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Friday, 28 March 2014

STEAM HOSTING SPRING CAMP APRIL 4-6

Even though the 2013-2014 season is just barely finished, the Summerland Steam Junior Hockey Club is already looking forward to the 2014-2015 season! The Steam will host a Spring Camp this coming weekend, April 4th-6th, at the Summerland Arena.

Spring Camp will give the Management and Coaching Staff of the Summerland Steam a chance to get a look at some of the best young players in the region and will surely be a fast-paced, 'All In' type of camp. Cost for the camp is just $225, and you can register at www.summerlandsteam.com under 'Camps'.

Accommodation is available at a discounted rate at the Best Western Inn at Penticton (250-493-0311) starting at just $89.99 OR at the Summerland Waterfront Resort (www.summerlandresorthotel.com)  starting at $99.99.

The Steam will have some of the members of the 2013-2014 Okanagan Division Champion Steam on hand to take part in the activities of the Spring Camp. They will also be at Subway in Summerland on Saturday, April 5th, between 11-3 to assist the staff as well as sign autographs and take pictures.


Saturday, 15 March 2014

STEAM TO HOST SPRING CAMP APRIL 4-6

Even though the 2013-2014 season is just barely finished, the Summerland Steam Junior Hockey Club is already looking forward to the 2014-2015 season! The Steam will host a Spring Camp on the weekend of April 4-6.

Spring Camp will give the Management and Coaching Staff of the Summerland Steam a chance to get a look at some of the best young players in the region and will surely be a fast-paced, 'All In' type of camp. Cost for the camp is just $225, and you can register at www.summerlandsteam.com under 'Camps'.

Friday, 14 March 2014

STEAM AWARDS NIGHT & FINAL FAREWELL

On Thursday night the Summerland Steam hosted their annual Awards Banquet at the Summerland Arena Banquet Hall. While they would have preferred to be in Osoyoos playing in the Okanagan Division Final vs the Coyotes, the end of the year was going to come at some point and this was the perfect way to cap off the best year in team history. In front of about 100 parents, Team Staff, and Volunteers, Head Coach John Depourcq and Assistant Coach and GM Gregg Wilson handed out awards to their players and some volunteers as well.

Depourcq and Wilson explained just how proud they were of this particular group of young men, especially for persevering through the 'challenges' that they were forced to withstand throughout this season. Not only did they have a tough start to the season (winning just 5 of their first 15) but they also endured unspeakable tragedy.

While climbing all the way from the bottom of the standings, the Steam lost two former teammates (Alex Fraser and Ryan Donaldson) in the span of a week. It was a very emotional and difficult situation for this group of young men that could have very easily sent the Steam train off the rails for the remainder of the season. Instead it brought the boys together as they tried to make a push for first place in the division and an Okanagan Division Championship banner, and they succeeded. The first-place push culminated with a showdown vs the Kelowna Chiefs, who had been perched atop the Okanagan Division since essentially the beginning of the season.

That game took place on the last weekend of the season on February 21 in Kelowna, and ended in a score of 3-1 in favour of the Summerland Steam. Braden Saretsky netted the winner and Kienan Scott sealed the win into an empty net to complete the worst-to-first transformation and bring home an Okanagan Division Championship banner.

It is the first junior hockey banner the town of Summerland has ever been able to hang in the Summerland Arena, and that is just one more thing that will make this extremely special group of young men stand together forever.

(Missing From Photo: Reid Brown, Easton Bodeux, Gordon Walters, Piers Egan)



On a night that was put together to put a nice wrap on a season that was a special one in Summerland, there was some hardware that needed to be given out. We'll start with the awards won by Steam players and staff as decided upon by the KIJHL, and then we'll get to the team awards.

At the start of the playoffs, coach John Depourcq was presented with the Coach of the Year Award for the Okanagan Division. A well deserved award for not only a great hockey coach, but a great person. John did a wonderful job with the Steam in 2013-2014, and did a great job getting his players to buy into his system while he worked with them to improve their skills and get some of them ready to make the jump to the next level. Everything you want in a coach, really, and the award was well deserved.

