Tonight the Summerland Steam will take to the road to visit the Princeton Posse. After a big, emotional victory and a 6-2 triumph over the Kelowna Chiefs last night, the Steam will board the bus to attend the funeral services of their teammate, Alex Fraser, before heading to Princeton this afternoon.
The Posse and the Steam have played one another 7 times so far this season, with tonight's game being the 8th and final game of the season series. Summerland leads the season series by a healthy margin of 6 wins to 1 loss, while outscoring the Posse 24-14 in those 7 games. The last time these two teams met in Princeton, however, it was the Posse coming out on top and scorching the Steam 6-2.
It will be Brett Huber who gets the start for the Steam tonight, and it will be important for them to get off to a fast start and keep their emotions in check after what is sure to be an emotional afternoon. The Steam will be without their leading scorer once again, as Kienan Scott misses his third straight game after suffering an injury on a hit from behind last Friday night against Revelstoke. The Steam will also for sure be without Braden Saretsky tonight and may be without some others as well.
The Steam did a good job last night of controlling their emotions and not letting the magnitude of the game or the situation get to them. In fact, it seemed to help them as they got off to a quick start and never looked back. They`ll have to do the same tonight against a hard nosed, blue collar Princeton Posse team.
The Posse possess a solid offensive core and good goaltending in Scott Legault and Spencer Huff, and will provide a stiff test for the Steam. They've also been able to welcome one of their best defensemen back to their lineup in the past couple of games, that being 16 year old Penticton native Cooper Prechel.
Prechel was having a standout rookie season with the Posse and being leaned on heavily to play some tough minutes before he went down with a hand injury that required surgery just before Christmas. After surgery and nearly 8 weeks of recovery time, Prechel made his return to the lineup February 12th vs the Osoyoos Coyotes. He then registered his first point since coming back, an assist, in the Posse's last game, a 7-3 victory over the North Okanagan Knights last night. He's been a factor in the game every time he's been in the lineup against the Steam, and tonight would seem to be no different.
The puck drops in Princeton tonight at 7:30. If you can`t make it to the Princeton & District Arena tonight be sure to join George Elliott and the Posse Web Crew at kijhl.ca to take in all the action!
As always you can follow along with the Steam on Facebook at 'Summerland Junior B Hockey Club' and on twitter with the Steam (@SteamKIJHL) the Posse (@PosseWebCrew) and myself (@Steam_Voice) for all the latest updates!