PILON, ELIUK LEAD STEAM TO VICTORY IN REVELSTOKE

As they barrel down the tracks towards the end of the season, the Summerland Steam headed to Revelstoke on Friday night to tangle with the Revelstoke Grizzlies. Coming off a pair of losses last weekend that saw Summerland play four periods of good hockey and two periods of not so good hockey, they were looking to get pointed in the right direction. With only 10 games to play in the regular season before they’re almost certain to meet the Kelowna Chiefs in the first round of the playoffs, Summerland got off to a good start and rolled to a 6-2 victory at the Forum in Revelstoke.

Summerland’s lineup got a big boost on Friday night in Revelstoke, but was also missing a couple of key pieces. Jarrett Malchow returned to the lineup after being out with an injury since December 1st, but Steam Captain Paulsen Lautard and defenceman Lathan McKinney were both absent from the lineup. Malchow made a mark in his return, scoring a goal and getting in a spirited tilt with Revelstoke’s Griffin Fried in the third period.

The Steam got the scoring started early, just 5:44 into the game, as Jack Mills potted his team (and division) leading 25th of the season. Mills benefited from quick transition, as the puck took just :05 to move from behind the Steam net at their own end of the ice to behind Revelstoke starter Trevor Dilauro. Calvin Hadley made a good play up the wall in his own end of the ice to get the puck to Riley Pettitt. With speed, Pettitt came down the right wing, slowed up, and waited for Mills to get free on his way to the net. A perfect pass from Pettitt landed on the stick of Mills, who directed it through the legs of Dilauro for a 1-0 lead.

The lead wouldn’t last long for Summerland, however, as the Grizzlies would net a power play goal just 1:53 later to tie things up at 1. It took them just seven seconds of power play time for recent University of Jamestown commit Kyle Baron to do what Don Cherry always told him to do:

“Put the puck on net, you never know what is gonna happen”

Off a won draw by Aaron Aragon in the offensive zone, Baron was able to drag the puck to the middle of the ice. There, he attempted a shot, which ramped up off the stick of a Summerland defender and floated through the air. Everybody on the ice was looking for the puck, including Steam goaltender Matt Kostiw, as it flipped end over end and into the net above him. Baron’s 4th of the year tied the game at 1, and it looked like both teams were established in the game.

Action would go back and forth after that, with the shots being even at 12 after the first period. Just when it looked like we’d go to the intermission tied at 1, Summerland received their only power play of the game with :16 remaining in the period.

A power play that looked nothing short of anemic for the first three months of the season has looked better recently, and it took them just :10 to capitalize on their only PP chance of the night.

That would send the game to intermission with the Steam leading 2-1, and it wouldn’t take them long to add to their lead. Just :30 into the second period, Braden Eliuk would score what I would categorize as the “TSN Turning Point” of the game, from centre ice, no less. Eliuk, just trying to dump the puck in and go to work, put it right into the pads of Trevor Dilauro. As Dilauro moved to kick the puck away, the round rubber disc took a sensational hop, and ended up behind him. Eliuk’s 9th of the season was definitely his luckiest to date, and Summerland had the two goal lead they wanted just seconds into the period.

Revelstoke would get back within one at the 11:40 mark of the period on another power play. This one just took :14 seconds, and involved Kyle Baron again. The Revelstoke defender did good work to hold the offensive blue line, before walking to the middle and putting a shot at net. This one was tipped at the hashmarks by Michael LeNoury and past Matt Kostiw to cut the Summerland lead to 1. LeNoury’s first of the season would draw the Grizzlies within one, but that was as close as they would get.

Former Revelstoke Grizzlies F Josh Pilon would ensure of that, as he would extend the Summerland lead to 4-2 with 3:10 remaining in the second period. Pilon, traded from Revelstoke to Summerland in November, would score against his old team thanks to good positioning and great work from his line mates Braden Eliuk and Wyatt Gale. Both did well down low to free up the puck, and Eliuk was able to find a wide open Pilon who beat Dilauro for his 3rd with the Steam and 5th of the season. Pilon’s goal was all the insurance the Steam needed, but it wasn’t all they got as they tacked on a couple of goals in the third period.

The third period was an eventful one with a couple of goals and a couple of fights to keep things interesting. Jarrett Malchow would collect his 8th of the season just 1:48 into the third period, assisted by Riley Pettitt and Jack Mills. Both did good work to cross up the Revelstoke defense below the goal line, and Pettitt fed a wide open Malchow in front who beat Dilauro to pad the lead.

Braden Eliuk would then pick up his second of the game and round out the scoring at 6-2 with 15:23 remaining in the third period. On a bit of a broken play, a shot that came in from the point from Alex Williams was blocked high in the zone. The loose puck came right to Josh Pilon, who fed Eliuk in front of the net and he made no mistake.

That would round out the scoring, as Summerland would cruise to a 6-2 victory, but that wasn’t the end of the action. Jarrett Malchow and Griffin Fried would shed the mitts about thirty seconds after the goal, a tilt won decisively by Malchow.

Things looked to be grinding down to the end of the game until the 2:19 mark, when a Grizzlies defender looked to pick a fight with Summerland’s Michael MacLean. MacLean wanted no part of it, and penalties were going to be called on the play until Calvin Hadley stepped in with a shot on net as the whistle blew. That drew a crowd, and ended up with the Steam’s Alex Williams receiving a fighting major.

It isn’t very often you see one player taken from a pile and assessed a fighting major, but that was the case as Williams was shown the door. He’ll likely be forced to sit Sunday night in Kelowna because of that call.

Despite the late fireworks, Summerland would go on to win the game 6-2 and pick up a much needed W. They’ll go back to work Sunday night in Kelowna for a 7PM start in the 8th and final meeting of the regular season with the Kelowna Chiefs.

