For the second night in a row, the Summerland Steam did battle with the Osoyoos Coyotes on Wednesday night. This time the setting was the Sun Bowl Arena in Osoyoos, and after the biggest crowd of the year to date in Summerland on Tuesday, it was quite possibly the largest crowd to date in Osoyoos as well.

The result wasn’t kind to the Steam on Tuesday night at home, falling 4-0 to the division leading Coyotes. The ‘Yotes win puts them 6 points clear of the Steam in the Okanagan Division standings, and 4-0 in the season series vs Summerland.

The Steam were hoping to change that on Wednesday with their 3rd visit of the season to the Coyotes’ den. The visitors got off to a good start, putting three quick shots at ‘Yotes goaltender Brett Soles in the first two minutes of play.

The Coyotes would answer back, testing Steam starter Matt Huber with a couple of shots as well. Most of the ‘Yotes 12 shots in the period came from either long range or out wide, with Summerland doing a pretty good job to clog up the middle of the zone.

Each team had one full power play chance in the period, and Summerland would get another partial but were unable to capitalize. That partial power play came near the end of the period, but ultimately the highlight of the first frame was a spirited tilt between Summerland’s Michael MacLean and Osoyoos’ Hunter Johnson. Nobody really knows what sparked the tilt, as it happened WAY behind the play, but it was a fun tilt to watch nonetheless.

Summerland started the second period with :19 of PP time, but were unable to capitalize. Although they had a couple of great early shifts, the Coyotes opened the scoring just 2:55 into the period. The goal came on the first sustained pressure of the period from either team, as Carter Robinson was able to tip his 6th of the season past Matt Huber. The initial shot came from Steele Anderson at the point, who put a low, hard shot towards the net.

Summerland would get back even just 1:05 later thanks to the top line. Braden Eliuk made a great play to spring Paulsen Lautard and Jack Mills on a 2-on-1. Lautard came down the right wing and threaded the needle through to Mills, who beat Soles for his 19th of the season.

Just :31 after Summerland got back to even, Bobby Larue would score his 3rd goal in the past 2 games to restore the Coyotes lead. Cody Allen would then restore the lead when he beat Huber with a long shot from the point through traffic. His 6th of the season, assisted by Reid Wilson, capped off a stretch that saw 4 goals in just under 6 minutes between the two teams.

If a 3-1 lead wasn’t enough, Jackson Glimpel would add to it and make it 4-1 Coyotes just 1:35 after the Allen goal. Glimpel’s 8th of the season was assisted by Evan Loura and Judd Repole as Loura made a great goalmouth pass that Glimpel was able to tap in without much resistance from the Steam defense.

Just when it looked like Summerland might gain some life and pull themselves back together, they got themselves into penalty trouble. The Coyotes didn’t capitalize, but it put Summerland at a distinct disadvantage in getting back in the game.

Bobby Larue would notch his 2nd of the night and 19th of the season a little later in the period, with just 1:52 to go.

With Summerland already in penalty trouble, things didn’t get any easier for them when their best penalty killer was ejected from the hockey game with just :01 to play in the second period. As the puck was tied up along the wall, Coyotes captain Rainer Glimpel made a quick turn as Riley Pettitt was getting into the scrum. They came togther, and out of the pile was an ejection for checking from behind and a roughing minor to Pettitt, while the ‘Yotes Austin Cleaver was assessed a roughing minor as well.

After the dust settled on the second period, it wasn’t pretty for the Summerland Steam. Again, the period had good pace, but Osoyoos did a great job to connect on the chances while Summerland continued to take penalties and allow those chances.

The Coyotes power play wasn’t successful in the second period, but it certainly allowed the ‘Yotes to create chances and carry possession time through the majority of the period, outshooting Summerland 19-9.

The third period didn’t start with the luster that the first two did. The Coyotes seemed content to cruise to a victory, and did a good job to ensure Summerland didn’t get much offensive push.

Both teams essentially just went through the motions in the third, and the Coyotes cruised to a 5-1 victory. With the loss, the Steam fall 8 points behind the Coyotes in the Okanagan Division Standings. The Coyotes hold a game in hand as well, which is pretty much good for a 10 point lead.

That 10 point lead may well be enough to win them the division, although there are still 3 head to head matchups remaining.  Summerland will have to go back to the drawing board to figure out how to beat the ‘Yotes eventually, because those 3 games could be huge in deciding the division standings at the end of the season heading for the playoffs.


