third period, and ended in a 4-2 Steam victory. The victory propels the Steam into 1st place in the Okanagan Division, 1 point up on the Kelowna Chiefs who they will take on IN Kelowna on Friday night, February 21. The Steam will be able to clinch a first place finish in the Okanagan Division with a regulation win over the Chiefs on Friday night. They will then return home to play their final game of the 2013/2014 regular season on Saturday, February 22nd vs the Osoyoos Coyotes.

As always you can follow along with the Steam on Facebook at 'Summerland Junior B Hockey Club' or with the team (@SteamKIJHL) and myself (@Steam_Voice) on Twitter for all the latest updates on the happenings around the KIJHL!

Saturday, 15 February 2014

STEAM CLUTCH UP WHEN IT MATTERS MOST, BEAT POSSE 5-1

After a long and very emotional day for the Summerland Steam, they came out firing on all cylinders against the Princeton Posse, picking up a 5-1 victory in the Similkameen Valley tonight. The Steam left Summerland early today in order to attend a memorial service for their friend and teammate, Alex Fraser. Understandably so, one had to wonder if they would be emotionally checked into the hockey game tonight. They took a little while to get into a rhythm, but once they got dialed in they began to show just how tight-knit they've become as a team while dealing with adversity. Brett Huber got the start for the Steam, and made 33 saves on 34 Posse shots to pick up the win.

Led by their captain, Daylan Robertson, once again the Steam were able to open the scoring on the powerplay and get an early lead on the Posse. They would take the lead into the second period before Princeton's Dalton Dubetz tied the game. Just under 2 minutes later, Dylan Burton restored the lead for Summerland, and after that the Steam didn't look back.

They turned the heat up on the Posse in the middle of the hockey game and into the third period. Josh Dacosta added another powerplay goal with 1:46 to go in the second before Daylan Robertson added his second of the night halfway through the third. Reid Brown made the score 5-1 at the 8:59 mark of the third to round out the scoring.

It was a big win for the Steam, as they narrowed their chase of the Kelowna Chiefs to just a single point after the Chiefs took a 4-2 loss to the Osoyoos Coyotes on Saturday night. The Steam carry 1 game in hand on the Chiefs, which they will use tomorrow on 'FAN APPRECIATION DAY' at the Summerland Arena in a matinee against the North Okanagan Knights at 2PM.

The Steam play the Knights for the final time this season tomorrow, looking to win the season series and take sole possession of first place in the Okanagan Division by obtaining 2 points. Darren Hogg will get the start for Summerland after a solid performance by him against Kelowna and an equally solid effort by his partner Brett Huber on Saturday night in Princeton.

It's 'FAN APPRECIATION DAY' at the Summerland Arena tomorrow afternoon, with great deals on Family Packs of tickets, deals at the concession, and some more giveaways including Murray GM 'dirtiest car in the parking lot' and a 2 night stay in the honeymoon suite at the Best Western Inn at Penticton! Be sure to come out and support the boys as they can take possession of 1st place in the Okanagan Division!

STEAM VISIT THE POSSE

Tonight the Summerland Steam will take to the road to visit the Princeton Posse. After a big, emotional victory and a 6-2 triumph over the Kelowna Chiefs last night, the Steam will board the bus to attend the funeral services of their teammate, Alex Fraser, before heading to Princeton this afternoon.

The Posse and the Steam have played one another 7 times so far this season, with tonight's game being the 8th and final game of the season series. Summerland leads the season series by a healthy margin of 6 wins to 1 loss, while outscoring the Posse 24-14 in those 7 games. The last time these two teams met in Princeton, however, it was the Posse coming out on top and scorching the Steam 6-2.

It will be Brett Huber who gets the start for the Steam tonight, and it will be important for them to get off to a fast start and keep their emotions in check after what is sure to be an emotional afternoon. The Steam will be without their leading scorer once again, as Kienan Scott misses his third straight game after suffering an injury on a hit from behind last Friday night against Revelstoke. The Steam will also for sure be without Braden Saretsky tonight and may be without some others as well.

The Steam did a good job last night of controlling their emotions and not letting the magnitude of the game or the situation get to them. In fact, it seemed to help them as they got off to a quick start and never looked back. They`ll have to do the same tonight against a hard nosed, blue collar Princeton Posse team.

The Posse possess a solid offensive core and good goaltending in Scott Legault and Spencer Huff, and will provide a stiff test for the Steam. They've also been able to welcome one of their best defensemen back to their lineup in the past couple of games, that being 16 year old Penticton native Cooper Prechel.

