The Steam and the Coyotes have played each other 7 times so far this season and Summerland leads the season series thus far 4 games to 3. Each team has one win on their home ice, but that's it. 5 of the 7 games played between the two teams have been won by the road team. This means Summerland is going to have to come out with a fast start again tonight in order to get the jump on the Coyotes. Here's what you need to know about each team:
SUMMERLAND STEAM (32-15-1-3, 68 PTS, 1ST PLACE, OK DIVISION)
The Steam are coming off their biggest win of the season last night in Kelowna. It was a division clinching
3-1 win that saw the Steam jump out to an early lead once again, scoring on the powerplay just a minute and a half into the game. The Steam's best players came to play last night, and it showed as three different lines were in on scoring plays and the fourth was extremely solid in their own end of the ice as well as Kelowna's end all night long. The Steam will need much of the same tonight against a tough Coyotes' squad.
Darren Hogg is likely to start the final game of the season against his former club after Brett Huber performed admirably in the win last night. Huber made 18 saves on 19 QUALITY Chiefs' shots and was particularly good when the Steam were a little slow in the second period. Huber SHOULD take home 'Goaltender of the Year' Honours for the Okanagan Division, as he sits 3rd in the league overall among goaltenders and the next closest Okanagan Division goaltenders are Tyler O'Donnell and Connor DeMelo from the Kelowna Chiefs who sit 13th and 14th, respectively.
Hogg this season has appeared in 20 games, amassing an 11-7 record while compiling a 3.24 GAA and a .909 SV%. He also has 2 assists to his credit this season. He has battled some adversity this season first with an ankle injury that saw him miss nearly 7 weeks followed by having his gear stolen in late January. He has bounced back, however, and found a way to get back into the net to finish his Jr career off with hopefully a long playoff run with the Steam.
OSOYOOS COYOTES (29-21-0-1, 59 PTS, 3RD PLACE, OK DIVISION)
The Coyotes come into Summerland tonight after beating up on the North Okanagan Knights last night to extend their winning streak to 6 games. They come in as hot as the Steam and will look to even the season series at 4.
Rainer Glimpel had a hat trick for the Coyotes against the Knights last night, and has looked dangerous each and every time he's played the Steam this season. He provides a scoring threat on the Coyotes' second line, just in case their top line of Maclise, Chmelka and Azevedo get shut down.
The Coyotes also boast the guy who very well could be named the Okanagan Division's Top Defenseman in Osoyoos native Cameron Dobransky. Dobransky plays in all key situations for head coach Ken Law and will be counted upon to shut down the Steam just like every other night these two teams play. He also possesses the threat to jump into the rush as well, so that will be something the Steam need to look out for.
The likely starter for the Coyotes tonight is Lawrence Langan. in 34 appearances this season the 18 year old has put up solid numbers, posting a 3.30 GAA and a .898 SV% while picking up 18 wins in those 34 appearances.
The puck drops at the Summerland Arena at 7:30PM and it will be one heck of a hockey game. Make sure to come out and support Jr Hockey in the community and BRING THE NOISE to cheer on the Steam as they return home as the OKANAGAN DIVISION CHAMPIONS!!