"We finally hit the wall," Said Gregg Wilson in a phone conversation on the off-day Wednesday. "9 Games in 12 nights isn't easy for anybody, particularly when they're highly physical and emotional battles."
After a gruelling schedule that saw the Summerland Steam play 9 games in 12 nights, culminating in that 8-2 loss on Tuesday, the off-day on Wednesday was spent relaxing the muscles and getting ready to rebound in Game 3 on Thursday night.
They did just that, and if you missed game 3, it can be filed under the classic definition of 'Barn Burner'. The atmosphere inside the Summerland Arena was raucous, with many Osoyoos Coyotes fans invading the Station to cheer on their team.
|Cole Woodliffe is mobbed by his teammates|
after scoring the 3OT Winner in Game 3
of the Okanagan Division Championship Series
Photo: Jen Jensen Photography
It wouldn't stay scoreless for long, as just 1:26 into the 2nd period the Coyotes got on the board. It was Jackson Glimpel with the goal, his 4th of the postseason, as he was able to beat Brett Huber after taking a pass from brother Rainer. Tyler Holz would draw the 2nd assist on the goal that gave the Coyotes the lead.
Summerland found themselves down on the scoreboard, but not for long. Just :38 seconds after the Glimpel goal, Steam Captain Paulsen Lautard got his first of two on the night to tie the game at 1. Daylan Robertson and Calvin Hadley would collect assists on Lautard's 7th of the playoffs. Lautard was able to corral a rebound of a Daylan Robertson shot by using a soccer-like chest to stick move before putting it behind Brett Soles to tie things up.
Captain Pauly would then net his 2nd of the night and 8th of the playoffs with 2:03 to play in the 2nd frame. After a scrum in front of Brett Soles, the puck jutted loose into the slot where Lautard picked it up and deposited it over the sprawling Coyotes' netminder to give the home team the lead.
They would take that lead to the third period, but it would only last 1:28. After Paulsen Lautard took a penalty with :09 to play in the 2nd period, Osoyoos started the third with 1:51 of powerplay time. They didn't need all of it, as 1:28 into the third they got a powerplay goal from Colin Bell that tied the game at 2. Colten Braid and Ryan Roseboom picked up assists on Bell's third of the playoffs, and this is REALLY where the fun began.
With both teams failing to convert on 3rd period powerplays and opportunities, we embarked on the journey into overtime. Both goalies were absolutely stellar in regulation time, and that continued in OT. Brett Huber was forced to make several strong saves in the first OT and after 10 minutes of continuous action we headed to Double OT after both teams failed to score.
In the 2nd overtime period fatigue started to set in a bit. Both teams slowed down just a tad, but that didn't mean the chances stopped. Osoyoos thought they'd won the game near the end of double OT after a 2 on 1. Ryan Roseboom and Colten Braid broke in 2on1, and a pass made it through from Roseboom. Braid chipped the puck up over Brett Huber and began the celebration, but the referee never blew the whistle. The Coyotes poured off the bench and referee Lyle Hinds was forced to blow play dead, still with no call.
From our vantage point in the press box, it looked as though Braid's chip went off the elbow of the net(where crossbar and post meet) and came down directly behind Brett Huber, but failed to cross the goal line. Personally I think if it would have gone into the net and hit mesh, it wouldn't come back out sharply enough to come back over the goal line. We heard the ting off the post/bar, and the puck came down equally as hard as it went up. Again, just my opinion.
A couple of people thought it went in, but all in all the entire arena wasn't really sure. Coyotes' photographer Jen Jensen shared a photo on twitter that appears (from that angle) to show the puck in the net, but there really is no sure way to tell without the NHL-like cross-bar camera. It's definitely as close as it gets.
Referee Hinds conferred with his fellow officials and judged that it had not crossed the goal line, so play continued.
It continued all the way into a third overtime period with no goals. Both teams were vying for the victory, but the pace continued to slow as fatigue continued to show on both sides. With 15:02 on the clock in the third overtime and the puck frozen on the boards to the left of Brett Huber, Summerland took a penalty. It was Riley Pettitt who was given the gate for a cross-check that sent the potent Coyotes' powerplay to work.
The 'Yotes powerplay had been the bane of Summerland's existence this season, but on this night the Steam went 8/9 on the PK. On that 3OT PK, it was good shot blocking from Daylan Robertson and Jack Mills that saved the Steam from being down 3-0 in this series. In one instance, Mills was able to block a point shot and sweep the puck out of the zone from his back, effectively killing the rest of the Coyotes' powerplay.
Summerland would then get a powerplay opportunity with 12:02 remaining in 3OT after Colten Braid hooked down a Steam defender in the corner to the left of Brett Huber.
On the powerplay it was Cole Woodliffe's time to shine. For the second Thursday night in a row inside the Summerland Arena, Woodliffe ended a game in overtime. This time it was on the powerplay, with a shot from the slot that went post and in. Jack Mills would draw the lone assist on the game winner that pulled Summerland back into this series, which now sits at 2-1.
Game 4 goes Saturday night at the Summerland Arena for a 7:30 start. Game 5 will be played Sunday in the desert for a 4:35 start at the Sun Bowl in Osoyoos.