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Saturday, 29 November 2014


We knew coming into Friday night's matchup between the Summerland Steam and the Kelowna Chiefs was going to come down to special teams. It was a fact that was noted by both coaching staffs prior to puck drop, and both teams had chances to make the other pay with the man advantage on the night. It ended in a 6-4 score and a 5th straight win for the Summerland Steam, and this is how we got there:


It didn't take long for the two teams to wear thin of one another's presence on this particular Friday night. Chase Astorino and Calvin Hadley got themselves into it just 2:55 into the hockey game, each getting a 10 minute misconduct with Astorino picking up an additional two minutes for roughing. It took just :04 seconds on the powerplay for Riley Pettitt to win a faceoff to Michael McEachern, who tee'd one up for Lathan McKinney to hammer his 4th of the season past Chris Turner to give Summerland an early lead. 

That lead didn't last long, however, as Ethan Rusnack tied the game just 1:44 later. Rusnack was allowed to come down the right wing and beat his defenseman wide before he beat Brett Huber short side with a great wrist shot. The tying goal, Rusnack's team leading 14th of the season, turned the tide and Kelowna really brought the tempo to Summerland for the next several minutes. 

With Brett Huber standing tall in his crease while Kelowna buzzed around, it was Summerland who capitalized on an odd man rush. Against the run of play, Braden Eliuk fought his way up the right wing boards and moved the puck through a crowd to Cole Woodliffe, sparking a 2-on-0 for the Steam. As Woodliffe came down the right wing with the puck, he made a move around a sprawling Chiefs' defenseman to get the puck to Jack Mills. Mills had a yawning cage to put the puck into for his 10th of the season, giving the Steam a 2-1 lead near the midway mark of the 1st period. 

For the next five minutes or so there wasn't much action to make note of, but with 5:54 left on the clock in the first period, Dakota Kittle gave us all something to talk about. It wasn't the good kind of things we like to talk about, in fact it was exactly the opposite. As the play came to a stop in front of Chris Turner a crowd formed in front, and Rylan Sideroff came together with a Kelowna player. As they began to separate, Kittle came out of nowhere with a high cross-check to the throat of Sideroff, sparking nothing but a health scare for the Summerland Steam forward. Sideroff immediately dropped his stick and gloves and clutched his throat, and the look in his eyes told everyone in the building he could no longer breathe. He rushed to the bench and down the tunnel where the Steam's medical staff took care of him and got him back to a point where he was no longer in danger.

As for Kittle, he was escorted to the penalty box and after some deliberation he was sent to the dressing room after receiving 5 and a game for a cross check. There should undoubtedly be a suspension involved too, as it was one of the most vicious cross checks seen inside the arena. At first some might have thought I was biased and maybe a little rough on Kittle in-broadcast, but after talking to several fans both from Kelowna and Summerland in the building, I knew it wasn't just me.

Regardless of if it warrants a suspension or not, it did give Summerland a 5 minute powerplay to work with, and they made it count. After Riley Pettitt scored his 6th of the season off a rebound at 3:51, Nelson Hurry buried a hard wrister behind Chris Turner from about 40 feet. Hurry's 3rd of the season gave Summerland a sizeable 4-1 lead heading to the 2nd period, and they looked to build on it early.

At the start of the second period Summerland came out with a purpose. They continued to drive shots on net like they had in the first, but Turner stood tall. The period was chopped up by a couple of penalties, but it had a fairly slow pace overall. Kelowna was able to get two goals just over 3 minutes apart to cut the lead to 4-3, as a Kevin Roth shot found it's way through Huber at 13:38 before Josh Kobelka capitalized on a nifty pass from Braeden Cyra at 10:34 on the powerplay.

Heading to the third Kelowna had the edge, and were pushing to get the game tied up. Their hopes were dashed, though, when at 16:28 the Summerland Steam scored while at 4on4. After stealing the puck in the neutral zone, Summerland Steam AP Nathan Iannone put a puck to the net, and it got past Chris Turner. Iannone was awarded an assist as the referees deemed the puck went off Tristan Bukovec, another AP from OHA. Regardless of who scored it and who assisted it, the AP line got the Steam their 2 goal lead back and didn't relinquish it. 

Austin Braid was able to bring the Chiefs back within 1 at the 13:42 mark, but Wyatt Gale potted his 6th of the season with 4:34 to go to restore the 2 goal lead and avoid the late push from the Chiefs. 

With all the goals in this game, you wouldn't think the highlight would be a fight, but indeed it was. Calvin Hadley and Chase Astorino were after one another from the drop of the puck on this night, and they finally got their chance to dance with 15:38 to play in the 3rd period. It was a spirited tilt, probably the best I've seen as a broadcaster, between two big bodies who had no problem standing there and throwing haymakers. Hadley got the best of Astorino early in the fight, but Astorino did well to stay on his feet and eventually take Hadley down. 

This fight was one of two on the night, as Nelson Hurry and Josh Baird got into a very short-lived tilt a few minutes later that resulted in 1 or 2 punches being thrown before both guys went to the ice. 