Prechel was having a standout rookie season with the Posse and being leaned on heavily to play some tough minutes before he went down with a hand injury that required surgery just before Christmas. After surgery and nearly 8 weeks of recovery time, Prechel made his return to the lineup February 12th vs the Osoyoos Coyotes. He then registered his first point since coming back, an assist, in the Posse's last game, a 7-3 victory over the North Okanagan Knights last night. He's been a factor in the game every time he's been in the lineup against the Steam, and tonight would seem to be no different.

The puck drops in Princeton tonight at 7:30. If you can`t make it to the Princeton & District Arena tonight be sure to join George Elliott and the Posse Web Crew at kijhl.ca to take in all the action!


As always you can follow along with the Steam on Facebook at 'Summerland Junior B Hockey Club' and on twitter with the Steam (@SteamKIJHL) the Posse (@PosseWebCrew) and myself (@Steam_Voice) for all the latest updates!

IN THE FACE OF ADVERSITY, STEAM THROTTLE CHIEFS

With heavy hearts and emotions running wild, the Summerland Steam took to the ice on Friday night at the Summerland Arena for a home game against the division leading Kelowna Chiefs. It was "Guaranteed Win Night" for the Steam courtesy of Spud Brothers Concession, and they obliged with a 6-2 'statement' victory. Darren Hogg got the start for the Steam, who were without their leading scorer Kienan Scott who remains sidelined with an injury. Hogg made 29 saves on 31 Chiefs' shots to pick up the victory. Without Scott, the Steam were going to have to step up, and Paulsen Lautard and Daylan Robertson did just that. Lautard finished with 2 Goals and 3 Assists while Robertson finished with 2 Goals and 2 Assists. Both were solid from start to finish playing solid minutes in all situations and stepping up when it mattered most. The Steam scored in the first minute of all three periods, with Robertson scoring in the first minute of each of the first 2 periods, while Lautard scored early in the third.

GAME STORY: 


Kelowna did not get off to a good start as they were penalized for 'Delay of Game' by referee Shane Hillman before the opening puck drop. They did not get off the ice before the final buzzer of warm-up and were penalized for it. It isn't a penalty you see often anymore but it is the third time this season that penalty has been called in a game that Summerland is involved in. It was the first time, however, that it's been called on the opposition and not the Steam.

Summerland took advantage of the early powerplay as Daylan Robertson opened the scoring just :48 seconds into the hockey game. Nigg and Lautard would record assists on the powerplay goal, Robertson's 19th of the season. Michael Winnitoy would then add to the Summerland lead on another powerplay with 8:02 to go in the first period, rifling a shot from the point high and over the blocker of Kelowna starter Tyler O'Donnell.

Summerland would go back to the powerplay with just :12 seconds to go in the first period as Blake Arcuri was whistled for tripping Olli Dickson after spearing him in the midsection. He got away with the stick jab, but was caught on the trip as Dickson went to the ice. The Steam couldn't convert before the end of the first but did connect in the first minute of the second as Daylan Robertson banged home his 20th of the season, a rebound off a Winnitoy shot to lengthen the lead to 3. Lautard then got into the goal column after he chipped a puck around a Kelowna defender and rifled a shot low to the blocker side of O'Donnell just a couple of minutes later.

That would spell the end for O'Donnell who faced 15 shots and made 11 saves in just a shade under 24 minutes of play before AP goaltender Nick Crowder came in to replace him. Crowder would be busy in the latter half of the second period but would only be beaten once, that by Jordan Boultbee who put a shot up and over the shoulder of Crowder for a short side beauty.

Kelowna would then pick up 2 powerplay goals from Adam Beatty and Alex Gran in the final couple of minutes of the second period. In the third, the Steam scored again in the first minute as Paulsen Lautard got behind the defense and squeaked his 2nd of the night and 22nd of the season past Crowder in the Kelowna goal to restore Summerland's 4 goal lead.

It looked as though we would get through the rest of the game with no major issues but as time wound down and the score became more and more out of reach, tempers started to flare. At the 8:12 mark of the third period Reid Brown and Calvin Hadley both made a hit on Jagger Bowles at the same time, and Brown was going to receive a boarding penalty. Alex Gran took exception to the hit and was intercepted on his way to Brown by Calvin Hadley. As they wrestled, Gran managed to get a handful of Hadley's hair, and received a 5 minute major and a match penalty for 'hair pulling'. Hadley was given 2 minutes for roughing and a 10 minute misconduct, effectively ending the night for #6 of the Summerland Steam.

While the penalties were being sorted out the benches began to get into it with one another. Something must have been said to Anthony Ruggiero of the Kelowna Chiefs as he went a bit crazy slamming his stick on the glass partition between benches multiple times while jawing at the Summerland players. While the defensive end of the Kelowna bench was screaming 'Stay Classy' to the offensive end of the Kelowna bench who were going nuts, one of the Chiefs' associate coaches began spraying water over the glass partition into the Summerland bench. He picked up a Gross Misconduct for his unsportsmanlike activity and referee Shane Hillman consequently came over and ended the skirmish.

