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Wednesday, 5 February 2014

STEAM START STRETCH DRIVE WITH A VISIT TO ARMSTRONG

On Wednesday night the Summerland Steam will travel to Armstrong to face the North Okanagan Knights. It will be the 6th meeting of the season between the two teams, the last one coming just 5 days ago on January 31st. It was a tightly contested game that saw the lead change hands 3 times in the final 3 minutes, with the Steam's leading scorer Kienan Scott scoring with just 20 seconds to play to give his team a 6-5 victory. The win by the Steam overshadowed an unbelievable goaltending performance from the Knights' Mitch Profeit on his birthday last Friday. Tonight's matchup will see the Knights trying to once again even up the season series, as with the win last Friday night the Steam lead the series 3-2.

Here's what you need to know prior to tonight's matchup:

SUMMERLAND STEAM (26-14-1-3, 56 PTS, 2ND IN OKANAGAN DIVISION)

The Steam come into tonight's contest as winners of 6 in a row and 8 of their past 10 games. They've been on an absolute tear since November 1st, climbing from a tie for 5th place to just 7 points out of 1st place in the Okanagan Division with 2 games in hand on the division leading Kelowna Chiefs. 

The Steam get contributions from everybody up and down the lineup every single night, but lately it has been their top line giving them the bulk of offense, lead by their leading scorer Kienan Scott. In his past 5 games, Scott has been on a roll, recording 6 goals and 8 points. This includes a hat trick, a 2 goal game, AND 2 game winning goals. When the game is on the line, Scott is the guy who seems to get the job done when the Steam need it the most. Along with his linemates, team captain Daylan Robertson and Paulsen Lautard, they lead the charge towards the playoffs with the rest of the forward group right behind them ready to step up when a big goal is needed.  

The Steam will welcome Gordon Walters back to the lineup tonight but will be without Rylan Sideroff. Alex Williams and Piers Egan also remain out of the lineup while they deal with ailments of their own. Williams looks as though he is nearing a return to the lineup sometime in the next week while Egan may be out for the remainder of the season. 

It looks as though Darren Hogg will start in goal for Summerland tonight after coming in to relieve Brett Huber after a tough 1st period on Friday night. Hogg enters play sporting a 9-6 record with a 3.38 GAA and a .908 SV%. in 17 appearances. 

NORTH OKANAGAN KNIGHTS (21-23-0-2, 44 PTS, 4TH IN OKANAGAN DIVISION)

The Knights come into tonight's game in Armstrong trending in the opposite direction of the Steam. They've lost 3 in a row, including that 6-5 loss to Summerland on Friday, a tough 4-3 OT loss in Osoyoos on Saturday, and a 5-3 defeat at the hands of the Princeton Posse in Armstrong on Sunday afternoon. 

The Knights and the Steam always play tough games against one another, and Wednesday night's contest should be no different. Both teams have the ability to score at any time and both do a good job keeping the puck out of their own net. When the puck does get to the net, both teams have a solid goaltending tandem that can steal them a game on any given night. 

For the Knights it's Zach Dyment and Mitch Profeit. The Steam have seen both of the Knights' goaltenders put up stellar efforts this season, and will expect no less when the two teams convene tonight. Both are young goaltenders who have strong futures ahead of them. 

On offense the Knights will be without one of their veterans in Tanner Burns, as he sits a suspension for "accumulated fighting majors". One of the players the Steam will certainly have to keep eyes on tonight is the Knights' Ryan Kelm. He is coming off a hat trick in the loss to the Posse on Sunday, and he looks dangerous every time he's on the ice. 

THE DETAILS

The puck drops tonight in Armstrong at 7PM and if you can't make it to the Nor-Val Arena, make sure to join the crew at KIJHL.ca for the webcast live. 

As always you can follow along on Facebook at 'Summerland Junior B Hockey Club' or on twitter with both teams (@SteamKIJHL & @NOKnights) as well as myself (@Steam_Voice) for all the updates you'll need to keep up with the KIJHL!