In the end the game finished in a 6-4 final in favour of Summerland, who now move on to face the Osoyoos Coyotes at the Sun Bowl in Osoyoos on Saturday. They expect to have newcomer Tyson Klingspohn in the lineup when they take to the ice for warm-up, as he will meet the team in Osoyoos after driving from Kimberly. 

Alex Williams will miss his 2nd game in a row, and Calvin Hadley will serve a 1 game suspension for accumulated fighting majors. Kendell Wilson will also draw back into the lineup for the Steam after serving a 1 game suspension, and Riley Pettitt will likely be a game-time decision. 

Puck drop is 7:35, and you can catch all the action on with Tom Shields.


The Summerland Steam started their Friday off with a bang last night, as upon arrival to the arena we learned there had been a trade made. That trade sent 2nd year Steam forward Braden Saretsky (5G+8A) to the Kimberly Dynamiters in exchange for the Nitros' leading scorer, Tyson Klingspohn.

In 64 career games with the Summerland Steam over the past 2 seasons, Saretsky has amassed 35 points (13 + 22) and 88 PIMs. He has been an integral part of both sides of special teams, and he will be missed by all his teammates in Summerland. The Summerland Steam organization wishes Braden all the best and thank him for all his hard work and dedication over the past 2 seasons.

Embedded image permalinkIn exchange for Saretsky, Summerland has acquired Penticton native Tyson Klingspohn. The '96 born forward has spent the past 2.5 seasons with the Nitros and is in the midst of a career year, surpassing his career highs in both goals and points in only 26 games. In those 26 games so far this season, Klingspohn has put up 21 goals and 12 assists for 33 points and sits inside the top 10 in KIJHL scoring. In 121 career games with the Dynamiters, the 18-year old forward has put up 50 goals and 40 assists for 90 points, while amassing 68 PIM. The Steam welcomes Tyson to the organization, and GM Gregg Wilson is hopeful that he will be in the lineup on Saturday when the Steam travel to face the Osoyoos Coyotes.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014


Coming into a weekend that will see the Summerland Steam play both the Kelowna Chiefs (at home) and the Osoyoos Coyotes (on the road), the boys from Summerland are feeling pretty good. They've won 4 in a row, they've jumped to 2nd in the division with multiple games in hand on their division rivals, and they've come together as a group after losing their captain and leading scorer.

This coming Friday marks the Summerland Festival of Lights, and for the first time in the history of the current ownership group, the Steam will not be out in the community during 'Light-Up'. Instead, as a culmination to the festivities downtown on Friday afternoon/evening, the Steam will take on a familiar foe in the Kelowna Chiefs on Friday night at the Summerland Arena. Tickets will be just $8 for Adults, $6 for Seniors, and students from ALL middle schools and secondary schools from Penticton to West Kelowna get in FREE when they show their student ID card at the door! 


The Steam haven't made a trip to the Rutland Arena to play the Chiefs yet, but the two teams will play their 3rd game of the season head to head on Friday. Summerland has started the season 2-0 against the Chiefs, winning 6-1 on opening night and 5-2 on October 24th. Since their previous meeting, the Chiefs have gone 6-3-1-0-1 while the Steam have gone 5-2-0-1. You'll see there's an extra column in Kelowna's stat line, as they had a 5-0 win over the Osoyoos Coyotes defaulted to a 1-0 loss on October 25th due to an ineligible player. That player was Austin Braid, who was suspended after being assessed a game misconduct for goaltender interference after running over Brett Huber in the last meeting between Summerland and Kelowna.

It's no secret that these two division rivals have a certain distaste for one another. The rivalry goes back as long as I've been involved with the KIJHL, and it seems as though every battle between the two adds fuel to an already burning fire. There will be no shortage of physical play in Friday night's contest, and both teams and their coaches will want to come out with nothing short of a victory.


Without counting that defaulted loss to Osoyoos, Kelowna has been on quite a roll and have found their groove. The boys from Rutland seem to be gelling together as a team and buying into the philosophies put forth by first year Head Coach Jason Tansem. They're still under .500 (0.442% winning percentage) for the season, but with their play continuing to strengthen it won't be long before they're there as they've gone 6-3-0-1 in their last 10 games.

Early in the season the Chiefs seemed to have some trouble scoring goals, as Jonathan Lee and Ethan Rusnack put up most of their points and still lead the team with 34 and 28 points respectively. The Chiefs continue to struggle to score goals (2.92 per game, 18th in KIJHL), but have improved lately. In recent games though they've had strong efforts turned in by some of their veterans, as Dylan Jamieson, Josh Kobelka and Braeden Cyra have all begun to turn it around after a bit of a slow start.

Kelowna's special teams have started to come around recently as well. They've improved to 13th in the KIJHL at 13.45% on the powerplay while carrying an 82.19% success rate on the penalty kill, good for 12th in the league.

As for team defense, goaltender Chris Turner seems to be the backbone of the Chiefs, turning in strong effort after strong effort as of late after struggling out of the gate. Turner now sits right next to Summerland's Brett Huber in the top 10 goalie rankings in the KIJHL with a 2.80 GAA and a .915 SV%. He has made starts both times these two teams have gone head to head, and has been good in both games despite the results. He'll likely get the start again on Friday when the teams go head to head for meeting number 3 of 8 on the season.