Kienan Scott was also handed some hardware by the KIJHL prior to Thursday night's awards. At the start of the playoffs, Kienan was awarded the Rookie of the Year for the Okanagan Division as well as Most Valuable Player for the Okanagan Division. He was also named the Rookie of the Year for the entire KIJHL, amassing 32 goals and 24 Assists for 56 points in just 39 Games Played. A true talent with an eye for the net, Kienan provided the Steam with added offensive punch while having a knack for scoring big goals, and he was an absolute pleasure to watch all season long. I said it in-broadcast many times that when you need a big goal, call #91, and he never disappoints.

We should also mention Steam goaltender Brett Huber in this section. Although he was not credited with the Goaltender of the Year Award for the Okanagan Division, he very well should have been. Some would in fact think he got absolutely robbed of the honour, based on his numbers and the numbers of the rest of the Okanagan Division goaltenders. Huber did all he could to keep the Steam in hockey games, particularly during the 7 game losing streak in October/early November when the guys in front of him were as snakebitten as I've ever seen. For that quality, Huber was named the regular season MVP for the Steam this season. A well deserved honour for a fine young man who played a lot of minutes this season in the Summerland crease.

In 36 appearances this season (4th most in the KIJHL), Huber recorded a 21-11-1 record with 1 shutout. In those appearances Huber put together a 2.70 GAA and a .914 SV%, good for 5th overall in the entire KIJHL in terms of numbers.


TEAM AWARDS

The Steam handed out their team awards last night, and here's a list of the winners, including the Volunteer of the Year, Fan of the Year, and Sponsor of the Year: 

Volunteer(s) of the Year:  Kim Chadwick, Lisa West, Susie Pond

One award just wasn't enough as we could not choose just one of our fantastic volunteers, so we picked 3. The winners were Kim Chadwick, Lisa West, and Susie Pond. All play vital parts in making the organization successful as Kim sells our 50/50 every night, Lisa spends thankless hours between screaming players in the scorekeeper's box, and Susie takes care of the front table selling tickets, programs, and chuck-a-puck (most of the time by herself).

Sponsor(s) of the Year: Nester's Market, Summerland IGA, Murray GM

Without Corporate Sponsorship, Junior hockey at any level doesn't operate. It's as simple as that. Our sponsors mean the world to us, and this season we had 3 that stood apart from the rest. Nesters Market, Summerland IGA, and Murray GM were our winners on the night, each taking home a plaque and a very big THANK YOU from the Summerland Steam organization. 

Fan of the Year Award: Debbie Harrison

She was at every game this season and even traveled to the nearby road games, and her cowbell was heard by the boys each and every night. We call her 'the cowbell lady,' and she has a very special place in our hearts. This year's Fan of the Year, for the second season in a row was Debbie Harrison.

Rookie of the Year Award & Top Scorer Award: Kienan Scott

He won it for the division, and he won it for the entire KIJHL, so it was very difficult for the Steam to give it to anyone but Kienan Scott. Kienan also picks up the Top Scorer Award, as he led the team in scoring along with his linemates Paulsen Lautard and Daylan Robertson, who all finished with 56 points in the regular season. Scott takes home the award based on his number of games played being less than both Robertson and Lautard.

Scholastic Award & Top Defenseman: Josh Dacosta

Not only is Josh a smart hockey player, he's a pretty bright kid, and he takes home this year's Scholastic Award as well as being the Steam's Top Defenseman for 2013-2014. He played every game for the Steam this season, and he was the only player on the roster besides Brett Huber to dress each and every night. Josh is solid in his own zone and brings an offensive touch to the team that is much appreciated. He has the ability to get a shot through, which is an important quality for a defenseman. As far as his scholastics are concerned, for his professors sake, I hope his penmanship is as smooth as his skating stride.

Most Sportsmanlike: Rylan Sideroff

Rylan could have also won Most Versatile and been in the running for Most Improved player on the Steam roster this season, but with just 25 Penalty Minutes in 44 Games Played he picks up the Most Sportsmanlike Player Award for the Steam this season. Rylan made a mid-season change for coach John Depourcq, moving from forward to defense out of necessity due to injury. He excelled, becoming one of the coaches most counted upon defensemen down the stretch and into the playoffs. 