The game would end without much incident after that, with the Steam picking up a 6-2 win in convincing fashion. The team will board the bus on Saturday and attend the memorial service of fallen teammate Alex Fraser in West Kelowna before heading to Princeton to play the Posse on Saturday night at 7:30. They will then return home for 'Fan Appreciation Day' on Sunday afternoon vs the North Okanagan Knights.

Tickets will be just $8, FAMILY PACKS (2 Adults, up to 4 Children under 12) just $16! We're going to have some giveaways from our game sponsor, FORTIS BC, as well as a 2 night stay at the Best Western Inn at Penticton, and we'll have some great deals going on at the concession!

As always you can follow along with the team on Facebook at 'Summerland Junior B Hockey Club' or on twitter with the Summerland Steam (@SteamKIJHL) and with myself (@Steam_Voice) for all the latest updates on the Summerland Steam and the KIJHL!

Friday, 14 February 2014

WITH HEAVY HEARTS, STEAM ANNOUNCE THE PASSING OF ALEX FRASER

It is with heavy hearts that the Summerland Steam announce the passing of former player Alex Fraser. Alex passed away in hospital on Tuesday, February 11th, at the age of 18 years old. Alex will be remembered by family and friends as a kind, compassionate, loving person who was known for his positive attitude, electric smile, and his quiet and thoughtful nature. He was known in the hockey community as an exceptional sportsman with undeniable talent and a knack for making people smile.

Alex will forever be a part of the Steam family and will be remembered by his teammates as not only a kind person, but a true friend. His teammates would describe him as a quiet and thoughtful guy with an unparalleled sense of humor, and he will be missed dearly.

In the midst of a busy weekend with 3 games, the Steam will board the bus tomorrow morning (Saturday) and attend Alex's funeral services (details below) before travelling to Princeton to face the Posse tomorrow night. They will then return home to play another home game on Sunday, February 16th vs the North Okanagan Knights.

The Steam will hold a moment of silence in remembrance of Alex Fraser before their home game on February 14th against the Kelowna Chiefs. Alex had many friends on both teams and will be missed by all. There will also be a donation box set up at the front door of the Summerland Arena, with the proceeds being given to Alex's family to help with funeral costs.


OFFICIAL OBITUARY:

"FRASER, Alexander 'Alex'
September 4, 1995 - February 11, 2014

A kind, compassionate, loving son and brother, Alex was bom in Penticton, BC and passed away unexpectantly at Kelowna General Hospital at the age of 18. Alex was an exceptional athlete in both baseball and hockey who was driven by a passion to be the best at whatever he did. All of the Westside Minor Hockey knew him for his exceptional skills as a defenseman along with his on-ice humour. He was truly loyal and dedicated friend who brought joy and laughter to everyone he met. His smile was unforgettable and will live forever in our hearts.

Alex had recently been accepted in the Electronic Engineering Program at Okanagan College and had looked forward to eventually attaining his goal of a Bachelor of Applied Science at UBCO. Alex had a true love of life and followed a variety of interests looking to see where the future would take him. He loved the simple things in life; fishing, kayaking, building fires at Eagan Lake, wake surfing with friends, snowboarding, building his man-cave, rib nights at Kelly O'Byans, movies with friends and quiet times spent with his dogs and cat, Baron, Bullet and Bella. Alex was always sunounded by a close group of friends who shared many laughs and adventures with him. He had recently begun working at London Drugs where he found a real focus in leaming the many aspects of the retail world.

Alex will be forever loved and remembered by his parents, Stuart and Julia Fraser, his young sister Emily, Grandma Julia Pickard and Nana and Papa, Brian and Ruby Fraser. His sense of humour and quiet, thoughtful nature will be forever remembered by his godparent and cousin Sophia Betegh, godparent and aunt Janet Fraser, his uncle Brent (Karen) Fraser and cousin Aidan, aunt Heather (Dennis) Dunbar cousins, Christina, Elizabeth and Sarah, his uncle Robert and by many other great aunts, great uncles and second cousins. Messages of condolence may be sent to the family by visiting HansonsFuneral.ca

A prayer vigit witt be held 7:00 P.M., Friday February 14,2014 at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church 2547 Hebert Rd., West Kelowna, BC

A Funeral Mass will be held l:00 P.M., Saturday February 15,2014 at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church 2547 Hebert Rd., West Kelowna, BC

A Celebration of His Life will be held 3:30 P.M., Saturday February 15,2014 at Our Lady of Lourdes Gymnasium 2547 Hebert Rd., West Kelowna, BC

Arrangements entrusted to the care of HANSONS ARBOR WESTWOOD FUNERAL CHAPEL 250.768.370"



NO LOVE LOST ON VALENTINE'S DAY AS CHIEFS COME TO TOWN

After a week of practice and some rest and relaxation, love is in the air! It's Valentine's Day and the Summerland Steam will take to the ice tonight to face the Okanagan Division leading Kelowna Chiefs. Even though it is Valentine's Day, I can assure you there will be NO love lost between these two teams when they hit the ice tonight.