Summerland will look to get the train back on the track on Sunday afternoon at 2PM when they host the Kelowna Chiefs for the 4th and final time at the Summerland Arena.



To be honest, I’m going to have to go back on the video and watch the first two periods of Tuesday night’s game between the Summerland Steam and the Osoyoos Coyotes. It was so great, and so smoothly played, that there quite honestly wasn’t a whole lot to report. At 5 on 5 tonight, the two teams played a fast, physical, mostly clean hockey game that saw chances at both ends.

Both teams went 0/1 on the power play in a very fast paced first period that ended as it began, 0-0. There weren’t that many opportunities for either team in the period, but good physical hockey kept things entertaining moving to the second.

In the second, much of the same, except there were some chances at either end. This required the two starting goaltenders, Matt Huber for Summerland and Brett Soles for Osoyoos, to make a few key saves to keep the game knotted at 0’s. There was one save in particular, Brett Soles on Paulsen Lautard, that is a save of the year candidate.

Lautard, looking to take the franchise lead in regular season goals, took a pass from the corner. He made a slick little move through the skates of a ‘Yotes defender and looked to beat Soles on the far side by dragging the puck around him. Just when you thought Soles was down and out and Summerland had the lead, out came the right skate of Soles to knock the puck from danger just inches from the goal line.

This kept the game knotted at 0, and Matt Huber was sharp at the other end on the next shift to keep it that way.

As we headed to the third period tied at zeros, both teams were looking to make an impression on the scoreboard. It was Osoyoos that would do it, with their kryptonik power play to thank for the majority of the damage.

Bobby Larue would open the scoring for the Coyotes on the power play just 3:17 into the third frame. After a (late) penalty to Summerland’s Michael MacLean for ‘snowing’ Coyotes goaltender Brett Soles, Larue wasted no time. The 20-year-old Larue took a pass from Ryan Morrell cross-ice, and buried his 16th of the season above Steam goalie Matt Huber. Daniel Stone would add the second assist on the opening goal of the game.

Jackson Glimpel would then add to the Coyotes lead with just 8:26 to play, again on the power play, with his 7th of the season. Glimpel worked the puck down low and attempted a pass through the crease to a waiting Coyote at the back door. Instead, the puck hit the stick of Steam defender Alex Williams and crawled up and over Huber to extend the Coyotes’ lead.

In quick strike fashion, just 42 seconds later, Braeden Tuck would cash in on a gift of a turnover and beat Huber with a slick shot under the bar to make it 3-0 ‘Yotes. His 17th of the season would spell pretty much the end for the Steam on the night, as it looked like they had no fight left after the goal from the Coyotes rookie.

Larue would then add his 2nd of the night, and 17th of the season, with 4:04 to play. The goal came at the tail end of yet another Coyotes’ power play late in the third period, and would round out the scoring to give Osoyoos a 4-0 lead.

That would be exactly how this game would end, with Brett Soles picking up a 27 save shutout. He was forced to make several key saves in the third period, and earned first star honours.

Despite the lopsided scoreline, again, the game was not a 4-0 game. Summerland had their chances. They went 0-for-6 on the power play, and spent most of the third period in the penalty box. That’s something that the Steam know they can’t do against the Coyotes, and it cost them yet again in this game. We’ll see if they can get it figured out before tomorrow night’s rematch.

The two teams will go at it again tomorrow night in the desert. It’s a 7:35 start from the Sun Bowl Arena in Osoyoos!















21-10-0-0-1, 43 PTS RECORD 23-7-0-0-1, 47 PTS
11-2-0-0-1 HOME / AWAY


7-2-0-0-1 LAST 10 GAMES 8-2-0-0-0
.672% (t-6th, KIJHL) WIN % .758% (3rd, KIJHL)

3.31 GF PER GM (10th, KIJHL)


3.97 GF PER GAME (3rd, KIJHL)


2.19 PER GM (3rd, KIJHL)


2.10 GA PER GAME (1st, KIJHL)

17/145; 11.72% (15th, KIJHL)

HOME: 7/49 ; 14.29% (15th, KIJHL)

POWERPLAY % OVERALL: 30/162 ; 18.52% (7th, KIJHL)

ROAD: 14/83; 16.87% (t-6th, KIJHL)

157/176; 89.20% (3RD, KIJHL)

HOME: 60/69; 86.96% (10th, KIJHL)

