STEAM COME UP DRY IN THE DESERT

After winning 1 out of 3 on a Kootenay swing last weekend, the Summerland Steam were hoping to start their week off on a positive note on Wednesday night in Osoyoos. The Coyotes and the Steam have had a long standing rivalry, dating back to the inception of the two “new” franchises in 2010/11 and 2011/12 respectively. It’s been a one sided rivalry of late, with Summerland coming out winless in the past 9 meetings, not including exhibition and playoff games.

Wednesday night didn’t start off any better for the visitors from Summerland, as Osoyoos’ top line of Bobby Larue, Rainer Glimpel and Braeden Tuck got things started for the ‘Yotes just 20 seconds into the contest. Tuck scored the opener by beating Steam starter Matt Huber at the 19:40 mark of the first period, assisted by Larue and Glimpel.

Cole Williams would tie the game up just 2:03 into the game on a wraparound, but that would be all they would get. Matthew Monk recorded another assist on the Williams goal, continuing his near point per game pace early in the season.

After a period the Steam and the Coyotes were tied at 1, and the Steam held the edge in shots 14-11. Each team had a few scoring chances in the first period, but both Matt Huber and ‘Yotes goaltender Brett Soles were solid in the crease. The first period saw a little bit of everything. Lots of physicality, a good flow of play, no penalties and good, clean hockey.

That changed quickly in the early stages of the second period. After Austin Cleaver notched his first KIJHL goal, the Steam were dealt a hefty blow when Coyotes’ forward Hunter Johnston was assessed a 5-minute major for boarding and a game misconduct after a nasty hit square to the numbers of Summerland’s Jack Mills. The Steam’s leading scorer, Mills was escorted off the ice and straight to the hospital for stitches after the dasher boards opened up a near inch long cut above his right eye. He didn’t return to the game, and the Steam suffered because of it.

Not only were they without their leading scorer for the rest of the night, the Steam also got themselves into penalty trouble. They only managed one shot on net in the 5 minute powerplay that resulted in an early shower for Johnston, and even took a penalty of their own to take 2 of those 5 minutes away. Once the major penalty was over, the parade to the penalty box started for Summerland.

It took Daniel Stone only 8 seconds to cash in on the first powerplay of the night for the Coyotes’, which put them up 3-1 and firmly in the driver’s seat. They never looked back. Braeden Tuck would add his 2nd of the night with :23 left in the second period to put Summerland in a 3 goal deficit heading to the third period.

In that third, the Coyotes’ added onto their lead. Cleaver picked up his 2nd just under 3 minutes into the period before goals by Bobby Larue and Rainer Glimpel rounded out the Coyotes’ side of the scorecard. Jarrett Malchow would add his third of the season for the Steam late in the third period, but it was unfortunately too little, too late as the Steam fell 7-2.

THOUGHTS:

  • The Coyotes were far superior on this night, and pushed their regular season unbeaten streak against the Steam to an even 10 dating back to last season. The top line of Braeden tuck, Bobby Larue and Rainer Glimpel combined for 10 points and continued their dominance over the KIJHL. Rainer Glimpel, the Coyotes’ captain, seems to be the cog that runs the machine, as his 4 points tonight push his total to 25 on the season in 10GP and send him rocketing to the top of the KIJHL scoring list.
  • On the bright side for the Summerland Steam, Matthew Sokol had quite possibly his best game to date for the Steam, and collected his first KIJHL point with an assist on Malchow’s third period marker.
  • Matthew Monk, Keenan Scott, and Brogan Lautard continued to show why they keep getting put in Head Coach John Depourcq’s lineup night in and night out. All were noticeable in tonight’s game.
  • After the Mills injury, and without forward Braden Eliuk, the Steam’s lineup went into the mixer. Raphael Bassot got a look in the top six for a brief period and didn’t look out of place. He skates extremely well, hits like a Mac truck, and plays the kind of 200-foot game that will keep him in Coach Depourcq’s lineup for the forseeable future, in my opinion.
  • Alex Williams returned the Steam lineup after missing last weekend’s games with a busted up hand. He was egged into a fight by Coyotes’ D-man Jake Hryhoriw (Rye-Hor-Ee) in the late stages of the second period, and held his own for a few moments before the much bigger Hryhoriw took over.
  • Summerland were without 20 year old goaltender Austin Wells on the night. AP Goaltender Nathan Spark got a chance to get in the game after the Coyotes’ notched their 6th goal of the night with around 13 minutes to play.
  • Matt Huber was good for the Steam, particularly early on, despite the score. The coaching staff gave him the mercy pull in the third period after the Coyotes scored their 6th goal on the night, simply because Huber was receiving very little help in his own zone.
  • Summerland was very good early in the game in ensuring they kept the puck clear of the front of the net. They were also making clean zone exits which led to odd-man rushes and good scoring chances in the first period. They weren’t so good in that department in the final 2 periods, and that’s what caused the score to inflate the way it did.
  • The Steam will now turn their attention to the Kamloops Storm, whom they visit for the one and only time this season on Friday night. They will return home Sunday for a 5:30PM start against the division rival Princeton Posse.

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