STEAM BOUNCE BACK WITH ROAD WIN IN SPOKANE

SummerlandSteam largeAfter a disappointing loss in their home opener on Friday night, the Summerland Steam got back out on the road on Saturday to visit the Spokane Braves. It was the one and only time the Steam will cross the border in the 2015/16 KIJHL Season, and they came away with a 5-3 win thanks to 4 goals from Cole Woodliffe.

Spokane would open the scoring in the first just 3 minutes in thanks to Steele Anderson. Braves veteran Kurtis Redding would draw an assist on the play that gave the home side a 1-0 lead. Woodliffe would then respond just under 2 minutes later after he had a couple of chances at the side of the net. He finally banged one past Braves’ goaltender Blake Norman for his first of the night and first of the season, assisted by Riley Pettitt and Wyatt Gale.

Kurtis Redding would then get on the scoresheet again for the Braves in the second with a power play tally. After taking a pass from Paxton Malone, Redding was able to work his way through the middle of the Steam Penalty Kill and wire a shot over Steam goaltender Matt Huber. It gave the Braves the lead once again, and the second assist went to Steele Anderson on Redding’s first of two in the second period.

Woodliffe would then bang home his second of the night in front of the Braves net after Matthew Monk got a shot through traffic. The Monk shot was one of 57 on the night that the Steam put on net, as they buzzed around and carried play for the majority of the game.

Despite outshooting the Braves handily, the Steam trailed three times in the hockey game. Kurtis Redding gave the Braves the lead for the 3rd time late in the 2nd period with his 2nd goal of the game before Woodliffe completed the hat trick with just 3:08 to go in the frame. The third of the night for Woodliffe would also produce the first KIJHL point for Steam rookie Michael McLean, who recorded the primary assist on the tally. Braden Eliuk nabbed the other assist on Woodliffe’s hat trick goal, and the second period ended in a 3-3 tie.

After 2 periods the Steam and the Braves were tied at 3, but the Steam led on the shot clock by the hefty margin of 42-23. The visiting team would finally take the lead for the first time in the game with 11:43 to play in the third when Wyatt Gale got loose in the slot and deposited a Jarrett Malchow pass into the back of the net. The goal from Gale gave the Steam the lead, and Woodliffe would add an empty netter to round out the scoring in the final minutes.

A few notes:

  • The Steam did a much better job with their zone exits out of the defensive zones in Spokane. It allowed them to drive play forward without turning the puck over, much unlike the night before at home against Osoyoos.
  • The Steam put 57 shots on goal on the night. It’s the third time in four games they’ve put up a shot total of 50+, and brings their shots on goal total to a staggering 191 through 4 games played.
  • Matt Huber was very good in his 2nd KIJHL game.
  • Jarrett Malchow returned to the lineup for the Steam and it was beneficial to them. The Yukon line once again did what they do, which is make things difficult for opposing defencemen and create zone time for the offense.
  • Cole Woodliffe looked good in his first game of the season on Friday night, but he was other-worldly in Spokane. He scored 4 goals on the night, but he was EVERYWHERE, and was used in every situation by the Steam coaching staff.
  • Raphael Bassot missed his third straight contest for the Steam after taking a knee from Princeton’s Bradley Palumbo in game 1 of the KIJHL season. The 16-year-old product from Penticton, BC, had a really good camp for the Steam, and hopefully he’ll be back in the lineup sooner rather than later.

The Steam will now have a week of practice before heading to Armstrong for their first meeting of the season with Bryant Perrier and the new-look North Okanagan Knights. The Steam will play three consecutive games against the Knights, starting on Sunday afternoon, September 27th at 2PM at the Nor-Val Center in Armstrong. Summerland will then travel back to Armstrong on October 2nd (7:30PM) before hosting the Knights on Sunday, October 4th at 2PM at the Summerland Arena. Mike Swanson and Joel Barg will have play-by-play duties for that contest, as I am away until Oct 5.

SPECIAL TEAMS FALTER AS STEAM FALL TO COYOTES IN HOME OPENER

After a 2-0 weekend last weekend on the road against Princeton and Grand Forks, the Summerland Steam were excited to open their home schedule Friday night against the Osoyoos Coyotes. The first home game of the season for Summerland set off a new rivalry series with the ‘Yotes, which is entertaining every single year. With tonnes of new faces on either side of the puck we were expecting the rivalry to heat up quickly, and we weren’t disappointed. Prior to puck drop we heard from Head Coach John Depourcq in our pre-game show, and he mentioned how badly Summerland wanted to get off to a fast start in their home opener.

It didn’t happen.

As a matter of fact the Summerland Steam got off to an extremely slow start, and gave up the game’s opening goal to Coyotes’ Captain Rainer Glimpel just :16 into the contest. The top line for Osoyoos of Glimpel, Bobby Larue and Braeden Tuck were buzzing all night, and it started early when Steam starter Austin Wells made 2 quick saves before Glimpel banged the puck into an open net for a 1-0 Coyotes’ lead.