PENALTY KILL % OVERALL: 106/131; 81.68% (18th, KIJHL)

ROAD: 44/62 ; 70.97% (19th, KIJHL)


18G + 22A = 40 PTS




15G + 15A  = 30 PTS



  • Both teams come together for the fist time in a little over a month, with the last meeting being a 5-2 Osoyoos victory with 2 empty net goals on November 28.
  • Summerland will embark on their post christmas schedule without Goaltender Jake Mullen for the first three games post-break as he sits a suspension for a Match Penalty incurred with :11 seconds left in their last game prior to the break.
  • In that game against the Kelowna Chiefs on December 18, Summerland picked up a 2-1 win despite being without Riley Pettitt, Jack Mills and Jarrett Malchow. All are figured to be ready to play vs the Coyotes on Tuesday night.
  • Still sticking with that December 18 win over the Kelowna Chiefs, in my opinion, Steam captain Paulsen Lautard played one of his best games of the season. He had a goal called off early and after that he recorded an assist and was a physical presence (and a threat on offense) all night.
  • Summerland will play Osoyoos three times in the next 13 days, starting with a home and home tonight and tomorrow.
  • If they want to be successful, as always, Summerland needs to steer clear of the penalty box. They’ve been killing penalties at an alarming rate lately, and sit 3rd in the league in the category.
  • Having said that, Osoyoos’ PP has been Summerland’s kryptonite of late, as has been well documented. As a unit, the ‘Yotes PP is 7/18 in the three games the two teams have played so far.
  • If Summerland wants to be VERY successful in these games, the best way to do that is going to be to keep their feet moving and force the ‘Yotes to take a few penalties on their own.
  • The PK seems to be the only glaring weakness for an otherwise stellar Coyotes team. Their PK sits 18th overall in the 20 team KIJHL and 19th when killing penalties on the road.
  • The teams are separated by just 4 points at the top of the Okanagan Division. Both will come in with some emotion and some urgency, and it’s going to come down to who handles it best.
  • Puck drop goes at 7:30 from the Summerland Arena. If you can’t join us in the rink, be sure to join us on the webcast as well as on twitter.
  • If you’re joining the webcast, make sure to fire it up early. We’ll have full pre-game from the Summerland Arena, complete with (hopefully) interviews with both coaches starting at 7:15.



Usually in the week leading up to a tilt between the Summerland Steam and the Osoyoos Coyotes there’d be at LEAST one post up on Trolley Talk. In that post there’d be a bunch of numbers that show how the teams match-up and what each team would need to do to expose the other. In this particular instance there are two games to talk about, a home and home mini-series that’s set for Tuesday and Wednesday, December 29th & 30th next week.

We’re not going to get into that right now, though. Being that it’s the holidays and families are together, I’m about as apt to write such a post as you are to read it.

Instead I’ll wish you and yours a safe and happy Holiday season, and a Merry Christmas or whichever Holiday you celebrate. The point of it all is family, so enjoy your time with your families and we’ll get back to it with Game Notes and stats on the morning of December 29 prior to Steam Vs Coyotes Volumes 4&5.

In the meantime I’ll leave you with this:



Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays to you and yours from The Summerland Steam, myself, and all of our wonderful staff & volunteers! See you at the rink!




Summerland Steam Goaltender Jake Mullen defends his crease against Kelowna Chiefs F Dakota Kittle during Summerland’s 2-1 win Dec 18. Photo: Steve Dunsmoor; Dunsmoor Creative

For 59 minutes and change on Friday night, the Summerland Steam and the Kelowna Chiefs played what I consider to be a ‘Game of the Year’ candidate. Both teams were fast, physical, and most importantly they were actually pretty civil with one another. For the majority of the night the pushing and shoving, jawing, and fisticuffs we usually see between the Steam and the Chiefs was put aside in favour of good hockey, and it showed what these two teams do when they focus on the game at hand.

Right from the start the action went back and forth, with chances at both ends and the two goaltenders getting lots of early touches on the puck. Both Summerland’s Jake Mullen and Kelowna’s Josh Tetlichi were up to task early, stopping everything thrown their way in the early going.

It looked like we were going to hit a milestone early in the first period, as Keenan Scott sent a 150 foot breakaway pass to Steam captain Paulsen Lautard. Lautard was in alone on Kelowna’s goaltender Josh Tetlichi, who stopped the initial shot. As he squeezed to hold the puck though it popped loose, and Lautard was able to pick it from the pile and put in the net. Unfortunately, as he did so the referee blew the play dead so the goal wouldn’t count.