The Steam are coming off a 4-2 win in Sicamous last Saturday after shutting down the Revelstoke Grizzlies 7-2 last Friday night. Tonight they turn their attention to a familiar foe, the first place Kelowna Chiefs.

The Steam and the Chiefs have played each other 6 times so far this season, with each team winning three times. Oddly enough, in an era where home ice is coveted by all teams heading to the playoffs, this season series is the polar opposite of that. In fact, all games in this season series have been won by the road team, which is unusual given how good either team is on their home ice. Every game but one (4-2 Steam win Jan 21) have been one goal games and all have gone right down to the wire.

The Steam currently trail the Chiefs by 5 points and will carry a game in hand through Friday night's contest at the Summerland Arena. The Steam will need to 'take care of their own' in their home rink in order to keep any hope alive of fighting for first place all the way down to the wire. Here's the rest of what you need to know to get you set for Friday's monumental showdown:

SUMMERLAND STEAM (28-15-1-3, 60 PTS, 2ND PLACE, OK DIVISION)

The Steam head into a busy weekend this weekend hoping to continue the trend of winning that they've established since the beginning of November. The Steam have had their all around game together as of late and have really come together as a team in the face of adversity while chasing down their desired first place position. They'll continue their chase on Friday night while battling some injuries, as Kienan Scott, Easton Bodeux, Olli Dickson, and Alex Williams will all be game-time decisions. Jordan Boultbee looks to be healthy again after missing last Saturday's contest in Sicamous with an apparent lower body injury.

**In the race for 1st place, if the Steam win their final five games it does not matter what anybody else in the division does, they will finish in 1st place. 

KELOWNA CHIEFS (31-14-0-3, 65 PTS, 1ST PLACE, OK DIVISION)

The Chiefs come in to Friday's game off a 5-3 loss to the Kamloops Storm last Saturday. They always play the Summerland Steam well, and we should expect no different on Friday night. The Steam will expect the Chiefs to come in with a purpose and looking to extend their lead atop the Okanagan Division. If the Chiefs want to come out with a victory on Friday, they'll need to be lead by their team captain, Jordan Salahor.

The Chiefs possess a lot of grit and a lot of firepower, and it all starts with Salahor. In an abbreviated season this season due to a serious leg injury, Salahor has returned to lead the Chiefs towards the playoffs. In 25 games played this season, Jordan has 13 Goals and 15 Assists for 28 points while collecting 43 PIM. The 20 year old Kelowna native is a veteran in his 4th full KIJHL season, and has amassed 57 Goals and 103 Assists for 160 points in 156 career games, all but one with his hometown Chiefs.

The Steam seem to bring out the best in Salahor, as he's played against most of the Steam's 20 year old group of players all through minor hockey as well as junior, spanning the past 12 years or so. In 3 games against the Steam this season Salahor has recorded 2 Goals and 5 points while collecting 13 penalty minutes.

You can catch all the action live and in person at the Summerland Arena tonight as it is 'Guaranteed Win Night', courtesy of Spud Bros. Concession at Summerland Arena. IF the Steam win tonight, that means on Sunday for 'Fan Appreciation Day', fresh cut homemade fries are FREE from the concession at the Summerland Arena! Nester's Market is our game night sponsor and they'll have some Valentine's Day giveaways, and we've also got a program draw for a 2 night stay in the honeymoon suite at the Best Western Inn at Penticton!

As always you can follow along with us on Facebook at 'Summerland Jr B Hockey Club' or on Twitter @SteamKIJHL! You can also follow along with myself (@Steam_Voice) for all the latest updates related to the team and the KIJHL!

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

STEAM CONTINUE HUNT FOR 1ST PLACE

This past Saturday night the Summerland Steam traveled to the Shuswap to face the Sicamous Eagles, and came away with a hard fought 4-2 victory. The victory came after a similar triumph the night before, 7-2 over the Revelstoke Grizzlies. The Steam were forced to go into Sicamous without some of their leading contributors as Kienan Scott, Jordan Boultbee, and Easton Bodeaux all missed the game due to injury. The Steam were also without Piers Egan and Alex Williams as both remained out with long term injuries.

