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Thursday, 6 November 2014

STEAM WELCOME ROCKETS

After a big week of practice for the Summerland Steam they will get back to work on Friday night when they host the Golden Rockets for the only time this season. Summerland paid their visit to the 'Plywood Palace' in Golden on October 19 and skated away with a convincing 5-2 win that saw them put 50 + shots on the board and only allow 24. 

In that game the Steam got 3 goals in the first 8:30 to chase goaltender Mitch Privett, and Magnus Viberg took over as Golden took their timeout. Viberg was absolutely magnificent for the Rockets for the remainder of the game, but the early onslaught was accompanied by two second period goals from Cole Woodliffe and a 22 save performance from goaltender Brett Huber to pick up the victory.

In the near 3 weeks since the meeting in Golden, Summerland has done the win one-lose one thing while the Golden Rockets have all of a sudden started having trouble in their own zone. They score goals with the top half of the league, but have given up 35 goals in their last 6 games causing a balloon in the numbers you see below.



     


SUMMERLAND STEAM

GOLDEN ROCKETS

10-7
W-L
9-9-0-2


3rd Place
Okanagan Division
Division/
Rank
3rd Place
Eddie Mountain Division


5-3
Home/Away
Record

4-5-0-2



5-5
L10
4-5-0-1


1 Loss 
(Rev 3-2)
Streak
4 Losses
(NEL 8-0, CG 6-5 OT, FER 7-2, KIM 6-4)


3.47 (10th)

Goals For

3.70 (7th)




2.59 (1st)

Goals Against

4.30 (17th)



+15 (7th)
Differential
-12 (14th)


18.67 % (6th)
PP %

10.64 % (18th)


84.16 % (T-8th)
PK %
80.91 % (15th)


Numbers usually tell most of the story, but in this case it may be a little bit different than the numbers would state. Despite the troubles in their own end of late, Golden plays a 200 ft hockey game and is very good in the offensive zone. Summerland will once again need to be sound defensively to try and thwart a high powered attack from the Golden Rockets. It worked on October 19th in Golden, and if he Steam play their game it will hopefully work for them again on November the 7th. 

GOLDEN ROCKETS


The Steam will have to be cognizant of the offensive weapons possessed by the Golden Rockets, most notably their leading scorer, Ian Desrosier. Desrosier has recorded 21 points (14G, 17A) in the Rockets' 20 games so far, and he is followed closely by Cole Mcechney (4G + 16A = 20 Pts) and Braeden Allkins (6G + 11A = 17 Pts). All possess the types of offensive weapons that can put goals on the board quickly and in bunches, which could cause a problem for Summerland on Friday night. 

Alex Astisiewicz leads the way for the Rockets on defense with 11 points in 17 games played and has recorded just 8 penalty minutes. The (just) 16 year old plays a solid 200 foot game and is key in all situations for the Rockets including special teams play. 

Astisiewicz along with fellow blueliners Nic Noseworthy, Sean Ripley, and a combination of others will surely prove a tough test for Summerland. Ripley leads the KIJHL in penalty minutes heading into play this weekend, and all three certainly don't back down from the physical part of hockey as all stand taller than 6 feet and weigh more than 185 lbs. 

SUMMERLAND STEAM

With the Rockets coming to town on Friday, Summerland will need to be wary of the defense corps for Golden as well as the offensive power. First and foremost the defenders for the Rockets are big (all over 6 feet save for Brennan Fuoco at 5' 10'') and physical, and won't hesitate to drive bodies to the ice or into the boards when given the opportunity. The Steam will need to use their speed around the outside edges to gain the zone and control the puck. Summerland will also look to drive shots on goal as they have at an alarming rate early in the season, and try to get up early on the Rockets on home ice. 

Brett Huber is expected to start in goal for the guys in Red, Black and White, who will still be short due to injuries and suspension. Forward Riley Pettitt remains out with an upper body injury but is expected back in "10 to 14 days" according to General Manager Gregg Wilson. Defenceman Calvin Hadley will serve game #5 of a 6 game suspension picked up the last time the Steam played the Rockets, and forward Kendell Wilson remains 'questionable' with a lower body injury but has returned to practice and will be a game-time decision on Friday. 

Look for veteran swing man Rylan Sideroff to shift to the back end in Friday's game and possibly stay there for a Sunday afternoon matchup in Armstrong against the North Okanagan Knights with the absence of Hadley.


Puck drop is 7:30 from the Summerland Arena and you can pick up your tickets in advance at Nesters Market in Summerland or at the door on game day! If you can't make it to the game on Friday night, we hope you'll follow along with myself and EzRock Summerland's own Mike Swanson on KIJHL.ca starting at about 7:15.