On Friday night the Summerland Steam hosted the Chase Heat at the Summerland Arena. Both teams came in after each registering a 3-1 victory on Wednesday evening against the North Okanagan Knights and the Sicamous Eagles, respectively. The Steam were greeted by a familiar face on the opposing team as former Steam forward Austin Lee was in the starting lineup for the Chase Heat. The Steam were looking to continue their strong play as they were looking to get at least a point in their 6th straight game. In this hockey game it did not take long for these two teams to renew acquaintances from their October 19th meeting, and the boxscore showed just how much these two teams dislike each other. The penalties started early, as did the scoring, and the game was tight until the third when the Steam exploded for six goals to take the game by a final score of 9-3.
There were 11 penalties handed out in the first period, including a Checking From Behind penalty and a game misconduct to Chase defenseman Connor Harding who drove Riley Hunt into the corner boards late in the period. The only goal of the period came off the stick of Chase d-man Buddy Summers, who ripped a shot high over the glove of Steam goaltender Brett Huber to give his team a 1-0 lead on a 5on3 Powerplay.
The scoring and the parade to the penalty box both started early in the second period on the powerplay as the Steam evened the score at 1 on a shot from Sam Nigg off the right wing boards. The Steam got 2 more goals in quick succession as Reid Brown scored just 24 seconds later as he moved around a Heat defender and made a beautiful move around Chase goaltender Jacob Mattes to give the Steam a 2-1 lead. Just over 2 minutes later, Kienan Scott got in on the action as Daylan Robertson fed him a beautiful pass on the far post that he was able to deposit into the yawning cage to extend the lead to 3-1. The lead, however, would not last long as just under 5 minutes later the Heat got goals from Kaleb Boyle and Connor Venne just 56 seconds apart. This leveled the score at 3-3 to end the second period and head to a third that would decide who would go home with the two points.
The Steam came out the hungrier team in the third period, and it started early with the captain, Daylan Robertson swinging off the wall and rifling a shot over the glove of Jacob Mattes. Robertson's goal was followed in quick succession by a goal from Jordan Boultbee just 38 seconds later. 1:49 later a sharp angle shot from Michael Winnitoy went off the side of the Heat goaltender to bring the Steam lead to 6-3. Kienan Scott then added another, his fifth goal in two games. It was an absolute beauty as he came down the right wing with speed and beat a defenseman to the wide side before pulling the puck around a sprawling Mattes to extend the lead to 7-3. That would be it for Jacob Mattes as Josh Shank came in in relief.
He was met with a rude welcome as Braden Saretsky potted the Steam's 8th goal of the night with a shot from the right circle that snuck through his 5-hole. The final nail in the coffin came with just a second left on the clock as off a faceoff a shot from Josh Dacosta was stopped by Shank before Sam Nigg was able to pot the rebound for his second of the night to round out the scoring at 9-3 in favor of the Steam.
Former Steam forward Austin Lee saw first line minutes in his return to Summerland and finished the night with a couple of minor penalties. With just over 10 minutes left in the hockey game he challenged Steam defenseman and former teammate Michael Winnitoy to a scrap and got the best of him as both guys punched their ticket to an early shower.
The Steam were solid in the win against the Heat, and will look to continue to roll as they host the division leading Kelowna Chiefs tomorrow night. Make sure to join us at the Summerland Arena for what will surely be an extremely entertaining hockey game! If for some reason you can't join us in the rink, make sure to join us on the KIJHL webcast starting just before puck drop at 7:30!