 

GAME DAY: SUMMERLAND STEAM @ REVELSTOKE GRIZZLIES

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SummerlandSteamSUMMERLAND STEAM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VS

 

revelstoke_grizzlies

REVELSTOKE GRIZZLIES

26-14-0-0-2, 54 PTS RECORD 19-19-2-0-2, 42 PTS
12-9-0-0-1 AWAY / HOME

RECORD

11-7-1-0-1
L-2 STREAK T-1
5-4-0-0-1 LAST 10 GAMES 4-5-1-0-0
2ND, OKANAGAN DIVISION DIVISION RANK 4TH, DOUG BIRKS DIVISION
0-0 SEASON SERIES 0-0
.643% WIN % .500%
133

3.17 GF PER GM (10th, KIJHL)

GOALS FOR 119

2.83 GF PER GAME (13TH, KIJHL)

103

2.45 PER GM (4TH, KIJHL)

GOALS AGAINST 112

2.62 GA PER GAME (8TH, KIJHL)

+30 DIFFERENTIAL +7
18/183; 9.84% (20th, KIJHL)

ROAD: 10/104 ; 9.62% (17th, KIJHL)

POWERPLAY % OVERALL: 39/285 ; 13.68% 10th, KIJHL)

HOME: 16/130; 12.31% (15th, KIJHL)

202/233; 86.70% (4th, KIJHL)

ROAD: 115/129; 89.15% (1ST, KIJHL)

PENALTY KILL % OVERALL: 205/243; 84.36% (11th, KIJHL)

HOME: 95/109 ; 87.16% (7TH, KIJHL)

JACK MILLS

24G + 25A = 49 PTS

LEADING SCORER

BRADY MENDE

10G + 24A = 34 PTS

GAME NOTES:

  • Summerland is looking to get back on track after a couple of losses last weekend to Osoyoos and Chase. Both games saw them play two good periods before folding in the third.
  • In those two games last weekend defense was definitely a problem for the boys in white, red and black. They allowed 12 goals in 2 games last weekend after allowing just 11 against in their previous 6 games. Questionable defense hung goaltender Matt Kostiw for 7 goals on Friday, more than triple he’d allowed in his first 2 starts with the Steam since being acquired on January 10th.
  • Matt Huber was also hung for 4 goals against on Sunday, which has been uncharacteristic of the 18-year-old from Calgary, AB. In 24 appearances this season he’s only allowed more than 4 goals 4times, twice vs. Osoyoos, twice vs. Chase.
  • Both goaltenders give Head Coach John Depourcq and his staff good minutes, and also give them two reliable options every single night.
  • Speaking of Head Coach John Depourcq, he is expected back behind the bench tonight after missing the last two games while mourning the loss of his father, Roy. Roy was one of the biggest hockey fans anyone had ever met, and will be missed. The Steam will wear stickers on their helmet that read ‘ROY’ for the remainder of the 2015/16 KIJHL season:

roy2

  • Josh Pilon makes his return to Revelstoke tonight for the first time since being acquired by Summerland in November. In 21 games since joining the Steam, Pilon’s collected 2 goals and 11 assists for 13 points. He’s been a key contributor on special teams as well, while mostly playing on one of Summerland’s top 2 lines.
  • Summerland’s last road loss came January 8th, when they fell by a 5-4 score in OT to the Chase Heat.
  • Revelstoke, meanwhile, is winless in their past 5 games at home. They tied their last one, a dual shutout 0-0 tie with the Doug Birks Division leading 100 Mile House Wranglers on January 23rd.
  • The Grizzlies are a young team led by a veteran that Summerland should be pretty familiar with. Former Kelowna Chiefs F Brady Mende (’95) leads the Grizzlies in scoring with 34 points. Mende spent parts of four seasons with the Chiefs before being traded to Revelstoke halfway through last season. He’s a very smart hockey player, kills penalties with the best of them, and doesn’t take any himself. Going into career game 199 on Friday night vs Summerland, Mende’s only taken 34 minutes in penalties. Pretty outstanding for this league.
  • On the subject of penalties, the Steam and the Grizzlies are very similar in the way of taking penalties. Revelstoke sits with the 8th most ‘times shorthanded’ while Summerland sits 9th in the 20 team KIJHL. The Grizzlies seem to do a great job DRAWING penalties though, with the most PP opportunities in the league with 285. That’s 33 more than the 252 power play opportunities the 2nd place North Okanagan Knights have drawn.

 

 

  • Puck drop goes at 7:00PM PST from the Forum in Revelstoke. Join the webcast over at PlayFullScreen.com. I won’t be around to update as I’m calling a Midget T2 playoff game on ShawTV tonight, so make sure to follow along with the Revelstoke Grizzlies on Twitter for updates on the happenings from Revelstoke!

STEAM FALL SHORT IN PAIR OF WEEKEND GAMES

Coming into this past weekend, the Summerland Steam looked like they had it all together. They were winners of four in a row, including that ever-elusive win over the Osoyoos Coyotes on January 10th. They were looking to ride the streak through the weekend and stretch it to six headed on the road this coming weekend, but it wasn’t meant to be.

Instead they had a pair of incomplete efforts net them two losses and no points. They knew they would face a couple of stiff tests this weekend, and looked pretty good from the start on Friday night against the Osoyoos Coyotes. Carter Shannon opened the scoring for the ‘Yotes, in what turned out to be a see-saw first two periods. After Shannon was sprung on a pass from Rainer Glimpel, Wyatt Gale did the same on a pass from Riley Pettitt for the Steam. Gale’s 10th of the season beat new ‘Yotes goaltender Stephen Heslop up over the glove to tie things at 1.

The Coyotes would get another one before the end of the first period, courtesy of Hunter Johnson on a good three-way passing play down low. That goal came near the end of the first period, and staked the Coyotes to a 2-1 lead.

The lead would stand until near the midway mark of the period, when the monkey finally came off the back of the Summerland Steam power play. Braden Eliuk would capitalize on a Summerland PP, beating Heslop from the slot with a good shot that broke an 0/49 streak of infertility from the Steam’s PP.

The Steam dominated the majority of the 2nd period, and looked like they would go to the break tied at 2 at worst when the Coyotes struck with just :52 remaining in the period. After a turnover in the neutral zone, Rainer Glimpel made a great play to put the puck in the corner to Colin Bell. Bell fed it back to Glimpel, who bumped back to a wide open Cody Allen. He beat Steam starter Matt Kostiw over his glove to put the ‘Yotes back in front 3-2.

From there things came unglued for the Summerland Steam. It went from a game they looked to have a chance to win, to a game they had NO chance of winning very quickly. A bad seven minutes in the third period resulted in the score climbing to 7-2 thanks to goals from Hunter Johnson (his 2nd), Jackson Glimpel, Judd Repole, and finally Bobby Larue on a breakaway to cap the scoring at 7-2.

