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Saturday, 28 February 2015


                                              Game 7.

You can use any old cliche you want, but nothing really does it justice. It's the one you play for. When you're 6 years old playing street hockey or you're out on the pond, you're not dreaming about scoring the game winner in games 1 through 6. You're dreaming about game 7, and tonight that dream becomes reality for the Summerland Steam and the Kelowna Chiefs.

It's been a first round series that has swung WILDLY in both directions, boasting speed, physicality and emotion. There have been close games, there's been a not so close game, and an incredible comeback in Game 5 that will be remembered forever by all involved including the fans that witnessed it.  Both teams have had their moments of triumph and their moments of weakness, and after 7 hard fought rounds someone will stand alone tonight as the winner.

Everything that's happened so far in this series has been fun and entertaining, but that's all forgotten now. It all comes down to one game. One game, the 7th in 9 nights for these two teams, will determine who goes through to play the Osoyoos Coyotes in the Okanagan Division Final which starts Monday.

I look back to the start of this KIJHL season when a group of 22 young men came together as individuals (okay, the Yukon line came as a package). Some from our own back yard in Summerland, Penticton, West Kelowna and Kelowna, and others from as far away as Calgary and Whitehorse. All had their own personal goals and things they wanted hockey to help them accomplish, but one thing is for sure: Everybody likes to win. Head Coach John Depourcq and his staff went to work, putting together a game plan and a common goal in hopes that his collection of individuals would by in.

58 Games later, they are a team. A family. A group of young men that would go to battle for one another no matter the circumstance on any given day, and give their very best for the crest on the front of the jersey instead of the name on the back. They have a common goal, which is something that the coaching staff has worked hard to achieve with their group since day one, and they're a win away from being one step closer to that goal.

They say the last win is the hardest one to get, and they aren't wrong. The Kelowna Chiefs stand in the way of Summerland taking that next step, and it's going to take 22 guys working together to achieve what they want. But they have it in them. They've shown that over the 52 game regular season and first six games of this playoff series without a shadow of a doubt. That was evident when (without their leading scorer and arguably Regular Season MVP) they staged a comeback in Game 5 from being down 5-1 to leading 6-5 and eventually winning 7-6 in 2OT.

This is a group that can get the job done. They know it, and everyone around them knows it. It's been a season of ups and downs for the guys in white, red, and black, but now's the time to dig deep and finish this thing off.

No matter what happens tonight, neither team should leave the Summerland Arena hanging their head. Both have performed valiantly in the KIJHL's second season, and I have a funny feeling we're in for a wild ride to finish this series and send it out with some flare.

It's an absolute pleasure to cover this team and it's group of personalities, and no matter what happens in Game 7, this isn't end. Go get 'em, Steam.

"Great moments are born from great opportunity" - Herb Brooks

Friday, 27 February 2015


If you were at the game last night or watched the game last night, you probably wanted to leave either the arena or the broadcast midway through the 2nd period.

I really hope you didn't.

If you did, you missed one of the most unthinkable comebacks I've witnessed in my years in hockey. Summerland got FAR from the start they wanted, but managed to come on strong as the game went on in order to pick up the unlikely victory in double OT by a 7-6 score.


Speaking with both coaches pre-game, we got the sense that special teams was going to dictate the play in Game 5. After all, it had done that all series for both teams and both coaches had worked on it with their squads in team meetings on off-days.

Kelowna had the fruits of their labour pay off right away on Thursday night, as Summerland got into penalty trouble early in the game and allowed the Chiefs out to a 2-0 lead. Both goals, one from Ethan Rusnack and one from Kevin Roth, came on the powerplay. Rusnack was allowed to corral a rebound to the left of Brett Huber and put one into an empty cage to open the scoring before a long, hard shot from Roth beat Brett Huber over the shoulder just a few minutes later.

Shortly after the Roth goal that put the Chiefs up 2-0, Dylan Jamieson picked off a Summerland clearing attempt and beat Huber on the blocker side. That goal came just :09 after the Roth tally and forced Steam Head Coach John Depourcq to use his timeout to settle his troops.