Lautard, who’s been a bit snakebitten of late, is still chasing the Steam’s Franchise Record for goals. He sits tied with former teammate Dylan Burton with 57 career regular season goals for the Steam.

As things started to settle in, and after the Lautard chance, both teams received a power play to jump start their offense. First it was Summerland who gained the man advantage when Josh Johnston was whistled for holding.

The Steam didn’t do much with the power play, but were able to convert as Johnston stepped out of the penalty box. After a good first pass from Lathan McKinney and a good rush from Wyatt Gale, Michael McEachern was able to connect for his 3rd of the year. Coming down the left wing, Gale did a great job to get loose and make a drop pass for McEachern, who placed a bullet of a wrister up top over Josh Tetlichi to give Summerland a 1-0 lead.

After the Steam went up 1-0, it was the Chiefs’ turn with the PP. While Kelowna pressured with their power play, the Steam bent but didn’t break. A good PK formation led to shots from the outside and an easy few saves for Jake Mullen in the Summerland crease.

After 1 the Summerland Steam had a 1-0 lead, and headed to the second period in good shape. In a game that saw them start without three of their top four scorers it was important for Summerland to get out to an early lead, and they did a good job of doing that.

In the second period though it was much different. The Steam were still good, but Kelowna was better. The Chiefs took the play to the Steam and got in the kitchen of Steam goaltender Jake Mullen. After working at it for several minutes, the Chiefs were finally able to break through thanks to some good work from Josh Baird.

Baird, the Chiefs’ leading scorer, did some good work to maneuver through the Summerland defense and get a shot to the net. The initial shot sailed high, but Baird followed up to keep the play alive behind the net. The puck eventually came to the side where Chiefs’ Captain Ryan Lawson was able to sweep a puck past Jake Mullen to tie the game at 1.

From there it looked like we were destined for OT, to be honest. Neither team was interested in taking any chances in the late stages of the second period or early in the third. The play went back and forth without any danger, mostly being played in the middle 100 feet of ice.

After Summerland killed a couple of penalties incurred by newcomer Scott Robinson early in the period, they were able to get on the board with just 3:04 to play. The goal came courtesy of Wyatt Gale, who popped his 9th of the season off a body in front to give his team the lead. Lautard and Cole Williams would draw assists on what would stand to be the game winner.

From there, things finally got a little ugly. As Kelowna tried to press for the tying goal, they got some good chances at the Summerland net. Jake Mullen was up to task, ending up with 34 saves on 35 shots in 59:49 of work. He only played 59:49 because with :11 remaining on the clock, things got real.

As the puck came to the Summerland crease Mullen fell on top of it for a whistle. As everybody converged on the net, Dakota Kittle was taken into the Summerland goaltender by a Summerland defender. Kittle had gone in on Mullen earlier in the game on his own, so there might have been some history there, but from the bottom of the pile Mullen started swinging. Jonathan Lee then came in and (accidentally on purpose) came down on Mullen’s back as he was trying to fight his way out of the pile. Things escalated from there, Mullen swung his blocker wildly a few times, connected with three or four shots, and was assessed a match penalty and ejected from the game.

Matt Huber would come on in relief, but wouldn’t have to face a shot in the final :11. Huber will figure to get the majority of the work early after Christmas, as Mullen’s match penalty will likely carry a 3 game suspension, if not more. I will update this post once we hear of further discipline from the KIJHL.

As the clock wound down, Luke Kalenuik of the Chiefs was also assessed a game misconduct for checking from behind after extending his arms into the numbers of a Steam player on the boards believed to be Cole Williams. Kalenuik will miss the Chiefs next contest, which goes tonight i Kamloops.

Summerland is now officially on holidays. Most of the players will head home to their families for about 9 to 10 days. They’ll return to action on December 29th at the Summerland Arena when the Osoyoos Coyotes make their 2nd visit of the year.

Happy Holidays from Trolley Talk!















