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Tuesday, 31 March 2015

PAIR OF STEAM GRADUATES COMMIT TO SELKIRK COLLEGE

It is with great pleasure that the Summerland Steam announced today the commitment of two former players to play in the BCIHL (British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League) next season. The Steam congratulate graduating players Brett Huber and Nelson Hurry, who will join the defending BCIHL Champion Selkirk Saints in 2015/16.

The Saints have established themselves as a bit of a dynasty in the BCIHL, winning the BCIHL Championship for the third straight year this past season. Their run of success has a lot to do with the KIJHL and it's ability to graduate players onto the next level, as the Saints use the KIJHL as a major source of player recruitment year after year.

Last season the Saints had 7 players whose last team resides in the KIJHL, and that number will likely stay the same if not rise in 2015/16. Huber and Hurry will join #SaintsNation alongside Osoyoos Coyotes' graduating Captain Troy Maclise, Creston Valley Thundercats' graduating Captain Marcel Fuchs, and former Beaver Valley Nitehawks' standout Dallas Calvin. All will be new additions to next year's squad, who will be looking for their 4th consecutive BCIHL title. 

While looking for that title on the ice, both Brett Huber and Nelson Hurry will take on a serious workload in the classroom. Huber will study Psychology, while Hurry will enroll in Selkirk's Science program. 


The release from the Saints can be found right here: http://selkirk.ca/news/selkirk-college-saints-add-pair-outstanding-kijhl-grads

** Photos in Selkirk story provided by Sarah Mayer (shotsbysarah.tumblr.com), photographer for the Summerland Steam

Saturday, 14 March 2015

ALL GOOD THINGS MUST COME TO AN END.





Photo: Sarah Mayer (shotsbysarah.tumblr.com
The end of the season is never a fun time in Junior Hockey. It means saying goodbye to 20 guys you watched battle for 52 regular season games before the grind of playoffs. This season for the Summerland Steam, that playoff run went deeper than in any previous year in the team's four year history. They made it to the Divisional Final for the first time, they drew record crowds at the Summerland Arena and continued to help grow a fan base that has improved with each and every game and most importantly, they were ENTERTAINING.

Throughout the regular season the Steam were again one of the best teams in the league on home ice. Fans of the Steam that only watch them at home have been privileged in the past 2 seasons, as they've seen their home team lose on home ice a combined 15 times in regulation in the past 52 regular season games at the Summerland Arena. 

The 2014/15 Summerland Steam set a couple of Franchise records this season, including just 7 home ice losses. Brett Huber, Spencer Huff and the rest of the team put up the best Goals Against Average in Team History at 2.71, and Jack Mills' 56 points pulled him into a tie with Kienan Scott, Daylan Robertson, and Paulsen Lautard for 2nd on the list of single season point totals. Jordan McCallum holds that record from 2011/12 when he put up 65 points. 

As for this year's playoffs, they were the best in Team History as well. The playoff run only lasted 17 days, but it felt like a month or two. For the first time in Franchise History the Summerland Steam went through to the 2nd round of the playoffs and played for a Division Championship. 

In those 17 days, the team played 13 games. 2 of those games went into overtime, one lasting into the middle of double OT, the other well into triple OT before both ended with Cole Woodliffe goals and Summerland Steam wins.

Playoff hockey lasted the better part of 46 periods over the course of those 17 days, and they never quit. All 20 guys had their endurance put to the test and put forth a commendable effort, although it fell just short in Game 6 against the Osoyoos Coyotes.

"We have a great group of boys here," Is something we heard from Head Coach John Depourcq almost every night in our pre-game show this season, and it's unfortunate that it all has to come to an end.

The organization put a bow on the 2014/15 KIJHL season on Saturday with an afternoon luncheon and awards banquet. It was well attended and the attendees were well fed thanks to some of our great Coporate Partners within the Community of Summerland.

During the luncheon, Steam staff handed out awards to the players, volunteers, Corporate Partners and Fan of the Year. It gave the players a final chance to sit together and interact with staff, fans and billets before all going their separate ways for the offseason.


Here's a list of 2014/15 Summerland Steam Award Winners:




Team MVP & Top Goaltender - Brett Huber

Brett was the backbone of the Summerland Steam this season, posting 3 shutouts, a 2.38 GAA and .916 SV% in 31 appearances. Brett posted a 17-11-2 record during 2014/15, and was among the league leaders in appearances, GAA and SV%.