The tactical timeout worked, as just :34 after the Chiefs went up 3-0, Summerland's captain chimed in and inked his name on the scorecard. After some good work in the offensive zone to keep the puck down low, Paulsen Lautard found some room to walk out from behind the net with the puck. Instead of a tight wrap at the post to the right of Chris Turner, Lautard slid out about 6 feet and beat Turner with a hard shot that bulged the twine.

The goal gave Summerland some life, but they were unable to beat Turner again before the first intermission. In the second period it looked as though Summerland was going to come on strong as they had a good first shift and a half coming off the break. It was Kelowna, however, who scored the next goal. That goal came on the powerplay once again as Jonathan Lee banged home a rebound off a Braeden Cyra shot to Huber's left.

Cyra would then add a goal of his own, another powerplay tally, to take the Chiefs lead to a 4-goal spread. At that point, the lead looked insurmountable. From the press box we could see the Steam bench was dejected, down on themselves, and beginning to be disinterested.

It wasn't until late in the period on a GREAT shift from the Yukon Line that Summerland showed a little life. It didn't result in a goal, but it was the key to the turnaround in the outlook of the Summerland Steam. Good work from Riley Pettitt, Wyatt Gale and Jarrett Malchow caused Kelowna to begin to panic in their own zone, and it showed. On the shift after the good shift by the Yukon Line it was a rushed giveaway behind the net from Chiefs' Goaltender Chris Turner that resulted in a goal to make it 5-2.

The goal came from Cole Woodliffe, his first of the playoffs, after Turner rimmed the puck around the left-wing boards. Woodliffe was able to read the play, cut off the puck, and shoot it into a gaping net with 2:08 to play in the 2nd period.

After the Woodliffe marker, the Yukon line was put back to task and were finally rewarded for their efforts. Just 1:02 after the Woodliffe goal to make it 5-2, Riley Pettitt did solid work behind the net to get the puck out front to Jarrett Malchow. Malchow let a shot go, and the rebound bounced to the side of the net where Pettitt was there to knock it in, bringing the score to 5-3 after 2 periods.

In the third you could see the fatigue on some of the Kelowna players who have played heavy minutes in this series, particularly their defensemen. Summerland did a good job of dictating play with their forecheck, and were rewarded with a couple of goals. Braden Eliuk was first on the list to continue the comeback, as he took the puck off the half-wall on the powerplay and skated along the bottom of the circle. He found his way towards the front of the net along the bottom of that circle and chipped a puck short side over the shoulder of Chris Turner and under the bar.

All of a sudden it was 5-4 and Summerland was in control. It didn't take long, just :56 for Summerland to capitalize on a tired Kelowna group again. This time it was Tyson Klingspohn who found his way through traffic in front, took a pass from Cole Woodliffe and deposited it between the legs of Chris Turner to tie the game at 5.

Kendell Wilson would then give the Steam their first lead of the night with 5:09 to play on a powerplay. Lathan McKinney took the original shot that saw Chris Turner make an awkward leg save and kick the rebound into the slot. Wilson picked it up on the backhand and flipped it up and over the sprawling Kelowna goaltender to give his team the lead.

With Summerland in the driver's seat, they didn't let up. They continued to pressure Kelowna but were unsuccessful in extending their lead. In the final minute, they knew the push from the Chiefs would be inevitable. They did a pretty good job of holding Kelowna outside their blue line, but in the final :20 the Chiefs finally got deep into the Summerland zone. With :06 left on the clock, Dakota Kittle was able to slide a puck out from behind the Steam net and Braeden Cyra knocked in his 2nd of the night to tie the game at 6 heading to OT.

In the first period of OT (10:00 minutes), both teams had just a couple of shots as they tried to catch their breath. Neither team had much pressure in OT1 and headed into OT2 looking for the game winner.

We didn't have to wait long.