20-10-0-0-1, 41 PTS RECORD 16-10-2-2-1, 35 PTS
9-8-0-0-0 AWAY / HOME


7-2-0-0-1 LAST 10 GAMES 4-5-0-0-1
.661% WIN % .565%





2.23 PER GM (4TH, KIJHL)



17/143; 11.89% (15TH, KIJHL)

ROAD: 10/94 ; 10.63% (15TH, KIJHL)

POWERPLAY % OVERALL: 31/172 ; 18.02% (8TH, KIJHL)

HOME: 14/82; 17.07% (12TH, KIJHL)

152/171; 88.89% (3RD, KIJHL)

ROAD: 92/102; 90.20% (1ST, KIJHL)

PENALTY KILL % OVERALL: 126/144 ; 87.50% (4TH, KIJHL)

HOME: 63/67 ; 94.03% (1ST, KIJHL)


18G + 22A = 40 PTS



15G + 15A  = 30 PTS


  • Summerland comes off an underwhelming performance in Princeton on Wednesday afternoon. Despite putting 45 shots at the net of Posse goaltender Stephen Heslop, they were unable to find the back of the net.
  • Of those 45 shots on net on Wednesday, I counted 7 scoring chances. They’ll look to bury a few of those when they go into Kelowna tonight.
  • The Steam are 3-1 against the Chiefs this season, but 0-1 at the Rutland Arena in Kelowna.
  • Don’t expect Special Teams to be a big factor in tonight’s contest. Kelowna’s power play is substantially better than Summerland’s, as stats would show, but the best road penalty kill (Summerland) goes up against the best home penalty kill (Kelowna) in the KIJHL. Both teams know how to shut down a power play.
  • Summerland comes in 7-2-0-1 in their past 10, but are 1-1-0-1 in their past 3 contests. They’re looking to get back in the win column against a Chiefs team led by Josh Baird.
  • Baird, who made the move to forward this past month, has seen an uptick in production since the move. One of Kelowna’s leaders, Baird comes into Friday’s game on a 7 game point streak. On that streak he’s talled 7G+4A for 11Pts in his past 7 contests.
  • Speaking of point streaks, Riley Pettitt’s 17 gamer was snapped on Wednesday when the Steam were shut out in Princeton.
  • Pettitt took a hit late in the 2nd period that prevented him from playing in the third, which hindered his effort to extend that streak to 18.
  • Wednesday was the first time this season the Steam have been blanked on the score sheet. They’ll be out to get back on track tonight in Kelowna.
  • The Chiefs, 4-5-0-1 in their past 10 contests, snapped a 4 game losing streak with a shutout victory over the Princeton Posse on December 12th. That was the last game they played, so the Chiefs should be well-rested coming into Friday on 5 full days with no games.
  • Puck drop goes at 7:00PM from the Rutland Arena in East Kelowna. Barring any major weather setbacks, I’ll be joining Kelowna Play-by-Play man Justin McCartney to do some colour commentary on


In a rare case that saw a KIJHL game start at Noon on a Wednesday afternoon, the Summerland Steam headed over for a visit with the Princeton Posse. The reason for the early start? It was Princeton’s annual ‘school game’, and they didn’t disappoint the 250 fans in attendance.

In all but one facet of the game, the Summerland Steam dominated on Wednesday afternoon. Unfortunately, Princeton won the goaltending battle and capitalized on the few opportunities they had in a 4-0 win.

Summerland started a little slowly, but picked it up as the game went on. Unfortunately, a bit of a sluggish start cost them the game, as just over halfway through the first period they took a penalty and allowed the Posse to capitalize.

Posse rookie Josh Dickson was able to pot his 6th of the season on the power play, thanks to a great pass from Keith Comte. Off a won draw, Comte was looking to take the puck behind the Summerland net of starter Matt Huber. Instead of going all the way around the net, Comte spotted an open Dickson out front, and he beat a surprised Huber to give the home team a 1-0 lead.

That goal would be all they’d need thanks to an outstanding performance from Stephen Heslop, but they didn’t stop there. A few minutes later Comte added a goal of his own, his 7th of the season. This gave the Posse a 2-0 lead headed to the break in a period they were outshot 13-8.

Summerland came out with much of the same effort in the second period, but still yielded no results thanks to Stephen Heslop in the Princeton net. The Steam dominated play for long stretches, but Princeton was able to extend their lead against the run of play thanks to Morton Johnston near the midpoint of the second period.

Johnston’s 6th of the season, on a puck out of a scramble in front of the net, extended the lead to 3-0 and spelled the end of the afternoon for Matt Huber. Jake Mullen came on in relief of Huber and only faced 6 shots in just over 30 minutes of play. THAT was how one-sided this game was, and should tell you how strong Stephen Heslop had to be for Princeton.

