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Sunday, 14 December 2014

STEAM STOP WRANGLERS, SALVAGE WEEKEND SPLIT

Jack Mills, Braden Eliuk, Lathan McKinney,
Cole Woodliffe, and Adam Jones celebrate Mills'
first period goal on Saturday against the
100 Mile House Wrangelers
Photo Credit: Sarah Mayer
After a disappointing loss late in the game on Friday night to the Chase Heat, the Summerland Steam were looking for a bounce back on Saturday against the 100 Mile House Wranglers. 

The Wranglers travelled to Summerland after falling 7-3 at the hands of the Kamloops Storm on Friday, and were looking for a bounce back of their own. They were without some key bodies in this game, as Devan Suidy, Jaydon Gilding, Cole Zimmerman, Tavis Roch and Brady Ward all out of the lineup. 

For Summerland, they were looking to do the opposite of what went on Friday night. They got up early, but allowed Chase to battle back each and every time until Chase took the lead in the final minutes on a powerplay goal from Kaleb Boyle. 

On Saturday it was a whole different story for the Steam. With the 100 Mile House Wranglers making their only visit of the season, Summerland opened the scoring courtesy of Jack Mills while outshooting the Wranglers 18-1 in the first period. Mills' goal came just 2:33 into the hockey game after a puck popped loose in the slot after Cole Woodliffe and Braden Eliuk worked it out of the corner. When that puck popped out, Mills was there and had time to corral it, find a hole and wire a shot past Wranglers' starting goaltender Quinn Ferris to stake the Steam to a 1-0 lead.

Riley Pettitt would add his first of 2 on the night with 4:05 to play in the first to extend the lead to 2-0. Pettitt’s first goal of the night was assisted by Jarrett Malchow and Wyatt Gale, who all hail from Whitehorse, Yukon, and have played almost all of their minor and junior hockey together. The play started with a good breakout of the defensive zone for Summerland and a cross ice pass from Gale to Malchow on the right wing. Malchow then saw Pettitt fighting his way through and sent an area pass, much like a quarterback does for a receiver, to a spot where Pettitt could get a stick to it and fire a shot short side. Summerland would carry that lead into the 2nd period, as Steam starter Brett Huber was forced to make only one save in the first period. 

Pettitt would get his second of the night on a second period powerplay with a great shot off the wall to make it 3-0. After the puck was worked up the wall by Tyson Klingspohn, Pettitt waited out the penalty killers and faked a pass to create some space. He then walked off the wall and wired a shot over the blocker of Quinn Ferris.

Not long after, the Wranglers cut the lead to 2 on a hard wrister from Tyler Garcia that beat Brett Huber high over the glove. That’s as close as the Wranglers would get, however, in a game that would turn out to be well played and extremely physical between two teams who sit 2nd overall in their respective divisions. 

The Wranglers' Tate Page, for the second night in a row, took a run at a player and left him laid out on the ice. On Friday night it was a Kamloops Storm player left on the ice after a 20 foot charge from Page, and on Saturday Coleton Fisher was the recipient of an identical hit. Fisher was slow to get up, and did not return to the game for precautionary reasons.

There was no scoring in the third, though 100 Mile did their best to drive shots through to Brett Huber in the Summerland net. At 7:08 of the third though, the game and its result became secondary. As Riley Pettitt was driving to the Wranglers' net the play turned the other way so he peeled off. The defender that was going to the net with him, Liam Cumberbirch, tried to peel off as well but caught a rut in the ice and went crashing through the back of the net. As Cumberbirch was going in, he folded his leg underneath him while hitting the crossbar with his head.

Initially we thought it might be a head problem that kept Cumberbirch on the ice, and both coaching and training staffs went immediately to the aid of the downed Wrangler. An ambulance was called right away to assist in the aid of Liam Cumberbirch, and shortly after the call was made he was loaded onto a backboard and stretcher and taken to hospital for further observation. Thankfully, the head contact with the crossbar was not what kept Cumberbirch down. It was the leg ailment that had Cumberbirch in so much pain, and rightfully so. As the paramedics arrived, the coaching and training staffs were working to cut the laces of the young man's skate to remove it as well as removing socks and shin pads to assess the damage. We have not received an update on the status of Liam Cumberbirch, but the Summerlan Steam organization wishes all the best in whatever road of recovery is required, no matter the time frame!


Summerland now has a week of practice to look forward to before playing a home and home with the Princeton Posse on Friday and Saturday next weekend. Summerland will travel to Princeton Friday before hosting the Posse on Saturday. Throughout the week we will keep an eye on the status of Coleton Fisher to assess whether he will be able to play next weekend or not.