Fan Favourite: Olli Dickson

Olli's personality on and off the ice is what got him the 'Fan Favourite' award for the Steam this season. He is a very well-spoken young man who wears his heart and emotions on his sleeve, and he became the emotional leader of the hockey team this season. He gave his absolute best each and every night to his team and the fans, and whenever there was a media request or radio call he was the first guy in line. Accountable and passionate are the two words I would use to best describe Olli, and this organization will certainly miss him as he moves on to bigger and better things after his 20 year old season.

Playoff MVP: Daylan Robertson

We called him 'Captain Clutch' for a reason this season. Any time the game was on the line, whether the Steam needed a goal in the offensive end or needed to keep one out of their own net, the Robertson line was on the ice. A quiet, lead by example type of leader is what was needed in the Steam locker room this season, and Robertson provided that for his teammates and his coaches. It showed on the ice, as they recorded their best season in franchise history and brought a banner home to the Summerland Arena. 

Friday, 7 March 2014

STEAM LOSE GAME 7, FACE LONG OFFSEASON

It was a great season for the 2013-2014 Summerland Steam, but as they say, all good things must come to an end. Unfortunately for the Steam it came to an end on Wednesday night at the hands of the North Okanagan Knights in a Game 7 that was every bit as entertaining as it should have been. It ended 5-3, and put an end to a series that saw 6 games of back and forth action that would almost make your heart stop at the drop of a dime. The Knights were big and physical, and it forced the Steam to scratch, claw, and battle with everything they had. Injuries certainly played a part, but did not deter from the entertainment value in this series.

In today's blog you'll find a recap of Game 7 and a season-ender as well, so let's get started:

GAME 7


Just as most games in this series had started, the Knights jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period on 2 powerplay goals by Tanner Burns and Ryley Booth. Scoring first and scoring early was how the Knights had built their 3-1 series lead, but Summerland came back in the series and came back in this game.

They started chipping away with about 6 minutes to go in the second period when Paulsen Lautard took a pass from Daylan Robertson and deposited it behind Knights' goaltender Zach Dyment. They went into the intermission down by just a goal, and 5 minutes into the 3rd the Steam were able to tie things up at 2 after Sam Nigg took a beautiful cross crease feed from Jordan Boultbee and beat Dyment.

From there things started to get tense, and it looked as though both teams were hesitant to do anything but keep the puck out of their own zone. At 10:02 of the third period, the Knights' Paul Biegel took a holding penalty that sent the Steam to the powerplay and gave them the chance they needed to grab the lead.

They did just that.

After missing a yawning cage on a feed from Robertson late in the powerplay, Lautard picked up his second of the night on the second try of the exact same play. With 8:13 to go, the Steam had a one goal advantage and looked to have things well in control based on the run of the play.

Off the ensuing faceoff, the Knights' took another penalty as Ryley Booth retrieved the puck inside his own blue line and flipped it up over the glass, which is an automatic penalty. This penalty, however, was one that Summerland would have declined if they could have. The powerplay was disorganized from the start and with just a few seconds left in the penalty the Knights were able to capitalize on a defensive miscue as Brett Hawrys took the puck off a Steam defender and deposited it over the glove of Steam starter Brett Huber.

Just when it looked like we were going to head for some Game 7 overtime, Morgan Johnston was able to add another for the Knights with just over 2 minutes to go, and that would spell the end for the Summerland Steam. Johnston would put another into an empty net to make the score 5-3 with 36 seconds left and officially eliminate the Summerland Steam from the 2013-2014 playoffs in a hard fought 7 game series.

THE SEASON THAT WAS


It truly was a remarkable season for the Summerland Steam, even though it started slowly. After 15 games the Steam were tied with Princeton for 5th in the division, and things weren't looking good as they were losers of 6 in a row. They would lose one more, a 3-2 loss to the Sicamous Eagles on November 1st to extend the streak to 7 before they were able to get things turned around.

