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Wednesday, 5 March 2014

IT ALL COMES DOWN TO THIS

WIN, or go home. It can't get any simpler than that.

It all comes down to one game between the Summerland Steam and the North Okanagan Knights for all the marbles, and it takes place Wednesday night at the Summerland Arena. Depending on the outcome, the Okanagan Division Championship Series will begin Friday either in Summerland or in Osoyoos.

The Steam head into a deciding Game 7 after Jordan Boultbee scored with :53 left on the clock to tie Game 6 at 1 before Sam Nigg ended the game with just over 3 minutes to play in the first 10 minute overtime period. It was a huge win for the Steam who were facing elimination for the second consecutive game, and it ensured that we'll all be in for a thrilling roller coaster ride in Game 7.

After winning Game 1 of this best of 7 series, the Steam dropped 3 in a row to the Knights, before winning 2 in a row to push the series to a 7th and deciding game. The biggest thing that's helped the Steam in the past two games is the fact that they're back to having fun. They seem a little more loose and relaxed and just got back to basics. They've done the little things right. Things like clearing their defensive zone, closing off their checks, and clogging up the middle of the ice.

The Steam are getting contributions from up and down their lineup in this playoff series, and that will need to continue through Game 7 in order to punch their ticket to a meeting with the Osoyoos Coyotes on Friday night. Summerland has also had the luxury of having two goaltenders that can play every single night, and it's shown with Brett Huber and Darren Hogg splitting the series and playing 3 games each.

Huber got the win in Game 6 after Hogg collected a victory in Game 5, so it would be irresponsible for me to make a guess as to who Steam Head Coach John Depourcq will call upon in Game 7. Whichever one he goes with will give the team solid minutes on Wednesday night in Game 7, and both give their teammates stability in the crease and some confidence to know that if they push the offensive pace they have a guy back there who can bail them out in a pinch.

It is set to be a big night at the Summerland Arena on Wednesday night with Game 7 taking place, so make sure to wear your Red, White and Black and BRING THE NOISE! Puck drop is at 7:30 and you aren't going to want to miss it! If you're unable to make it to the rink, feel free to join myself and the rest of the broadcast team at KIJHL.ca just prior to puck drop and we'll get you set with all you need to know for this winner-take-all battle!