That spelled the end of the night for Matt Kostiw, who despite the stats, had a pretty good night. He didn’t get a whole lot of help defensively, if any at all. Here’s the highlights:

 

The two teams will go head to head again February 5th at the Summerland Arena for the 8th and final time during the regular season. Summerland currently holds a 1-6 record against the Coyotes.

 

After an off-day Saturday, the Steam went back to work on Sunday afternoon against the Chase Heat. They were looking to get revenge for what is probably their most bitter loss this season just 16 days prior in Chase against this same Heat team. The Steam had a 4-2 lead on the hometown Heat on January 8th with 2:20 to play, but couldn’t bring home the two points as the Heat scored twice in the final 2:11 to force OT. Brad Whitehead then ended it in OT to cap the comeback for the Heat.

On Sunday in Summerland, the script was much like Friday night for the home team. They got off to a good start, and staked themselves out to a 2-0 lead on a pair of firsts. Lathan McKinney opened the scoring for the Steam with his first of this KIJHL season after some good work down low from Andrew York and Cole Williams. McKinney’s first shot hit Josh Pilon in front of Heat goaltender Daniel Toews, but he retrieved his own rebound and potted it for a 1-0 lead.

Just a few minutes later it was a KIJHL first for Andrew York. His first KIJHL goal came with 4:16 remaining in the first period, and put the Steam up 2-0. A turnover in the neutral zone allowed the Steam to come through the zone unimpeded, and Cole Williams did some good work to get the puck on net. There, a streaking York picked up the rebound and buried it on the backhand for his first KIJHL goal.

Tommy Brown would steal a bit of the KIJHL Rookie’s thunder though, as he would move in off the ensuing face-off and bury a pass from Josh Bourne behind Steam goaltender Matt Huber. That made the score 2-1 with 4:05 to go in the period, and the next shift sparked this tilt between Steam F/D Michael McEachern and Heat F Pat Brady:

 

Michael Fidanza would then score on the power play with 1:44 to play in the period to send us to the second tied at 2. That tie would be broken just under 3 minutes into the period, courtesy of Jack Mills’ 24th of the season. Mills took a pass from behind the net and buried a puck behind Daniel Toews from the slot. Paulsen Lautard and Keenan Scott would draw assists on the goal that put Summerland ahead 3-2.

Another power play goal would then draw the Heat even with just 10:07 remaining in the 2nd period. After Summerland was looking up ice to create a shorthanded opportunity, the puck was turned over in the neutral zone. It allowed the Heat to come back the other way 3-on-2, and Kaden Black made a great cross-crease pass to Austin Willier who buried his 6th to tie the game back up. Again, on the very next shift, Summerland’s Calvin Hadley and Chase’s Travis Beaubien decided they’d shed the mitts and have a go. Pretty good tilt, this one was:

 

The fight would be the only notable part of the final 10:00 of the 2nd period, and we went to the third like we did the second: tied. Like the third period on Friday, Summerland just couldn’t get anything going, and only generated three shots at goal. The Heat meanwhile, took over, and scored what would be the game winner just 3:11 into the third period. Cole Perison would get the goal, and Josh Bourne would get the primary assist after a great pass. He dug the puck from a scrum in the corner to the left of Huber, fed out to the left point to a waiting Perison, who walked in and wired his first of the year over the glove. The shot was a thing of beauty, popping the water bottle and smashing the lid in spectacular fashion. Here are all the highlights:

Bourne would then add to his point total with an empty netter in the closing moments to send Chase to a 5-3 victory and salvage a split in their weekend Okanagan road trip. The Steam, meanwhile, went home empty handed and found themselves going back to the practice ice to prepare for two road games this coming weekend in Revelstoke on Friday, and Kelowna on Sunday.

GAME DAY: @SteamKIJHL vs @KIJHLCoyotes

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SummerlandSteamSUMMERLAND STEAM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VS

 

coyotes22

OSOYOOS COYOTES

26-12-0-0-2, 54 PTS RECORD 29-10-1-0-1, 60 PTS
14-3-0-0-1 HOME / AWAY

RECORD

12-6-1-0-1
W-4 STREAK L-1
6-3-0-0-1 LAST 10 GAMES 6-3-1-0-0
2ND, OKANAGAN DIVISION DIVISION RANK 1ST, OKANAGAN DIVISION
1-5 SEASON SERIES 5-1
.675% WIN % .750%
128

3.20 GF PER GM (10th, KIJHL)

GOALS FOR 162

4.05 GF PER GAME (3RD, KIJHL)

91

2.28 PER GM (3rd, KIJHL)

GOALS AGAINST 81

2.03 GA PER GAME (1ST, KIJHL)

+37 DIFFERENTIAL +81
17/175; 9.71% (20th, KIJHL)

HOME: 7/71 ; 9.86% (20th, KIJHL)

POWERPLAY % OVERALL: 38/210 ; 18.57% (8th, KIJHL)

ROAD: 18/109; 16.51% (8th, KIJHL)

195/223; 87.44% (4th, KIJHL)

HOME: 80/94; 85.11% (10th, KIJHL)

PENALTY KILL % OVERALL: 137/164; 83.54% (12th, KIJHL)

ROAD: 60/79 ; 75.95% (19th, KIJHL)

JACK MILLS

23G + 25A = 48 PTS

LEADING SCORER

RAINER GLIMPEL

24G + 41A = 65 PTS

GAME NOTES:

  • It’s the 7th meeting of the season between the two teams. The Steam and the Coyotes will dance for the 3rd time at the Summerland Arena this season, and the 19th time in franchise history during the regular season. Summerland will look to improve a 2-16-0-1 home record against the ‘Yotes.
  • In 39 career meetings with the Coyotes in the regular season, dating back to the 2011/12 inaugural season, the Steam are 9-29-0-1.
  • The Steam can take solace in the fact they won the last one though, a 3-2 win in Oliver on January 10th. Matt Huber started and won in that game, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him start tonight as well with newcomer Matt Kostiw having started the past two games.
  • Summerland’s ‘Big Guns’ were prominent in that game on January 10th. Jack Mills scored a goal, and Paulsen Lautard had a goal and an assist in the win. Summerland will need big efforts from their leaders again tonight if they want to have a chance to win.
  • That win over the Coyotes was the start of a current 4 game winning streak that the Steam will ride into Friday night’s game. They sit 6 points back of the Coyotes for the division lead, and sit even in games played. Including Friday night the two teams will play each other two more times, and the outcome of those games could very well decide who wins the division and who finishes 2nd.
  • The Steam will need to be disciplined to do that. That’s a given in any game, but particularly against a Coyotes PP that’s gone 10/37 against them this year. If the Steam can limit the Coyotes to four power play opportunities or less, they’ll have a chance to win the hockey game.
  • At 5on5 the two teams are very evenly matched and play a ridiculously entertaining brand of hockey, and that was showcased on January 10th. Hopefully we get that game all over again tonight.
  • For Osoyoos, I would expect to see recently acquired goaltender Stephen Heslop between the pipes. Brett Soles started in the Coyotes last game, a Wednesday night loss to the North Okanagan Knights.
  • The Coyotes won’t be happy about that one. They let a 2-0 third period lead slip away and saw the Knights scored four unanswered goals, three of them in 2:32, to snatch the win on the Coyotes’ home turf.
  • As always, Summerland will need to be mindful of Coyotes Captain Rainer Glimpel and his linemates, Bobby Larue and Braeden Tuck. The three have combined for 157 points this season, which is 7 more than the entire roster of the KIJHL’s 20th ranked team, the Golden Rockets.
  • Coyotes F Bobby Larue (’95) rides a 3-game point streak into Friday night’s game. He has 7 points (4g+3a) in those three games. Last time he played the Steam was the back to back right after the holiday break, where he scored 4 goals in 2 Coyotes victories.
  • Summerland will need a good forecheck on Friday night. Osoyoos has a couple of defenseman, Daniel Stone and Ryan Morrell in particular, who think the game at a very high level and do well to move the puck quickly. If Summerland allows them to do that, they’ll have success.
  • It will be interesting to watch the physicality in Friday night’s game. Summerland is at their best when they can match their physicality with their speed and skill to win hockey games. Not very many teams match them in the skill/speed department, but the Coyotes DEFINITELY do.
  • Expect fast paced, skilled hockey with some physicality and just a little bit of bad blood and you’ve got the perfect concoction for Steam/Coyotes Volume VII.
  • Puck drop is 7:30 from ‘The Station’ at the Summerland Arena. Tickets can be picked up in advance at Nesters, or at the door starting at about 6PM. Keep in mind, when you buy a ticket for tonight’s game, it gets you a $5 ticket when you bring it to the door and show your ticket stub on Sunday afternoon for Summerland’s 2PM start with the Chase Heat.
  • IMG_20160119_140552

 

  • If you can’t be at the rink tonight, join Joel and I for the Webcast starting with the Best Western Inn at Penticton pre-game show at 7:15. We’ll (hopefully) have audio from both Coyotes Head Coach/GM Ken Law, as well as Summerland Interim Head Coach Wade Parker.

 

STEAM SETTLE IN FOR PAIR OF HOME GAMES THIS WEEKEND

With a win in Kelowna on Sunday night, the Summerland Steam sit comfortably in second place in the Okakagan Division of the KIJHL. They’re 15 points up on the third place Chiefs, and trail the division leading Osoyoos Coyotes by just six points. They’ve won four in a row, and not only that, but they’ve retrieved at least a point in every game they’ve played in 2016.

The tests thus far have been graded fair to excellent, with wins over the Kelowna Chiefs (twice), the Osoyoos Coyotes, Princeton Posse, and Spokane Braves. The only blemish on the record in 2016 thus far is an OT loss to the Chase Heat on January 8th that saw Summerland surrender a 4-2 lead with 2:20 to play. Logan Mostat (now departed for Surrey of the BCHL) and Braden Hughes scored in the final 2:20, and Bradley Whitehead notched the OT winner in a game that Summerland looked to be in control of until the latest of stages.

They’ll look to get their revenge on the Heat on Sunday afternoon, but first they face the ever stiff test of the Osoyoos Coyotes on Friday night. The Steam got the monkey off their back the last time they played the Coyotes, beating their rivals from the South for the first time in almost 2 calendar years. It was a game that might have been the best of the year, and of course the two teams saved it for a day with no broadcast. Coyotes Play-By-Play man Tom Shields had his video camera there though, and provided these highlights for all of our viewing pleasure:

This game was FUN to watch. Regardless of the outcome, the fans could leave the Oliver Arena happy and ready for more. They’re going to get it on Friday night when the two teams go head to head for the 7th time this season.

After that game on January 10th, both teams had a couple of changes to make. January 10th was the trading deadline, and both teams got a little bit stronger prior to midnight, PST. Summerland struck a deal with the Campbell River Storm of the VIJHL, sending G Jake Mullen (’95) to the Storm in exchange for G Matt Kostiw (’96). Kostiw has been solid since his arrival in Summerland, starting twice and picking up 2 victories including a shutout of the Spokane Braves in his debut.

The Coyotes meanwhile made a call to former Assistant Coach Geoff Goodman and the Princeton Posse and plucked (in my mind) the league’s best goaltender. That goaltender would be one Stephen Heslop (’95), a player who has been up and down between the Princeton Posse and the BCHL’s West Kelowna Warriors over the past two season. Heslop has the ability to steal a game, and playing behind one of the league’s best teams will make him even more difficult to solve. Continually seeing 45+ shots during his time in Princeton, Heslop will surely be a little less busy in the Osoyoos net. Mostly because the Coyotes are a much better hockey team, but also because he’ll be splitting crease time with resident #1 goaltender Brett Soles.

In the deal with Princeton, the Coyotes also re-acquired Forward Drew Carter (’97). Carter started the 2014/15 season last year with the Coyotes before being traded to Nelson in the deal that brought Brett Soles to Osoyoos from the Heritage City. Carter, an 18-year-old native of Kelowna, BC was then acquired by the Posse from Nelson in the off-season and started this season with 14 goals and 30 points over in the Similkameen Valley.

In exchange for Heslop and Carter, the Coyotes sent F/D Jake Hryhoriw (1g+1a=2PTS in 20 GP w/ ‘Yotes) and G Adam Jones (8-4, 2.41GAA, .909 SV%) to the Princeton Posse to complete the deal.