In goal for Summerland it will likely be Brett Huber, also in the top 10 in the KIJHL among goaltenders with a 2.06 GAA and a .906% SV%. Since Steam captain Paulsen Lautard signed in Trail, it has been a 20 man effort every single game that's resulted in 3 wins and 14 goals for. For a team that lost it's leading scorer, an average of nearly 5 goals per game isn't bad. It's been the likes of Cole Woodliffe, Riley Pettitt, Braden Eliuk and Jack Mills, among others, who have stepped up offensively for the Steam.

While playing a sound game in the offensive zone (3.59 GF per game, 8th in KIJHL), Summerland has maintained one trait that has been a constant all season which is team defense. Head Coach John Depourcq as well as assistants Wade Parker and Matt Taylor have preached defense first early in the season and it's showing, with the team's goals against average continuing to drop in the right direction and holding steady at 1st overall at 2.50.

In addition to scoring depth and sound defense, Summerland is very good on special teams. They currently hold steady at 8th in the KIJHL on the powerplay at 16.98%, and 3rd on the Penalty Kill at 87.50%. They'll look to take advantage of their powerplay numbers in this hockey game, while surely trying to limit the number of times they find themselves shorthanded.

As far as personnel is concerned, Kendell Wilson won't play for Summerland vs Kelowna on Friday. A suspension was assessed by the KIJHL for a fight in the last 10 minutes of Saturday night's 4-1 win over the Princeton Posse that will see him miss Friday's contest. This MAY give us another look at young Tristan Bukovec, a 16 year old AP from the Okanagan Hockey Academy. It remains to be seen if the kid they call "Buke" is available to play this weekend, but he certainly impressed in his first KIJHL game vs the Creston Valley Thunder Cats last Friday.

Puck drop is 7:30 on Light Up Night in Summerland, but head downtown starting at 5:00pm for live entertainment, great booths from tons of vendors, and more food than you can ever eat!

Tickets for the tilt between Summerland and Kelowna are just $8 for adults, $6 for Seniors, and STUDENTS FROM WEST KELOWNA, PEACHLAND, SUMMERLAND AND PENTICTON GET IN FREE WHEN SHOWING THEIR STUDENT ID CARD AT THE DOOR.

Sunday, 23 November 2014


After what would be considered a 'Character' win over the Creston Valley Thunder Cats on Friday night by a score of 4-3, the Summerland Steam climbed on the bus and headed for Princeton on Saturday. Waiting for them after a 2-1 loss to Kamloops on Friday night were the Princeton Posse, looking for a rebound game to get back into the win column.

The combination of a Summerland win and a Princeton loss on Friday night brought the Steam to within 1 point of the 2nd place Posse, and with a chance to pass them in the standings and keep games in hand, they knew they needed to come out with a win on Saturday night.


One of the things that Summerland Head Coach John Depourcq mentioned in his post-game comments on our broadcast on Friday was 'weathering the storm' in the first period against the Posse, who play their home games in a small rink on a small ice surface. Not only did the Steam take his comments to heart, but they pushed early in the game, and got on the scoreboard just over 3 minutes in. The goal was the 8th of the season and first of 2 on the night for Jack Mills, as he took a puck off the left wing boards and threw it on net, having it find it's way past Posse goaltender Bailey Stephens on the short side.

The goal came just over 3 minutes into the first period, and it got the Summerland Steam off to a good start and gave goaltender Spencer Huff, a former Princeton Posse goaltender, a cushion to work with. Huff was strong in this game, allowing only 1 goal on 34 shots. That goal came just 6 minutes after the Steam opened the scoring on a rebound that took three whacks to get to the net. Eden Dubchak would get credit for the goal with an assist to Brandon Workun, and after one period the game stayed tied at 1.

In the second period the Posse came out strongly, but couldn't beat Huff in the Summerland goal. Summerland was sound defensively, not allowing many 2nd chances, and weathered the storm until they could find some offense near the mid-point of the period. With 8:52 to go in the 2nd, Kendell Wilson was able to locate a rebound to the left of Stephens and lift it over the sprawling goaltender for his 3rd of the season. Rylan Sideroff and Calvin Hadley would draw assists on what turned out to be the game winning goal for the road team.

Even though Summerland got the go ahead goal, it was Princeton who kept bringing the pressure and creating offense. They were unsuccessful, and Summerland would capitalize again with just over a minute to go in the period. Michael McEachern, who skates extremely well, was able to streak up the left wing on a 3-on-2 and find the trailer, Cody Egilson, who wired a shot past Stephens to extend the lead to 3-1.

In the third there wasn't much action to write home about, save for a spirited tilt between Kendell Wilson and Tyler Ehlers with 8:28 to go in the game. A fight in the last 10 minutes means Wilson will miss next Friday's tilt with the Kelowna Chiefs due to suspension.

After the fight, Princeton kept the pressure on, but were not successful in beating Spencer Huff. After he stood tall, Jack Mills would get his second of the night and 9th of the season into an empty net with just under a minute to go to seal a victory.