Just 2:25 into the second overtime frame, Summerland was able to "will one" past Chris Turner in the Kelowna net to win the game 7-6. It was Cole Woodliffe who scored the winner, and he did a good job of getting to the net, but in my mind it was Daylan Robertson that made it all happen. First, Robertson stuffed a Kelowna clearing attempt on the boards and forced them back into their own zone. Then, as Kevin Roth turned the corner behind the net and tried to make another clear, Robertson hustled across the line and made a body block on the puck to keep it in the zone. He then had a shot on net as Woodliffe and Paulsen Lautard headed to the front, and Woodliffe poked home the rebound to send the Summerland Arena into a frenzy.

As the Steam piled off their bench and onto Cole Woodliffe, Chiefs' goaltender Chris Turner had a bit of a fit at the top of his crease. He thought he was interfered with, and initially I thought so too. After watching the replay back, no interference was evident, and Summerland would stand as 7-6 winners.

It was an entertaining hockey game that you really had to see to believe, and we can expect more of the same tonight in Game 6 in Kelowna. The win on Thursday sets up a 'clincher' for the Steam on Friday in Kelowna. With a win they'll move on to play the Osoyoos Coyotes in Round 2 after the 'Yotes finished off their series with the Princeton Posse by a score of 6-3 on Thursday night.

Game 6 goes at 7PM and you can catch one of the best play-by-play callers on the league, Justin McCartney, with the call on IF NECESSARY, Game 7 will go Saturday, February 28th at the Summerland Arena for a 7:30 start.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015


In Game 1 it was the Summerland Steam who scored 2 goals in :41 seconds to secure a 3-2 win. In game 4 the script was flipped as it was the Chiefs who scored 2 goals 1:31 apart in the third to take a 3-2 score. The win for the Chiefs came in a fast paced, high octane game that saw the teams combine for 77 shots on goal. Brett Huber faced 45 of those, making 42 saves while Chris Turner was good in a bounce back performance stopping 30 of 32.

Kelowna opened the scoring early in the 2nd period when Dakota Kittle was left all alone in front of Huber and was allowed to tip a Josh Kobelka shot up and over the Steam goaltender. The Steam would reply just under 10 minutes later on a powerplay when Braden Eliuk located a loose puck and tapped it into a yawning cage to bring the score to 1-1. Summerland would then take a 2-1 lead with 1:01 left in the second period on a powerplay thanks to a rocket of a shot from Paulsen Lautard. Lautard got in on a 2-on-1 with Cole Woodliffe and looked him off before firing low blocker side on Turner.

The Steam were on the powerplay after Chase Astorino was ejected from the game. He was assessed 5 and a game for boarding (behind the play, didn't see it) on Cole Williams. Williams stayed down and needed help off the ice, but returned midway through the third period.

Summerland's powerplay would continue into the third but they were unable to get set up. Kelowna would then knot things up at 2 with 12:45 to play when Dylan Jamieson picked up a rebound to the right of Brett Huber and made a good shot up into the roof of the net.

Just :41 after that, Summerland was penalized for slashing. Michael McEachern was the guilty party, Nick Josephs the "victim" as he had his stick slashed out of his hand for the third time on the night. Summerland was penalized for it twice. Both times the Steam player in question gave Josephs the hairy eyeball because it might have come out a little too easily.

On this occasion, it allowed the Chiefs to notch the game winner as Josephs was able to hold onto his stick on the PP and score off a rebound to the right of Huber to give his team the lead and the eventual victory.

Jack Mills left the game in the middle of the third period after taking a teammate's shot up high while working the front of the net. Mills stayed down on the ice and left for some repairs, but returned in time to help Summerland try and push for the equalizer late in the third.

They were unsuccessful, but showed great pushback after the Kelowna goal. They had several opportunities and near relentless pressure, but couldn't beat Chris Turner.

Game 5 goes Tuesday night in Summerland at 7:30. Mike, Joel and I will be on the air with full pre-game starting around 7:15. Game 6 will go Friday in Kelowna and if necessary a do-or-die Game 7 will go Saturday night in Summerland.