                   
Top Scorer - Jack Mills

 Jack led the Summerland Steam in scoring with 56 points (27 g, 29a) in 50 Games this season. After not playing any hockey last season due to injury, Jack excelled for Summerland this season. He was a big part of the offense for Summerland as well as on both sides of the special teams game. Jack showed his dedication to his teammates in the playoffs, coming back to play in Game 7 of round 1 after breaking his orbital bone in Game 4. Jack scored both goals, including the game winner in Game 7 against Kelowna.

On top of the team award for Top Scorer, Jack was awarded the Rookie of the Year for the Okanagan Division by the KIJHL.

                                   
Top Defenceman - Adam Jones

Adam was a big part of the Summerland Steam defense corps this season. He logged big minutes in all situations including special teams, and was an imposing force upon opposing forwards all season long. Adam's consistency and defensive responsibility are what make him the Summerland Steam's top defenceman this season.


                               
           
Rookie of the Year - Cole Woodliffe


'Woody' had an outstanding rookie season for Summerland this season, tallying 48 points (22g+26a) in 48GP. Cole's blend of size, speed and skill made him difficult for other teams to defend all season long, and that continued into the playoffs. Cole added 4 goals and 5 assists for 9 points in 13 playoff games, including 2 OT winners. 

Playoff MVP - Daylan Robertson

After re-joining the Steam at the January 10th roster deadline, it took Daylan a couple of weeks to get adjusted. Once he did he looked like the Robertson of old, tallying 6 points in just 12 regular season games. His game peaked in the playoffs, as it seems to do, as he tallied 16 points (5g, 11a) and STILL leads the KIJHL in playoff scoring 6 days removed from Summerland's last playoff game. 



Fan Favourite - Kendell Wilson

This year's "Fan Favourite" award winner is 4 year veteran Kendell Wilson. Wilson has been with the Summerland Steam since their inception in 2011/12 and is one of the faces of the team in the community. A local boy, born and raised in Summerland, Kendell spends a lot of time with the kids of the community both on and off the ice, and it shows. Every game our "7th man" tells us their favourite player, and in 26 games this season Kendell was that player 11 times. For that, he is our Fan Favourite Award winner for 2014/15.







Most Sportsmanlike Player of the Year & Scholastic Player of the Year -
 Braden Eliuk

This season's Most Sportsmanlike Player is Braden Eliuk. During the regular season, Braden made an impact on both sides of the scoresheet for the Summerland Steam. In his rookie season in the KIJHL, Braden amassed 11 goals and 14 assists for 25 points in 49 games played. During those 49 games, Braden only accumulated a total of 8 penalty minutes, and for that he was awarded the Team award and the KIJHL Okanagan Division Award for Most Sportsmanlike Player. 

Braden was also named the Steam's Scholastic Player of the Year, scoring the highest GPA among his teammates. This season the Steam had six players in the running for Scholastic Player of the Year who scored higher than 90%, but Braden scored highest. For this, Steam staff awarded him the 2014/15 Summerland Steam Scholastic Player of the Year.


In addition to these team awards, the KIJHL handed out some hardware in the early part of the playoffs, and the Summerland Steam were represented well among the winners. Jack Mills took the honour for Rookie of the Year inside the division, while Head Coach John Depourcq picked up his 2nd consecutive Coach of the Year honour inside the division. Braden Eliuk was given the Most Sportsmanlike Player award for the division, and Brett Huber took home a well deserved and much overdue Goaltender of the Year award. This SHOULD have been Huber's second consecutive, but he somehow finished 2nd in voting last season despite having superior numbers in more appearances and minutes than any other goaltender in the division.



BLOGGER'S CHOICE AWARD: 

This award is a first annual award. This award going forward is going to be meant for a specific player. A player that is absolutely vital to the success of the Summerland Steam, but might not fit into any of the 'uniform' categories. I'll break code right off the bat and tell you that this year the Blogger's Choice Award Winner(s) are The Yukon Line: L-R Wyatt Gale, Riley Pettitt, Jarrett Malchow


 


These guys, man. How fun were they to watch this season? It's impossible to pick just one of them, because all season they've come as a package deal. Independently, all three are spectacular hockey players and even better people. When together on the same line though, they caused absolute HAVOC for opposing defenses. The blend of speed and skill from Pettitt with the physicality of Malchow and the finishing ability of Wyatt Gale made them an extremely dangerous line. They were vital to the Steam because of their tenacious puck pursuit all over the ice and their ability to make defenses panic when they were on the forecheck. It was a lot of fun to watch them this season for those reasons, and that's why they're the 2014/15 recipient(s) and first ever Blogger's Choice Award Winners.