The Steam will head back to practice this week to prepare for a big divisional weekend next weekend as they host the Kelowna Chiefs on Friday and travel to play the Osoyoos Coyotes on Saturday. With Kendell Wilson suspended for the game against the Chiefs we might get another look at AP player Tristan Bukovec on Friday night. The kid they call "Buke" was very good in his debut vs the Creston Valley Thunder Cats on November 21st, and earned the praises of Head Coach John Depourcq as well as team management staff and ownership post game this past Friday.

This upcoming Friday night, November 28th is the Summerland Festival of Lights. For the first time since their inception in 2011-2012, the Steam will not be able to attend 'Light Up' due to a game. Because they wish they could be there when the lights come on at 7:00, the Steam will have $8 tickets available for everyone as well as FREE ADMISSION for all Summerland Middle School and Summerland Secondary School Students when they show their Student ID.

Look for an in-depth preview of next weekend's games mid-week right here on the blog, and make sure if you can't join us in the arena to join us for a full pre-game show starting around 7:15 ahead of a 7:30 start.

Saturday, 22 November 2014


Teammates Celebrate with Braden Eliuk after his 5th
goal of the season during a game vs the Creston Valley
Thunder Cats on November 21st.
Photo Credit: Sarah Mayer
On Friday night the Summerland Steam took to home ice in search of their third win in a row and 7th in their last 10. The opponents were the Creston Valley Thunder Cats, who the Steam beat 5-2 in Creston on October 5th.

With a minor hockey team from Whitehorse in the house to watch the game, Head Coach John Depourcq was able to put the 'Yukon Connection' back together. It had been a few weeks since the line of Jarrett Malchow, Riley Pettitt and Wyatt Gale had been together as injuries and illness ran rampant through the Summerland Steam dressing room, but coach Depourcq was rewarded pretty much right away en route to a 4-3 Summerland victory.


It didn't take long for the boys from Whitehorse to connect on a pretty scoring play, as just 1:05 into the hockey game Riley Pettitt would get on the board with his 5th of the season. After Wyatt Gale stripped a puck off a Creston defender he started in on a 3-on-1 with both Malchow and Petttitt. Gale came down the right wing looking like he was going to shoot, but instead elected to drop to Pettitt who had a wide open net and made no mistake.

With a 1-0 lead, Summerland didn't let up as they kept the pressure on the Creston net. With all the pressure in the Creston defensive zone, the Thunder Cats were able to break up the ice twice on odd man rushes just under a minute a part and were rewarded on both opportunities. First it was Nicholas Kovacik, who was able to convert on a bad bounce off a Steam defender that fell straight to him. Shortly after the Kovacik tally it was Carson Cartwright getting in on the action on a powerplay as he was able to take a pass and backhand one past Steam goaltender Brett Huber to give his team a 2-1 lead after the 1st period.

In the second the flow of play was very back and forth as both teams had their chances in the early half of the period. Finally it was the 'Cats captain, Marcel Fuchs, who was able to locate a rebound and poke it past Brett Huber with just over 8 minutes to go to give his team a 2 goal lead. 

As nice as the 2 goal cushion was for Creston, it didn't last long, as Summerland was able to bring themselves back within one on a powerplay thanks to Braden Eliuk's 4th of the year. Off a won draw in the offensive zone, Cole Woodliffe took a low, hard shot from the point that created a rebound. The rebound off the pads of Creston goaltender Brock Lefebvre sat in the slot waiting for someone to go get it, and Eliuk was that guy. He walked into a shot and ripped it top corner to cut the deficit back to 1 with 5:53 to go in the 2nd period. 

Not long after the Eliuk goal, it looked as though Cole Woodliffe had tied the hockey game on a wrap-around, but the goal was disallowed due to the net being off. With the non-goal, the score would stay 3-2 in favor of the Thunder Cats headed to the third period. 

Facing a one goal deficit, the Summerland Steam came out in the third period ready to work. Through several minutes of unimpeded pressure, the Steam had plenty of opportunity but no finish. This was until the 12:11 mark of the third when a failed shot attempt from Riley Pettitt fluttered into the corner. Pettitt was able to retrieve the puck himself and force it out front of the net, where Wyatt Gale was waiting with his stick on the ice to bury his 5th of the season and tied the game at 3. 

With the game tied, the Steam didn't let up the pressure. They continued to hang around the Thunder Cats' zone and put shots on Brock Lefebvre, but Lefebvre stood tall in the crease and made a couple of very strong saves to keep the game tied. 

The game turned with about 9 minutes remaining in the 3rd when Lien Miller-Jeannotte took exception to a hit on the boards from Nelson Hurry and came back with a blatant cross check to the numbers. He was given 2 minutes for interference on the play as well as a 10-minute misconduct on his way to the penalty box that ended his night. 

The powerplay gave Summerland some momentum, and they were given another powerplay at the tail end of the first one thanks to another hit from behind. This one came on Riley Pettitt courtesy of Jackson Bruce-Fuoco, and even though they couldn't capitalize on the first penalty, the Steam were able to take the lead on the second powerplay. 