Once they got it turned around, boy did they ever get it turned around. In the 36 games since the loss to the Eagles, the Steam were able to pick up 27 wins. They also added a tie and two overtime losses into the equation, giving them a record of 27-6-1-2. Points in 30 of 36 to end the season isn't bad, if I do say so myself.

This roll that the Steam got themselves on got them into a dogfight for first place in the Okanagan Division, a spot that most of the veterans on the team didn't think they'd be in when I talked to them earlier in the season. The wonderful run of solid play started from goaltenders Brett Huber and Darren Hogg and worked it's way out to the rest of the team, and they found a system under Head Coach John Depourcq and Assistant Coach Gregg Wilson that really tightened up the defensive zone and ensured they could push the pace offensively.

Whatever changes the team made on November 1 worked, as not only did it allow them to be in a position to win a division title on the last weekend of the season, but it won some players individual awards also. The Steam's co-leading scorer, Kienan Scott, was named the Okanadan Division MVP and the KIJHL Rookie Of The Year at season's end on the same night the Steam were presented with their Okanagan Division Championship banner.

Scott would be the only member of the Steam to win an individual award from the KIJHL this season, although in this broadcaster's opinion Steam goaltender Brett Huber was absolutely robbed of a 'Top Goaltender' award for the Okanagan Division. Nobody played more games (36) or had better numbers (2.70 GAA, .914 SV%) than Huber, but the award went elsewhere. It's a good thing awards don't tell the whole story, because there could have and should have been multiple for the Steam this season.

The end of the season also brings to an end the junior careers of the Steam's 5 20 year olds as Darren Hogg, Olli Dickson, Dylan Burton, Sam Nigg, and Josh Dacosta all ride off into the sunset together with a division championship to their credit. I know they would have loved to have continued their run towards the Cyclone Taylor Cup, just like every other member of the Steam, but at the very least they get to go out together.

All 5 are Penticton Minor Hockey graduates who played almost all of their minor hockey and most of their junior hockey together, and have been friends for there entire lives. That won't change, surely, as there are still many memories to make outside of hockey, but the hockey ones are pretty sweet.

WHAT'S NEXT?


The Summerland Steam organization will now take a break for about a month before beginning to prepare for the 2014-2015 season. Summerland Steam Spring Prospect Camp is held at the Summerland Arena April 4-6, while main training camp opens at the Summerland Arena on the last weekend of August.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

IT ALL COMES DOWN TO THIS

WIN, or go home. It can't get any simpler than that.

It all comes down to one game between the Summerland Steam and the North Okanagan Knights for all the marbles, and it takes place Wednesday night at the Summerland Arena. Depending on the outcome, the Okanagan Division Championship Series will begin Friday either in Summerland or in Osoyoos.

The Steam head into a deciding Game 7 after Jordan Boultbee scored with :53 left on the clock to tie Game 6 at 1 before Sam Nigg ended the game with just over 3 minutes to play in the first 10 minute overtime period. It was a huge win for the Steam who were facing elimination for the second consecutive game, and it ensured that we'll all be in for a thrilling roller coaster ride in Game 7.

After winning Game 1 of this best of 7 series, the Steam dropped 3 in a row to the Knights, before winning 2 in a row to push the series to a 7th and deciding game. The biggest thing that's helped the Steam in the past two games is the fact that they're back to having fun. They seem a little more loose and relaxed and just got back to basics. They've done the little things right. Things like clearing their defensive zone, closing off their checks, and clogging up the middle of the ice.

The Steam are getting contributions from up and down their lineup in this playoff series, and that will need to continue through Game 7 in order to punch their ticket to a meeting with the Osoyoos Coyotes on Friday night. Summerland has also had the luxury of having two goaltenders that can play every single night, and it's shown with Brett Huber and Darren Hogg splitting the series and playing 3 games each.

Huber got the win in Game 6 after Hogg collected a victory in Game 5, so it would be irresponsible for me to make a guess as to who Steam Head Coach John Depourcq will call upon in Game 7. Whichever one he goes with will give the team solid minutes on Wednesday night in Game 7, and both give their teammates stability in the crease and some confidence to know that if they push the offensive pace they have a guy back there who can bail them out in a pinch.