LOOKING BACK


In the game on Saturday the Steam and the Eagles played a very even first period that ended tied at zero. In the second the Steam got started just over 11 minutes in with Dylan Burton tallying his 12th of the season. Assists on the goal went to the captain, Daylan Robertson, and Calvin Hadley.

Shane Bennett would then add to the lead under a minute later with his second of the season and first since coming off a lower body injury that saw him miss 31 games. Gordon Walters drew the only assist on the play that saw the Steam's lead climb to 2-0. Braden Saretsky would score again for the Steam, his 7th of the year, to push the lead to 3 at the 4:34 mark of the second period.

The Eagles would get one back before the end of the period, however, as Owen Roswell beat Steam goaltender Brett Huber with just :56 on the clock. The goal brought the score to 3-1 in favour of the Steam and set the stage for a great third period.

In the third frame, the Steam added to their lead once again as Reid Brown scored a powerplay goal just 3:55 into the period. Shane Bennett picked up the only assist on the goal, his second point of the night.

Sicamous' Nathan Grieve would score just 14 seconds later to bring his team back within 2, but that's as close as they would get.

The final score would be 4-2, and Brett Huber picked up his 18th win in 33 appearances this season while stopping 37 of 39 shots he faced.

LOOKING FORWARD

The Steam have a big weekend ahead of them this weekend. They start the weekend off with a Valentine's Day date with the division leading Kelowna Chiefs, as they look to chase down the Chiefs for that coveted first place position in the Okanagan Division. Our game night sponsor is Nester's Market and they'll have some stuff to give away and we've also got a program draw for 2 free nights courtesy of our friends at the Best Western Inn at Penticton! So make sure to pick up your program

FRIDAY NIGHT IS 'GUARANTEED WIN NIGHT' THANKS TO SPUD BROS. CONCESSION AT SUMMERLAND ARENA. IF THE STEAM WIN, EVERYONE IN ATTENDANCE FOR SUNDAY'S GAME GETS FREE FRIES!

The Steam will then travel to Princeton to go head to head with the Princeton Posse on Saturday night before returning home to face the North Okanagan Knights on Sunday afternoon at 2PM.

Sunday afternoon is "Fan Appreciation Day" at the Summerland Arena! Tickets are just $8, but if you're a family of 4 or more, a family pack is only $16!!! Our game day sponsor is FORTIS BC and they'll have some fun activities to play along with in-game, and we'll also have some discounts at the concession! Make sure to come out and check out the LOCAL team and support them as they head towards the playoffs!

Saturday, 8 February 2014

STEAM SCORE EARLY TO SINK GRIZZLIES; LOOK AHEAD TO SICAMOUS

STEAM UPEND GRIZZLIES


On Friday night the Summerland Steam played host to the Revelstoke Grizzlies and came away with a 7-2 win. The scoring started early for the Steam, just 8 seconds into the hockey game, as Daylan Robertson took a pass from Paulsen Lautard on the right wing and roofed one over the shoulder of Grizzlies' goaltender Matt Mitchell. It would be the first of three on the night for the captain, and Michael Winnitoy drew the second assist.

Just over 2 minutes later Reid Brown took a pass on a 2-on-1 from Josh Dacosta and lifted the puck over Mitchell to bring the lead to 2-0 just shy of 3 minutes into the contest. Paulsen Lautard would then extend the lead to 3-0 after banking a puck off the goalie and in from the corner. Up 3-0, the Steam were continuing to press. At the 13:06 mark of the first frame the Steam were awarded a powerplay when Revelstoke's John Jamieson picked up a game misconduct for a nasty hit from behind on Steam leading scorer Kienan Scott. Scott would get off the ice under his own power, but would only take a couple more shifts before leaving the game for good in the early stages of the second period.

Still in the first, the Grizzlies would get a goal on the powerplay from Kenny Batke before Robertson tallied his second of the night moving around a sprawling Matt Mitchell and slipping it into the back of the net. Braden Saretsky would round out the first period scoring, bringing the score to 5-1 in favor of the Steam with a 45 foot wrist shot into a crowd that eluded Mitchell and found it's way into the back of the net.

16 year old Jaxon Nohr would come in to replace Mitchell for the second period, and was very good. The only goal allowed was with 24 seconds remaining in the period when Shane Bennett and Reid Brown found themselves on a 2-on-1 break that saw Brown finish after a good pass across from Bennett. Sam Nigg would draw the second assist on the goal, and the Steam headed to the third with a 6-1 lead. Near the end of the second period, with Jordan Boultbee picking up a puck and turning to break up the ice, Revelstoke's Kohl Bell charged six steps at stuck his knee out, upending Boultbee and effectively taking him out of the game for the third period.

