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.
KIMBERLY DYNAMITERSAs 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.
SUMMERLAND STEAMThe 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!