On Saturday night the Summerland Steam will host the Kelowna Chiefs. The Steam are coming off a big third period outburst that saw them score six goals to down the Chase Heat 9-3. Their big offensive threats were once again prominent as Kienan Scott and Sam Nigg both scored twice and Daylan Robertson, Jordan Boultbee, Reid Brown, Braden Saretsky and Michael Winnitoy each added a goal to the total.
Tonight the Steam will be without Reid Brown and Jordan Boultbee, so the offensive mountain might be a little more difficult to climb. Getting a win tonight against a high-powered Kelowna Chiefs team will require limiting defensive mistakes, discipline, and a strong goaltending performance from projected starter Darren Hogg.
Brett Huber started last night for the Steam and performed admirably stopping 22 of 25 shots to get the win. He was not tested all that often against the Heat, but when he was he was sharp. One of the Chase goals came on a 5on3 powerplay and the other two came in quick succession in the second period, both shots that were deflected by Summerland defenders. Huber was especially good in the first period when his team got into some penalty trouble and he was forced to be the Steam's best penalty killer.
Tonight Darren Hogg will take the net when the puck drops against the Chiefs. He's been solid since returning from a lower body injury that saw him miss nearly seven weeks of action, especially in his last start on Wednesday night against the North Okanagan Knights where he made 37 saves in a 3-1 victory.
It will take nothing short of a complete 60 minute team effort for Summerland to get a win in their last game before the Christmas break, and they'll surely be looking to go home with 2 points at the end of the night.
THE OPPONENT: KELOWNA CHIEFS
The Chiefs come into Summerland for tonight's contest having beat the Princeton Posse on Friday night by a score of 5-3. They went 3 for 4 on the powerplay, and they've proven that they can flex their offensive muscles with more than just the line of Nick Josephs, Jagger Bowles, and Jordan Salahor. For instance, in last night's win over the Posse they got a hat trick from Nicholas Kovacik and one each from Brady Mende and Chase Astorino.
The Chiefs play tight defensive hockey and have an explosive offense that put up shot totals in the 40's just about every night. When the do have a defensive lapse, they've got the goaltending to back it up in Tyler O'Donnell and former Steam goaltender Connor DeMelo. DeMelo started last night against Princeton, which would lead to believe that Summerland will see Tyler O'Donnell for the first time this season.
The puck drops at 7:30PM and Nester's Market is our game night sponsor. They will be presenting Turkey Bowling tonight, so make sure you get out and support the local community and this great hockey team! If you can't make it out, as for every home game, we'll have all the action streaming live on KIJHL.ca starting just before puck drop.