It didn't take long for Summerland to capitalize, just 23 seconds, as Jack Mills was able to tip a Cole Woodliffe shot from the point down through the pads of Brock Lefebvre to give the Steam the 4-3 lead, which would stand as the final score. 

The Steam got a full team effort once again on this night, as everyone chipped in and did their part in the victory. They will now turn their attention to the Princeton Posse, as they travel to the Similkameen valley on Saturday night. The win on Friday pushed the Steam to within 1 point of the 2nd place Posse and Summerland will carry 3 games in hand through Saturday night's game in Princeton.

The Steam come into Saturday's divisional contest on 3 game winning streak, while Princeton lost on Friday night, 2-1 at the hands of the Kamloops Storm. Puck drop is 7PM at the Princeton and District Arena. 

**NOTE - If you're watching the webcast from Princeton tonight, it sounds like they will not have a play-by-play man, just sounds of the game.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014


After only one game last weekend (a Sunday night win over Kimberly) the Summerland Steam have been working at practice all week in preparation for the Creston Valley Thunder Cats on Friday night. The two teams met once previously this season, just over a month ago at the Johnny Bucyk Arena in Creston. That Sunday afternoon game resulted in a 5-2 Summerland victory and got the Steam back in the win column at the end of a long Kootenay road trip.


In 11 games since their first Kootenay swing, the Steam have gone 6-5, but have maintained their high shot totals and possession stats. Summerland is looking to string some wins together, and after winning their past 2 they'd surely like to finish this weekend with wins over the Thunder Cats and the Princeton Posse (in Princeton on Saturday).

For Summerland it will be important, as it is every night, to drive wide with their speed and create offense both off the rush and on the forecheck. Head Coach John Depourcq and General Manager Gregg Wilson have assembled a group capable of creating offense using both of those methods, and now that the injury ward is all but empty the Steam will be back to a near full squad on Friday.

Wyatt Gale is expected to return to the lineup after missing Sunday's contest with a lower body injury, and Jarrett Malchow is expected to take a regular shift after being eased back into the lineup on Sunday after being out with a flu. Those additions will add to Riley Pettitt, Calvin Hadley, and Kendell Wilson, all who returned to action against Kimberly on Sunday. Braden Saretsky will likely be the only body missing from the Steam lineup as he sits the final game of a 2 game suspension for a hit to the head that he picked up against North Okanagan on November the 9th.

If Summerland wants to be successful in this hockey game, it's important for them to stay out of the penalty box. Particularly in the early parts of games, Summerland has put themselves a man down WAY too often, and in their last few games they've been steadily decreasing the number of early penalties.


After a strong season last season that saw the Creston Valley Thundercats collect 80 total points and win their division by 10 wins and 20 points, there were some changes made. The coaching staff moved on to higher level junior as did some of their players, and a new era started this off-season with the hiring of Head Coach / General Manager Jeff Dubois.

Dubois' resume is impressive coming from Selkirk College in the BCIHL, where he led his team to an undefeated home schedule and a 20-3-0-1 record in 2013/14. The defense-first strategy that Dubois employed with the Saints last season (53 GA in 24 GP) led to a league championship after sweeping Trinity Western University 2-0 in a 3 game series. It of course helped that they scored at a +80 differential (133 GF) during their regular season, but as the old saying goes, defense leads to offense.

Coming into his first season with the Thunder Cats, Dubois had a small core of returning players (6) to work with. To go along with those 6 returnees, the 'Cats have added some experience to this season's team by acquiring Nicholas Kovacic from the Kelowna Chiefs and Trevor Beaton from the Princeton Posse. Both players played in the KIJHL last season and provide some experience and grit for Dubois and his staff to work with.

With an early season record of 11-8-1-3 the 'Cats sit in a tie for 3rd in the Eddie Mountain Division and are 6-3-0-1 in their last 10. Trying to climb the standings, they embark this weekend and come to the Okanagan to play two games, Friday in Summerland and Saturday in Osoyoos.

I wouldn't speculate as to who might start in goal for the 'Cats on Friday night with them playing back-to-back games, but no matter who starts Summerland will have to work hard to put pucks in the net. Both Brock Lefebvre and Mitchell Martell have been good for the 'Cats this season, who sit 6th in team GAA nearing the midway point of the season. While Creston doesn't score with the top of the KIJHL, they defend well, and it allows them to win close games.

As you'll see in the numbers breakdown, both teams might have a tough time scoring goals in this hockey game, as these are two of the best defensive teams in the KIJHL.

