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Saturday, 17 January 2015

STEAM, COYOTES SET TO RENEW HOSTILITIES ON NEUTRAL GROUND

After separate games on Friday night that both went to the wire in double overtime, the Summerland Steam and the Osoyoos Coyotes will renew acquaintances on Sunday afternoon. Summerland won their game on Friday in double OT, 4-3 on a Paulsen Lautard goal to get them an extra point. Spencer Huff made 30 saves on 33 shots including save #30, which was of the highlight reel variety that saved the game for the Steam with 4:35 to play in 2OT.

The Coyotes went to the buzzer with the Kimberly Dynamiters with the score tied 3-3. Former Summerland Steam forward Braden Saretsky recorded 2 assists against the Coyotes, giving him 24 points in 15 games since being traded from Summerland to Kimberly for Tyson Klingspohn.

The game in Osoyoos last night ended in a tie despite a penalty shot for Kimberly's Keenan Haase late in OT. Brett Soles made the save for Osoyoos to give each team 1 point and the buzzer sounded to end the game with the two teams still tied. Goaltender Tyson Brouwer stopped 44 of 47 for the Dynamiters, including this one that he posted to social media on Saturday morning. Looks like photo credit goes to Jen Jensen, photographer for the Osoyoos Coyotes.

With the 1 point the Coyotes bring their total to 68, 16 points ahead of the Summerland Steam. Summerland sits 12 points up on 3rd place Princeton and 16 points ahead of the 4th place Kelowna Chiefs in the Okanagan Division. The 'Yotes sit clear atop the Okanagan Division and  they and the Steam will go head to head for the 6th time this season on Sunday IN OLIVER.

In the 5 previous games so far this season the Coyotes have achieved a clean sweep of the Steam. Aside from two games where the Coyotes scored 4 powerplay goals in each, the series has been as close as they come. Scores of 5-4, 3-2, and 4-3OT show what these two teams can do when they play one another, and it should be a good tilt between the Okanagan Division's top two teams.

This will be the first meeting between the two teams since the return of Daylan Robertson and Paulsen Lautard for the Summerland Steam. Both have been good since returning to the lineup last weekend against Chase and have really brought Tyson Klingspohn to life in the past 4 games as well. Brett Huber is also back in the lineup for the Steam, though it is unclear if he will start Sunday. It is more likely that Spencer Huff will man the crease for Summerland to give Huber a couple of extra days to get healthy before a Wednesday night game in Sicamous.

Riley Pettitt missed Friday's game against the Knights and will be a game-time decision against the Coyotes on Sunday afternoon. As a team Summerland missed his speed in the lineup on Friday, and his regular linemates Jarrett Malchow and Wyatt Gale missed him in the lineup as well.

For the Coyotes, Friday night was the first time in a long time they've been completely healthy. Luc Gradisar, Jackson Dematos and Aaron Azevedo all returned to the lineup against Kimberly and made an impact as Azevedo and Dematos combined to set up linemate Ryan Roseboom for Osyoos' first goal of the night.

Sunday will mark the first of the final 3 meetings of the season between the Steam and the Coyotes, and it will be played on "neutral" ground in Oliver. The final two meetings will be played January 27th and February 13th, both in Summerland.

The Steam will surely try to do what made them successful in the three 1-goal games they've had with Osoyoos this season. What makes them successful is finding the physical line and playing on it. The last thing Summerland wants to do is put the league's top HOME powerplay on the ice, but they can't let Osoyoos skate circles around them either. It'll be important for the Steam to be physical, but not overly physical to the point of taking penalties and causing problems for whoever the poor referee is that gets selected to make sure these two teams don't break the rules.

It's no secret the two squads don't like each other. One might venture a guess as to think the word 'hate' is warranted and used regularly in both dressing rooms, and it shows when they hit the ice. They'll do so in Oliver this Sunday at 1:35. Can't say whether there will be a broadcast from there, but we'll try to keep everybody up to date as best as possible! Follow along with the team on Twitter here or along with my twitter feed here.