It is set to be a big night at the Summerland Arena on Wednesday night with Game 7 taking place, so make sure to wear your Red, White and Black and BRING THE NOISE! Puck drop is at 7:30 and you aren't going to want to miss it! If you're unable to make it to the rink, feel free to join myself and the rest of the broadcast team at KIJHL.ca just prior to puck drop and we'll get you set with all you need to know for this winner-take-all battle!

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

STEAM 'DON'T STOP BELIEVIN', FORCE GAME 7

They say it isn't how you start, but how you finish. That statement rang true for the Summerland Steam on Tuesday night in Game 6 of a best of 7 series with the North Okanagan Knights. Pre-game I mentioned how important it was for the Steam to get a quick start and force their hand early in the game, and boy did they make me look like a fool. On this night the Steam DIDN'T get the start they wanted to, as they had the pace taken to them early in the game by the North Okanagan Knights.

Brett Huber got the start for the Steam in goal on this night and he was superb, particularly in the first period while the Steam shook out their legs. The Steam would weather the storm and eventually get some pressure of their own near the end of the period, but no results showed up on the scoreboard for either side as the period ended in a scoreless tie.

In the second it was the Steam who came out with a bit of pressure. They spent the first couple of minutes in the Knights' end of the ice buzzing around Zach Dyment before Ryan Kelm was able to stride up the right wing and fire a shot past Brett Huber to give the Knights a 1 goal lead.

From there, to be quite honest, the game got a little bit dry. A lot of the play was in the neutral zone and just inside either blue line, with no real strong attempts at either goal. Brett Huber was forced to make one dazzling glove save on the Knights' regular season leading scorer, Brett Hawrys, as Hawrys had some room to come down the left wing and cut across the front of the net. As he tried to go to his backhand and lift it into the top of the net, Huber did a good job to stick with him and get his glove up to knock the puck off course and into the corner.

Unbelievably, the two teams combined for only 2 penalties on this night, both taken by Summerland in the 2nd period. North Okanagan was unsuccessful on both of their powerplays in this hockey game, and Special Teams played a non-factor overall.

In the third, with their backs against the wall in a major way, the Steam never gave up. Each and every single 'Steammate' picked up their lunch-pale and went to work trying to tie the game. That 'Never Say Die' attitude was what they needed, as they were relentless in their attack while letting the Knights' have next to no looks at Huber and the Summerland net.

Just when it looked like all their efforts were going to come up short, the Steam's veterans took over and led the way. It started with some pressure in the final minutes and finally Easton Bodeux was able to get a shot through a maze of bodies to the net, where Jordan Boultbee was able to put a tip on the puck to get it past Knights' goaltender Zach Dyment. As much credit as we should give Boultbee for putting a beautiful tip on a puck, we should also give equally as much credit to Steam defender Easton Bodeux. Bodeux did a fantastic job to get the puck through a group of 5 players to the net and made sure the shot was low and able to be tipped.

The Steam fans who travelled on the Team Fan Bus (Thanks to Murray GM and the Robertson Family) erupted in cheers as their team had tied the game at 1 with :53 seconds to play.

From there we were off to OT, where the action went back and forth for a few minutes before Summerland got the opportunity they needed. Sam Nigg was able to strip a Knights' defender of the puck and walk in on Zach Dyment uncontested. He got to the face-off dot to the glove side of Dyment before rifling a wrister low to the blocker side, going post and in to give the Steam a 2-1 win and send the series off to a Game 7 tomorrow night at the Summerland Arena!


Faceoff tomorrow night will be at 7:30 at 'The Station' and WE WANT YOU to #BRINGTHENOISE to the Summerland Arena! Let's fill the barn and show the boys WE BELIEVE they can get it done in Game 7!

STEAM TRAVEL TO ARMSTRONG FOR DO OR DIE GAME 6

I'll keep this one short and sweet:

On Tuesday night in Armstrong the Summerland Steam will play another must-win game with their backs against the wall in Game 6 of a best of 7 series with the North Okanagan Knights. The Knights have a 3-2 lead in the series thus far, but the Steam have shown signs of serious life in the last couple of games. Early in this series the Steam won a game they probably deserved to lose, and in Game 4 they lost a game they probably deserved to win. The point of the matter is everything evens out in the end, and it makes for a very intriguing matchup in tonight's pivotal Game 6.