With the awards over and done with, the players will finish their locker room cleanout and head their separate ways for the season. Some will be back next year as a lot of these guys are eligible to return, but this is the time we say goodbye to those who won't return and will move on to life after the KIJHL. 

THE 20'S


This year, just like every other, we say goodbye to the 20 year olds. They move on to life after Jr. hockey, and this year's group of veterans rides into the sunset knowing they helped lead the Summerland Steam on their deepest playoff run in the team's short history. It's always a sad time of year to say goodbye to these young men for the final time, but it's also a fun time to reflect on the time they spent with us during their junior hockey careers. 

This season's group of 20 year olds is an extremely special one made up of an All Star Goaltender, a former Captain, and 3 local kids born and raised in Summerland. Here's a look at the junior career numbers and accolades of these 5 young men: 

#31 Brett Huber
 Goaltender (3 seasons, Summerland Steam)

AWARDS:

2013/14 Team Award Winner - Most Valuable Player
2013/14 Team Award Winner - Goaltender of the Year
(*SHOULD HAVE BEEN* 2013/14 KIJHL Okanagan Division Top Goaltender)
2014/15 KIJHL Okanagan Division Goaltender of the Year
2014/15 Team Award Winner - Goaltender of the Year
2014/15 Team Award Winner - Most Valuable Player

Career Numbers, Summerland Steam:
Regular Season: 92 GP, 44-36-4, 2.99 GAA, .905 Sv% 1A, 6 PIM, 5SO,
Playoffs: 22 GP, 9-13, 3.24 GAA, .899 Sv%, 2 PIM


** Huber leaves the Steam as the Franchise Leader in Games Played, Goals Against Average, Save Percentage, Minutes Played (5059) and shots faced (2664)


#15 Daylan Robertson
Centre (2 Seasons)

Awards:2013/14 Team Award - Playoff MVP
2014/15 Team Award - Playoff MVP
(Also tied for Top Scorer in 2013/14 with 56 Pts)

Career Numbers, Summerland Steam & Penticton Lakers:

Regular Season: 115 GP, 35G, 47A, 82 PTS, 52 PIM
Playoffs: 27 GP, 7G, 16A, 23 PTS, 8 PIM


#89 Kendell Wilson
Center (4 seasons)

Awards:

2014/15 Team Award - Fan Favourite

Career Numbers: 4 Seasons, Summerland Steam
Regular Season: 170 GP, 13G, 36A, 49 PTS, 203 PIM
Playoffs: 24 GP, 3G, 5A, 8 PTS, 14 PIM


** Wilson leaves the Summerland Steam after 4 seasons as the Franchise Leader in Games Played at 170.


#44 Nelson Hurry
F/D (4 Seasons)

Career Numbers: 4 Seasons, Summerland Steam

Regular Season: 148 GP, 6G, 20A, 26 PTS, 220 PIM
Playoffs: 20 GP, 1G, 5A, 6PTS, 28 PIM



#17 Rylan Sideroff
F/D (3 Seasons)

Awards:

2013/14 Team Award - Most Sportsmanlike

Career Numbers: 3 Seasons, Summerland Steam
Regular Season:
138 GP, 16G, 22A, 38 PTS, 70 PIM
Playoffs: 26 GP, 2G, 3A, 5 PTS, 12 PIM

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

STEAM FINISH SEASON AFTER GAME 6 LOSS TO COYOTES

It's never the way you want your season to end, watching your opponent celebrate a series victory on your home ice. It's something you don't want to see, yet for the 2nd season in a row the Summerland Steam felt the sting of defeat on home ice in the playoffs.

Last season it was Game 7 of Round 1, where they had a lead with 7 minutes to play and lost 5-3 to the North Okanagan Knights. This season the run went much deeper, as they beat the division rival Kelowna Chiefs in Game 7 of Round 1 by a score of 2-1 and moved on to round 2.