All the numbers you need to know are right here:

3.55 (8th in KIJHL)
3.00 (T-16TH IN KIJHL)
2.55 (1st)
3.04 (6TH)
+20 (6th)
-1 (13TH)
17.02 % (9th)                      
16 GF/ 97 PP’S
11.34 % (17TH)               
11 GF/ 97 PP’S
        86.07 % (6th)                      
17 GA/ 122 PK’S
82.67 % (13TH)                
13 GA/ 75 PK’S
3RD, Okanagan Division
T-3RD, Eddie Mountain Division
 (11g, 9a = 20 pts)
(9g, 12a = 21 pts)

Monday, 17 November 2014


Cole Woodliffe, Cole Williams, Michael McEachern and
Rylan Sideroff celebrate with Braden Eliuk after his goal gave
the Summerland Steam a 2-1 lead vs the Kimberly Dynamiters
on Sunday, November 16 at Summerland Arena
Photo Credit: Sarah Mayer
The Summerland Steam had to wait until Sunday to play their only game of the week, but made sure they stayed fresh and ready for a team from Kimberly who were playing 3 games in 3 nights on a long road trip. After a loss on Friday in Kelowna (4-2) and a loss in Princeton on Saturday (6-3), the Dynamiters were hungry for a couple of points coming into Summerland on Sunday evening.

The Steam, however, weren't going to go quietly. Playing without captain Paulsen Lautard, who has moved on to play with the Trail Smoke Eaters of the BCHL, the Steam had a hill to climb. They started early, taking it to the Dynamiters early in the hockey game and forcing Nitros starter Liam McBain to make some early saves.


Although Summerland controlled the play in the first period it was the Dynamiters' captain, Jason Richter, who opened the scoring on the powerplay. After Riley Pettitt took a hooking minor, the Kimberly captain was able to walk straight down the middle and rifle a shot over the right shoulder of Steam goaltender Spencer Huff, who was making his first start since joining the Steam on November 13th.

It gave the Nitros a 1-0 lead, but that didn't last long, as Marco Campanella would take a penalty for cross checking and Summerland would cash in. Off a won faceoff the Steam controlled the puck and moved it around the zone until a screen formed in front of McBain. Rylan Sideroff would then blast his 4th of the season past the sea of red, white and black in front of the Nitros net to tie the game at 1. Cole Woodliffe and Braden Eliuk would draw assists on the powerplay marker, and they weren't done there.

Woodliffe and Eliuk would connect again just over 3 minutes later as Eliuk took a pass from Woodliffe on an abbreviated 2-on-1 and ripped a wrister low to the blocker side to give the Steam a 2-1 lead.

As quickly as Summerland erased Kimberly's first lead of the night, the Dynamiters would do the same. Richter was once again able to take a pass while cruising through the middle of the ice and was allowed to rip a shot up and over Huff to tie the game at 2.

Cole Woodliffe would then collect his first of two goals on the game, and third point of the first period, after taking a 'home-run' pass from Michael McEachern and potting a puck through the five-hole of Liam McBain to restore the Steam lead near the end of the 1st period.

In the second only one goal was scored, the second of the night from Woodliffe. The goal came off a good rush from Coleton Fisher that saw a hard shot from the right wing come off the left post and back out through McBain's legs for Woodliffe to bang home for his 11th of the season and 4th point of the night. Although the Steam scored the only goal of the 2nd period, Kimberly controlled the majority of the play, outshooting the Steam 11-6.

In the third it was much of the same, Kimberly came out looking to start a comeback from a 4-2 deficit, and after 13 minutes of more or less straight pressure, they finally beat Spencer Huff. After a shot came in from the point, Penticton native Eric Buckley found a rebound at the side of the net and lifted it up and over a sprawling Huff to cut the lead to 1 with just over 6 minutes remaining in the 3rd period.

For the Dynamiters though, this is where the comeback bid would end. The Steam were able to shut them down and keep them to the outside for the remainder of the period, and with the goaltender pulled for Kimberly, Cole Williams was able to fight his way out of the Summerland defensive zone and find the heart of the empty net to restore the 2 goal lead for Summerland.

The Steam would add one more for good measure on the powerplay with just 1 second left in the game as Jarrett Malchow collected his first KIJHL goal off a tip of a Nelson Hurry shot as time expired. We weren't sure if it was going to count at first, but after some deliberation they put it on the board with 1 second remaining to round the score out at 6-3.


Summerland will get a full week of practice this week before taking on the Creston Valley Thunder Cats on Friday night, November 21st, at 7:30. You can catch a preview either Wednesday or Thursday here on the blog, and you can catch us on the KIJHL webcast at around 7:15 for our pre-game show prior to puck drop! 

Thursday, 13 November 2014



With only one game this weekend, the Summerland Steam will spend the majority of the week with only one thing on their minds: the Kimberly Dynamiters. The Nitros got the best of the Steam by a 3-0 score in early October during the Steam's 3 game Kootenay road trip, and Summerland will be looking for some retribution come 5:30 Sunday evening.

In that early season matchup, it was Tyson Brouwer who was the story for the Dynamiters with a 31 save shutout in a game that saw Summerland outplay the then-undefeated Nitros. Despite only 3 goals between the two teams, it was a very entertaining hockey game that started with some fireworks. Summerland was given a 5 minute powerplay in the first period after Penticton native Eric Buckley was ejected for goaltender interference, but were unable to capitalize and eventually gave up two powerplay goals in the loss.


As always, you can find everything related to the Nitros over on Josh Lockhart's blog 'Nitros Night in Kimberly', which is pound for pound the best in the KI. You should be able to find that on the right side of this post, but since you're already here I'll give it my best shot.

