Goals are good. They win you hockey games, and when you score 18 times in a three game span, you’d expect to win all your games played. That’s just what the Summerland Steam expected to happen when they scored 18 times in three road games this week, and they picked up a trio of convincing wins and 6 points for their efforts.
Finally back to somewhere near full health, Summerland was able to put some regularity back in their lines this past week. Wyatt Gale returned from injury, and suspensions were finally not an issue on a weekend that saw Summerland pick up convincing wins over the division rival Osoyoos Coyotes and the lowly Sicamous Eagles.
- Their weekend started on Saturday with a visit to the desert to play the Coyotes. Travelling to the Sun Bowl Arena in Osoyoos has not been a pleasant experience for ANYONE in the past several years, but it has been especially unkind to the Summerland Steam. This time, however, four unanswered goals in the second period were enough to allow Summerland to cruise to victory.
Ryan Roseboom opened the scoring for the Coyotes just :21 into the contest to give the home team a 1-0 lead, but it would be their only lead of the night. Cole Williams would tie the score, notching his third of the year with 6:12 remaining in the first frame on a power play.
The Steam would never look back from there, scoring with just over 12 minutes remaining in the second period to take a lead for good. Andrew York tallied his first of the season after taking a pass from Calvin Rout. Jeremy Hite would draw the second assist, the first of his 3 on the night.
Just 3 minutes later, Calvin Hadley scored what would stand as the game winner off a won draw from Riley Pettitt. Hadley was able to drag the puck to the middle of the zone and wire a slap shot over the glove of Coyotes’ goaltender Adam Jones.
Kaleb Comishin would score for the Coyotes to pull them within one, but that would be as close as it would get. Konsta Jaske, Ben Dietrich-Scammell, Cole Williams (ENG) and Brogan Lautard would all score for the Steam in the third, finishing off a 7-2 victory.
The win propelled Summerland two points ahead of the Coyotes in the Okanagan Division standings, and they looked to make that gap four points with a win on Sunday at home against Sicamous.
The Eagles were a team that Summerland had seen twice earlier in the season, beating them by a combined score of 12-1 in two games. Since then Sicamous has replaced their Head Coach, Ty Davidson, with Matt Stang. Stang put his spin on the Eagles roster by immediately changing over nearly half the roster, and came into Summerland last Sunday having won three of their past four games.
On Sunday the Eagles weren’t so successful, as Summerland came up with a 7-1 victory that bordered on utter domination. The Steam poured 20 shots on goal in the first period a day were only successful once. Riley Pettitt notched his 10th of the season with exactly a minute left in the period, beating Max Gaudet with the 20th shot of the period.
Gaudet was terrific on Sunday afternoon, but it wasn’t enough as Summerland poured in five goals, three on the power play, in the second period. Pettitt, and two goals from Jarrett Malchow put Summerland up 4-0 midway through the second period, all on the power play.
A goal from newcomer Levi Johnson would end the afternoon for Max Gaudet and push the score to 5-0. Cole Williams would then pop the twine again behind replacement goaltender, AP Aaron Lamb, to round out second period scoring at 6-0.
Ethan Trampuh would get the Eagles on the board in the third, but it would be all the Eagles would get past Matt Huber. Andrew York would add another power play goal late to seal the deal at 7-1.
The win opened up a 4 point divison lead for Summerland. The two weekend wins were thanks in large part to special teams, where Summerland went 6/9 on the power play and 11/12 on the penalty kill.
They used the same recipe Wednesday night in Enderby, where they faced the North Okanagan Knights in a ‘Destination Game’.
Good special teams and solid defensive systems allowed the Steam to blank the Knights 4-0, with Matt Huber being forced to make just 24 stops for his first shutout of the season. Cole Williams scored for the third straight game and Josh Pilon, Wyatt Gale and Jarrett Malchow also tallied for the Steam. The visitors went 2/8 on the power play and a perfect 7/7 on the penalty kill on route to their third straight victory.
In these three victories the Steam have fired 133 shots on goal and scored 18 times. They’ve found a chemistry now that everyone is healthy that allows them to find their way to the net, and right now they’re making the most of their opportunities. If they can keep doing what they’ve been doing in the past few weeks, they’re going to have pretty good success.
Right now the Steam lead the Okanagan Division by 6 points on the 2nd place Osoyoos Coyotes. The Coyotes do have three games in hand to use up as of today’s date, but 6 points is still a sizeable lead in the division. Summerland is currently at the top of the Okanagan Shuswap Conference in a tie with the Chase Heat, and sit in a tie for the most points in the KIJHL with 3 other teams. Nearing the halfway mark of the season, the Steam find themselves inside the top 5 in the league in win%, goals for, goals against, differential, total goals, power play, and penalty kill.
They’ll look to continue their winning ways this weekend with 2 road games, Friday night in Princeton and Saturday night in Chase. They’ll return home on November 18th when they host the Kelowna Chiefs on a night where tickets will be 2for1 if fans bring a non-perishable food donation to support the Summerland Food Bank.