November 5, 2019
Summerland, BC – As the KIJHL season nears the halfway mark and teams settle into their November schedules, the Summerland Steam were in tough this past weekend as they try to do the same. The weekend began with a trip to 100 Mile House, a game that feels like a home game in a lot of ways for a team looking to gain some traction in the Bill Olhausen Division standings.
It feels a lot like a home game when the Steam visit the South Cariboo Rec Centre each year, and that’s because for a few players it most certainly is one. The Steam roster has four players who hale from Williams Lake, BC, just an hour up the road. Cody and Justin Swan, Tyson Conroy and Cory Loring all grew up and played their minor hockey in the area, and had countless friends and family in attendance on Friday when the Steam rolled in to face the Wranglers.
The Wranglers weren’t as friendly as the friends and family there to greet the Steam and their players, picking up a 4-2 victory over the Steam and sending them home empty handed.
The home team jumped out to a 1-0 lead thanks to a power play goal from Harley Bootsma. After the Steam struggled to get their legs moving off a 9-hour bus ride, a penalty kill near the midway point of the first period was exactly what they didn’t need. Bootsma was able to capitalize on the power play and send the Wranglers to a 1-0 lead after one period of play.
Cody Barnes would make it 2-0 near the midway mark of the second period, this time shorthanded, capitalizing on a turnover by the Summerland power play at the Wrangler blue line. Barnes was away to the races, and despite being chased down was able to get a puck under Steam starter Darby Tipton to add to the Wranglers’ lead.
Summerland’s Gavyn Entzminger would get one back for the Steam just a few minutes later. On the power play, Entzminger worked the puck up the right wing and took a shot from just inside the blue line. Bobbled, the puck sat in front of Wranglers’ goaltender Jordan Wilde and bounced around a few sets of skates before Entzminger was able to locate it behind the Wrangler goaltender and deposit it into the empty cage. His third of the season, and first as a member of the Steam, closed the gap to 2-1.
He starts the play with a rush down the right side, and slides behind the goaltender to pick up a loose puck and poke it home. pic.twitter.com/OYk3qESVeB
— Tim Hogg 🎙 (@ThoggPxP) November 4, 2019
The goal seemed to give the Steam some life, as they pressed to try and get the game tied before the end of the frame. Despite their best effort, the Wranglers managed to score on a counter-attack with just over 2:00 remaining in the second period. It would prove to be the game winner, as 100 Mile’s Garrett Hunter chased a puck down into Summerland territory and threw it on goal from a sharp angle. It eluded the Summerland goaltender, and put the Wranglers up 3-1 after two periods.
The Steam began to mount a comeback once more early in the third period. Williams Lake, BC resident Cory Loring found himself on the scoresheet with his eighth goal of the season just under five minutes into the third. A gorgeous solo effort, Loring stripped a puck from a streaking Wranglers player in the neutral zone, worked down the right side and drug the puck to the middle. He was able to use a toe-drag move to bait another defender, and deposit the puck over the glove of Wilde to bring the Steam within a goal.
@CoryLoring, from Williams Lake, BC, scores with friends and family in attendance to narrow the 100 Mile lead to a goal.
— Tim Hogg 🎙 (@ThoggPxP) November 4, 2019
Just when it looked like the Steam were going to start to push to tie the game, the Wranglers scored on the very next shift. Chase Vancoughnett-Lafleur would score for the home team to put them up 4-2, which would hold despite another Steam push late in the game.
Overall it was a great effort for the Summerland Steam that came up just a touch short. A couple of mistakes cost them, and the 8-hour bus ride north on game day didn’t do them any favours either. The return trip from 100 Mile House put them into the Summerland Arena at about 3:45 on Saturday morning, a quick turnaround to a 7:30pm start that night against the Chase Heat.
The Heat, second in the Doug Birks Division only to the Revelstoke Grizzlies, were 6-2 winners on Friday night in Grand Forks and came into Summerland looking to capitalize on a tired team. The Heat spent the weekend on the road this weekend with just one goalie, as Vince Benedetto played every minute of both games and picked up a pair of wins with his goaltending partner, Dylan Barton, out of the lineup.
The tired legs were evident for the Steam early on in Saturday night’s game, with three stick infraction penalties in the first eight minutes sending them to some long-term penalty kill practice. They were able to kill all three, and then couldn’t capitalize on a pair of power plays of their own to end the first period in a scoreless tie.
The Heat would open the scoring in the second period, as Colton Nikiforuk would find a loose puck in front off a rebound and beat Eric Scherger to give the Heat a 1-0 lead. The lead would last just under two minutes, as Summerland would come back and tie the game thanks to team captain Cody Swan. He was able to pick up a puck in his own zone and break away up the left wing side, finding himself on a 2-on-1 with teammate Lane French. Swan faked a pass to French, and then beat Benedetto high over the glove for his eighth of the season. Not only did the goal have the significance of tying the hockey game at one, but it was a record breaking tally for Swan.
With his 52nd KIJHL goal and 149th career point he finds himself now in sole possession of the All-Time lead for points for the Steam franchise, passing former captain Paulsen Lautard (2013-2016).
The lone Steam goal from Saturday night’s game left us something to celebrate:@codyswan2 races down the wing & scores his 8th of the season. His 52nd career @KIJHL goal & 149th point. With it he now holds the @SteamKIJHL Franchise Record for All-Time points.
Congrats, Cap! pic.twitter.com/hJeeafCMv8
— Tim Hogg 🎙 (@ThoggPxP) November 4, 2019
With the new record set, I took a little time to have a quick look back. 110 games, 51 goals and 147 points back to be exact, to Swan’s first goal as a member of the Summerland Steam in Sicamous on September 16, 2017.
With Swan’s latest goal, the 8th of this season and 52nd of his career, the Steam found themselves tied at 1 with the Chase Heat after two periods on Saturday night. They’d done extremely well to hang with quality competition after a long day on Friday, and looked to be in good shape heading to the third period.
In the frame it was the Chase Heat who broke the tie, and they did so scoring twice in 22 seconds to break a 1-1 game open into a 3-1 lead. Hayden Wiebe would net what would stand as the game winner for the Heat, followed shortly by a Tyson Lampreau goal that was knocked out of mid-air at shoulder height past Eric Scherger.
Despite another Summerland push, the Heat would add an empty netter thanks to Jayden Russell’s first KIJHL goal in the dying minutes to pick up a 4-1 victory.
The Steam continue to fight for points while waiting for their full roster to be assembled for a single game. After play this weekend they’ve seen there man-games lost number climb to north of 70 over the course of their first 19 games.
This weekend they continued to be without star forwards Mitch Gove and Jordon Woytas, who are both still weeks away from being cleared to play. Woytas hasn’t played since Game #2 on September 14th due to a lower body injury, while Gove left a game late on October 12th with an upper body injury and has been unable to play since. This past weekend the Steam also went without Austin O’Neil, the team’s second leading scorer, and 20-year old defenseman Ante Mustapic in their pair of games. The latter are considered day-to-day, and could be available for the team’s upcoming weekend road trip to the Eddie Mountain Division to play the Golden Rockets and Columbia Valley Rockies.
The Steam will go to Golden on Friday (6:30pm PST) and Columbia Valley on Saturday (6:00pm PST). They’ll follow up the following weekend with another grueling trip to 100 Mile House on the Friday night before having to play Kamloops at home on Saturday, November 16th.
For all the action this weekend, join the broadcasts on playfullscreen.com. The Golden broadcast is a can’t miss, as their play-by-play broadcaster is 14-year old Lukas Pfister, and he’s VERY good. Enjoy!