We all know what happened in the first 2 games in Osoyoos. Summerland competed in the first game, losing 4-2 thanks to 2 shorties and an empty netter from the 'Yotes. In the second game the Summerland finally ran out of Steam, losing 8-2 in their 5th game in 6 nights and 9th game in the previous 12.

After a much needed off-day, we were all witness to a Game 3 that went over 5 hours in length and almost 3 full overtimes. The 'Yotes thought they'd won it in OT #2, but the guys in the striped shirts (black and white, not burgundy and white) called it back because it did not cross the line. Cole Woodliffe would then end things on the powerplay in the third OT to get the Steam back in the series.

Apparently this game took everything out of more than just the players. I did not realize until yesterday that I hadn't covered Games 4, or 5 yet, let alone 6.

GAME 4



Game 4 saw a complete team effort from a Summerland team that was without their captain, Paulsen Lautard. Lautard was hurt late in the first overtime in Game #3 and tried to play in 2OT before calling it a night. He wouldn't play for the remainder of the series due to a lower body injury.

In that game 4, Summerland came away with a 6-2 victory over the Coyotes, getting goals from 6 different scorers along the way. Tyson Klingspohn opened the scoring and Lathan McKinney extended the lead in the second period. The Coyotes would then level things at 2 as they beat Steam goaltender Brett Huber. The first, from Tyler Ostram, was a long shot that took a deflection before ending up in the net, while the 2nd was a pass out front from Troy Maclise that took a hop on bad ice and jumped pass Huber.

Summerland would then rattle off 4 straight, including 3 in the third. Adam Jones would net what would be the winner late in the 2nd after Aaron Azevedo stayed down on the ice to campaign for a penalty. He was unsuccessful, and Jones was left unchecked to hammer a point shot in behind Brett Soles. Braden Eliuk, Daylan Robertson, and Nelson Hurry added goals in the third to round out the scoring at 6-2.

GAME 5


Game 5 was a carry over of Game 4, at least in the first period. The Coyotes made a change in goal, starting Lawrence Langan for the first time in the series. He made a difference, as he made several key saves in a scoreless first period before Osoyoos could break the game open in the 2nd period. Brett Jewell opened the scoring for the 'Yotes just :17 into the period before Tyson Klingspohn responded 1:28 later on the powerplay.

Colten Braid would then score 2 in the final 2 periods to help the Coyotes pick up a 5-2 win. Troy Maclise and Blake Holowaty would add the others for Osoyoos, while Daylan Robertson would score another PP goal for Summerland in the third.

Late in the third, with 4:19 to play, Ryan Roseboom was assessed a major penalty for charging Steam defenseman Lathan McKinney. It was a late hit in the corner that saw Roseboom come all the way across the goal line to make the hit. With the assessment of a major penalty in the final 10 minutes, Roseboom missed game 6 for the 'Yotes.

GAME 6


The Clincher. It was a lot like the season series in that Summerland had trouble with the Osoyoos powerplay. In the regular season series the teams played 8 games, and Summerland had trouble with the Osoyoos PP in 3 of those. Monday night was another one of those, as the 'Yotes used their PP to score all 3 of their goals in a 3-2 win. 

The Summerland fans weren't happy with the officiating on the night and neither were the coaching staff, but it was an automatic penalty call that doomed the Steam in the third period. After being put on the penalty kill in a 2-2 game, Summerland Defenseman Rylan Sideroff went to clear the puck out of the zone. Instead of hitting glass he sent it straight over, giving the 'Yotes a 5 on 3 for 1:49. The Yotes made no mistake, as Colten Braid scored his 2nd powerplay goal of the game to give the 'Yotes the lead. 

Jackson Dematos was the other goal scorer for the Coyotes, as he potted a goal on the powerplay in the first period. 

For Summerland, they got goals from Riley Pettitt and Daylan Robertson in the losing effort. 

WRAP UP


Game 6 was a tough game to watch. Tough for the fans, tough for us in the booth, and tough for the players. The Summerland crew felt they were done a disservice throughout the game by the officiating crew, and I can't say that I blame them after watching the video back. Osoyoos wasn't happy either, and I don't blame them one bit. Reasoning is this: 

In the final 5 minutes of the game, Summerland was awarded 2 powerplays. One after Jackson Dematos took a penalty for head contact, and another after Troy Maclise was sent off for a trip. They were unable to capitalize on either one and ended up losing by a score of 3-2. 

