The Summerland Steam continued to get out to a great start on the second weekend of the KIJHL calendar. After winning both to open the KIJHL season on September 8th and 9th, they split the second weekend of the season with a home loss and a road victory.
On Friday night the Steam faced their stiffest test yet, a bigger, older Revelstoke Grizzlies squad. When speaking with Steam Head Coach John Depourcq prior to the game, he said he was excited to see how his team came out against that kind of team, and said it would be “fun to play against a team who is older and more experienced than we are.”
There wasn’t much fun to be had in the first period of that game on Friday night. Revelstoke goaltender Giovanni Sambrielaz was the star of the show all night long, but not for what he was doing inside his crease. It was his play outside the crease that had everybody in the arena fired up, and it got in the heads of Summerland players early on.
The Steam did not get out to a good start. They took a penalty early on and allowed Revelstoke to take the lead on a powerplay goal from Ullar Wiatzka. Wiatzka was the recipient of a great pass from former Kelowna Chiefs defenceman Joel Scrimbit, now starring for Revelstoke, and Wiatzka was able to snap a wrister over Steam goaltender Matt Huber.
Clark Nelson would extend the Revelstoke lead to 2-0 in the middle stages of period one, and then things really got interesting. Enter Giovanni Sambrielaz.
Not long after the Nelson goal, Sambrielaz ventured behind his goal to retrieve a loose puck. After moving it to a defender, he ‘ran a pick’ on Steam Forward Cody Swan, and referee Bobby Williamson bit on it. He whistled the Steam forward for goaltender interference, which led to a Cole Golden goal to extend the lead to 3-0 after a period.
Remember, two goaltender interference penalties in the same game by the same team results in a suspension for the coach, as well as an ejection and suspension for the player who commits ONLY the second offence.
Once the first call was made, Sambrielaz turned up the dial on the aggression when it came to puck moving. He was trying to initiate contact every single time the puck came near him, and at one point even grabbed a Steam player at the top of the crease and pulled him down on top of himself to try and get a call.
Finally, after Bailey Tamminga exited the penalty box and found himself chasing a loose puck, Sambrielaz got his second call. As Tamminga was all alone, Sambrielaz came charging out of the crease after the loose puck. As the puck and Tamminga crested the top of the circle, Sambrielaz dove forward, spreading out a-la-Dominik Hasek in his prime, and finally got his call.
Tamminga went end over end over top of the Revelstoke goaltender, the arm went up, and Bailey Tamminga was ejected from the hockey game due to incurring the second goaltender interference ‘penalty’ in the same game.
Steam Head Coach John Depourcq had a conversation with Williamson, who told him at the time that it was ‘textbook’. Williamson then arrived at the Steam bench nearly 4:00 of play and another Revelstoke power play goal later to notify the team that he would be speaking to Sambrielaz to say ‘enough is enough’.
After that conversation occurred it was time to play more hockey, and once that happened it was all Summerland. Unfortunately, they’d found themselves in a 4-0 deficit, and were forced to try and mount a third period comeback.
Lukas Jirousek would open the Steam side of the scoring just over a minute into the third period, capitalizing on a miscue by Sambrielaz behind his net. He would then score again six minutes later, but it wasn’t enough to come back and Summerland would go on to lose 4-2.
Though it wasn’t the result they wanted, surely Summerland was happy with their effort in the final 4o minutes against a much more seasoned team. The experience showed the next night, as Summerland continued to work their way through the early part of their schedule in Sicamous.
They bounced back from the night previous, putting a 6-0 beatdown on the hometown Eagles and outshooting them 51-26. Brandon Peacock got his first KIJHL start and posted a shutout, only being really tested a handful of times in what was a pretty lopsided game from start to finish.
Sam Jones (1), Cody Swan (1,2), Everett Scherger (1), Lukas Jirousek (5), and Cole Williams (1) all tallied for the Steam. Newcomer Ryan Allen tallied three assists in the win in just his second game with the Steam after a trade from the Osoyoos Coyotes earlier in the week.
After the bus ride home Saturday night from Sicamous, there was no rest for the Steam as they were up and out in the community on Sunday morning. The team took part in the local Terry Fox Run in downtown Summerland on Sunday as a group, and will get ready for battle again next weekend.
The Steam will go back to work on practice ice before playing a pair of home games on September 22nd and 23rd. They’ll face the same Sicamous Eagles on Friday, before hosting Kamloops on Saturday night. They were able to beat Kamloops 6-2 in their only meeting of the season thus far.
We’ll have pre-game for both of those contests starting on playfullscreen.com at 7:15 each night before puck drop at 7:30!