The Coyotes got stronger, no doubt, and the Posse picked up a couple of young pieces that can contribute to their team for years to come as both players they received are 1997 born players.

As for the meeting at hand, it’s the 7th of the season between the Steam and the Coyotes, and it’s shaping up to be a beauty. Both teams are in fine form heading down the stretch to the playoffs, and that should make for good hockey on Friday night. Both teams dislike each other, both teams like to play their own brand of hockey and with any luck we’ll get clean, hard hockey when they take the ice Friday night in Summerland.

We’ll go over the three keys to the game when we start the pre-game show at 7:15 on Friday night, but I can tell you right now that the first key will be discipline. It’s almost always a key when these two teams play. It has to be, because Osoyoos seems to have Summerland’s PK figured out.

The Steam did a good job of being disciplined on January 10th, and they’ll need it again if they want the same result. The Coyotes PP has been Summerland’s kryptonite this season, going 10/37 in the 6 meetings thus far. That’s good for a 27.02% clip, 8.36% better than their PP average against the rest of the league this season,  which sits eighth in the KIJHL. On the flipside, Summerland’s PK is one of the top units in the KIJHL, sitting fourth headed into the weekend. They’ve only allowed 28 PPG all season long, and 10 of them have come to the ‘Yotes.

Some notes for both teams:

OSOYOOS COYOTES

  • The ‘Yotes lead the OK Division with 60 points. At the time of this write, they currently lead the North Okanagan Knights 2-0 in the late stages of the 2nd period on Wednesday night.
  • The Coyotes are expected to have the full compliment of players for Friday night’s game barring any injuries or suspensions in the 2nd half of their Wednesday night game. It almost looked like F Bobby Larue (’95) would have to miss some time after taking a ridiculously ugly sequence of hits from Spokane Braves ‘C’ Kurtis Redding. That can be found if you skip to 5:05 of the following video:

  • It looks as though the former Spokane Brave, Larue, takes a cross check in the back from Braves captain Kurtis Redding. Redding then follows up with a kick to the head/neck area of a downed Larue, and THEN follows that with another cross check just for good measure. It was an incredibly ugly sequence that resulted in Redding getting himself a yet to be determined suspension. The ruling on the ice was a match penalty, which is an automatic 3 games, but the league has yet to announce a ruling.
  • Brett Soles played Wednesday night for the ‘Yotes, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see Stephen Heslop in the net Friday night against Summerland. Heslop made his Coyotes debut last Sunday with a 3-0 shutout of the North Okanagan Knights in Armstrong.

 

SUMMERLAND STEAM

  • The Steam come in winners of four in a row. Their latest, a 4-2 win over Kelowna, saw Matt Kostiw pick up his 2nd win in as many tries since joining the Steam. The coaching staff will have two great options in Kostiw and Matt Huber to choose from. Huber picked up a win in his last start on January 10th vs Osoyoos.
  • Summerland’s PP is showing a little life. They’ve been snakebit of late, going 0/47 over the last 12 games, but they looked better in their past 2 games and got some good chances. Some more work with the man advantage, and they’ll be a dangerous team.
  • The strange thing about the Steam PP thus far is that it hasn’t ‘hurt’ them yet. By that I mean they keep winning despite it, and their inefficiency with the man-up hasn’t been the sole reason they’ve lost yet this season.
  • All 18 skaters will need their best effort on Friday to take down the division leaders. One of the important things to come out of that January 10th win was that Summerland’s big guns led the way. They got a goal from Jack Mills and a goal and an assist from Paulsen Lautard, and they’ll need everybody to chip in again on Friday.
  • On Sunday against Kelowna, Adam Jones was Summerland’s best player, bar none. He had a shorthanded goal as well as an assist, and seemed to be Head Coach John Depourcq’s choice to match up with Kelowna’s top players. Alongside partner Lathan McKinney, Jones has put together a good season thus far. He leads all full-time Summerland defensemen with 3 goals and 15 points in 39 games while playing heavy minutes in all situations. He spends time at even strength, obviously, and on the power play, but I’d argue where he’s most valuabe is when Summerland needs a big penalty kill. He may very well win the team award for ‘Top Defenseman’ for the 2nd straight year and if I had a vote in the box, he’d be it.
  • Speaking of Head Coach John Depourcq, he’ll likely be absent from the bench when the team takes the ice on Friday night. Our thoughts and prayers are with Coach Depourcq, his wife Lorri, son Cody and the entire Depourcq family as they mourn the loss of John’s father, Roy.

 

 

  • Puck drop Friday is 7:30 from the Summerland Arena, and the Steam have a pretty great special going on. If you come to Friday’s game and enjoy all that the Steam and Coyotes rivalry has to offer, you can bring your ticket stub to Sunday’s afternoon game against the Chase Heat and get in for just $5.IMG_20160119_140552
  • That’s a 2PM start from the Summerland Arena. Joel and I will be on-air a full 15 minutes prior to each game for the Best Western Inn at Penticton Pre-Game Show.

STEAM ROLL ON, WIN 4TH STRAIGHT

 

Winners of three in a row after wins over Princeton and Spokane last week, the Summerland Steam were looking to make it four on Sunday. After an off-day Saturday, the 2nd place Steam made the short bus trip to Kelowna to play the 3rd place Chiefs for the 7th time this season. Not only were the Steam looking for their 4th straight win, but they were also after their 5th straight win against the Kelowna Chiefs.

They got it in the form of a 4-2 victory, and pulled themselves 15 points clear of the Chiefs. The Chiefs have one game in hand, but the Steam have put themselves in pretty good position to be hosting one of two Game 1’s in the Okanagan Division Semi-Finals once the regular season ends.

The Steam got off to a good start on Sunday. They did well to keep play in the offensive end and not overwork starting goaltender Matt Kostiw in his 2nd consecutive start for the Steam. Despite outshooting the Chiefs early on, the score remained tied until the midway mark of the period. With 10:20 remaining in the opening stanza, Riley Pettitt potted his 17th of the season on a good cross-ice pass.

The play started with a good keep at the line from Lathan McKinney. I’m not sure how many times that particular line has come up in this blog over the course of the season, but the short answer is: A LOT. McKinney did a good job to hold the line at the right point, and fired the puck back behind the Kelowna net tended by Josh Tetlichi. Summerland’s Braden Eliuk was the first on the puck, and he did a good job to get the puck back to the point for Adam Jones. Jones had a very quick look at the net before finding Pettitt at the left post, where he was able to put a one timer behind Tetlichi to put Summerland up 1-0.

