On Saturday night the Summerland Steam hosted the Kelowna Chiefs in an Okanagan Division showdown. It was their 4th meeting of the season, and Kelowna managed to get their 3rd win of the season series with a 6-5 win on a powerplay in overtime. It was an incredible, almost unbelievable hockey game that saw the two teams play each other fast, hard, and even through the first 30 minutes of hockey. In the final ten minutes of the second period though, KIJHL scoring leader Nick Josephs took control.
The hockey game began with an extremely fast, physical pace and the Steam proved early that they were not going to go away easily against a Kelowna team that has had it's way with most of the rest of the KIJHL. The Chiefs opened the scoring at the 13:38 mark of the 1st period when Nick Josephs flew down the right wing and took a sharp angle shot that beat Steam goaltender Darren Hogg to give the Chiefs a 1-0 lead. Despite the goal from Kelowna, the period remained very even, and with 2:54 remaining in the period the Steam's emotional leader, Olli Dickson, managed to take a pass from Dylan Burton on front as he was streaking to the net to tie the game at 1.
The second period brought a whole lot of scoring and a whole bunch of early powerplays for both teams. First it was Paulsen Lautard at the 18:45 mark of the period on the powerplay when he took a pass from Easton Bodeaux and had the patience to spin the puck around Chiefs goaltender Tyler O'Donnell. Soon after that, at 15:41 of the second Nick Headrick tied the game on a powerplay. The Steam came straight back, however, as team captain Daylan Robertson gave them the lead again at the 12:53 mark on the powerplay once again.
Once the Steam took the lead though, the Chiefs pushed back. Unfortunately, the Steam could not handle it and started making some bad puck management decisions in their own zone that led to three goals in a little over 4 minutes to bring Kelowna back in front 5-3. All three goals, (One from Matt Naka and two from Nick Josephs) came off of Summerland turnovers behind their own net. Two of those three goals came directly off the stick of a Steam defender onto the stick of one of the Chiefs and were tucked into the net while Darren Hogg was waiting for the puck to come out the other side.
That would spell the end for Darren Hogg as Brett Huber would come in to replace him at the 6:08 mark of the second period.
Whatever Steam coach John Depourcq said to his team during the second intermission stuck with them heading into the third as they carried the play for the entire period trying to get the time back. They were helped early in the period at the 19:21 mark when Jordan Salahor took a 5 minute major for fighting that was unmatched by the Steam. A scrum had ensued beside the Kelowna net and as guys were rustling around Salahor came in with his mitts off and started swinging at Olli Dickson. Dickson did not bite, however, as he didn't drop his gloves. Instead he fended off the punches from Salahor until he could put him in a bear hug to tie up his arms and wait for the linesman to come over to retrieve an angry Jordan Salahor. He was escorted off the ice and the penalties came out to 2 minutes for Dickson while Salahor received 2 minutes for being the Agressor, 5 Minutes for fighting and a game misconduct. This left the Steam with a full 5 minute powerplay but unfortunately they were unable to convert.
In an extremely rare scenario that this broadcaster has never seen before, referee Dustin Minty called the same penalty on Austin Fisher just a minute after Salahor's penalty was over. The Steam's Cooper Holick was being assessed a penalty for cross checking when the Chiefs' Austin Fisher came in with his gloves off and started swinging, much like Salahor just a few minutes earlier. Holick, like Dickson, didn't bite and wouldn't drop the gloves. Fisher received the same penalty as Salahor, 2 for the Agressor, 5 for fighting, and a game misconduct while Cooper Holick was assessed his 2 minute minor for cross checking. This left Summerland once again with a full 5 minute powerplay to try to climb back in the game.
It wasn't looking good for the Steam as they had trouble getting organized on the powerplay, but they managed to get organized in the final couple of minutes. The Steam managed to climb within one goal at the 9:46 mark of the period when a shot from the point by Riley Hunt was tipped in by captain Daylan Robertson. Not long after Robertson's goal, Braden Saretsky managed to tie the game on the powerplay once again. This leveled the score at 5 and rounded out the scoring for the first 3 periods, sending these two teams to overtime with a point each.
In the extra frame the Steam carried the play until there were :59 seconds left on the clock. Rylan Sideroff, while trying to clear the puck out of the Steam zone off the glass, put it over the glass and put his team shorthanded. They almost got out of the first overtime as Brett Huber was sensational on the 4-on-3 Kelowna powerplay, but with 3 seconds left on the clock the puck was worked to the side of the net by Nick Josephs. Once there, AP Levi Johnson stepped out from behind the net with the puck and roofed it short side on Brett Huber, sending the Steam home with one less point than they wanted.
All in all it was a good week for the Steam leading into the Christmas break as they secured 5 out of a possible 6 points in three games. They'll now take a week off to enjoy the holidays with their families and they're back to action on Saturday, December 28th as they travel south to face the Osoyoos Coyotes. They return home on December 29 for a 2PM Matinee against those same Coyotes in the back end of a home and home series.