Just prior to the end of the second period, Summerland had the pressure to make a dent, but were unable to do so. After trying for several minutes to get on the board, the horn sounded and we went to the third period with Princeton holding a 3-0 lead. At the tail end of the second period, Steam forward Riley Pettitt took a strange hit in the corner. He played the remainder of the second period but did not return for the third, and his 17 game point streak came to an unfortunate halt.

In the third there was just one goal, a great solo effort from Keith Comte for his 8th of the season. He was able to skate up the right wing with the puck, made a nice move to get into the slot, and beat Jake Mullen five-hole to round out the scoring at 4-0. The rest was up to Stephen Heslop, as he turned away 18 third period shots for his first shutout of the season.

Summerland was in tough from the get-go in this game. Without forwards Jarrett Malchow and Jack Mills, the depth suffered a little bit and forced Head Coach John Depourcq to use guys in situations he might not otherwise. Mills, Malchow, and eventually Pettitt, were all unavailable to kill penalties for the Steam, which made a difference. Not big enough to win them the hockey game, but you could tell it just put the Steam lineup just a tad bit off.

They’ll look to get back on track on Friday with a visit to Rutland to play the Kelowna Chiefs. It’s the Steam’s final game before the holiday break, which is immediately followed by a home and home with the Osoyoos Coyotes on December 29 & 30.
















20-9-0-0-1, 41 PTS RECORD 7-23-0-0-1, 15 PTS
9-7-0-0-0 AWAY / HOME


8-1-0-0-1 LAST 10 GAMES 2-8-0-0-0
.683% (7TH, KIJHL) WIN % .242% (17TH, KIJHL)





2.17 PER GM (3RD, KIJHL)



17/138; 12.32% (14TH, KIJHL)

ROAD: 10/89 ; 11.24% (15TH, KIJHL)

POWERPLAY % OVERALL: 19/166 ; 11.45% (16TH, KIJHL)

HOME: 10/92; 10.87% (16TH, KIJHL)

148/166; 89.16% (3RD, KIJHL)

ROAD: 88/97; 89.33% (1ST, KIJHL)

PENALTY KILL % OVERALL: 145/175 ; 82.86% (15TH, KIJHL)

HOME: 69/83 ; 83.13% (19TH, KIJHL)


18G + 22A = 40 PTS



12G + 14A  = 22 PTS


  • Summerland comes in off a 3-0 win over the Sicamous Eagles on Sunday. They took 3 of 4 points in 2 games last weekend.
  • Princeton comes off a weekend that saw them take three losses, two to the North Okanagan Knights and one to the Kelowna Chiefs.
  • The Posse have yet to win in December, and are mired in a 5 game losing streak.
  • Summerland goaltenders will make things difficult for the Posse on Wednesday afternoon. Matthew Huber (1.67GAA, .933 Sv%, 6 Shutouts, 7 straight wins) and Jacob Mullen (1.81GAA, .934 Sv%) are 1/2 in KIJHL goaltending stats, and have done a great job to keep the puck out of the net for the Steam.
  • Much the same will take place in the Posse net, as it will likely be Stephen Heslop between the pipes for the Posse. His GAA is above the median at 3.24, but his Save Percentage (.920%) is in the top 15 across the KIJHL.
  • Summerland will have to do their best to put the weirdness of Sunday’s game behind them. A game that saw them go 0-for-11 on the PP but go 16/16 on the PK. They scored twice shorthanded to win the game 3-0 over Sicamous.
  • They may be able to take advantage of the Princeton PK, who sit 19th on home ice at just over 83%.
  • Summerland’s Penalty Kill has quietly become the best road PK in the league, and as a whole sits 3rd in the 20 team KIJHL.
  • A good start will be imperative for both teams. Opening face-off is AT NOON on a Wednesday afternoon, which can throw a hitch into players’ preparation.
  • Summerland, as the road team, can ill-afford to start slow in a rink that is extremely tough to play in.

Start Time: 12PM Noon

Place: Princeton & District Arena



On Sunday afternoon the Summerland Steam made a return trip to Sicamous, reciprocating exactly one week after Sicamous paid a visit to the Summerland Arena. That game, a 5-1 Steam victory, was tame compared to this one. This one, on Sunday, December 13, 2015, was by far and away the weirdest hockey game I’ve ever watched. Whether it’s minor hockey, pro hockey, roller hockey, field hockey, or any other kind of hockey you can come up with, this was the weirdest game I’ve ever watched.