Summerland was angry because it had been happening all game and hadn't been called until then. Osoyoos was unhappy for the exact same reason, and both teams had a legitimate concern. 

In any event, a 3-2 win for the Coyotes sends them through to Round 3, where they'll face Kamloops in a Best of 7 for the Conference Championship. As I write, the 'Yotes have just finished up a 7-2 win in game 1 of that series. By the boxscore, it looks like a powerplay-heavy game that got a little ugly at the end with Kamloops' Ian Chrystal and Marc Dumont both receiving major penalties in the last 10 minutes. They'll miss Game 2 on Thursday night. 


Keep your eyes here over the course of the next week or so as we wrap up the season that was for the Summerland Steam as well as get to some team awards that will be given out at the Awards Banquet this coming Saturday. 


Friday, 6 March 2015

STEAM WIN MARATHON GAME 3, CLOSE SERIES TO 2-1

If you looked at the scoreline from Game 2 of the Okanagan Division Championship Series you probably thought it was a blowout. It was. The Osoyoos Coyotes and the Summerland Steam played a fairly even first period in Game 2, but the boys from the desert blew the doors off in the 2nd period and cruised to an 8-2 win.

"We finally hit the wall," Said Gregg Wilson in a phone conversation on the off-day Wednesday. "9 Games in 12 nights isn't easy for anybody, particularly when they're highly physical and emotional battles."

After a gruelling schedule that saw the Summerland Steam play 9 games in 12 nights, culminating in that 8-2 loss on Tuesday, the off-day on Wednesday was spent relaxing the muscles and getting ready to rebound in Game 3 on Thursday night. 

They did just that, and if you missed game 3, it can be filed under the classic definition of 'Barn Burner'. The atmosphere inside the Summerland Arena was raucous, with many Osoyoos Coyotes fans invading the Station to cheer on their team. 

Cole Woodliffe is mobbed by his teammates
after scoring the 3OT Winner in Game 3
of the Okanagan Division Championship Series
Photo: Jen Jensen Photography
The first period saw no scoring, but lots of back and forth action. Summerland outshot Osoyoos 13-8 in a period that saw each team go 0-2 on the powerplay. Both goaltenders, Brett Huber for Summerland and Brett Soles for Osoyoos, were forced to make a couple of very nice saves to keep the game scoreless. 

It wouldn't stay scoreless for long, as just 1:26 into the 2nd period the Coyotes got on the board. It was Jackson Glimpel with the goal, his 4th of the postseason, as he was able to beat Brett Huber after taking a pass from brother Rainer. Tyler Holz would draw the 2nd assist on the goal that gave the Coyotes the lead. 

Summerland found themselves down on the scoreboard, but not for long. Just :38 seconds after the Glimpel goal, Steam Captain Paulsen Lautard got his first of two on the night to tie the game at 1. Daylan Robertson and Calvin Hadley would collect assists on Lautard's 7th of the playoffs. Lautard was able to corral a rebound of a Daylan Robertson shot by using a soccer-like chest to stick move before putting it behind Brett Soles to tie things up.

Captain Pauly would then net his 2nd of the night and 8th of the playoffs with 2:03 to play in the 2nd frame. After a scrum in front of Brett Soles, the puck jutted loose into the slot where Lautard picked it up and deposited it over the sprawling Coyotes' netminder to give the home team the lead. 

They would take that lead to the third period, but it would only last 1:28. After Paulsen Lautard took a penalty with :09 to play in the 2nd period, Osoyoos started the third with 1:51 of powerplay time. They didn't need all of it, as 1:28 into the third they got a powerplay goal from Colin Bell that tied the game at 2. Colten Braid and Ryan Roseboom picked up assists on Bell's third of the playoffs, and this is REALLY where the fun began. 

With both teams failing to convert on 3rd period powerplays and opportunities, we embarked on the journey into overtime. Both goalies were absolutely stellar in regulation time, and that continued in OT. Brett Huber was forced to make several strong saves in the first OT and after 10 minutes of continuous action we headed to Double OT after both teams failed to score. 

In the 2nd overtime period fatigue started to set in a bit. Both teams slowed down just a tad, but that didn't mean the chances stopped. Osoyoos thought they'd won the game near the end of double OT after a 2 on 1. Ryan Roseboom and Colten Braid broke in 2on1, and a pass made it through from Roseboom. Braid chipped the puck up over Brett Huber and began the celebration, but the referee never blew the whistle. The Coyotes poured off the bench and referee Lyle Hinds was forced to blow play dead, still with no call. 

