Another Friday night, and another great effort from the Summerland Steam. Unfortunately, it resulted in a 2-1 loss to the Kamloops Storm. Much like their losses last weekend in Castlegar and Nelson, the Summerland Steam deserved better on Friday night at McArthur Park.

The first period had great flow to it and saw some chances at both ends, but both goaltenders were solid and the score stayed tied at 0 until the buzzer. Matt Huber got the nod for the Steam, and was exceptionally good when the Steam needed him, stopping 25 of the 27 shots he faced on the night. Tavin Grant was his opposition at the other end though, and the 17 year old Kamloops netminder was just one shot better.

Goals by Dante Raposo and Tre Sales in the second period were enough to halt the Steam despite a 28 shot effort that saw them win the possession battle with a 55% Corsi%. Raposo opened the scoring with 11:47 gone in the 2nd period after he got between two Summerland defenders and found his way to the net. With a defender on his back, Raposo almost didn’t get enough on his backhand shot as he moved to Huber’s left, but he got just enough of it for the puck to squeak across the line for a 1-0 Kamloops lead. Levi Johnson and Dario Piva assisted on Raposo’s 9th of the season that gave the Storm the first goal of the contest.

Sales would add to the lead just 2:55 later after a long stretch pass sent him down the right wing. He was able to beat Huber on the blocker side to extend Kamloops’ lead to 2-0, which would hold until the end of the second period. Wilson Northey and Austin Crossley assisted on Sales’ 9th of the season to double the lead for the Storm heading to the third period.

In that third period, it was all Steam. Summerland came out with a purpose, and controlled the majority of play. They finally broke through with exactly 11 minutes left, cutting the Kamloops lead to just 1. Adam Jones started the play from his own end of the ice, passing up the left wing wall in the neutral zone to a waiting Cole Williams. Williams, usually a defenceman but playing forward for the past few games, took the pass and carried over the blue line into the Kamloops zone.

He looked for a pass across the goalmouth, and when he couldn’t find one he skated the puck around the back of the net. He wrapped the puck on the net of Tavin Grant, and the rebound popped loose to a waiting Jarrett Malchow who banged home his 4th of the season. All of Malchow’s goals have come in the last 5 games, and he’s been an incredibly important part of the Summerland offense as of late.

Malchow’s marker gave the Steam some life, and on the next shift they continued their attack in the offensive zone. As the puck came around into the corner to the right of goaltender Tavin Grant, Malchow was hard on the forecheck and absolutely planted his man into the boards with a hard, clean shoulder to shoulder check. The puck was there, the hit was clean, but Malchow was still penalized for boarding, significantly limiting Summerland’s attempt at tying the hockey game. They got through the kill and got back to work, but couldn’t beat Tavin Grant again to get the game tied.

Kamloops skated away with a 2-1 victory, their 6th in a row. For Summerland it goes down as their 4th consecutive loss, but three of those losses could have been victories with one more bounce. They’re in a ‘hard-luck’ kind of time right now, and will look to bounce out of it with a Sunday home date with the Princeton Posse.

Despite the record over the past 5 games (1-4), the Steam have to feel positive with the effort they’ve put in. They’ve been in every game but one, and sooner or later the bounces are going to come their way. Their possession numbers are good, they’re still driving play to the front of the opposing net, they’re just having a tough time burying their chances. It will come, and hopefully it starts with that 5:30 home date with the Princeton Posse on Sunday afternoon.

Mike, Joel and I will be ready to bring you all the action starting with our pre-game show staring at 5:15PM ahead of the 5:30 puck drop. We’ll talk to Steam Head Coach John Depourcq as well as (hopefully) Posse Head Coach and GM Geoff Goodman ahead of puck drop as well as have a look at the weekend’s KIJHL action.

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