Follow by Email

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

STEAM VISIT POSSE IN OPENER OF HOME & HOME

After facing one another only twice in the first 3 months of the season, the Summerland Steam and the Princeton Posse will go head to head on back to back nights to close out the unofficial first half of the KIJHL season. Both teams will be sure to not look too far forward with the Christmas break immediately following their home and home series this weekend. 

Princeton comes into the weekend off a 4-2 loss to the Osoyoos Coyotes in a Noon game on Wednesday, while the Summerland Steam come in having split their 2 games last weekend, beating the 100 Mile House Wranglers 3-1 on Saturday night. 

This weekend will mark the 3rd and 4th meetings of the season between the Okanagan Division rivals, with Summerland winning both previous meetings. The Steam clipped the Posse 3-1 on October 31st before coming out on top by a score of 4-1 on November 22nd. In both games the two teams went toe-to-toe right to the very end with play going both ways all game long. There hasn't been too much bad blood shown in the rivalry to date, but a lot of very good, tough, physical hockey in the first 2 meetings.

There's no doubt, after watching this team every game of the season, that the Steam prefer to play the finesse game. They prefer to use their speed on the outside and score off the rush whenever possible, as does any team. Having said that, Summerland certainly isn't afraid of the physicality either. That trait is one that comes out primarily when they play teams like the Princeton Posse, who play a brand of hockey that can't be found anywhere else in the KIJHL. The Posse blend skill and physicality better than any other team in the league, and are extremely tough to play against. Having a mobile core of defencemen at their disposal allows the Posse to transition from defense to offense very quickly and a big forward group poses a serious threat with a relentless forecheck. They've also got a couple of proven 'finishers' in their lineup in Connor Sloan and Eden Dubchak, which make them all the more dangerous. 

The Posse play on a small ice surface and build there teams to 'pack some punch', so to speak, and they never shy away from a battle. There are some places in the KIJHL that you really don't look forward to going into as a road team, and Princeton is right up at the top of that list with the likes of Fernie Kimberly, and Golden.

Led by Captain Kurtis Klinger, the Posse are looking to improve on their 5th place finish from last season, and look very likely to do so. They sit 3rd in the division at the Christmas break, and are all but guaranteed a playoff spot with the lowly North Okanagan Knights bringing up the back end of the division with just 13 points. 

Faceoff from the Princeton & District Arena goes at 7:00 on Friday night, and you can catch the webcast at www.kijhl.ca . Last time Summerland was in Princeton, and on Wednesday against Osoyoos, the Posse were without a play-by-play man. Hopefully they'll have one for the clash on Friday night, but if not, it will be the 'sounds of the game' like last time, which was surprisingly refreshing.

** As we head into the Christmas Break, both of these clubs sit in the middle of the Okanagan Division. Summerland sits 2nd with 41 points while Princeton sits 3rd with 32 points. Princeton holds a 3 point lead on the Kelowna Chiefs while the Steam are attempting to chase down Osoyoos, trailing by 14 points but holding 4 games in hand heading into the weekend. Summerland and Osoyoos will renew acquaintances immediately following a 7 day break for Christmas with a home and home series on December 28th in Osoyoos and 29th in Summerland. 

If the playoffs started this weekend, though, the Steam and the Posse would play one another in the first round. Here's a breakdown of where each team sits right now and some of the numbers that would tell the story. 



















VS







14-13-2-2, 32 pts
RECORD
20-9-0-1, 41 pts
7-8-1-1
HOME / AWAY
RECORD
9-5
L1
(4-2 LOSS TO OSOYOOS WED)
STREAK
W1
(3-1 WIN OVER 100 MILE SAT)
3-7

LAST 10 GAMES
8-2
3RD, OKANAGAN DIVISION
DIVISION RANK
2ND, OKANAGAN DIVISION
97
3.13 GF PER GM (T-13TH, KIJHL)
GOALS FOR
106
3.53 GF PER GM (8TH, KIJHL)
101
3.26 PER GM (11TH, KIJHL)
GOALS AGAINST
79
2.63 GA PER GAME (3RD, KIJHL)
15.83% (13TH, KIJHL)
HOME: 12.50% (17TH, KIJHL)
POWERPLAY %
OVERALL: 19.42% (7TH, KIJHL)
ROAD: 10.77% (16TH, KIJHL)
82.09% (11TH, KIJHL)
HOME: 85.92% (7TH, KIJHL)
PENALTY KILL %
OVERALL: 85.63% (7TH, KIJHL)
ROAD: 86.08% (5TH, KIJHL)
16g + 11a = 27 PTS
LEADING SCORER
23g + 13a = 36 PTS (13TH, KIJHL)