From our vantage point in the press box, it looked as though Braid's chip went off the elbow of the net(where crossbar and post meet) and came down directly behind Brett Huber, but failed to cross the goal line. Personally I think if it would have gone into the net and hit mesh, it wouldn't come back out sharply enough to come back over the goal line. We heard the ting off the post/bar, and the puck came down equally as hard as it went up. Again, just my opinion.

A couple of people thought it went in, but all in all the entire arena wasn't really sure. Coyotes' photographer Jen Jensen shared a photo on twitter that appears (from that angle) to show the puck in the net, but there really is no sure way to tell without the NHL-like cross-bar camera. It's definitely as close as it gets. 

Referee Hinds conferred with his fellow officials and judged that it had not crossed the goal line, so play continued. 

It continued all the way into a third overtime period with no goals. Both teams were vying for the victory, but the pace continued to slow as fatigue continued to show on both sides. With 15:02 on the clock in the third overtime and the puck frozen on the boards to the left of Brett Huber, Summerland took a penalty. It was Riley Pettitt who was given the gate for a cross-check that sent the potent Coyotes' powerplay to work. 

The 'Yotes powerplay had been the bane of Summerland's existence this season, but on this night the Steam went 8/9 on the PK. On that 3OT PK, it was good shot blocking from Daylan Robertson and Jack Mills that saved the Steam from being down 3-0 in this series. In one instance, Mills was able to block a point shot and sweep the puck out of the zone from his back, effectively killing the rest of the Coyotes' powerplay. 

Summerland would then get a powerplay opportunity with 12:02 remaining in 3OT after Colten Braid hooked down a Steam defender in the corner to the left of Brett Huber. 

On the powerplay it was Cole Woodliffe's time to shine. For the second Thursday night in a row inside the Summerland Arena, Woodliffe ended a game in overtime. This time it was on the powerplay, with a shot from the slot that went post and in. Jack Mills would draw the lone assist on the game winner that pulled Summerland back into this series, which now sits at 2-1. 

Game 4 goes Saturday night at the Summerland Arena for a 7:30 start. Game 5 will be played Sunday in the desert for a 4:35 start at the Sun Bowl in Osoyoos. 

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

STEAM LOSE GAME 2 TO MUCH FRESHER COYOTES

In Game 5 of round 1, the Summerland Steam found themselves down 5-1 with 3 minutes left in the 2nd period to the Kelowna Chiefs. They got 2 before the end of the 2nd, 3 in the third, and the OT winner to win 7-6 in OT.

In Game 2 of the Okanagan Division Championship Series, the Steam also found themselves down 4 goals in the 2nd period. There was no miracle comeback in this one. Summerland got down early and never had a lead as Troy Maclise and Jackson Glimpel scored 3:09 apart early in the first period to jump the Coyotes out to a 2-0 lead.

Paulsen Lautard would get the Steam on the board just over a minute later after taking a feed out front from Daylan Robertson. He beat Brett Soles five-hole to cut the Coyotes' lead to 2-1. That's how the first period would end, as Summerland would outshoot the 'Yotes 16-7 in the first.

In the 2nd, Summerland would come out slow. They had a lapse of about 4 minutes, and the Coyotes scored 3 goals in 2:16 to take a commanding 5-1 lead. Roseboom, Gradisar, and Maclise (his 2nd) would be the goal scorers, and Summerland would call their timeout. It looked like Summerland got some life back after the timeout, and managed to get a goal back on the powerplay with 4:51 to play. Michael McEachern took the shot and got a tip from Daylan Robertson to beat Brett Soles and make the game 5-2.

Summerland would come out with some jump early in the third, but that jump was thwarted by Colten Braid, who beat Brett Huber to make it 6-2 just 4:28 into the 3rd period. That would end the night for Huber, as Spencer Huff would come on in relief and see his first action of the postseason.

The Coyotes would add two more goals, one from Rainer Glimpel and one from Tyler Ostram to complete the scoresheet at 8-2 for the Coyotes. The Steam took 7 penalties in the 3rd period, which is far too many against a very good Osoyoos Powerplay. A bit of fatigue and a bit of frustration set in on them I think, and they let it get away.

