Follow by Email

Saturday, 17 January 2015

LAUTARD POWERS STEAM OVER KNIGHTS

Summerland Steam Captain Paulsen Lautard
celebrates with Michael McEachern and Jack Mills
after Lautard's OT winner vs North Okanagan Jan 16.
Photo: Sarah Mayer
With two games against the same team in a 6 night span, one would think that you could expect similar results in both games. Hockey is a funny game though, and in some situations the game gives you exactly the opposite of what you think you might see. That was the case on Friday night when the Summerland Steam hosted the North Okanagan Knights for the second time in 5 nights.

In the first of the two meetings last Sunday the Steam came out and scored early and often en route to a 7-2 win. With North Okanagan in the midst of an extremely tough season we thought we might see the same type of score line again on Friday night, but that was not the case. Despite missing 6 regulars and having 5 AP's in the lineup the Knights played a good, clean hockey game and skated with the Summerland Steam down to the very end. They were helped by an outstanding performance from goaltender Josh Shank who made 59 saves on 63 shots, but fell short in a 4-3 win for Summerland in Double Overtime.

The Steam got themselves into penalty trouble early in this hockey game, allowing the Knights to control the majority of the first period of play. Halfway through the first frame while on the powerplay, North Okanagan forward Logan Geefs was streaking up the left wing when he was met by Steam defender Nelson Hurry. What should have been a routine hit turned catastrophic as Hurry went to make the hit and the penalty box door came open, causing Geefs to go full-force into the open door. He remained down on the ice for a couple of minutes while being attended to by the training staffs of both teams before being helped off the ice by a couple of teammates.

Geefs did not return to the game, and a couple of minutes later the Knights lost Matt Halvorson for the rest of the night, as he came off the ice favoring either his hand or his wrist after making a hit in the corner. With two of their most veteran players missing for the rest of the game, the Knights relied on Shank to keep them in the game once Summerland was done with their penalty trouble.

Just when it looked like Summerland was going to get back on track in the hockey game they took another penalty, but an aggressive kill led to their first goal of the game. As the puck went back into the North Okanagan zone Cole Woodliffe applied pressure to the North Okanagan defense. He was able to take the puck away and make a move to beat Shank for his 20th of the season.

The Knights would tie things up late in the period, however, as Dustin Kostiuk took a pass on a 2-on-1 from Austin Fournier and deposited it into the net behind Spencer Huff. Zackari Andrusiak would be credited with the second assist on Kostiuk's first of two on the night, tying the young 16 year old (born July, '98) for the team scoring lead.

Kostiuk would get his second just a couple of minutes into the second period as a point shot from Knights Captain Dryden Profeit hit him on the way into the net. Andrusiak would get the second assist on this goal as well, propelling him to sole possession of the team lead in scoring after Jordan Passmore departed for Trail on January 10.

The 2-1 lead thanks to 2 goals from Kostiuk wouldn't last the Knights long, however, as just under a minute later Paulsen Lautard recorded his first since returning from the Trail Smoke Eaters at the January 10th deadline. After some good work on the wall from Tyson Klingspohn the puck came to the top of the 'umbrella' on the powerplay to Cole Woodliffe. He then put it on a tee on the other side and Paulsen Lautard stepped into one, powering it through Shank to the back of the net to tie the game at two.

Summerland would take the lead late in the period on another powerplay as the same play netted Michael McEachern a goal. Some good work on the wall from Tyson Klingspohn got him another assist after he found Paulsen Lautard who tee'd it up for McEachern to hammer through the North Okanagan netminder with 2:49 to play in the period.

The lone goal of the third would go to the Knights, a scramble that saw Chris Motoska touch the puck last for North Okanagan before Michael McEachern batted the puck down into the net behind Spencer Huff to tie the game at 3. Despite the best efforts from both teams, it was the only goal of the period and we were off to OT. At the end of regulation Summerland had fired 49 shots at the net of Josh Shank, and dropped 10 more on him in the first frame of OT.

Through the end end of the first overtime period Spencer Huff had seen 29 shots, but the 30th shot of the night was his biggest test and quite possibly his best save of the season. After a shot went wide of the net to Huff's right, a pass came back across to his left to a wide open Austin Fournier. Fournier had a wide open net to shoot at, but Huff scrambled back to his left and made a diving glove save to keep the game tied.

The save by Huff seemed to spark his club, as the Steam took the pressure to the Knights. After five or six attempts at the net, Paulsen Lautard was able to bully his way through the circle off a faceoff and bury a puck through the 5-hole of Josh Shank for his 2nd of the night, 17th of the season, and the game winner in a 4-3 2OT win.

3 STARS PRESENTED BY ULTIMATE HOCKEY & SKATE:

3) Tyson Klingspohn (2A)
1b) Josh Shank (59 Saves)
1a) Paulsen Lautard (2G, 1A)

You'll notice we didn't pick a second star, but a 1A and 1B star, because we couldn't decide between two OUTSTANDING performances.

Summerland now takes Saturday night off before a 'Clash of the Titans' with the Osoyoos Coyotes on Sunday afternoon at 1:35. That game will be played on 'neutral' ground in Oliver.

The Steam will play their next 4 games on the road in Osoyoos, Sicamous, North Okanagan and Kelowna before returning home to face the Coyotes again on January 27th.