Monday, 23 February 2015


After a win in Game 1 on Friday night at the Summerland Arena, the Summerland Steam dropped Game 2 on Saturday by a score of 3-1. Ethan Rusnack opened the scoring for Kelowna with his 3rd goal in 2 playoff games. Jack Mills would reply for Summerland in the second period shortly before being removed from the game for a second (and questionable) goaltender interference penalty in the game. That would also force Mills to miss Game 3 on Sunday night in Kelowna.

Josh Kobelka netted what would be the winner for the Chiefs late in the 2nd period of Game 2, and Dakota Kittle sent one into an empty net to seal the victory. Kelowna's Nick Josephs recorded 2 assists in the game and goaltender Chris Turner put up a great performance, making 31 saves in the victory. In the other net, Brett Huber was a little less busy, stopping 24 of 26 for Summerland in a losing effort.

Heading into Game 3 on Sunday night, both teams not only had to battle each other but battle fatigue as well. There are usually only a couple of occasions in a season where teams play 3 games in 3 nights, and this was one of those occasions. Going into Game 3 we were interested to see if fatigue played more of a factor for the Chiefs, as they only used 4 defenseman in Game 2. They had six dressed, but one defenseman played 3 shifts while the other did not see the ice after warm-up.

On Sunday night in Game 3, it was all Steam all the time. They scored twice in the first, 5 times (!!) in the second, and 3 more in the third to come a way with a convincing 10-4 victory. Paulsen Lautard scored 3 times while Daylan Robertson picked up 3 assists. Kendell Wilson, Cody Egilson, Braden Eliuk, and Adam Jones recorded a goal and an assist each while Michael McEachern and Tyson Klingspohn notched 2 assists each. Cole Woodliffe, Calvin Hadley and Coleton Fisher also recorded 1 goal each. Brett Huber stopped 31 of 35 shots on the night to pick up the victory.

Nick Josephs recorded 4 points for the Chiefs in the losing effort (2G + 2A) while Kevin Roth and Braeden Cyra each picked up a goal. Goaltending duties were split on the night as Chris Turner was chased from the crease at the halfway point of the second period, making way for Brady Lenardon. Turner allowed 5 goals on 16 shots, but Lenardon didn't fare much better. He also allowed 5, facing 19 shots in his half game of work.

With Summerland leading the series 2-1, the series will take a much needed break on Monday. The two teams will re-convene in Rutland for Game 4 on Tuesday night at 7PM. Summerland will look to take a stranglehold on the series before coming home for Game 5 on Thursday. 

Saturday, 21 February 2015


Jarrett Malchow celebrates with linemates
Riley Pettitt, Wyatt gale, Adam Jones & Lathan
McKinney after Malchow's Game winning goal
in Game 1 vs Kelowna.
Photo: Sarah Mayer (
There really is nothing better than playoff hockey, and the Summerland Steam and the Kelowna Chiefs proved that Friday night. In a wild game that saw swings in momentum, shots on net, and even swings of sticks, the home team managed to come away with a 3-2 victory.

Both teams got the good start they were undoubtedly looking for to start Game 1 of the playoffs, combining for 15 shots in the first 8 minutes of the hockey game. Both got early powerplays as well but were unsuccessful in the department of conversion. 

After some back and forth action to both ends of the ice and some good saves from both goaltenders, Summerland got on the board first. Kendell Wilson opened the scoring for the Steam at 8:51 of the first period after a sharp shot from Nelson Hurry created a rebound in front of Chiefs' goaltender Chris Turner. Turner made a great save on the initial shot off the wing but kicked a rebound into the slot where Wilson was waiting to hammer home the rebound. This gave the home team the lead as the building erupted, but the elation did not last long. 

Just :31 after the Wilson opener, Kelowna would equalize on a goal from recent University of Central Oklahoma commit, Ethan Rusnack. After Kelowna went to work in the offensive zone the puck was cycled back to the point by Braeden Cyra. He found Cole De Jonge with a pass, and CDJ sent a low, hard shot towards the Summerland net. Rusnack was there to put a good tip on the puck to beat Steam goaltender Brett Huber and tie the game at 1. 