Much like the blog and it's owner, the Kimberly Dynamiters are one of the best in the KIJHL, no questions asked. They hold a 12-6-0-2 record heading into the weekend which is good for 26 points, 2nd in their division and 6th in the KIJHL. That record and point total will surely be different on Sunday when they come into the Summerland Arena as they play both Friday (in Kelowna) and Saturday (in Princeton).

Heading into the weekend the Dynamiters sit 3rd in the league in Goals For at 4.60 and 4th in the league in Goal Differential with a +29 rating. Their lineup boasts 4 players who average more than a point per game, including Tyson Klingspohn, a resident of Penticton who is the only 20 goal scorer in the KIJHL heading into this weekend's play.

With scorers spread over all 4 lines they surely provide a balanced attack, but they're also defensively responsible, sitting 5th in the KIJHL in Goals Against Average through 20 games. A big reason for that is goaltender Tyson Brouwer, who is consistently solid and has the ability to steal a game or two when his team may falter in front of him.

On Special Teams the Nitros are as good as they come, sitting 3rd in the league in PP% at 22.58% and 4th in PK% at 88.07%. If part of the Summerland Steam's strategy is to get the Nitros to take penalties, they're going to have to work extra hard to try and get a goal with the man advantage. Further to those numbers, if Summerland continues their trend of early first period penalty problems, they're likely to pay dearly as Kimberly WILL cash in.


The Summerland Steam enter this weekend's action alone in 3rd place in the Okanagan Division, and hope to put a string of wins together after starting with a 4-1 victory over the North Okanagan Knights last Sunday.

In that game the Steam got 4 third period goals from 4 different goal scorers, but unfortunately did lose a couple more bodies. Braden Saretsky received a 2-game ban from the KIJHL after a major penalty for "Head Contact" was assessed by referee Shane Hillman in the late stages of the first period.

Wyatt Gale will also likely miss the lone game this upcoming weekend, as he was helped from the ice with an apparent lower body injury during the 3rd period of the victory on Sunday in Armstrong.

Despite the 2 missing bodies to go with the myriad of others missing from the Steam lineup, they soldiered on and came out with a win. Special teams was a particular area of concern, however, at least on one side of the ledger. In that game against the Knights, Summerland went 12-for-12 on the penalty kill, bringing their PK% up to 86.55 and 8th in the league. Unfortunately, they also went 0-for-10 on the powerplay, seeing their PP % dip to 15.56% and 11th in the KIJHL.

As previously mentioned they won't want to play the special teams game with the Nitros on Sunday, because Kimberly is very good on both sides of the special teams coin. What this means for Summerland is that they're going to have to find a way to generate offense at 5 v 5 and play a very disciplined hockey game in all three zones.

The Steam will welcome Calvin Hadley back to the lineup after a six game absence, which will be a welcome addition to a lineup in which injuries are beginning to pile up. The coaching staff is hopeful that Kendell Wilson will also make his return to the lineup from a lower body injury, but he will be a game-time decision. Riley Pettitt will also be in the game-time decision category for this game, but it is likely that he will miss one more game and aim for a return with 5 extra days of workouts next weekend.

Game time on Sunday is 5:30PM and tickets can be bought either in advance (@ Nesters Market) or at the door for just $10. We'll have some program giveaways as well as Chuck-A-Puck in the 2nd intermission!

Sunday, 9 November 2014


After the game on Friday night, which was an OT loss to the Golden Rockets, the Summerland Steam thought they deserved better. It was a hockey game in which Golden controlled the first 25 minutes of the hockey game before Summerland took over and thoroughly dominated the Rockets in the final 40 minutes, including overtime. Braeden Allkins scored for Golden in overtime to pick up the extra point for the Rockets, but in the Summerland Steam's view it wasn't for lack of trying. There were opportunities to end it in regulation for Summerland and there were opportunities to end it in Overtime as well, but instead it was Allkins who beat Brett Huber on a 3rd rebound and left a sour taste in the mouth of Huber and the Summerland Steam players.

On Sunday they showed just how much it bugged them, and even though they were unsuccessful finding a goal in the first 2 periods against the North Okanagan Knights, they were all over the Knights from the drop of the puck.There wasn't much flow, there wasn't much to speak of in the way of back and forth action or sustained pressure, but Summerland continued to exhibit the strong possession stats that they've shown over the first third of the KIJHL season. They fired nearly 30 shots on Knights' goaltender Mitch Profeit in the first 2 periods, but were still knotted at 0's headed to the third.

With all the shots headed towards the Knights' net, Steam goaltender Brett Huber didn't have an over-taxed afternoon, facing only 14 shots through the first 2 periods and 24 on the night. Having said that, there were a couple of occasions early in the game where Huber had to be sharp and alert to make sure the Knights didn't take an early lead.

In the third, the Steam were finally able to crack Mitch Profeit in the Knights' goal, as Lathan McKinney was able to find a shooting lane from the point and fire one through a crowd and behind Profeit to give the Steam a 1-0 lead. The goal marked McKinney's 3rd goal of the season as he was able to show off an extremely unique ability to walk the blue line, free up a lane and find a hole all in one swift motion.

