Tonight the Summerland Steam hosted the Castlegar Rebels, and it was clear from the very get go that these two teams do not like each other. Tension was high from the beginning, and only got worse as the game continued. These two teams met previously just over two weeks ago and skated to a 2-2 draw, but that was far from the story tonight.
The Steam came out firing on all cylinders and newcomer Riley Hunt opened the scoring with a shorthanded thing of beauty just under halfway through the first period. Youngster Carter Rhine picked up his first point in the KIJHL on the play as he sent a cross-ice pass to Michael Winnitoy who then sprung Hunt up the right wing. Hunt was met by a Rebels' defender at the blue line who he promptly stepped around before rifling a perfect shot over the glove side shoulder of goaltender Patrick Zubick and into the top corner. The goal garnered ooh's and aww's from both the fans and his teammates, and more importantly gave his team the 1-0 lead.
Near the end of the period the Rebels tied the game on a power play, however, as Derek Georgopoulos managed to find a puck out of a scrum in front of the Summerland goal and put it into the back of the net.
The Steam bounced back at the start of the second period though, as they exploded for four goals in the period. Jordan Boultbee tipped one home on the power play just under 5 minutes into the period before the Steam added another from captain Daylan Robertson on a 2-on-1 a couple minutes later. Just 1:26 after that Reid Brown potted his first of two on the night on a beautiful cross-ice pass from Riley Hunt. Michael Winnitoy capped the scoring in the second period with 2:47 to go in the period as he took a pass out of the corner from Sam Nigg and deposited it behind Zubick to give the Steam a 5-1 lead.
To start the third the Rebels made a goaltending change as Nate Rabbit came into the game in relief of Patrick Zubick. This seemed to spark the Rebels as they scored two goals just eleven seconds apart, the first from Mike Bhatoa and the second from captain Kody Disher. All of a sudden it was 5-3 and it felt like a much more tense situation for the Steam until just 1:17 later when Sam Nigg walked into the middle of the ice and wired home a wrister to make it 6-3. That goal was followed by another from Daylan Robertson on a beautiful passing play between Lautard, Scott, and Robertson that ended with Robertson sliding the puck through the pads of Rabbit.
Reid Brown added his second of the night before Connor Beauchemin finished off a pass from Matt Reed on a 2-on-1 to make the final score 8-3 in favour of the Summerland Steam. Summerland fired 34 shots on the Castelgar goal while Darren Hogg stopped 34 of 38 shots and also picked himself up an assist on the night.
Michael Winnitoy led the stat sheet with 3 points, while Jordan Boultbee, Riley Hunt, Sam Nigg, Reid Brown, and Daylan Robertson all finished with 2 points each.
The Steam will welcome the streaking Kamloops Storm to the Summerland Arena this Sunday for a 2PM matinee. The Storm have won 11 in a row including their 5-2 win over the Chase Heat on this Friday night. It will be a good tilt between two good teams, so make sure to get out to the rink or join us on the KIJHL webcast starting just before puck drop!