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Saturday, 7 February 2015

CHIEFS DOWN STEAM, INCH CLOSER TO 3RD

Heading into Friday night's divisional matchup with the Kelowna Chiefs, the Summerland Steam were looking to have a fast start and neutralize a hungry Chiefs team looking for points in the standings. A fast start was going to be imperative and an early goal would be ideal for Summerland, but unfortunately Kelowna was the better team from the start. They were hungry, they were ready to play, and ready to try and climb the standings out of a first round visit to the KIJHL Regular Season Champion Osoyoos Coyotes.


Riley Pettitt (back) is taken into the crease
by a Kelowna defender. They ended up
in a pile on top of G Chris Turner, who
left the game with an upper body injury.

Photo: Sarah Mayer
(shotsbysarah.tumblr.com)




Just 1:36 into the hockey game, Chiefs starting goaltender Chris Turner went down in the crease with an apparent upper body injury. After a scramble in front of him and with Summerland controlling the puck, Steam forward Riley Pettitt was taken into the crease by Chiefs defender Josh Johnston. Both players ended up in a pile on top of Turner as the Kelowna keeper slid from left to right to track the puck. He stayed down for several minutes and left the game. Brady Lenardon would come in for Kelowna in his place and perform admirably throughout the rest of the game.Turner would return to the Kelowna bench later in the game to cheer his team on to a 4-3 victory.

After a long delay in assessing the Turner injury, Kelowna came out ready to play and capitalized almost right away. Just under 4 minutes into the game, Chiefs defender Kevin Roth was allowed to skate the length of the ice and put a shot towards Steam goaltender Spencer Huff. It was a hard shot from the blue line that took a bad bounce off of Huff's blocker and tumbled up and over the Steam goaltender and back down into the net. 

Kelowna would add to their lead just :15 seconds later on a long shot from Cole De Jonge. CDJ did a good job to take a cross ice pass from Kyle Laird at the point and take a shot "against the grain" back to the far post for a goal. It was another goal that Steam goaltender Spencer Huff would want back, but it was a good shot nonetheless.

Summerland Squirts hockey
entertained the fans with a 10:00 game
in the first intermission.
Photo: Sarah Mayer
shotsbysarah.tumblr.com
In the first intermission the fans and our broadcast had a chance to watch some Summerland Squirts hockey, which was extremely refreshing with the Steam being down 2-0 after the first period. 

In the second frame Summerland began to claw their way back. They controlled the majority of the play in the first half of the period and were rewarded with a goal on a powerplay. After a face-off win by Riley Pettitt, Jarrett Malchow feathered a pass onto the stick of Rylan Sideroff who hammered a slapper past Brady Lenardon to cut the lead to 1. 

Nick Josephs would then make his presence felt shortly after Summerland cut into the Kelowna lead. Josephs was able to deposit a loose puck behind Spencer Huff to restore the 2 goal lead after a defensive turnover behind the Summerland net. The puck popped loose to Josephs in the slot and he had no trouble converting. 

That made the score 3-1 in favour of the Chiefs, and they would extend their lead early in the third thanks to Dakota Kittle. After a strong pass from Josephs, Chiefs leading scorer Braeden Cyra carried the puck wide into the Steam zone. He beat a defender to the outside and had a sharp shot on Huff, who couldn't corral the rebound. Kittle was left all alone in front and was able to tap the puck into the empty net just before being caught by the Summerland back check. 

This made the score 4-1 for the visitors, and it looked as though they were going to cruise to the finish. That wasn't the case, however, as Head Coach John Depourcq rallied the home team together to try and get back in the game. 

Daylan Robertson pulled the Steam back within 2 with around 8:00 to play after a turnover by Kelowna at the offensive blue line. The puck was picked off by Paulsen Lautard, and Tyson Klingspohn did a great job to find Robertson with a pass across the neutral zone. Robertson walked over the line, used a Chiefs' player as a screen, and wired a hard wrister over the glove of Brady Lenardon to make the score 4-2. 

Braden Eliuk would then bring the Steam within 1 with 1:24 to play in the game. The powerplay tally was made possible by a strong pass across the blue line from Adam Jones and a low, hard shot from Michael McEachern. Eliuk was the beneficiary of a juicy rebound at the side of the net that he was able to locate and bang home. 

With the game within reach Summerland made a last ditch effort to get the game tied, but were unsuccessful. Michael McEachern had 2 shots from sharp angles in the final minute that Brady Lenardon had to be sharp on in order to preserve the win. 


The Kelowna win, coupled with a Princeton loss (6-3 at home to Osoyoos) brings the Chiefs within 2 points of 3rd place with just 4 games to go. Kelowna will head to Osoyoos to play the league champion Coyotes on Saturday night, while the Princeton Posse will come to Summerland to play the Steam on Sunday afternoon at 2PM. 

FortisBC will be our game-day sponsor for Sunday's game, and they'll have lots of cool games and promotions happening at their table all day long!