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Friday, 14 February 2014

NO LOVE LOST ON VALENTINE'S DAY AS CHIEFS COME TO TOWN

After a week of practice and some rest and relaxation, love is in the air! It's Valentine's Day and the Summerland Steam will take to the ice tonight to face the Okanagan Division leading Kelowna Chiefs. Even though it is Valentine's Day, I can assure you there will be NO love lost between these two teams when they hit the ice tonight.

The Steam are coming off a 4-2 win in Sicamous last Saturday after shutting down the Revelstoke Grizzlies 7-2 last Friday night. Tonight they turn their attention to a familiar foe, the first place Kelowna Chiefs.

The Steam and the Chiefs have played each other 6 times so far this season, with each team winning three times. Oddly enough, in an era where home ice is coveted by all teams heading to the playoffs, this season series is the polar opposite of that. In fact, all games in this season series have been won by the road team, which is unusual given how good either team is on their home ice. Every game but one (4-2 Steam win Jan 21) have been one goal games and all have gone right down to the wire.

The Steam currently trail the Chiefs by 5 points and will carry a game in hand through Friday night's contest at the Summerland Arena. The Steam will need to 'take care of their own' in their home rink in order to keep any hope alive of fighting for first place all the way down to the wire. Here's the rest of what you need to know to get you set for Friday's monumental showdown:

SUMMERLAND STEAM (28-15-1-3, 60 PTS, 2ND PLACE, OK DIVISION)

The Steam head into a busy weekend this weekend hoping to continue the trend of winning that they've established since the beginning of November. The Steam have had their all around game together as of late and have really come together as a team in the face of adversity while chasing down their desired first place position. They'll continue their chase on Friday night while battling some injuries, as Kienan Scott, Easton Bodeux, Olli Dickson, and Alex Williams will all be game-time decisions. Jordan Boultbee looks to be healthy again after missing last Saturday's contest in Sicamous with an apparent lower body injury.

**In the race for 1st place, if the Steam win their final five games it does not matter what anybody else in the division does, they will finish in 1st place. 

KELOWNA CHIEFS (31-14-0-3, 65 PTS, 1ST PLACE, OK DIVISION)

The Chiefs come in to Friday's game off a 5-3 loss to the Kamloops Storm last Saturday. They always play the Summerland Steam well, and we should expect no different on Friday night. The Steam will expect the Chiefs to come in with a purpose and looking to extend their lead atop the Okanagan Division. If the Chiefs want to come out with a victory on Friday, they'll need to be lead by their team captain, Jordan Salahor.

The Chiefs possess a lot of grit and a lot of firepower, and it all starts with Salahor. In an abbreviated season this season due to a serious leg injury, Salahor has returned to lead the Chiefs towards the playoffs. In 25 games played this season, Jordan has 13 Goals and 15 Assists for 28 points while collecting 43 PIM. The 20 year old Kelowna native is a veteran in his 4th full KIJHL season, and has amassed 57 Goals and 103 Assists for 160 points in 156 career games, all but one with his hometown Chiefs.

The Steam seem to bring out the best in Salahor, as he's played against most of the Steam's 20 year old group of players all through minor hockey as well as junior, spanning the past 12 years or so. In 3 games against the Steam this season Salahor has recorded 2 Goals and 5 points while collecting 13 penalty minutes.

You can catch all the action live and in person at the Summerland Arena tonight as it is 'Guaranteed Win Night', courtesy of Spud Bros. Concession at Summerland Arena. IF the Steam win tonight, that means on Sunday for 'Fan Appreciation Day', fresh cut homemade fries are FREE from the concession at the Summerland Arena! Nester's Market is our game night sponsor and they'll have some Valentine's Day giveaways, and we've also got a program draw for a 2 night stay in the honeymoon suite at the Best Western Inn at Penticton!

As always you can follow along with us on Facebook at 'Summerland Jr B Hockey Club' or on Twitter @SteamKIJHL! You can also follow along with myself (@Steam_Voice) for all the latest updates related to the team and the KIJHL!