Summerland just plain flat out didn't have it tonight. They were slower than usual, and that can be attributed to playing their 5th game in 6 nights and 9th game in 11. They'll have an off-day to get themselves straight tomorrow followed by Game 3 on Thursday night at the Summerland Arena.

Tom Shields said it best on the Coyotes' broadcast before the game even started: The KIJHL should look at ditching the chase for the Keystone Cup and the Cyclone Taylor Cup. I understand that it gives teams incentive to chase after the 'tournament' scenario. Having said that, as Tom put it, "it isn't healthy to play this many games in such a short period of time."

The alternative would be to stretch out the Regular Season to the end of February and play the playoff rounds in March and the early half of April, eventually crowning a KIJHL League Champion.

As nice as that would be, that's not the situation we're in. The teams will now have 1 game in the next 3 days which will give them time to rest before playing 4 in a row if it comes to that.

Of Note: The last time the Coyotes visited the Summerland Arena, there were some conversations had about some comments made on our broadcasts. Some thought we might have a little 'home bias', as the game turned ugly. We call it like we see it and there's always that possibility, because if there wasn't when you cover a team all season, you're doing it wrong.

We dealt with those problems, but I did have a problem with the Coyotes broadcast tonight. My problem was  NOT with Tom Shields. Tom is fantastic and has been doing his thing for a long time. He was one of the first guys in the KI that made me want to get into this as a volunteer when one of my siblings played for Osoyoos in 2011/12.

The thing I had a problem with were the people around him on this night. On separate occasions the broadcast picked up Riley Pettitt, Nelson Hurry, and Calvin Hadley being called 'rat', 'plug' and 'tool' respectively by the fans around the microphone. These comments were picked up clearly and remembered specifically, but they were among others. This isn't okay.

Those fans have their opinions, and that's fine, but maybe the broadcast needs to be isolated a little bit so as to not pick up those types of comments. Should remind, as I was, "Some opposing players' parents buy games too."


Game 3 goes Thursday at the Summerland Arena.



PAIR OF JEWELL'S SINK STEAM IN GAME 1

Brett Jewell scores one of his two
 shorthanded goals in Game 1 to send the
Coyotes to a 4-2 W over Summerland.
Photo: Jen Jensen Photography
After an emotional Game 7 victory of the Kelowna Chiefs on Saturday night, the Summerland Steam had one day off to prepare for Round 2. Awaiting them were the KIJHL Regular Season Champion Osoyoos Coyotes, comfortably rested after closing out their first round series in 5 games with the Princeton Posse last Wednesday.

Despite the difference in rest, both teams came out with pace and purpose, combining for 25 shots (Summerland 15, Osoyoos 10) in the first 20 minutes. Neither was able to find the back of the net in the first, as both Brett's (Huber for Summerland, Soles for Osoyoos) stood tall. It would be another Brett who would steal the spotlight in this hockey game though.

After Osoyoos opened the scoring just 1:29 into the 2nd period thanks to Aaron Azevedo, Summerland found the answer. It was on a powerplay, and it was an Adam Jones shot that beat Soles to tie the game at 1. Kendell Wilson and Lathan McKinney would be credited with assists on Jones' first of the playoffs.

Enter, Brett Jewell.

On another Steam powerplay near the mid-point of the period, Brett Jewell found himself on a shorthanded breakaway and made no mistake beating Steam goalie Brett Huber.

Jewell would find himself in the same situation again early in the third. After Summerland couldn't convert on their powerplay Jewell found himself on another shorthanded breakaway. He once again made no mistake in all alone, and scored the goal that would stand to be the winner. Both goals would go unnassisted.

Down 2, Summerland desperately tried to close the gap, but weren't able to break through Brett Soles in the Coyotes' net. Riley Pettitt would finally pull the Steam within one with 3:17 on the clock, but that was as close as they got. Daylan Robertson and Paulsen Lautard would draw assists on Pettitt's first of the postseason.

The Steam would continue their push, but the game would end in a 4-2 score after Ryan Roseboom converted into an empty net with just over a minute to play.

By all accounts it was a pretty evenly played contest, with Osoyoos outshooting Summerland 37-36. Summerland did a good job of shutting down the potent Osoyoos powerplay, but had trouble with their own which mitigated what they did on the PK.