Jaxon Nohr stopped 19 of the 20 shots he faced in the second period, but left with an injury and Matt Mitchell was back in the Revelstoke goal for the third.

In that third period, as tempers continued to flare, Steam captain Daylan Robertson completed his hat trick just 29 seconds into the period on a nice move across the net front. Matt Lucero would add another for Revelstoke to bring the score to 7-2 with just 1:29 to go in the hockey game.

Brett Huber started for the Steam against the Grizzlies and only faced 13 shots on the night in the 7-2 victory.

Friday, 7 February 2014

GRIZZLIES CROSS THE TRACKS

Tonight the Summerland Steam will take to the ice at the Summerland Arena to host the Revelstoke Grizzlies. These teams have met once previously this season, that being a 6-1 Steam win in Revelstoke in early September. The two teams have had what would be considered opposite seasons as the Steam are trying to chase down first place in the Okanagan Division, while the Grizzlies have been eliminated from playoff contention in a strong Doug Birks Division in the northern Okanagan/Shuswap.

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

SUMMERLAND STEAM (26-15-1-3, 56 PTS, 2ND PLACE/OKANAGAN DIVISION)

The Steam come into tonight's contest with the Grizzlies off a loss to the North Okanagan Knights on Wednesday night by a score of 4-3. It was a gut-wrenching loss, with the Knights' captain TJ Christensen scoring with just .3 seconds remaining on the clock to win the game for North Okanagan. Besides the loss to the Knights the Steam have only recorded one other loss in the calendar year of 2014 so far, leaving them 8-2 in their past 10 games and chasing the Kelowna Chiefs for first place on the Okanagan Division. 

Tonight's starting goaltender will be Brett Huber after Darren Hogg played in the loss on Wednesday evening. Kienan Scott continued his hot streak with a goal in Armstrong on Wednesday, and comes into tonight's action on a 4 game goal scoring streak and has also collected at least a point in 9 of his last 10 games. Dylan Burton also has goals in back to back games for the Steam, and will surely like to keep that streak going as well. 

The Steam will be a bit shorthanded tonight as Alex Williams remains out with a lower body injury, Rylan Sideroff remains out with an upper body injury, and Michael Winnitoy will join the West Kelowna Warriors for their BCHL contest against the Merritt Centennials tonight. Easton Bodeaux is also a game time decision for tonight's contest as well. 


REVELSTOKE GRIZZLIES (8-34-0-4, 20 PTS, 5TH IN DOUG BIRKS DIVISION)

The Grizzlies come into tonight's hockey game in Summerland with an extremely young roster. They are led on defense by Tre Mason, a KIJHL veteran of 126 games for 4 different teams (Kelowna, Kimberly, North Okanagan, Revelstoke). In Mason's 126 games played he has amassed 14 goals and 50 career points to go along with 96 PIM. The 19 year old Kelowna, BC native leads the Grizzlies in scoring this season with 32 points (12 G, 20A) in 45 GP. 

The Grizzlies boast a young roster and a young goaltending tandem in '95 born Matthew Mitchell and '97 born Jaxon Nohr. Both have faced a lot of shots in the games they've played, with Mitchell posting a .880 SV% in 17 appearances (807 Shots Faced) and Nohr posting an .817 SV% in 4 appearances (169 Shots Faced). Both will look to finish the season strong and prepare for next season as Revelstoke becomes a more veteran group. 


Faceoff tonight is 7:30 from the Summerland Arena. Make sure you come out and support your local Junior hockey program! It remains one of the best forms of entertainment for your money at $8 a ticket, and it's only going to get better as the playoffs draw nearer! 

As always, you can follow along with the Steam on Facebook at 'Summerland Junior B Hockey Club' and on Twitter at @SteamKIJHL. You can also follow along with the Revelstoke Grizzlies on twitter at @RevelstokeGriz1. As for myself you can find me and friend me on Facebook or find me on twitter at @Steam_Voice for all the latest updates on the Steam and the rest of the KIJHL!

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

KNIGHTS NEED EVERY SECOND TO DERAIL STREAKING STEAM

On Wednesday night the Summerland Steam took to the road to face the North Okanagan Knights at the Nor-Val Arena in Armstrong. It was the second meeting in days and the sixth of the season series. The Steam came in on a 6 game winning streak while the Knights were trying to bump a 3 game slump of their own that started with a 6-5 loss to the Steam on Friday night. It was a tightly contested game, just like the other 5 games of the season series, and this time it was the North Okanagan Knights coming out on top 4-3.