In Game 5 the Steam started once again with strong pressure in the offensive zone, but still couldn't buy a bounce. Finally, Kienan Scott was able to find his way to the net with the puck and beat starter Zach Dyment to break the goose egg for the Steam in the 2nd period. They would add one more in the third before allowing a shorthanded goal, and win the hockey game 2-1 forcing a Game 6.

Tonight you can look for the same 2 starters in the nets, as it looks to be Darren Hogg for the 4th straight game for the Steam while Zach Dyment has played every minute of every game for the Knights and will most likely do the same tonight.

For the Steam the message should be very simple, and that's just to have some fun. You could see on Sunday night in Summerland that they didn't let the pressure of an elimination game get to them and that needs to be the case again tonight. They came out with physicality and they came out with the smash-mouth type of forecheck and offensive tenacity we saw for most of the second half of this 2013/2014 KIJHL season. The Steam will surely look to get all 4 lines and 6 defensemen into the game early tonight, and will look for an early goal in a setting (Nor-Val Sports Center) that will surely be loud and extremely pro-Knights.

They'll need all of that and more tonight to stave off elimination and force a Game 7, which would be played Wednesday night, March 5th, at the Summerland Arena.

The Steam will have a fan bus present in Armstrong tonight so if you're watching on the webcast, don't be surprised to hear some noise from the Red, White and Black as well!


Monday, 3 March 2014

STEAM LIVE TO FIGHT ANOTHER NIGHT

On Sunday night the Summerland Steam took to home ice for Game 5 of a best of 7 series with the North Okanagan Knights. A win would pull the Steam's deficit to just one game in the series, and with their backs against the wall and facing elimination, the boys came to play.

It went down as a 2-1 win, and here's how we got there:

The start of the game was delayed by a few minutes as KIJHL President Bill Ohlhausen made a presentation at center ice. The presentation was to the Steam's Kienan Scott, who took home the 'Rookie Of The Year' award for the entire KIJHL.

Once the game got started on this particular night, the fast paced action took place mostly in the neutral zone early on, as the teams were tied in shots 3-3 (compared to 15-5 Steam in Game 4) at the halfway point of the first period. The shots on goal would end 10-6 in favour of the Steam, but again the period would end 0-0. To start the second the Steam knew they were going to have to come out with a strong effort and were going to have to get the first goal of the hockey game.

The did just that.

All of the Steam's forward lines were pushing the pace of play on this night, but the line of Boultbee, Nigg, and Burton were particularly good. In the first period they had a few great chances, and early in the second period they did a great job to keep the play down in the Knights' zone and get shots to the net.

As good as the Boultbee line was, it was the line of Robertson, Lautard, and Scott that got the scoring started. Kienan Scott was able to get into a foot race with the Knights' Austin Garrington and was able to out-skate him and shield the puck from him before going high over the glove of Knights' starter Zach Dyment to give the Steam the lead. The period would end in the same score of 1-0 in favour of the Steam, who were heading to the third with a lead and looking to stay alive in this series.

In the third Summerland would hope to come out and do their best to extend their lead without giving up too much. On the powerplay just 2:30 into the period, they would get the insurance marker they were looking for, and it came off the stick of Josh Dacosta. Dacosta has shown an innate ability to get shots through from the point all season long, and that's exactly how he beat Zach Dyment to extend the Steam lead to 2-0.

Playing with the lead in the third, the Steam did a good job to shut down the Knights' attack and not let them have much in the way of scoring chances in front of starting goaltender Darren Hogg. Hogg was forced to make a couple of good saves in the third, but nothing extremely dangerous. He was solid all night long once again and took home 1st star honours in the building after making 24 saves on 25 Knights' shots.

It looked as though the Knights were going to start a late-game push after Brett Hawrys beat Hogg with a shot from the left wing while the Knights were killing a penalty, but that would be all the Knights would get. With just over 2 minutes left in the game the Steam were penalized for putting the puck over the glass in their own zone, but did a good job to shut down a dangerous Knights' powerplay and not give them any quality looks in the final minutes.

