On Wednesday night the Summerland Steam will take to the road and pay a visit to the division rival North Okanagan Knights. The two teams have had two very competitive and emotional games against one another so far this season with the Knights coming out on top 5-3 in the first meeting on November 19th, and 3-1 on December 3rd. In their last meeting the Steam mustered very little offense while being frustrated by Knights' goaltender Zach Dyment, who was sensational in the 3-1 win for his team.
The last two meetings between these two teams have come within the confines of the Summerland Arena, and Summerland will look to turn their fortunes around on Wednesday night when they visit the Nor-Val Center in Armstrong for the first time this season.
The Steam head into Armstrong tonight with a 15-12-1-2 record and sit tied with these North Okanagan Knights with 33 points. The Steam do, however, have 2 games in hand on the Knights and will continue to hold that advantage no matter the outcome tonight.
The Steam come into a new week of play after managing to grab 3 out of 4 points in their two games this past weekend against a very tough Kamloops team and a Spokane Braves squad riding a win streak while scoring an absolute ton. They'll surely try to continue the roll as they attempt to climb the standings into a more favorable position.
Their recent record is a direct consequence of much improved defensive play and a sturdy goaltending tandem of Brett Huber and Darren Hogg. Early in the season the Steam struggled to get the puck out of their own zone, but lately they've made minor adjustments that makes life for their defense core and their goaltenders much easier. They've always had the offensive talent up front to put up a lot of offense, and scoring goals has been made much easier lately by clean defensive zone play and minimal turnovers numbers.
The Steam have also driven shots on goal at a much higher rate in the past five games, which has contributed to the offense they've been able to put up against good teams such as Castlegar and Kamloops. That will be a trend that will need to continue in order to come away from the Nor-Val Arena in Armstrong with 2 points against a very good North Okanagan Knights team.
Puck drop is at 7PM! Make sure to catch the call on KIJHL.ca with the North Okanagan Knights Webcast!
Our next broadcast is Friday night as the Chase Heat visit the Summerland Arena for a 7:30 puck drop!