I’m going to go ahead and skip through the first 2 periods of this hockey game, because the referee made the first 40 minutes completely unwatchable. So unwatchable that some people didn’t bother to stick around for the third period.

I won’t name him, you can look that up yourself, but this isn’t the first time this particular official has forced fans in attendance to pay $10 to watch him officiate, rather than watch young men play hockey.

There were 20 minor penalties handed out between the two teams in the first 2 periods, plus two head contact penalties and an ejection for 3 stick infractions to Sicamous Eagles’ Forward Bryce MacDonald. There were double the amount of penalties called than were actually penalties, but I digress.

There was also a goal waved off, as it was “kicked” in off the skate of Eagles’ Darien Blight. It was originally called a goal on the ice, as a shot from the point seemed to take a re-direct in front of the Summerland net. After a brief conference, the linesman helped the referee come to a decision that it was ‘kicked’, and the goal was called back.

We were still tied at 0 headed for the third period, and Summerland started on the penalty kill. In the third, the teams were allowed to play what somewhat resembled the game of hockey, and we finally had some scoring.

Wyatt Gale would get the scoring started early in the third, on the PK of course, with a shorthanded rush down the right wing. He beat Sicamous goaltender Michael Lenko for his 7th of the season to give Summerland a 1-0 lead despite being on their 12th penalty kill of the game.

Michael McEachern would follow up the Gale goal just over 6 minutes later to make it 2-0. McEachern’s 2nd goal of the season was made possible by some great zone time for Summerland at one of the rare moments in the game the teams were at 5V5. Riley Pettitt did some great work to get the puck free, and the puck came to McEachern to bury with a bullet over Lenko into the top of the net.

With 12:37 to go in what felt like the longest game in history thanks to all the penalties, we got to play five-on-five for a whole 5 minutes before another penalty was called. That put Sicamous on the power play with 5:52 to go, and Summerland would take another penalty with 2:38 to play, but Sicamous couldn’t beat Steam goaltender Matt Huber, who picked up his 6th shutout of the season.

Huber also picked up his 2nd assist of the season as he moved the puck to Wyatt Gale, who iced the puck into an empty net to seal the deal. That goal came shorthanded too, bringing Summerland’s grand total to 16/16 on the PK for the day and a +2 goal differential. Unfortunately, they went 0-for-10 on the power play, dragging their stats down mightily.

With the win, Summerland picks up another 2 points and sits just 4 points back of the Osoyoos Coyotes and 6 points up on the Kelowna Chiefs. Riley Pettitt extended his point streak to 17 games, but Jack Mills had his 10 game point  streak halted in the victory.

Matt Huber picked up his league leading 6th shutout, stopping 31 shots for the W. He may get a chance to start again Wednesday when the Steam play at 12PM Noon in Princeton. They’ll play Friday, December 18th against Kelowna as well before going on an 11 day holiday break.



The Kamloops Storm may have only started with 13 skaters on Friday night, but they sure didn’t play like it. Both they and the Summerland Steam showed up ready to play, and went at each other at break-neck speed from the very get go. It was fast, physical, and a very cleanly played first period that led to the break with Kamloops leading 11-9 on the shot clock.

It didn’t yield any scoring, there was only one minor penalty doled out, and only required six whistles and 24 minutes to play. Both Summerland goaltender Jake Mullen and Storm ‘tender Spencer Eschyschyn were solid in the period, making all the saves necessary to head to the second period in a 0-0 tie.

The second period was much of the same. Summerland came out with a purpose and got out to an 8-2 advantage on the shot clock in the period before they got into a little penalty trouble. There were 5 in total called in the period, 4 on Summerland that led to Kamloops evening up the shot clock at 8-8. The shot that tied the shot clock untied the game, and came courtesy of Wilson Northey.

After a penalty kill had just ended, Summerland looked like they were going to get right back on the offensive, but a failed clear gave the Storm the chance they needed. Storm AP Forward Carl Main was able to pick up the puck off the botched zone exit and get the puck to Northey, who buried his 7th of the season low blocker on Jake Mullen.

Hockey can sometimes be a game of mistakes. Summerland made the first one, and Northey made a heck of a shot off the far post to beat Mullen and put the Storm up 1-0.