Rusnack would thrust his team into the driver's seat in the 2nd period, recording his second of the game with just over 7 minutes to play. The goal was a beauty as Rusnack took the puck off the stick of his goaltender Chris Turner, and burned 2 Steam defenders wide down the right wing. He then took a shot low to the blocker side of Huber going post and in to give Kelowna their 2-1 lead. 

That score would hold through most of the third period as both teams took a couple of penalties but went 0-fer on the powerplay. Summerland ended up 9/9 on the PK in Game 1 while also getting a powerplay goal. That goal was the one that tied the game with 5:50 to play in the third period, coming off the stick of Daylan Robertson. 

Robertson was the benefactor of a home-town bounce, and poked a puck past Chris Turner in the Kelowna net to tie the game at 2. Paulsen Lautard started the play with a dump in from just outside the Kelowna blue line. Whether it was on purpose or by accident, the puck clamored off the end boards and straight back out front where Robertson beat Kelowna defender Josh Johnston to it and poked it in to tie the score. 

Just as we were talking about what the tie meant for Summerland and what they should be focused on, they took the lead. It took :41 seconds after the tying goal from Robertson for the Yukon Line to strike gold below the Kelowna goal line. The line of Jarrett Malchow, Wyatt Gale and Riley Pettitt have been Summerland's best forecheckers all season long, and they caused havoc behind the Kelowna net again on Friday. 

After some good work by Wyatt Gale on the corner boards he got the puck to Pettitt on the cycle. Pettitt then motored, as he does, behind the net. Just when it looked like he was going to go all the way behind the net he fed a pass out from the left post of Chris Turner, right onto the stick of a waiting Jarrett Malchow. Malchow made no mistake, notching what would stand to be the game winner with 5:09 left on the clock.

After the goal by Malchow, Summerland did a good job to lock things down in their own zone and contain the pushback from Kelowna. As the Chiefs tried to tie the game Summerland continued to not allow them time and space, and were able to clear the puck out of danger when necessary. Daylan Robertson then won a defensive zone faceoff with 1.9 seconds remaining to seal the victory. 


- Brett Huber was far and away the best player for Summerland on the night. He made 29 saves in the victory, including several big saves on penalty kills in the 2nd period. 

- Summerland's best line on the night was the Yukon line of Jarrett Malchow, Riley Pettitt and Wyatt Gale. They were hard on the forecheck all night long and went to the "dirty areas" to make plays in all 3 zones. 

- Ethan Rusnack was Kelowna's best player on the night, followed closely by defenceman Kevin Roth. Roth had a shot sneak through Brett Huber early in the game only to be cleared away by Michael McEachern before it crossed the goal line. Roth is Kelowna's best and most mobile defenseman, skating smoothly with the ability to get the puck up ice in a real hurry. 

- Things got a little hacky and whacky at the end of the 2nd period after Riley Pettitt fell on a puck off a faceoff and was speared. Jack Mills took exception and got a spear in the guts for his trouble as well from the Chiefs' Braeden Cyra. No penalties were doled out on the play and thankfully tempers calmed before the start of the third period. 

- Mills was active for Summerland all night, buzzing around the offensive zone with linemates Cole Woodliffe and Braden Eliuk. Mills and Dakota Kittle got into it late in the third, having a bit of a wrestling match in the corner to the left of Chiefs' tender Chris Turner. Referee Ryan Le Sage gave them both a double minor for roughing instead of a fighting major, meaning both are eligible to play in Game 2 on Saturday

- Chiefs' defender Carter Melnyk was given 2 minutes for cross checking and a 10 minute misconduct in the final 10 minutes of play that led to the Robertson tying goal for Summerland. He was assessed the penalty after extending his arms and stick into the back of Braden Eliuk, sending Eliuk to the ice with some force. Melnyk will be eligible to play in Game 2. 