Osoyoos did a great job of dictating play early in the hockey game, not allowing Summerland a shot on goal for the first 8 minutes of play. When the Steam finally did get some shots through to Coyotes’ goaltender Brett Soles, he was up to the task in stopping all 9 shots he ended up facing in the first period.

The Coyotes would add to their lead late in the period after some sloppy play by the Summerland defense. On the power play, the Steam had trouble vacating their own zone because of an aggressive set of Coyotes’ penalty killers. They put on the necessary pressure to cause a turnover, and Rainer Glimpel fed Bobby Larue cross-crease for an easy tap in. The shorthanded tally was the first for the 20-year old Larue and his first in the KIJHL, and it put the ‘Yotes up 2-0 late in the first period.

After the intermission we saw what seemed to be a different Steam team. Whatever was said to them in the dressing room between periods seemed to wake them up a bit, and they came out with a purpose in the second period. After they killed off a penalty that carried over from the first period, Summerland turned up the heat on the Osoyoos Coyotes, but still couldn’t beat Brett Soles. They were driving play, controlling the boards by using the body, and directing shots at the net without any results.

Finally, just over 7 minutes into the second period, the Steam broke through. The goal came courtesy of Braden Eliuk, who took a nifty feed out of the corner from Riley Pettitt and went high glove side to beat Soles and cut the Coyotes lead to just 1. Just like that, a Steam squad that looked lifeless in the first half of the first period had some jump, but that’s where things took a turn for the worse for the home team.

After the Eliuk goal to bring them within one, the Steam got into penalty trouble. If you’ve been following this rivalry more than just this year, you’ll know that when the Steam get into penalty trouble against the Osoyoos Coyotes they don’t fare well. Last season in 8 games in the regular season, 4 were blowouts. All 4 were blowouts because the ‘Yotes scored a minimum of 3 power play goals in each of those 4 games.

The first regular season matchup of 2015/16 ended much the same as those 4 blowouts in 2014/15. The Steam started the parade to the penalty box in the middle of the 2nd period, and Osoyoos didn’t hesitate to capitalize on their opportunities. They made it 3-1 with just over 3 minutes to play in the 2nd period when Jackson Glimpel was the beneficiary of a beautiful 3 way passing play. Judd Repole started the play from the right wing wall, where he stopped up to shake a Steam defender, an fed cross-ice for Colin Bell. Bell then found Glimpel sneaking to the back door and put a pass on his tape for a tap in.

At 5 on 5 this game was as even and closely played as we’ve come to expect from these two teams. With the man advantage though, Osoyoos proved deadly on this night.

In the third it was much of the same as in the 2nd. Summerland insisted on wearing out the hinges on the penalty box door, and the Coyotes continued to capitalize. Braeden Tuck was the first to capitalize, scoring his first KIJHL goal on the powerplay near the midway mark of the 3rd period to make it 4-1. Not long after it was Carter Robinson with another powerplay goal, his first in the KIJHL, to make it 5-1. Carter Shannon and Austin Cleaver drew assists on the 5th Coyotes’ goal of the night.

Rainer Glimpel would then round out the scoring for Osoyoos with just over 4 minutes to go, completing a 4 point night and effectively driving a stake through the Summerland Steam.

Cody Egilson would add a powerplay goal for the Steam late in the game, with just 42 seconds remaining, to round out the boxscore at 6-2 in favour of the visiting Osoyoos Coyotes.

It was a largely forgettable night for the Steam, but there were a few good things to take away:

  • Summerland was quite good on the night, despite the score. At 5on5 the game was as even as it gets, as both teams had opportunities.
  • Lots of the problems that led to penalties were failures to clear the puck from the defensive zone. If Summerland can tighten up their zone exits at the defensive blue line, they’ll make their own lives much easier transitioning to offense.
  • Despite allowing 6, Austin Wells was very good in his first home start for the Summerland Steam. He made several saves in the early parts of the game that kept the score in check.
  • The three rookie defensemen, Matthew Monk, Keenan Scott and Brogan Lautard were impressive in their home debut. I would argue on this night that Scott was the best defenseman on the ice for either team.
  • The Yukon line (sans Jarrett Malchow) keeps doing what it does. Riley Pettitt and Wyatt Gale inherited a new line mate in Braden Eliuk, but didn’t miss a beat. As usual they were ferocious on the forecheck, strong in the defensive zone, and caused lots of problems for opposing players.
  • Cole Woodliffe looked good in his first game back in a Steam uniform. The line of Woodliffe, Paulsen Lautard and Jack Mills will look to get back on the scoresheet tonight in Spokane.
  • In Spokane, Summerland will likely be without Calvin Hadley. Awaiting word from the KIJHL on the matter, but Hadley received two 10-minute misconducts in the final 10 minutes of Friday night’s contest, which in the past has carried an automatic 1 game suspension.

After the loss last night, the Summerland Steam will look to regroup tonight in Spokane. They’ll make their lone visit to the United States tonight to face the Braves at the Eagles-Ice-A-Rena at 7pm. The Spokane Braves come off a 4-1 loss to the Nelson Leafs last night in Nelson that sees them sit at 1-2-0-1 through 4 games played.

