The Summerland Steam took to the ice on Friday night in Armstrong as they faced the North Okanagan Knights for the 5th time in just over 50 days, gaining a hard fought 5-1 victory. It was a gritty affair that started with a goal from Daylan Robertson, (assisted by Reid Brown and Easton Bodeaux) just over a minute into the game. That's when the blood began to boil between the two division rivals, as just a couple of minutes later Cooper Holick and Mathew Halvorson dropped their mitts for a spirited tilt that resulted in them each receiving 5 minutes for fighting and an early shower.
Gordon Walters extended the lead for the Steam at the 15:49 mark of the period on a goal that was assisted by Braden Saretsky and Daylan Robertson. The Steam lost one of their top defensemen, Alex Williams, early in the first period after a collision with a Knights' player that resulted in Williams leaving the game and not returning with what is expected to be some degree of knee injury.
In the second period the Knights got one goal back, as Blaine Caton beat Steam goaltender Darren Hogg with a tip on a point shot from Paul Biegel just in front of the Summerland net to bring the score to 2-1. In the third period though, the Steam came out with purpose. Sam Nigg started the scoring at the 14:35 mark of the third period with a goal that was set up by Rylan Sideroff and Reid Brown. That was followed just three minutes later by the Steam's leading scorer, Kienan Scott, potting one on the powerplay assisted again by Sideroff and Brown. Jordan Boultbee would round out the scoring for the Steam and bring the score to 5-1 on the powerplay, a goal that was set up by Daylan Robertson and Gordon Walters.
Darren Hogg was solid in the Summerland goal stopping 35 of the 36 shots he faced while Zach Dyment stopped 36 of 41 Steam shots for the Knights.
The win brings the Steam to 2nd place in the Okanagan Division, a point ahead of the Osoyoos Coyotes and just 5 points back of the division leading Kelowna Chiefs. Both teams, however, do hold 2 games in hand over the Steam, so Summerland will need to continue to play solid hockey down the stretch to secure their desired playoff berth.
The Steam now have an eight day break before taking to the ice again on the 18th of January when they travel to Osoyoos for what will be their biggest game of the year to date. They then go up the road to Rutland three nights later on the 21st to face the division leading Kelowna Chiefs.
The Steam will return home once again on January 24th to face the Princeton Posse for a 7:30 face-off, so be sure to come out and support the boys as they push their way up the Okanagan Division standings in search of a playoff berth!