After an extremely entertaining Game 1, we move on to Game 2. The second of this Best of 7 goes Saturday night in Summerland, presented by our friends at Ultimate Hockey & Skate. They'll have some fun prizes to give away and "The Fuzz" will be on hand as well! 

 Puck drop is 7:30 and you can catch the pregame show with myself (hopefully my voice is back to 100%), Mike Swanson and Joel Barg prior to puck drop at 7:15. 

Friday, 20 February 2015








3.21 GF PER GM (11th,  KIJHL)
3.10 GF PER GAME (T-13th, KIJHL)
2.71 PER GM (3rd, KIJHL)

19.38% (7TH, KIJHL)
HOME: 23.64% (4TH, KIJHL)

OVERALL: 17.72% (9TH, KIJHL)
ROAD: 12.61% (15TH, KIJHL)

83.78% (9TH, KIJHL)
HOME: 86.61% (8TH, KIJHL)

OVERALL: 82.26% (11TH, KIJHL)
ROAD: 82.54% (7TH, KIJHL)

27g + 29a = 56 PTS


15g +45a = 60 pts

Thursday, 19 February 2015


Summerland's Riley Pettitt faces off with a Kelowna Chiefs player in a game
on February 6th at the Summerland Arena.
Photo: Sarah Mayer (
52 games have come and gone in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League this season, and seemingly we're right back where we started. The Summerland Steam opened the 2014/15 season at home on a Friday night against the Kelowna Chiefs, blowing the doors off the visitors in a 6-2 victory. They'll hope to do the same thing this Friday when the two teams open the 'second season' at the Summerland Arena.

With Summerland finishing 2nd in their division with 61 points and Kelowna finishing 3rd with 50, Summerland will hold home-ice advantage in the first round. The Chiefs went 2-0 on the final weekend of the season with wins over Princeton and Summerland, which jumped them ahead of the Posse by one point and secured the #2 vs #3 matchup against the Steam. It also kept them out of the #1 vs #4 matchup with the KIJHL Regular Season Champion Osoyoos Coyotes.

These Steam and the Chiefs did battle 8 times throughout the regular season with Summerland holding a 5-3 edge in the win column. Having said that, the Chiefs came on late in the season and won 2 of the final 3 meetings. Both teams like home ice in this matchup, Summerland coming in 3-1 at home while the Chiefs sit even at 2-2.

Summerland started well in the regular season and were fairly consistent throughout, cruising to a second place finish in the KIJHL's Okanagan Division. They faded a little down the stretch, going 3-4-2-1 in their final 10 games, but have a fresh slate headed into the playoffs with all but Alex Williams healthy and available on the active roster. Williams is back skating with the team in practice, but GM Gregg Wilson does not expect him to make an appearance in the first round playoff series with Kelowna.

 Kelowna, on the other hand, started slowly and picked it up as the season went on. They weren't much better in their final 10 games going 5-5, but it was enough to get them past the Posse and into 3rd place. They've been much improved since making a couple of moves early in the season, acquiring Ryan Lawson and Carter Melnyk in separate trades with the Columbia Valley Rockies. The Chiefs were also bolstered by the return of Nick Josephs at the December 1st deadline, although he didn't play a game for the Chiefs until January 10th. In the 8 games Josephs has played in a Chiefs uniform this season he's recorded 18 points (9g + 9a).

Summerland is going to have to be sure to contain Josephs, as well as the other Kelowna forwards, if they want to win this series. The Chiefs are an extremely dangerous and confident team heading into the playoffs, and in my opinion are a little more to handle than a regular #3 seed when all their bodies are healthy.

Talking to people on both sides of this rivalry, there's one word that seems to come to the forefront to describe this series:


The two teams have their fair share of hostilities to settle, but it'll be the team who keeps their composure who wins the series. Both teams have problems doing that, as both recorded over 900 total penalty minutes each during the regular season, which makes discipline matter that much more in a series like this. Both teams play well (in the top half of the KI) on special teams and have several weapons at their disposal to use with the man advantage. The team whose best players are exactly that in this series is the team who is going to win, and it's going to be a lot of fun to watch it unfold.