STEAM LINEUP GETS EARLY BOOST

Photo: Cole Woodliffe Courtesy: Sarah Mayer (shotsbysarah.tumblr.com)

Photo: Cole Woodliffe
Courtesy: Sarah Mayer
(shotsbysarah.tumblr.com)

The Summerland Steam announced this morning via their Twitter account that Forward Cole Woodliffe (’97) has rejoined the team for the 2015/16 season. Woodliffe spent last season with the Steam, amassing 22 goals and 26 assists for 48 points in 48 games in the regular season. In the postseason he was Mr. Clutch, scoring game winning goals on back to back Thursday nights in double overtime against Kelowna and triple overtime against Osoyoos.

Woodliffe brings a blend of size, speed and skill to the Steam in 2015/16 that will be more than welcome on a team looking to make a run at a KIJHL Championship. Last season Cole produced at a point per game clip for the Steam, and was counted on in big situations by Head Coach John Depourcq and his staff. I would be led to believe that Cole will be counted on just the same this season coming back from Jr. A camp to rejoin the Steam.

Primarily a center, Woodliffe fits firmly within Summerland’s top six, and could possibly see time on the top line between Jack Mills and Paulsen Lautard. Another potential fit for the kid they call ‘Woody’ would be at center on a line with Braden Eliuk.

Woodliffe is expected to be in the lineup on Friday when the Steam open the home portion of their 52 game schedule against the Osoyoos Coyotes. That game goes at 7:30 at the Summerland Arena, and tickets can be purchased at the door. $10 for adults, $8 for Students/Seniors.

STEAM, COYOTES SET TO RENEW HOSTILITIES

Photo: Sarah Mayer (shotsbysarah.tumblr.com)

Photo: Sarah Mayer (shotsbysarah.tumblr.com) // Steam F Kendell Wilson and Coyotes’ D Cody Allen are separated by an official during a January 2015 game in Oliver, BC

After meeting twice in the KIJHL Preseason, the Summerland Steam and the Osoyoos Coyotes are well on their way to renewing their Okanagan Division rivalry. After a season series in 2014/15 that favoured the Regular Season Champion Coyotes heavily, the teams went head to head in the Okanagan Division final during the ’14/15 KIJHL playoffs. The Coyotes came out on top in a 6 game series that turned into an instant classic, including a 3OT game that those in attendance will surely not forget for a long time.

The offseason is now over and the calendar has turned to a new season, which began last weekend on September 11th. The two teams went their separate ways on opening weekend and despite the same style of game, collected different results. Summerland took to the road, picking up wins in Princeton (4-2) and Grand Forks (7-2), while Osoyoos also visited the Princeton Posse and came up on the short end of a 3-2 score.

For Summerland it was the veterans that led the way on opening weekend. Jack Mills recorded 3 goals and 3 assists in his first two games while Steam captain Paulsen Lautard collected 4 goals and 2 helpers in the 2 victories. Riley Pettitt and the Yukon Line also chipped in with Pettitt collecting 3 goals, Jarrett Malchow notching 3 assists, and Wyatt Gale collecting 2 assists of his own in the Steam’s first two victories.

The offensive output from the Steam veterans has allowed some of the rookies to get the feel of KIJHL hockey in the first 2 games without an extreme expectation to produce right off the bat. Matthew Monk and Keenan Scott, in particular, were impressive and had an impact in the first two games of their KIJHL careers. Both rookie defencemen were able to collect their 1st KIJHL point in the first couple of games while getting used to the defensive systems put in place by the Steam coaching staff.

After the first two games of the season, the Steam got in a good week of practice in preparation for an always stiff test from the Osoyoos Coyotes. Head Coach & General Manager Ken Law always puts a competitive team on the ice, and if they’re in the same form as they were when they played the Steam in the pre-season, we’re all in for a treat on Friday night.

Summerland and Osoyoos both have high hopes for the 2015/16 KIJHL season, and the two teams will now come together on the second weekend of the KIJHL season to begin the quest for divisional supremacy. It will be the first of 8 regular season meetings between the two South Okanagan rivals that sees plenty of carry over from last season. The Coyotes boast 8 returnees including Rainer Glimpel (this year’s captain), Daniel Stone, Cody Allen and goaltender Brett Soles, while the Summerland Steam carry 13 returnees including Paulsen Lautard, Jack Mills and Defenceman Adam Jones.

There are plenty of new faces on either side of this rivalry, but there are also enough returning faces for either team to pick up right where they left off. If you were around for either of the two exhibition games the teams played against one another, you’ve already seen the rivalry beginning to brew. Both had the majority of their regular season roster dressed on September 8th in Summerland, and it showed in the calibre of play. It was fast paced, it was fun and it was extremely entertaining, and I would expect no different from the first meeting of the 2015/16 season on Friday night at the Summerland Arena.

Puck Drop is 7:30 PM from The Station and tickets will be available at the door. If you can’t be with us in person, you can join myself, Mike Swanson and Joel Barg on KIJHL.ca where we’ll have a full pre-game show starting at 7:15 including coaches comments and keys to the game!