The Knights' leading scorer, Brett Hawrys, opened the scoring 4:08 into the opening frame. Dennon Leibel and Matthew Halvorson drew assists on the early Hawrys goal. Halvorson then doubled the lead on a late period powerplay with assists going to Morgan Johnston and Logan Geefs.

In the second period there were no goals scored, but lots of chances. The Steam outshot the Knights 12-7 in the period, but got a strong performance from Zach Dyment to keep their lead at 2-0.

In the third the Steam got an early powerplay and cashed in as Dylan Burton got them on the board. Sam Nigg would then score shorthanded and unassisted just over a minute later to tie the game at 2. With just over 8 minutes to go in the third period, Brett Hawrys struck again as he restored the lead for the Knights. It would stay that way until there was just over a minute remaining in the game when Kienan Scott scored his 31st of the season to tie the game at 3. Just when the game looked to be headed to overtime, the Knights weren't done. Captain TJ Christensen managed to put one behind Steam goaltender Darrren Hogg with just .3 seconds on the clock to give his team the 4-3 lead and the victory.

The loss leaves the Steam heading into the weekend with a 7 point cushion on either side of them in the standings. They trail the Kelowna Chiefs by 7 points with a game in hand, and lead the Osoyoos Coyotes by 7 points also with a game in hand. They return home this Friday night, February 7th, to face the Revelstoke Grizzlies before traveling to Sicamous to face the Eagles on Saturday night.

STEAM START STRETCH DRIVE WITH A VISIT TO ARMSTRONG

On Wednesday night the Summerland Steam will travel to Armstrong to face the North Okanagan Knights. It will be the 6th meeting of the season between the two teams, the last one coming just 5 days ago on January 31st. It was a tightly contested game that saw the lead change hands 3 times in the final 3 minutes, with the Steam's leading scorer Kienan Scott scoring with just 20 seconds to play to give his team a 6-5 victory. The win by the Steam overshadowed an unbelievable goaltending performance from the Knights' Mitch Profeit on his birthday last Friday. Tonight's matchup will see the Knights trying to once again even up the season series, as with the win last Friday night the Steam lead the series 3-2.

Here's what you need to know prior to tonight's matchup:

SUMMERLAND STEAM (26-14-1-3, 56 PTS, 2ND IN OKANAGAN DIVISION)

The Steam come into tonight's contest as winners of 6 in a row and 8 of their past 10 games. They've been on an absolute tear since November 1st, climbing from a tie for 5th place to just 7 points out of 1st place in the Okanagan Division with 2 games in hand on the division leading Kelowna Chiefs. 

The Steam get contributions from everybody up and down the lineup every single night, but lately it has been their top line giving them the bulk of offense, lead by their leading scorer Kienan Scott. In his past 5 games, Scott has been on a roll, recording 6 goals and 8 points. This includes a hat trick, a 2 goal game, AND 2 game winning goals. When the game is on the line, Scott is the guy who seems to get the job done when the Steam need it the most. Along with his linemates, team captain Daylan Robertson and Paulsen Lautard, they lead the charge towards the playoffs with the rest of the forward group right behind them ready to step up when a big goal is needed.  

The Steam will welcome Gordon Walters back to the lineup tonight but will be without Rylan Sideroff. Alex Williams and Piers Egan also remain out of the lineup while they deal with ailments of their own. Williams looks as though he is nearing a return to the lineup sometime in the next week while Egan may be out for the remainder of the season. 

It looks as though Darren Hogg will start in goal for Summerland tonight after coming in to relieve Brett Huber after a tough 1st period on Friday night. Hogg enters play sporting a 9-6 record with a 3.38 GAA and a .908 SV%. in 17 appearances. 

NORTH OKANAGAN KNIGHTS (21-23-0-2, 44 PTS, 4TH IN OKANAGAN DIVISION)

The Knights come into tonight's game in Armstrong trending in the opposite direction of the Steam. They've lost 3 in a row, including that 6-5 loss to Summerland on Friday, a tough 4-3 OT loss in Osoyoos on Saturday, and a 5-3 defeat at the hands of the Princeton Posse in Armstrong on Sunday afternoon. 

The Knights and the Steam always play tough games against one another, and Wednesday night's contest should be no different. Both teams have the ability to score at any time and both do a good job keeping the puck out of their own net. When the puck does get to the net, both teams have a solid goaltending tandem that can steal them a game on any given night. 

For the Knights it's Zach Dyment and Mitch Profeit. The Steam have seen both of the Knights' goaltenders put up stellar efforts this season, and will expect no less when the two teams convene tonight. Both are young goaltenders who have strong futures ahead of them. 

On offense the Knights will be without one of their veterans in Tanner Burns, as he sits a suspension for "accumulated fighting majors". One of the players the Steam will certainly have to keep eyes on tonight is the Knights' Ryan Kelm. He is coming off a hat trick in the loss to the Posse on Sunday, and he looks dangerous every time he's on the ice. 