The score would stay that way into the second period, but it wouldn’t take long for the Chiefs to get even. Josh Johnston would be the one to get the goal, scoring with a shot from the right wing off a rebound to tie things up at 1. Jonathan Lee and Joel Scrimbit would draw assists on the newly minted assistant captain’s 4th of the season. The goal may have been tipped off a Summerland stick on the way to the net, as it looked as though goaltender Matt Kostiw was in position to make the save.

After the goal that tied the game, Summerland found themselves in some penalty trouble. They took 5 straight penalties, 2 of them double minors, and found mixed results on the PK. They killed most of the 5 penalties, but Kelowna was able to get on the board thanks to a Jonathan Lee goal. Lee notched his 13th of the year from the exact same spot Pettitt scored from in the first period. Kelowna did great work to move the puck around the zone before Josh Kobelka made a cross-crease pass to Lee who banged it home. New Chiefs captain Josh Baird would draw the second assist on the goal after doing good work to spot Kobelka.

The lead would last just 1:57 for the Chiefs, as on the same PP they scored on (a double minor), Adam Jones would steal the puck and make a dash to the Kelowna net. Shorthanded, Jones put some pressure on the Chiefs defense and was able to come away with the puck. Down the left wing, Jones was 1-on-1 with Tetlichi in the Chiefs net, and made no mistake going five-hole with a pretty move for his 3rd of the year.

The Jones goal tied the game at 2, and also ended the string of penalties for the Steam. The tie would last late into the third period, but Braden Eliuk wasn’t going to let this thing get to OT. With 2:11 left, the 18-year-old Kelowna native, playing in his hometown, put the Steam ahead 3-2. A mad dash down the right wing wouldn’t work out for the Steam, but Eliuk did well to hold onto the puck and find a pass. He skated all the way around the back of the net before dropping the puck off for Riley Pettitt in the corner.

Pettitt would wait for pressure to come before giving the puck back to Eliuk. His initial shot was stopped by Tetlichi, but he couldn’t corral the rebound and Pettitt poked it loose to the crease. There, Eliuk cleaned up the leftovers for his 7th of the year. It would prove to be the winner, with Jack Mills potting his 23rd of the season into an empty net with :42 remaining.

Matt Kostiw was good again for the Summerland Steam in his 2nd consecutive start. He’s now 2-0 with a GAA of 1.00 and a .962% Save percentage in his 2 starts with the Steam. I wouldn’t guess who the coaching staff will go with in net when the Steam host the Osoyoos Coyotes on Friday night, but Kostiw has proven in his first two starts that they have two good options in he and Matt Huber. Huber has been solid all season long in playing with now his third “full time” goalie partner.

The Steam will go back to work on Friday, January 22nd when the Osoyoos Coyotes come to town. It’ll be the 7th meeting of the season between the two teams, and the first of two games for the Steam on home ice this coming weekend. They’ll play the Chase Heat on Sunday afternoon at 2PM at the Summerland Arena, and will have discounted tickets available.

If you’re planning to come to the game Friday night and watch the Steam and the Coyotes battle it out, plan to come Sunday afternoon as well! If you come to the door on Sunday with a ticket purchased for the game on Friday night at the Summerland Arena, you’re going to get your Sunday game ticket for just $5! You can’t beat that!

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STEAM HEAD TO KELOWNA FOR SUNDAY BATTLE WITH CHIEFS

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Newly lamented Kelowna Captain Josh Baird chases a puck against Summerland’s Cole Williams in a December 18th contest at Rutland Arena. A game Summerland won 2-1. Photo: Steve Dunsmoor / Dunsmoor Creative

Looking to extend a three game win streak, the Summerland Steam will head up the highway on Sunday evening to do battle with the division rival Kelowna Chiefs. The Steam are coming off a couple of wins earlier in the week, a 4-1 victory over Princeton on Tuesday and a 1-0 shutout of the Spokane Braves on Friday night. Winners of three straight, the Summerland Steam also have one other win, and an overtime loss in the month of January to date. That has them sitting at a 4-0-0-0-1 mark, and in a great spot heading out on the road on Sunday to play the Chiefs.

The Chiefs haven’t had the same luck as the Steam so far in 2016. We’re only 16 days into the calendar year and it’s already been an interesting one for the Chiefs, including a trade of their captain, Ryan Lawson, at the January 10th trading deadline. On the ice the Chiefs are 1-2, beating up on the Princeton Posse by a 6-3 score before falling 5-2 to Summerland on January 3rd and 5-1 to the Osoyoos Coyotes on January 6th. That was the last game they played, 10 days ago from the time of this write.

Since then, there’s been some significant changes, as previously mentioned, in the Chiefs locker room. Not in the form of new players, as only one player has departed, but that player was their captain. On January 10th, the trade deadline, the Chiefs sent captain Ryan Lawson to the VIJHL’s Victoria Cougars in exchange for Future Considerations. Trading your captain mid-season is a big deal, and it will be interesting to see how the Chiefs respond.

The change has allowed Head Coach Jason Tansem and his staff to re-tool the leadership group a little bit for the Chiefs and a new Captain was named on January 11th. That young man is Josh Baird. #27 for the Kelowna Chiefs, who I would argue has been their emotional leader on the ice all season, will wear the ‘C’ for the remainder of the season.

Arguably Kelowna’s best and most versatile player, Baird is the right choice and would be mine as well to lead the Chiefs. The importance of a player like Josh Baird to a lineup is paramount, because he can play any time, anywhere. He plays the game hard, clean, and in all situations. You need a forward who can score you a goal? He’s your guy. You need a defenseman who can help stop one? He’s your guy. A PP quarterback? Yeah, he’s that too, and there isn’t a doubt in my mind that he’s the right choice for Head Coach Jason Tansem and the Chiefs to wear the ‘C’.

Along with Dakota Kittle, Josh Johnston, and Luke Kalenuik as his assistants, they’ll look to lead the Chiefs in the right direction and get them set up headed for the playoffs. They’re just a few points from clinching themselves a birth in the KIJHL playoffs, where they’re likely to start against the Summerland Steam in round 1 for the second straight year.