Dylan Burton would add an empty netter right near the buzzer, but the referees decided it would no count as it came after time expired. It wouldn't matter though as one way or another the Steam would take this game and force a Game 6.


Game 6 will go in Armstrong on Tuesday night, and if the Steam can pull out another win it will force a GAME 7. If necessary, GAME 7 WILL BE HELD WEDNESDAY, MARCH 5TH AT 7:30 AT THE SUMMERLAND ARENA!

Sunday, 2 March 2014

STEAM CAN'T BUY A BOUNCE, FACE ELIMINATION IN GAME 5.

On Saturday night the Summerland Steam took to the ice at the Nor-Val Arena in Armstrong for Game 4 vs the North Okanagan Knights. It was bound to be a spirited affair as Summerland was looking to tie the series after losing Game 3 on home ice on Friday night. 

The Steam were far better on this night than they were in any of the previous 3 games of the series, but just couldn’t find any puck luck once again to get them on the board early in the game. The final score would end up being 2-1 in favour of the nights, who now take a 3-1 series lead into Summerland for Game 5 tomorrow night at 7PM.

Here’s how we got to a 2-1 final score: 

The first period started much like game 3, with fast action and a frantic pace, but no goals. Summerland took an early 15-5 advantage in shots and were more physical than we’ve seen in any game in this series. They had a few chances early on, but none were able to be put by Knights’ starter Zach Dyment.

Dyment was busy early in the period with Steam pressure, but it was Darren Hogg in the Steam goal who kept the game scoreless later in the period with several sharp saves on shots from all over the ice. The shots would end up 18-16 in favor of the Steam at the end of 1.

In the second the Steam continued to get chances around the Knights’ net and even hit a couple more posts before the scoring was opened up. Unfortunately, it was Tanner Burns who opened the scoring in favour of the Knights right after the Steam had a couple of chances. Burns took a cross ice pass on an odd man rush and buried one behind Darren Hogg to make it 1-0 for the Knights.

Despite the goal against, the Steam continued to apply a little pressure, which is something that we haven’t seen much of in the first couple of games of this series. They STILL couldn’t buy a goal, however, and even though they continued to push through the second period, as the Steam are just simply snake-bitten at the moment. They continue to generate play on the offensive side of center but just can't take advantage of the chances they're creating. It'll come, eventually, but hasn't surfaced yet in this series.

  Near the end of the second period Tanner Burns took advantage of a Steam player who was on a foray into the offensive zone. He took the puck off a Steam defender and carried it all the way up the ice and buried a nicely placed shot over the shoulder of Darren Hogg to make it 2-0 with just 8 second left on the clock.

In the third it was referee Shane Hillman’s time to shine. He took it upon himself on this night to ensure that everybody in the building was getting their $10 worth to watch him work. Both teams were unhappy with him throughout the period as both were trying to gain leverage and drive play but were interrupted by phantom penalty calls that resulted in multiple powerplays on both sides, including a 5-on-3 each way. At one point he issued a penalty to Easton Bodeaux and sent him to the penalty box. He then began chirping at Bodeux because Bodeaux could not get the penalty box door open. As Bodeaux was telling him he couldn't get the door to the penalty box open, referee Hillman then issued the Steam defender two 10 minute misconducts and sent him off for the remainder of the contest. 

The only goal of the 3rd period came off the stick of the Steam’s Rylan Sideroff, on a powerplay through a maze of bodies and past Zach Dyment with 2:51 left in the hockey game. The Steam continued to push with the goaltender pulled but were unsuccessful in getting another puck past Dyment, and the Knights finished the game up 2-1.

The Knights now lead the best of seven series 3-1 and have a chance to close out the Summerland Steam tomorrow night at the Summerland Arena. Summerland is now in a must-win situation with their backs against the wall, and will be in even tougher as they have lost Paulsen Lautard to an upper body injury for the foreseeable future. They’ll need a big effort from everybody in order to stave off elimination at least for one more game.