GAME 1: Friday, Feb 20 @ 7:30. Summerland Arena 
GAME 2: Saturday, Feb 21 @ 7:30. Summerland Arena
GAME 3: Sunday, Feb 22 @ 7:00. Rutland Arena 
GAME 4: Tuesday, Feb 24 @ 7:00. Rutland Arena 
GAME 5: Thursday, Feb 26 @ 7:30, Summerland Arena **
GAME 6: Friday, Feb 27 @ 7:00. Rutland Arena **
GAME 7: Saturday, Feb 28 @ 7:30. Summerland Arena **

** - If necessary

Saturday, 14 February 2015









3.10  GF PER GM (14TH,  KIJHL)
3.25 GF PER GM (10TH, KIJHL)
3.37 PER GM (14TH, KIJHL)

17.32% (9TH , KIJHL)
HOME: 21.67% (7TH, KIJHL)

OVERALL: 20.50% (7TH, KIJHL)
ROAD: 15.89% (T-12TH, KIJHL)

81.92% (11th , KIJHL)
HOME: 81.34% (14TH, KIJHL)

OVERALL: 84.48% (7TH, KIJHL)
ROAD: 82.50% (9TH, KIJHL)

15g + 41a = 60 PTS


26g + 29a = 55 PTS


Another game, and another Coyotes win. That makes 7 on the season in an 8 game season series with the Summerland Steam, with the lone different result coming on Jan 27 in a 2-2 tie. This game, a 3-1 Coyotes victory, was Summerland's to lose. They came out strong and stuck with the league champion Coyotes all game long, but defensive turnovers once again plagued the Steam.

The D zone has been a problem for the boys from Summerland of late, and it showed late in the game. After Jackson Glimpel opened the scoring with his 4th of the year on a first period powerplay, Daylan Robertson tied things up by tipping a Michael McEachern shot past Coyotes' goaltender Lawrence Langan in the 2nd. Robertson's 4th of the season tied the game and gave the Steam some life as they continued to press.

This game stayed a 1-1 tie for quite a while, and it was extremely fitting as the two teams were once again hellbent on getting the best out of one another and entertaining the fans.This game was eerily similar to that 2-2 tie on January 27th, but did have a little more rough stuff. Both teams had their chances at powerplays and Osoyoos cashed in for their first goal of the game. The powerplay came after a melee in the corner to the left of Steam starter Brett Huber resulted in coincidental minors with an original penalty on the play going to Jack Mills for high sticking. The 'Yotes PP cashed in, as they seem to do against Summerland.

The Steam went 0-for-3 on the powerplay on the night. Two of those powerplays came on calls for either cross checking or checking from behind that resulted in Coyotes' players being ejected from the hockey game. Brett Anderson was ejected first after a hit on Lathan McKinney on the end boards in the 2nd period. McKinney was slow to get up and played one more abbreviated shift before leaving the game and not returning.

In the third period Summerland was pressing for the go-ahead goal, and were doing a good job of hemming the Coyotes inside their own zone. Langan was solid in the Coyotes' net, and he weathered the storm for the 'Yotes long enough for them to get a gift from the Summerland defense. After a defensive turnover by the Steam with 2:23 to play, Luc Gradisar would cash in his 20th of the season with a well placed shot over the right shoulder of Brett Huber.

Reeling, the Steam had to go looking for some late-game heroics to get at least a point. While pressing in the offensive zone, the Yukon line (Pettitt, Gale, Malchow) were buzzing around looking for an equalizing goal. After some good work by Pettitt on the corner boards he made a quick dash against the flow of play and was hit from behind by the much bigger Darryl Senholt, leading to the second Coyotes' ejection of the game. This one was a major penalty in the mind of referee Nick Panter, and Senholt was given the gate and an early shower.

Senholt was clearly unhappy with the call, and for what it's worth, he should have been. There was no doubt it was a penalty and Summerland should have been on the powerplay, but from our point of view in the press box there were worse hits go uncalled in the game. Anderson's hit on McKinney was arguably worse than the check Senholt put on Pettitt, too, but Senholt was given the major penalty and will now have to miss the Coyotes' home finale with the North Okanagan Knights on Saturday night.