I think Josh has been a great on-ice leader all season. His tenacity really sets an example for the rest of the team. I feel the same about Luke Kalenuik and Josh Johnston. They’ve done a great job this year and deserve to be recognized for it.

– Justin McCartney, the Voice of the Kelowna Chiefs.

The Okanagan Division Standings at this point in time with around 15 games to go in the regular season is the most spread out I’ve seen it in my 5 years of covering the league. There’s only 4 points between 1st place Osoyoos and 2nd place Summerland, though Osoyoos has 2 games in hand. From there it spreads out. The Chiefs, who sit third, trail the Steam by 13 points with 2 games in hand. They lead the 4th place North Okanagan Knights by 12 points, and the Knights are up 6 points on the 5th place Princeton Posse with 2 games in hand.

The Chiefs play the Knights on Saturday night in Armstrong, and will be looking to knock the rust off after not playing for 10 days. They’ll surely be ready to play Summerland on Sunday evening after not having much luck against them lately, which means Summerland had better be ready to go.

Even though they got a couple of wins earlier this week, they didn’t look particularly good doing it. On Tuesday night they played arguably the worst game (from a viewing standpoint) of the season with the Princeton Posse. It was slow, and there was nearly no flow to the game even though Summerland picked up a 4-1 win.

On Friday night they were much better. They only got one past Spokane Braves goaltender Patrick Kasper, and they spent what felt like the majority of the game killing penalties, but they got the job done and looked good at even strength. If they can keep themselves out of the box and keep the emotions in check, they should be just fine.

I would expect after putting up a big ol’ 0 against the Spokane Braves on Friday night that we’ll likely see Matt Kostiw go again for the Steam. He was a little scrambly in the first 5 minutes of Friday night’s game, but after that he made things look very, VERY easy in the Summerland net. The Steam will hope to insulate him with good defense that leads to good offense to put up a winning formula against Kelowna. With the Chiefs playing in Armstrong on Saturday, I’m not sure who to expect in goal on Sunday. Both Brady Lenardon and Josh Tetlichi have been solid this year though, so the Chiefs won’t go wrong no matter who it is.

Puck drop goes at 7PM on Sunday night from Rutland Arena East, and you can catch all the action with Justin McCartney on PlayFullScreen.com.

PILON SCORES, KOSTIW SHUTS OUT BRAVES IN DEBUT

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Summerland goaltender Matt Kostiw (#35) makes a save on a Spokane Braves’ Forward while Scott Robinson (#12) of the Summerland Steam backchecks. Photo: Kyle Sunderman

Sometimes when you make a trade for a player from a different league, you don’t quite know what you’re going to get. You can do your scouting, watch your video, and do your best to learn as much as possible about that player, but you never know what you’re going to get until they arrive.

The Summerland Steam found out what they had in new goaltender Matt Kostiw on Friday night. The 19-year-old from Aurora, ON, recently acquired from the Campbell River Storm made 29 saves to shut out the Spokane Braves in his Steam debut. He showed why he was named a VIJHL All-Star prior to being traded, and was a big reason Summerland was able to pick up a 1-0 win over the Braves.

We talked in the pre-game show (and heard from Head Coach John Depourcq) about a good start. It’s something we hear often from the coaching staff that they want to get off to a good start and set the tone for the game from there. They didn’t get it on Friday night. They put Kostiw in ‘trial by fire’ mode early on, forcing him to make six saves (three high quality ones) in the first six minutes of action. The Spokane Braves came into this game hungry, and looked much better than their record would dictate.

That was something that one my broadcast partners, Mike Swanson, and I talked about in our Trolley Talk Live segment yesterday afternoon.

Spokane is a much better hockey team than their record gives them credit for, and they proved it on Friday night. They came out hungry and used their speed to create some opportunities in the first 10 minutes of the game. Connor McIntosh and Kurtis Redding in particular were very good early on for the Braves, who made sure that Matt Kostiw got his nerves out quickly in the Summerland net. He had to make three high quality stops in the first 8 minutes that kept the Steam in the game while they got their legs underneath them.

After the initial 8 minutes, Summerland looked pretty good. They did a good job to get shots on the net of Spokane starter Patrick Kasper, but were unable to beat him in the first period. Summerland did have four power play chances in the first period, but were unable to capitalize. Spokane also had two power play opportunities, but were also unsuccessful.

The second period results were a little for both teams, but a disallowed goal just 1:09 into the second period kept Spokane from getting out to a 1-0 lead. The goal would have come from Mason Jones on the power play, and it looked like a sure thing save for a little interference run in front of the net on Matt Kostiw. The contact didn’t look like much, but it was ‘enough to keep the Summerland goaltender from making a play on the puck’ according to referee Brad Jones. That’s what he told an incensed Spokane bench, and the score remained tied at 0.

Summerland was then able to get on the board with a goal that would count just 3:41 into the period. Josh Pilon would get the goal, his 2nd with the Summerland Steam and 4th of the season. After the early 5-on-3 with the disallowed goal, the Steam got back to work on the offensive. Raphie Bassot made a great play on the right wing wall to keep the puck in the offensive zone and afford Summerland the opportunity at goal. Lathan McKinney came over to help, and did a great job to wait out his defender before putting a shot on net. Kasper kicked the initial shot away, but did so right into the slot where a waiting Pilon hammered it home to give Summerland a 1-0 lead.

The home team would then have to go back to work on the penalty kill, killing two more penalties right after the goal before not being able to capitalize on 3 more power play opportunities.

Later in the period, with just 6:00 remaining in the second period, the Braves would have another goal disallowed. It came off the stick of Mason Jones, again, but was disallowed the second time due to the net being knocked off behind Matt Kostiw by a sliding Spokane player. There was no argument from either bench on this particular play, and we would head to the 2nd intermission with Summerland leading 1-0.

That score would hold through the third period, although Spokane did their best to try and get one by Matt Kostiw. They put 11 shots on net in the third period, but all were stopped by the Summerland netminder for his first shutout in his first KIJHL start.