THE DETAILS

The puck drops tonight in Armstrong at 7PM and if you can't make it to the Nor-Val Arena, make sure to join the crew at KIJHL.ca for the webcast live. 

As always you can follow along on Facebook at 'Summerland Junior B Hockey Club' or on twitter with both teams (@SteamKIJHL & @NOKnights) as well as myself (@Steam_Voice) for all the updates you'll need to keep up with the KIJHL!

Saturday, 1 February 2014

STEAM FINISH NEAR PERFECT MONTH WITH WIN OVER KNIGHTS

As you get down to the final games of the season, each and every one becomes more and more valuable to a hockey team. With both teams trying to secure playoff position, the Summerland Steam hosted the North Okanagan Knights on Friday night, and oh boy was it a thriller. It was back and forth all night long between the two teams that went right down to the wire with the Steam ending up on top by a score of 6-5.

It was Brett Huber getting his 3rd straight start in goal for the Steam and Mitch Profeit in net for the Knights to start the hockey game. Profeit was celebrating a birthday, and played extremely well for the Knights all night long, giving them a chance to win when Summerland came with pressure.

Paulsen Lautard got the scoring started early, just 46 seconds into the hockey game when he picked up a puck out of the corner and powered his way to the middle. Once there he fired a backhand high and hard over the glove of Profeit to give the Steam a 1-0 lead.

The lead wouldn't last long, however, as Logan Geefs would get a stick on a Ryley Booth shot on a North Okanagan powerplay to even the score at 1. Just over 2 minutes later the Knights took the lead thanks to the Summerland defense. After a puck slid into the Steam zone, goaltender Brett Huber stopped the puck behind his net for his defender, Easton Bodeaux. As Huber was headed back to the net a clearing attempt by Bodeaux actually hit Huber in the back of the legs and caromed into the net behind him. The Steam then couldn't take advantage of a powerplay, and the Knights scored again with 6 minutes to go in the period as Austin Garrington beat Huber with a shot low to the blocker side to extend the Knights' lead to 3-1. That would spell the end for Brett Huber as Darren Hogg would come in to replace him at that same 6 minute mark of the 1st.

In the second period Dylan Burton pulled the Steam to within one just over 3 minutes into the period after taking a pass from Olli Dickson. Kendell Wilson also recorded an assist on the play, his first of 2 on the night. The Steam carried the play for the most part through most of the second period. Mitch Profeit made a wonderful right pad save on Kienan Scott about halfway through the second period and North Okanagan got a goal as a direct result. After Profeit kicked the puck aside the Knights turned the puck back up the ice and Logan Mostat was sprung on a breakaway. He tried to make a move and go to the glove side of Darren Hogg, but instead the puck rolled off the heel of his stick and through Hogg's legs to restore the Knights' 2 goal lead. On a late period powerplay, however, the Steam were able to cut the lead back to one on a shot from Michael Winnitoy that was hard, low, and found it's way behind goaltender Mitch Profeit.

At the start of the third period the Steam took the pressure to the Knights and were rewarded. After 8 minutes of nearly continuous pressure Dylan Burton poked home his second of the night and 10th of the season to tie the hockey game at 4.

After going back and forth in the final minutes the Steam's leading scorer, Kienan Scott, mustered up some of his late-game magic once again and tied the game on a breakaway with 2:42 to play. Just when everybody thought we were headed to overtime, Ryley Booth restored the lead for the Knights with just :55 left on the clock.

Not to be outdone, Summerland came straight back. With just over 20 seconds left in the hockey game the Steam's Reid Brown made a strong power move to the outside on the right wing and placed a shot off the pads of Mitch Profeit right to Kienan Scott, who buried the puck in the back of the Knights' net and gave Summerland the lead with :20 on the clock.

Simple analysis on the play is if Reid Brown doesn't make that strong play to the outside, the Steam lose the hockey game and the Knights gain ground. Instead the Steam gain 2 points, and with the Kelowna Chiefs stomping out the Osoyoos Coyotes 6-0 Summerland remains 3 points back of the Chiefs. The big story is that they extend the gap between themselves and the 3rd place Coyotes to 9 points.

The Steam will play next on Wednesday night IN Armstrong where they will travel to face the same North Okanagan Knights they beat 6-5 on Friday night. They will return home next Friday, February 7th, when they host the Revelstoke Grizzlies.

As always you can "Like" us on Facebook (Summerland Junior B Hockey Club) or follow along with the team on twitter @SteamKIJHL. You can also follow along with me on twitter @Steam_Voice for as many updates on the team that I can find!