LARUE, SOLES POWER COYOTES PAST STEAM

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!

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