Over the weekend the Summerland Steam took to the road for a 3 game road trip into Kimberly, Fernie, and Creston. The trip didn't get off to the start that the Steam would have liked, as when they boarded the bus on Friday morning nearly half the team was down with the flu. As all teams find out at one point or another during the season, the show must go on, and that's exactly what the Steam had to do. They were staring down the barrel of 3 games in 2.5 days, and didn't have any other choice but to battle through.
Prior to the Friday night matchup with the Kimberly Dynamiters, the coaching staff finalized a decision they'd been weighing for weeks, appointing Paulsen Lautard the Captain of the 2014/15 Summerland Steam. Lautard promptly rewarded them, showing as the Steam's best player in a Friday night shutout loss before collecting 4 goals and 3 assists in the final 2 games of the weekend.
On Saturday night Lautard was alone on the scoreboard, as he tallied all 3 Steam goals in a 5-3 loss to the Fernie Ghostriders. On Sunday afternoon, Alex Kong picked up his second victory of the season as the Steam picked up a 5-2 victory on the final leg of the road trip. Lautard picked up 4 points (1G, 3A) in the victory, while Jack Mills and Calvin Hadley each chipped in with 2 points.
Newcomer Lathan McKinney got his first crack at the Steam lineup on the weekend and impressed the coaching staff with his skating ability and puck control on defense. McKinney helped the Steam powerplay out tremendously as well, collecting 2 assists in the 3 weekend games.
Head Coach John Depourcq along with assistant coaches Wade Parker and Matt Taylor elected to give the team 2 full days off on the heels of the road trip in order to get the team healthy and ready for a BIG weekend ahead. The team will have both Friday and Saturday off before playing a pair of afternoon games on Sunday and Monday against a pair of tough opponents.
The Steam will face-off against the Kamloops Storm on Sunday afternoon at 2PM followed by a clash with the division leading (and undefeated) Osoyoos Coyotes on Monday afternoon at 1PM.
Stay tuned to the blog for a preview of both games coming a little later this week, including an in-depth look at both teams and what the Steam are going to have to do to beat them.