Kelowna did not get off to a good start as they were penalized for 'Delay of Game' by referee Shane Hillman before the opening puck drop. They did not get off the ice before the final buzzer of warm-up and were penalized for it. It isn't a penalty you see often anymore but it is the third time this season that penalty has been called in a game that Summerland is involved in. It was the first time, however, that it's been called on the opposition and not the Steam.
Summerland took advantage of the early powerplay as Daylan Robertson opened the scoring just :48 seconds into the hockey game. Nigg and Lautard would record assists on the powerplay goal, Robertson's 19th of the season. Michael Winnitoy would then add to the Summerland lead on another powerplay with 8:02 to go in the first period, rifling a shot from the point high and over the blocker of Kelowna starter Tyler O'Donnell.
Summerland would go back to the powerplay with just :12 seconds to go in the first period as Blake Arcuri was whistled for tripping Olli Dickson after spearing him in the midsection. He got away with the stick jab, but was caught on the trip as Dickson went to the ice. The Steam couldn't convert before the end of the first but did connect in the first minute of the second as Daylan Robertson banged home his 20th of the season, a rebound off a Winnitoy shot to lengthen the lead to 3. Lautard then got into the goal column after he chipped a puck around a Kelowna defender and rifled a shot low to the blocker side of O'Donnell just a couple of minutes later.
That would spell the end for O'Donnell who faced 15 shots and made 11 saves in just a shade under 24 minutes of play before AP goaltender Nick Crowder came in to replace him. Crowder would be busy in the latter half of the second period but would only be beaten once, that by Jordan Boultbee who put a shot up and over the shoulder of Crowder for a short side beauty.
Kelowna would then pick up 2 powerplay goals from Adam Beatty and Alex Gran in the final couple of minutes of the second period. In the third, the Steam scored again in the first minute as Paulsen Lautard got behind the defense and squeaked his 2nd of the night and 22nd of the season past Crowder in the Kelowna goal to restore Summerland's 4 goal lead.
It looked as though we would get through the rest of the game with no major issues but as time wound down and the score became more and more out of reach, tempers started to flare. At the 8:12 mark of the third period Reid Brown and Calvin Hadley both made a hit on Jagger Bowles at the same time, and Brown was going to receive a boarding penalty. Alex Gran took exception to the hit and was intercepted on his way to Brown by Calvin Hadley. As they wrestled, Gran managed to get a handful of Hadley's hair, and received a 5 minute major and a match penalty for 'hair pulling'. Hadley was given 2 minutes for roughing and a 10 minute misconduct, effectively ending the night for #6 of the Summerland Steam.
While the penalties were being sorted out the benches began to get into it with one another. Something must have been said to Anthony Ruggiero of the Kelowna Chiefs as he went a bit crazy slamming his stick on the glass partition between benches multiple times while jawing at the Summerland players. While the defensive end of the Kelowna bench was screaming 'Stay Classy' to the offensive end of the Kelowna bench who were going nuts, one of the Chiefs' associate coaches began spraying water over the glass partition into the Summerland bench. He picked up a Gross Misconduct for his unsportsmanlike activity and referee Shane Hillman consequently came over and ended the skirmish.
The game would end without much incident after that, with the Steam picking up a 6-2 win in convincing fashion. The team will board the bus on Saturday and attend the memorial service of fallen teammate Alex Fraser in West Kelowna before heading to Princeton to play the Posse on Saturday night at 7:30. They will then return home for 'Fan Appreciation Day' on Sunday afternoon vs the North Okanagan Knights.
Tickets will be just $8, FAMILY PACKS (2 Adults, up to 4 Children under 12) just $16! We're going to have some giveaways from our game sponsor, FORTIS BC, as well as a 2 night stay at the Best Western Inn at Penticton, and we'll have some great deals going on at the concession!
As always you can follow along with the team on Facebook at 'Summerland Junior B Hockey Club' or on twitter with the Summerland Steam (@SteamKIJHL) and with myself (@Steam_Voice) for all the latest updates on the Summerland Steam and the KIJHL!