Just after Kamloops took the lead though, a good shift after a goal knotted the score at 1 thanks to Summerland’s top line of Paulsen Lautard, Braden Eliuk, and Jack Mills. They got in on the forecheck immediately after getting down 1-0, and forced the Kamloops D to make a mistake of their own. Paulsen Lautard was able to pick a puck out of the corner and feed D-man Keenan Scott the puck at the left point. Scott had a quick walk in off the line before spotting Mills cross ice. He made no mistake on the pass, netting his 18th of the season and 40th point to extend his point streak to 10 games.

The goal came just :22 after Kamloops opened the scoring, and we’d go to the 2nd intermission in a 1-1 tie. For how much time Summerland spent on the penalty kill in the 2nd period I think they were lucky to get out tied at 1, and they knew it.

In the third period they came out with a purpose, and put 3 Grade-A scoring chances at the net in the first 4 minutes of the frame. It was all for not, however, as they then gave up the lead thanks to a rocket of a shot from Storm leading scorer Zackari Andrusiak. Just prior to the halfway point of the third period, the Summerland defense got caught on one of those ‘in-between’ plays, and elected to go for the pinch and missed. This created a 2-on-1 the other way for Kole Comin and Andrusiak, and they made the most of their opportunity.

Comin carried the puck into the zone before passing off to Andrusiak, and the former WHLer and BCHLer beat Jake Mullen high over the glove with a drag&shoot motion that’s the fastest I’ve ever seen at this level. Andrusiak’s 15th of the season (and 26th pt in 15 GP) gave the Storm the lead, but again Summerland answered right back.

Just 1:55 later some good work from the line of Calvin Hadley, Cody Egilson and Riley Pettitt led to a game tying goal. After a tenacious forecheck in the corner and along the end boards, the puck popped loose to Pettitt on the half-wall. He was able to find Brogan Lautard at the right point, and the younger Lautard made a great shot at the net. It hit a body in front (I still believe it might have been Calvin Hadley) and went up into the top corner to tie the game at 2. Pettitt picked up the primary assist on the goal, extending his point streak to 16 games. Cody Egilson would draw the 2nd assist to close out the regulation time scoring at 2-2 and force overtime.

In overtime the whistles went away. As always (and I don’t know why) anything that was a penalty with 4 minutes remaining in the first period was all of a sudden not with 4 minutes to go in OT.

Both teams put the clutch & grab mentality firmly in place while Mr. Kennedy planted his whistle firmly in his pocket. Finally, with 4:12 remaining in 3-on-3 OT (OT#2), the whistle was whipped out of the pocket to call a suspect hooking penalty on Steam forward Riley Pettitt. I say suspect because it was really more of a hold or interference, which had been completely let go for the final 5 minutes of regulation and the first full OT period. But 2 minutes is 2 minutes and Kamloops went to the 4-on-3 PP in OT.

Nothing but an elevated heart rate came with that Kamloops PP in OT, but it set up for some Kamloops pressure that was eventually stopped with a sparkling glove save from Jake Mullen in the Summerland net. After 2 chances for Summerland that followed the Mullen glove save, the Steam got caught up ice and Zackari Andrusiak made a great pass to Wilson Northey to put him in alone on Mullen. Mullen made the initial save as Northey attempted to go five-hole, but somehow the puck climbed through him. As Northey was bulldozed into the net by a Summerland defender after digging at Mullen’s pads, the puck crawled into the net. From our vantage point it looked as though the net was off before the puck went in, but, that’s why we don’t wear stripes.

A great game was mired by controversial ending, unfortunately, and Kamloops picked up the 2 full points to take 1st place in the Doug Birks Division back from the 100 Mile House Wranglers not half an hour after they took it over.

With the loser point they picked up in OT, Summerland picks up a point on the Coyotes, who lost in Castlegar by a 4-3 score. Kelowna lost in Revelstoke by the same score, but they also picked up a point by taking the game to OT.  The Steam sit with 39 points, 6 points clear of the 3rd place Kelowna Chiefs and just 4 points back of the Osoyoos Coyotes. They’ll play the Chiefs in Kelowna on December 18th right before the Holiday break, and follow up the layoff with a home and home on Tues & Wed, Dec 29 & 30 with the first place Osoyoos Coyotes.

Before that clash with the Coyotes after the holidays, Summerland will play 3 games leading into the break. They’ll play Sunday in Sicamous vs the Eagles, Wednesday at NOON  in Princeton against the Posse, and then Friday night December 18th in Rutland against the Kelowna Chiefs. All of those games will be played on the road and can be watched on!