Hogg was stellar on this night, making 39 saves on a total of 41 Knights’ shots and giving his team a chance to be in a hockey game that was really overrun by the Knights physicality once again. Summerland was more physical tonight than in previous games, but were still no match for the Knights. They’ll need to be better on the forecheck and try and get the job done in Game 5. 

The biggest thing the Steam need to do in game 5, when their backs are against the wall and it's a must-win is HAVE SOME FUN. They can't think about the magnitude of the game or what it means, they just need to go out and have some fun. All the fun they were having when they made their run from worst-to-first in the final half of the season needs to be found again. They're a good hockey team with a lot of potential, and I have faith in the boys that they'll bring it on Sunday night.

The puck drops at 7PM at the Summerland Arena. Note the special start time, as it is not the usual 2PM Sunday puck drop nor is it a 7:30 start like usual when the Steam are at home. Be sure to come out and support the boys and get loud and show them just how bad you want to see them keep playing!


As always, you can always follow along with the Steam on Facebook at ‘Summerland Junior B Hockey Club’ or on twitter @SteamKIJHL and @Steam_Voice. 

Saturday, 1 March 2014

STEAM DROP GAME 3, TRY TO EVEN SERIES IN ARMSTRONG

On Friday night the Summerland Steam hosted Game 3 of a best of seven series against the North Okanagan Knights. The teams split the first two games with Summerland coming out on top in Game 1 before being walloped in Game 2 by the Knights in Armstrong.

Both teams came to play on this night, as the start of Game 3 was fast and frantic with chances at both ends in the first period, particularly in the first 8 minutes. The starting goaltenders, Zach Dyment for the Knights and Darren Hogg for the Steam, were sharp early on and made some big saves to keep the game tied at 0.

In playoff games like these, the team who wins is always the team who makes the least mistakes, and in the second period the first mistake was made by Summerland. The Steam failed to clear the puck out of their own end and two players tried to block a shot from Blaine Caton as he picked up the defensive miscue. The two Steam players trying to block, however, were only successful in blocking the view of their own goaltender. Caton was able to lift the puck up and over the glove of Darren Hogg to give the Knights a 1-0 lead.

Just over 5 minutes after Caton made it 1-0, Brett Hawrys extended the lead to 2-0 after Hogg went out to play the puck and his stick snapped as he made a pass. An unfortunate time for a stick to disintegrate, as if he was able to make his pass the Steam would have had a 3 on 1 the other way. Instead the puck rolled right to Ryan Kelm who fed Hawrys who put his team up 2-0.

The Steam would try their best to get on the board in the back half of the second period, but were having terrible puck luck. Michael Winnitoy hit a post, Sam Nigg slid one just wide of an open net, and Kienan Scott had one squeak through the pads of Zach Dyment but didn't have enough to crawl over the goal line. If one of those pucks finds it's way into the back of the net the complexion of the game changes immensely, but it just wasn't Summerland's night. The effort was there, which couldn't be said about Game 2 in Armstrong.

Heading into the third period the Steam knew they needed to get some pressure and try to get an early goal. They got the pressure they were looking for, firing 6 shots at the North Okanagan goal in the first 4 minutes, but it still resulted in no goals. Zach Dyment made two or three solid saves in the first few minutes of the third, and it allowed the Knights to add an insurance goal off a giveaway in the Steam's defensive zone. Ryley Booth picked off a clearing attempt while the Knights were on the powerplay, walked into a sea of bodies, and fired a low, hard shot to the blocker side of Hogg to make the score 3-0.

Summerland would try to continue to push, but took several penalties throughout the third period that hindered their ability to sustain any type of attack on the North Okanagan net. They will look to try to turn that around tonight, as they head to Armstrong for Game #4 of this series.

They will need discipline, hard work, and a little puck luck if they're to come home for Game #5 tomorrow with the series tied at 2!

Darren Hogg will start again tonight for the Steam and the lineup will stay the same, as per Assistant Coach/GM Gregg Wilson. This means that Braden Saretsky will remain out for the Steam with an upper body injury and Nelson Hurry will also remain out of the lineup.

Faceoff tonight in Armstrong at the Nor-Val Sports Center is 7PM, while the two teams will return to play in Summerland on Sunday at 7PM.