A couple things from this game:

  • After a not so great start, Summerland looked pretty good for the final 50 minutes.
  • The only part of their game that hindered their effort on Friday was their discipline. They’re going to have to really work on that with the opponents they’ve got coming up.
  • They went 9/9 on the PK on Friday night, but went 0/7 on the power play. The Summerland power play sits 20th in the league at 9.77% and is mired in an 0/46 run at the moment. That run dates back to a game against Kamloops at home on December 11th.
  • The last time Summerland scored a power play goal was December 6th against Sicamous. That game ended a streak of 7 games where Summerland went 7/30 (22.33%) on the power play. They’ve got to get back to THAT formula to get things working again.
  • Matt Kostiw was Summerland’s best player in Friday night’s game. He did good work to make things look relatively easy in the Summerland crease, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him back in goal Sunday evening when the Steam visit the Kelowna Chiefs.
  • The win over Spokane pushes Summerland to within 4 points of the idle Osoyoos Coyotes at the top of the Okanagan Division. The Coyotes have two games in hand though, and with a win percentage of .757%, you can safely assume that’ll be an 8 point cushion when those two games are made up. They’ll make one of those games up as Summerland sits idle Saturday night and the ‘Yotes host these same Spokane Braves. Summerland will go back to work Sunday night in Kelowna.
  • Kelowna, meanwhile, has gone through a bit of a change since last time we saw them. Nothing major, just a mid-season trade of their captain, Ryan Lawson, that sees the appointment of a new leadership group led by leading scorer Josh Baird. Look for a story on that in an upcoming post later on Saturday. Lawson was traded to the Victoria Cougars of the VIJHL, who will host the Cyclone Taylor Cup Championship in April.

 

As previously mentioned, the Steam will now turn attention to the division rival Kelowna Chiefs. A team that Summerland has had good success against as of late, but the Steam will have to pick their socks up if they want to stick around in a game with the Chiefs. That game goes Sunday night, 7PM at Rutland Arena East in Kelowna.

GAME DAY: SUMMERLAND STEAM VS SPOKANE BRAVES

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SummerlandSteamSUMMERLAND STEAM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VS

 

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SPOKANE BRAVES

24-12-0-0-2, 50 PTS RECORD 5-29-0-0-4, 14 PTS
13-3-0-0-1 HOME / AWAY

RECORD

2-16-0-0-0
W-2 STREAK L-4
5-3-0-0-2 LAST 10 GAMES 1-9-0-0-0
2ND, OKANAGAN DIVISION DIVISION RANK 5TH, NEIL MURDOCH DIVISION
1-0 SEASON SERIES 0-1
.658% WIN % .184%
123

3.24 GF PER GM (10th, KIJHL)

GOALS FOR 82

2.16 GF PER GAME (18th, KIJHL)

89

2.34 PER GM (3rd, KIJHL)

GOALS AGAINST 179

4.71 GA PER GAME (19TH, KIJHL)

+34 DIFFERENTIAL -97
17/167; 10.18% (20th, KIJHL)

HOME: 7/64 ; 10.94% (17th, KIJHL)

POWERPLAY % OVERALL: 22/196 ; 11.22% (18th, KIJHL)

ROAD: 10/82; 12.20% (13th, KIJHL)

181/208; 87.02% (4th, KIJHL)

HOME: 71/85; 83.53% (16th, KIJHL)

PENALTY KILL % OVERALL: 165/223; 73.99% (20th, KIJHL)

ROAD: 49/87 ; 67.82% (20th, KIJHL)

JACK MILLS

22G + 25A = 47 PT

LEADING SCORER

KURTIS REDDING

16G + 16A = 32 PTS

GAME NOTES:

  • After picking up a win against Princeton on Tuesday night, Summerland will try and push a win streak to 3 Friday night against Spokane.
  • The Steam have collected points in every game in 2016 thus far, and will look to continue a run of strong play.
  • Summerland has been getting contributions from their big guns lately, as Paulsen Lautard and Jack Mills both have 5 game point streaks heading into Friday night’s game. During that time they’ve combined for 15 points.
  • Matt Kostiw will likely get his first start for the Summerland Steam after being acquired at the January 10th trade deadline from the Campbell River Storm of the VIJHL. Kostiw, a VIJHL All-Star, will look to continue his strong season with his new team. With the Storm, he went 15-2 in 19 appearances, compiling a 2.31 Goals Against Average and .894 Sv%.
  • Look for Summerland’s Andrew York to continue to look for his first KIJHL goal. He’s been improving on a game by game basis for the Steam, and had several very good chances to pot his first on Tuesday against Princeton. If I was a betting man I’d bet you he’ll get it tonight.
  • Steam F Jarrett Malchow is getting close to a return. Out since December 1, Malchow is a key piece for the Steam and they’re looking forward to his return.
  • Malchow’s Yukon Line mates have been cruising along for Summerland. Riley Pettitt and Wyatt Gale remain key contributors for the Steam who seem to show up on the scoresheet just about every night. I’m sure they’re looking forward to getting the guy they call ‘Chow’ back as soon as possible.

 

  • As for the Spokane Braves, they’ve lost 4 in a row, and have just 2 wins since November 15th.
  • It’s been tough sledding for the Braves this season. They’ve made the playoffs in every season that the KIJHL has online records for, which makes it 10 in a row. They’ve got some work to do if they want to make it 11.
  • Spokane, a very young team with just 5 19-year-olds and 2 20-year-olds, will be hungry for points as they try and catch the Neil Murdoch Division playoff race. They’re 21 points back of the Nelson Leafs and Grand Forks Border Bruins, tied for 3rd place in the division with 35 points.
  • Their team Goals Against Average is 4.71 this season, but they’ve given up an even 6 goals in each of their first 4 games in 2016.
  • Friday marks the start of a tough weekend for the Braves. They start a 3-game weekend in Summerland (.658% win%) on Friday before visiting the Osoyoos Coyotes (.757% win%) on Saturday and hosting the Beaver Valley Nitehawks (.744% win%) on Sunday afternoon.
  • Spokane Captain Kurtis Redding will play his 221st career KIJHL game on Friday night. All in a Spokane Braves uniform. When he steps on the ice to start the game Friday night in Summerland he’ll pass KIJHL all-time scoring leader and former Braves F Jesse Collins to take sole possession of 5th place on the all-time games played list.

 

Puck drop tonight goes at 7:30 from the Summerland Arena. Mike, Joel and I will go live with full pre-game including audio from coaches starting at 7:15 on playfullscreen.com.