Shortly after the McKinney goal, Coleton Fisher got on the scoreboard with his 3rd of the season as he was able to locate a rebound in front of Profeit off a Jack Mills shot. Fisher, also through a crowd, was able to beat Profeit from in tight and extend the lead to 2-0. Paulsen Lautard would be credited the 2nd assist on the goal after getting the puck to Mills for the original shot.

The two goal lead for the Steam would only last 48 seconds, however, as Zackari Andrusiak found his own rebound to the right of Brett Huber and broke the goose egg to give the Knights some life near the mid-mark of the third. The goal was quickly followed by 2 penalties from the Steam that put the Knights' on the powerplay, but luckily for the boys from the South Okanagan, they were able to kill both and get a bonus chance.

As the second penalty, to Paulsen Lautard, expired, the puck jumped out to center to send the Steam's leading scorer in alone on Mitch Profeit. Lautard made no mistake as he made a pretty forehand, backhand move before going upstairs under the bar on Profeit to regain the Steam their 2 goal lead and bring the score to 3-1.

Nelson Hurry would add another with just over 4 minutes to play as he found a puck off a turnover and ripped it over a stunned Profeit. The Hurry goal would be the last in a penalty-filled 4-1 victory for the Summerland Steam, who will now have a full week off before they play again next Sunday night at 5:30 when they host the Kimberly Dynamiters.

With their week off, the coaching staff will surely want to work on some man positive situations, as the Steam managed to go 0-for-10 (!!) on the Powerplay against the Knights on Sunday afternoon. Something positive that the coaching staff can be proud of, however, was that the Steam went 12-for-12 (!!) on the Penalty Kill in the game as well. One side of the special teams got the job done, and one side did not, and that's surely something Head Coach John Depourcq and assistant coaches Matt Taylor and Wade Parker will work on in practice this week.

Saturday, 8 November 2014


A shot from Summerland's Wyatt Gale goes off the post and out in
Overtime during a game on Friday, November 7th.
Photo Credit: Sarah Mayer
It wasn't the result the Summerland Steam were hoping to get on Friday night at home, but the effort was once again there. After a tough first period filled with avoidable penalties, the boys in white got it together and thoroughly took it to the Golden Rockets for the remaining 45 minutes of play.

 The scoring started in the first period when Golden Rockets Forward Spencer Gerth was able to tip a shot from teammate Brennan Fuoco past Steam goaltender Brett Huber to give the Rockets a 1-0 lead.

Shortly after the opening salvo was fired, Summerland got into penalty trouble and were forced back onto their heels for the final 10 minutes of the first period. There were 4 penalties taken in a 3 minute span, and it put the Steam's penalty kill to work for the majority of the last 10 minutes of the first period. Thankfully, Summerland wouldn't be punished for their parade to the penalty box as they were able to kill all the penalties off and get out the period down only 1-0.

In the first minute of the 2nd period it looked as though the Steam were going to turn up the heat on the Rockets. With 3 shots in the first minute it was looking positive for Summerland until Golden got a break against the run of the play. After a pinch by a Summerland defenseman, Tanner Watt was able to take a pass from teammate Cole Mcechney and chip a puck up over the shoulder of Brett Huber to extend their lead to 2-0.

Despite the second Golden goal, Summerland continued to push into the offensive zone, and were finally rewarded midway through the second period. With 15;49 to play in the period Rylan Sideroff was able to hammer home his 3rd of the year from the slot after good work from his linemates, Coleton Fisher and Braden Saretsky. Both would collect assists on the goal, and Summerland immediately went back to work trying to get the game tied.

They thoroughly took it to the Rockets in the latter half of the second period, but came up empty thanks to the efforts of Golden goaltender Magnus Viberg, who was sensational in this hockey game. Fortunately for the Steam, they continued to push in the third and were able to get the game tied thanks to a Cody Egilson shot that beat Viberg short side over the blocker about mid mark of the third period.

The Egilson goal tied the game and Summerland continued the pressure with no luck, sending the game to OT in a 2-2 tie. In overtime, Summerland had 3 or 4 chances to end it in the first couple of minutes, including an odd man rush that resulted in Wyatt Gale ringing a shot off the right post.

With no puck luck coming the Steam's way in overtime, Golden was able to capitalize on the one opportunity they did get. That opportunity came off a shot from Nic Noseworthy from the left point, which was stopped by Brett Huber. Huber then stopped James Gaume twice on the doorstep before Braeden Allkins was able to slam a rebound into the back of the next on the fourth successive shot.

Huber was once again very good in this hockey game, and unfortunately didn't have much help on the OT winner as his defenders were tied up in front of the net. He only faced 24 shots in the hockey game, but many of them were of the quality variety and he probably deserved a better result than an "L" in the column during this game.

At the other end, Viberg was once again sensational, much like he was last time he faced the Steam. He stopped 32 of 34 shots in the hockey game and picks up the win for the Rockets to snap a 4 game losing streak.

Summerland will now take a day to rest and will head to North Okanagan to play the lowly Knights on Sunday afternoon. Puck drop is at 3PM at the Nor-Val Arena in Armstrong and the Steam will look to take 3 of a possible 4 points on the weekend.