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Friday, 28 February 2014

STEAM GET SET FOR GAME 3

24 hours after a disappointing result at the end of Game 2 with the North Okanagan Knights, the Steam took to the ice for practice on Thursday in advance of Game 3 on Friday. They got back to the high-pace, fast action in practice that they've shown the ability to put forth in games, and are looking ready for Game #3 on Friday night at the Summerland Arena. Hopefully the 'Neuralyzer' from Men In Black was found and used around the practice facility on Thursday night and was able to erase the memories of Game #2 and get set for Game #3.

Darren Hogg will get his first start of the series for the Steam after coming into the game on Wednesday night in relief of Brett Huber, who's team did not give him any help in the loss. Hogg, who went 5-1 vs the Knights this season, will hope his team gives him a better defensive effort than they did on Wednesday night for his partner Huber in Armstrong.

While a new face is in the crease for the Steam in Game 3, Zach Dyment is expected to get his 3rd consecutive start in the series as he has been very solid for the Knights in goal. The Steam will need to get traffic to the net and bang away at rebounds to try and get a jump on the Knights. Dyment was very good against the Steam in the regular season, putting forth stellar efforts multiple times, and has carried that trend over to the playoffs.

GAME 3 PREVIEW:



After Game 2 on Wednesday night in Armstrong, the message from Coach Depourcq and Coach Wilson to their team was 'Forget about it and move on,' and that's exactly what the Steam will need to do in Game 3. Getting back to a fast start like they consistently achieved in the latter half of the regular season will be critical on Friday night, and the Steam will look for a total team effort to try to get back in the win column.

The place they really struggled on Wednesday night in Armstrong was in their own defensive zone. It was reminiscent of late October when the Steam were having trouble clearing their own zone and were just simply trying to hard to make the fancy play instead of making the easy clear. They really turned their play around at the start of November, and their improvement in the defensive zone was a big reason for the climb in the standings that lead to an Okanagan Division Championship. They'll have to curb that and do their best to make the clear the first time if they want to be successful against a very dangerous and hard-working Knights offence. 

The Steam have a very dangerous offence as well, it's just a matter of getting everybody going at the right time. Dylan Burton and Jordan Boultbee are two players that have put up points on offence so far in this series, while all other lines for the Steam have played well and created solid chances only to be thwarted by Zach Dyment in the North Okanagan goal. 

As for those North Okanagan Knights, they've got two players in Logan Mostat and Blaine Caton who are coming off hat tricks in Game 2, and will look for the production from all parts of their lineup to continue in Game 3. They play an extremely blue-collar, hard-nosed type of hockey and it shows in the physicality they bring to the table every single night. 


MY 3 KEYS TO THE GAME:


1. Take Care Of Your Own
 
- Part of the Steam's demise in Game 2 was their softness in the D zone. They allowed the Knights to get in and throw their weight around on the forecheck and that created scoring chances in front of the Summerland net. The Steam will need to be more efficient in their own zone and take the opportunity to make the easy clear when available. 

2. Keep It Simple

- The Steam have to eliminate the 'cuteness' from their game in the offensive zone and get in hard on the forecheck to force the puck to the front of the net. Even if it is just to create rebound chances, it'll be important for the Steam to have a strong presence below the goal line in the O zone. 

3. Provide Some Stiffness

- Summerland has been physically outmatched so far in this series, allowing the Knights to 'bully' them all over the ice. They need to provide a little stiffness in Game 3 and start to crash & bang their way into the offensive zone and to the net. 

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:


The puck drops tonight, February 28th, at 7:30 at the Summerland Arena! Tickets are just $10 for Adults and $8 for Students, and we hope to see you LOUD & PROUD in Red, White, and Black in your seat before puck drop tonight! Make sure you bring your noisemakers with you and don't forget your voice, because stick man Jason Smith won't let you stay quiet for long! He's done a great job getting the crowd going for us all season long and will surely be doing the same thing tonight! 


As always, you can follow along with the Steam on Facebook at 'Summerland Junior B Hockey Club' as well as on Twitter @SteamKIJHL. You can also follow along with me on Twitter @Steam_Voice for all the latest information on the Summerland Steam and the rest of the KIJHL playoff picture!

** IF YOU'RE ON FACEBOOK & TWITTER, BE SURE TO USE THE HASHTAGS #BRINGTHENOISE AND #GOSTEAMGO in your tweets & Facebook posts so we can show the boys all our support!