The 2 shorthanded tallies by Jewell in Game 1 matched the TOTAL for the regular season, as the Steam only gave up 2 in 52 regular season games. They'll look to rectify that part of their game tonight in Game 2. Puck drop is 7:35 from the Sun Bowl in Osoyoos. You can catch Tom Shields on the Coyotes Webcast starting right around game time. You can also follow along on Twitter with the Coyotes and myself .

Sunday, 1 March 2015

MILLS' TRIUMPHANT RETURN SENDS STEAM TO SECOND ROUND

The Summerland Steam celebrate their Round 1 victory over the
Kelowna Chiefs at the final buzzer on Saturday, February 28th, 2015.
Photo: Sarah Mayer (shotsbysarah.tumblr.com)
After 6 games in a see-saw series that went back and forth, the Summerland Steam and the Kelowna Chiefs did battle in an epic 7th and deciding game on Saturday night at the Summerland Arena.

Game 7 is what you dream of as a kid and after taking a puck to the face and missing Games 5 & 6, Jack Mills wasn't going to miss this one. He made a triumphant return for Summerland, tallying both goals in a 2-1 victory over the Kelowna Chiefs. The Game 7 victory came on home ice for the Steam, in front of a record crowd of 450. It was loud, it was boisterous, and it was a heck of a lot of fun. Both teams brought everything they had to the table and left nothing to be desired in a game that saw no penalties called in the first period. Oddly enough 2 of Kelowna's 3 powerplays came on minor penalties to Braden Eliuk, who won the Okanagan Division's Most Sportsmanlike Player award by accumulating just 8 PIM over 49 regular season games.

The first period saw no scoring and no penalties, just a lot of pressure from the Summerland Steam. They outshot the Chiefs 16-7 in the period and had several good scoring opportunities thwarted by Chris Turner in between the pipes. Turner was tremendously good in this hockey game right from the start, including one of the best saves I've ever seen in my life on Wyatt Gale early in the 2nd period. On a 2-on-1, the Kelowna defender did a good job taking the pass away from Jarrett Malchow. Malchow was forced to shoot and hit the post to the left of Turner, only to have the puck jut out the other side. Gale was following up with a wide open net to shoot at when Turner reached back with an open hand to swat the puck away and keep the game knotted at 0.

Unfortunately, Turner was hurt on the play and looked to be favouring the inside of his blocker (right) hand. Trainers came out to check on him but he stayed in the game and continued to cause all sorts of problems for the Summerland Steam.

Braden Eliuk's name was the first to enter the scoresheet on this night, taking a tripping penalty at 14:47 of the 2nd period. Kelowna would cycle the puck around on the powerplay but couldn't beat Brett Huber in the Summerland net. Huber stood tall all night long, making 26 saves in the clinching victory.

Jack Mills would then start to make his mark on the game, as he walked off the right wing wall and roofed one over Chris Turner at 8:52. It was a gorgeous move off the wall and an even better shot, which it was going to take to beat Turner on this night. He was that good.

Summerland would continue to pressure but wasn't able to find another goal. In the third period Kelowna showed some more pushback than they'd had in the previous 2, and managed to tie the game up exactly 2:00 into the period on a long shot from Carter Melnyk. Melnyk shot the puck from the left point on the powerplay and watched as it clanged around off of two or three players, eventually hitting a Steam defender last and sliding into the net.

At 1-1, it looked as though we might be in for another long night. Summerland had done a good job on the penalty kill besides the Melnyk goal, and they finally got their only powerplay chance of the night at 8:45 when Dakota Kittle was sent off for slashing.

After a couple of grade-A quality scoring chances on the powerplay, Summerland continued to buzz and finally got a look they liked. After some good work from the forwards down below the goal line, Paulsen Lautard slid out to the side of the net and fed cross-crease to a waiting Mills, who had the entire net to slide a puck into.

Mills' 2nd of the game would stand as the winner, though the intensity didn't do anything but pick up after the Steam's regular season leading scorer gave them the lead with 6;56 to play. Kelowna came back with a push, and even got a powerplay with :47 on the clock, but were unable to beat Brett Huber with the equalizer.




The win for Summerland means they're off to Round 2 for the first time in franchise history. In round 2 they'll find the league champion Osoyoos Coyotes awaiting them. They were unsuccessful in beating the 'Yotes in the Regular Season, going 0-6-1-1 with their best result being a 2-2 tie on January 27th.

It's sure to be a dandy of a series and it gets underway Monday, March 2nd at 7:35pm from the Sun Bowl in the heart of the Desert.