After a win in 100 Mile House on Friday night (2-1 in OT), the Steam and the Wranglers moved north to Williams Lake for Saturday’s return matchup. Summerland was the home team in the ‘Lake City’, and came away with a 3-2 win to finish up another 4 point weekend and stretch their current win streak to 6.
The Wranglers were put out to a disadvantage early on, as leading scorer and Williams Lake native Justin Bond was tagged with a major penalty for head contact and ejected from the game just 12 minutes and change into the first period.
At this time Summerland already had a 1-0 lead thanks to Cole Williams’ 8th goal of the season. The marker came unassisted just 6:11 into the hockey game, and put Summerland out to an early lead in front of 753 fans at the Cariboo Memorial Complex. 500 of them had pairs of “Thundersticks” courtesy of Williams Lake’s Heartland Toyota, and the environment was crazy loud.
100 Mile House would get on the board in the final minute of the first period when another Williams Lake native, Tyler Povelofskie, beat Steam goaltender Jake Mullen to tie the game at 1. Nick McCabe and Tate Page would draw assists on Povelofskie’s 7th goal of the season to send the game to the second period locked in a 1-1 tie.
Summerland would take their lead back just 4:39 into the second period thanks to Riley Pettitt. Pettitt’s 7th of the campaign, assisted by Brogan Lautard, extended the Whitehorse, YT native’s point streak to 8 games and gave the Steam a 2-1 lead. That lead would last just 1:24, however, as Kolby Page would tally his 3rd of the year, an unassisted marker to bring the Wranglers and the Steam even at 2.
Summerland would go ahead for good with just :20 left in the 2nd frame. Calvin Hadley managed to get a puck behind Wranglers’ starter Zane Steeves. The goal, Hadley’s 2nd of the season, came shorthanded and stood as the winner. Michael McEachern and Jack Mills would draw the assists on the goal, and Summerland would go to the break leading by a goal.
After a combined 3 goals in the second period, there would be no scoring in the third. Summerland did a good job to lock down their defensive zone and made life as easy as possible for Jake Mullen to pick up his 4th victory since joining the Steam in 6 appearances.
The victory for the Summerland Steam propels them into 2nd place in the Okanagan Division, tied in points with the Kelowna Chiefs but ahead in the win column. It was another 4 point weekend for the Steam, their 3rd in a row, and Saturday night stretched their win streak to an even half dozen games. Their play has been much improved in the month of November, and it seems as though all the work they’ve done in the defensive zone over the past 6 weeks has really begun to pay off for them.
Head Coach John Depourcq’s teams usually have strong months of November after taking the first couple of months to get familiar with each other and build some chemistry. This November is no different, as the Steam have really put all parts of their game together recently and look to continue their role on home ice.
After being on the road this weekend, Summerland will now play their next three at home before finishing the month with a short trip to visit the Osoyoos Coyotes. Summerland will play Kelowna on Friday, November 20, Grand Forks on Sunday, November 22, and the North Okanagan Knights on Tuesday, November 24th.
First up are the Kelowna Chiefs, as the Chiefs pay another visit to the Summerland Arena on Friday night. It will be a big night on Friday in Summerland, as FortisBC will be our game sponsor and Summerland IGA will be on hand from 6PM-9PM accepting donations for the Summerland Food Bank. The first 100 people to drop off a small food donation will receive a ticket to Friday night’s game in exchange for their donation!