Facing arguably their toughest test of this young season over the next 3 days, the Summerland Steam climbed on the bus this morning to head to the Kootenays for 3 very tough games in 2.5 days. They start their grind tonight at the Civic Center in Kimberly where the 5-0 Dynamiters are ready and waiting. The two teams last met in the 2012/13 season in which Fernie won both meetings, 3-1 and 5-3.
As two teams who are vastly unfamiliar with one another, the focus turns to stats. Both teams have their strengths and weaknesses, and will surely look to exploit each other early on to get an upper hand. You can check out how the two teams compare with one another over at 'Nitros Night In Kimberly' with Josh Lockhart by clicking the link on the right side of our blog.
Here's how it shakes out after all the numbers are analyzed:
Summerland has the best defense corps and goaltender in the KIJHL, holding a 1.17 team Goals Against Average and a Save Percentage of over 95%. Their goaltending has been no less than stellar and has been helped by the play of their defensmen in the early part of this season. The Steam can also score at the other end of the ice, sitting fifth in Goals For (4.00 Goals per game). The top line has led the way on the scoreboard as Paulsen Lautard, Jack Mills, and Cole Woodliffe are 1,2,3 on the team leaderboard with 9,7, and 6 points respectively.
On the other side of the center line, the Kimberly Dynamiters boast one of the most potent offenses in the league. Early in the season they are averaging 5.60 Goals per game, with Coy Prevost leading the attack with 5 goals and 8 points in the first 5 games of the season.
The key for the Steam tonight against the Dynamiters will be shots on goal. Shots are always one of the most important elements to winning hockey games, but it will be especially important for the Steam tonight as Kimberly sits 17th in the league in Save Percentage at just a shade over 88%.
The puck drops at 7PM MOUNTAIN TIME (6PM IN THE OKANAGAN), and you can catch the broadcast from the Civic Center in Kimberly just prior to puck drop over at www.kijhl.ca