The week started early for the Summerland Steam this week as they started with a Wednesday night matchup with the North Okanagan Knights in Armstrong. Kienan Scott powered the Steam to a 3-1 victory scoring all three Steam goals, while goaltender Darren Hogg made 37 saves to get the victory. The Steam and the Knights had played each other three times in 31 days including their game on Wednesday and it showed, as both teams were certainly not pleased to see the other.
On Friday night the Steam returned home to faceoff against the Chase Heat. These teams had played once previously, that game being a 4-3 Chase win in overtime on October 19th in Chase. This meeting was not nearly as pleasant to the Chase Heat, as the Steam exploded for 6 goals in the third period to blow a 3-3 game wide open and give them a 9-3 victory. They got two goal performances from Kienan Scott and Sam Nigg, while Michael Winnitoy, Daylan Robertson, Braden Saretsky, and Jordan Boultbee each tallied 1 goal and 1 assist. Brett Huber made 22 saves in the Steam net and was solid when called upon to pick up the win.
Saturday night brought a much tougher test to the Summerland Arena for the Steam as the Kelowna Chiefs paid them a visit. The Chiefs are the leaders of the Okanagan Division and their leading scorer, Nick Josephs, also led the KIJHL in points with 70 going into the contest. Josephs opened the scoring in the first period before a hard-nosed effort from the Steam's Olli Dickson tied the score at one near the end of the first period.
In the second period the teams exchanged goals until Summerland had a 3-2 lead. The lead, however, did not last long, as Nick Josephs took control of the hockey game and led his team to 3 goals in a little under 5 minutes that saw a 3-2 deficit turn to a 5-3 lead going to the third period.
In the third the Steam came out with a purpose. They were helped by the Chiefs taking consecutive major penalties from Jordan Salahor and Austin Fisher to put the Steam on the powerplay for a whole 10 minutes. On the first 5 minutes the Steam weren't able to generate more than one shot, but on the second 5 minute penalty they were able to score twice. The goals came from team captain Daylan Robertson and Braden Saretsky to tie the game at 5. The score would stay the same all the way into overtime, when with :59 seconds remaining on the clock the Steam took a delay of game penalty that sent Kelowna to a 4-on-3 powerplay. On that powerplay it was Nick Josephs once again setting things up for Levi Johnson, who moved out from behind the net with the puck and roofed one on goaltender Brett Huber to lift the Chiefs over victory.
Josephs finished with 5 points on the night (3 Goals, 2 Assists) to bring his KIJHL leading point total to a staggering 75 in just 33 games played.
The Steam will take a 7 day break to spend the holidays with their families before coming back together next Saturday to travel to Osoyoos to take on the Coyotes. They will then return home for a Sunday matinee at 2PM against those same Coyotes to finish off a home and home series. Make sure to come out and support JR hockey in your community as the season goes on and the race in the KIJHL's Okanagan Division gets tighter and tighter. If you can't be at the rink be sure to join us on KIJHL.ca and watch live every home game, or visit our blog (Summerlandsteam.blogspot.ca) for pre-game and post-game comments!