The call on Senholt wasn't the most surprising part of the play. As the referees arm shot into the air Summerland was in control of the puck. Rylan Sideroff made a good move around a Coyotes defender and walked into the slot for what would have been a great scoring chance, but the whistle blew as he began to wind his shot up. We weren't really sure at the time the reasoning for the whistle, and it's still a bit confusing as the downed Summerland player was in the midst of returning to his feet. Sideroff would have had a very good chance to tie the game with a shot from the slot with traffic in front.

With that powerplay, Summerland set up in the offensive zone with just under a minute to play. Jack Mills, playing QB on the powerplay in the final minute, set up on the half wall to the left of goaltender Lawrence Langan. As the Steam moved the puck up and down the wall, Mills saw his opportunity to curl out with a shot. As he did so he was hooked off the puck, allowing Troy Maclise to bank the puck the length of the ice into the empty net.

That's how the game would end, on a sour note for Summerland, but that's not how it always was. Besides the rough stuff it was an extremely entertaining hockey game. Fast paced, physical, back and forth action that saw the teams COMBINE for only 44 shots on net. Osoyoos proved to be the better team in the long run, but Summerland gave it their best effort and played a pretty consistent hockey game throughout.

There's a reason the Coyotes are the league champions (Congrats, by the way) and it was a good litmus test for the Summerland Steam to know that when they stay out of the penalty box they can hang with the best team in the KIJHL night after night.

After last night's action, the Okanagan Division playoff picture is still a little cloudy. Heading into the last night of Okanagan Division action of the 2014/15 KIJHL season on Saturday, 2 things are clear:

Osoyoos will finish 1st and Summerland will finish 2nd.

What is unclear is the seeding of 3rd and 4th. Princeton and Kelowna have both locked up playoff spots, and after playing one another last night (a 3-1 Kelowna win). the Chiefs sit 3rd. The teams are tied for points, but the Chiefs have 1 more regulation time win.

The Chiefs will host the Summerland Steam tonight, while the Posse will head to Sicamous to play the Eagles. Any form of Kelowna win, or a Princeton loss, will result in the Chiefs finishing 3rd and the Posse in 4th. The only way the Posse can jump the Chiefs is with a win in Sicamous coupled with a Chiefs loss to the Summerland Steam on Saturday night.

Onto the PLAYOFFS!

Thursday, 12 February 2015





28-17-2-3, 61 PTS
40-7-2-1, 83 PTS



3.30 GF PER GM (9th,  KIJHL)
4.60 GF PER GAME (1st, KIJHL)
2.70 PER GM (3rd, KIJHL)
2.26 GA PER GAME (1st, KIJHL)

20.09% (7TH, KIJHL)
HOME: 24.30% (3rd, KIJHL)

OVERALL: 23.21% (4TH, KIJHL)
ROAD: 19.51% (7TH, KIJHL)

84.34% (7TH, KIJHL)
HOME: 86.99% (6TH, KIJHL)

OVERALL: 85.17% (6TH, KIJHL)
ROAD: 81.75% (12TH, KIJHL)

26g + 29a = 55 PTS


24g +42a = 66 pts

I could beat this rivalry to DEATH with analysis, but there isn't anything that we haven't already covered. These are two teams that don't have many pleasantries to exchange with one another, and it's always fun when they meet.

Tickets are available NOW at Nesters Market, or at the door prior to puck drop at 7:30 Friday night. Ultimate Hockey & Skate Ltd. is our game night sponsor and will be on hand with contests and giveaways all night long. Don't forget the all new Bauer 1X sticks go on the rack in their store when it opens on Friday morning.

Make sure to join Mike, Joel and I on the webcast, as we'll have a full pre-game show including comments from (hopefully) both coaches prior to puck drop starting at 7:15! You can also follow along on Steam Social Media with Facebook and Twitter. or with myself on Twitter as well.