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Saturday, 12 September 2015


With the 2015/16 Kootenay International Junior Hockey League season set to get underway on Friday night, the Summerland Steam were ready to go. After nearly 3 weeks of camps, practices and exhibition action it was finally time to get underway with a trip to the Similkameen Valley to play the Princeton Posse.

The Posse, under new Head Coach Geoff Goodman, looked equally as ready to start the new season. Though Summerland controlled the majority of play early on, the home side jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in their home opener. The first Posse tally would come from rookie Tanner Braid, his first in the KIJHL. The second, just five minutes later, came off the stick of Drew Carter and beat Steam starter Austin Wells.

Those would be the only two goals the Steam goaltender would render, however, as he shut the door and made 15 saves on 17 shots throughout the night to pick up a 4-2 victory. 

The Steam would get on the board later in the period, at exactly the 3:00 mark when the Yukon Line went to work. Riley Pettitt found himself on the business end, scoring the Steam's first goal of the 2015/16 KIJHL season on Posse goaltender Stephen Heslop. Adam Jones and Jarrett Malchow drew assists on the goal, Pettitt's first of two on the night.

The first period seemed a bit sloppy for both teams as they tried to work out the jitters, but the pace improved as the period went on. It was a cleanly played (for the most part) period that saw the Steam outshoot the Posse 20-5 but trail 2-1 after 1.

The second period was ALL Summerland. They outshot the Posse 19-5 and scored 3 times to give themselves a 4-2 lead. First it was the captain, Paulsen Lautard, who tied the game at 2 just 4:32 into the frame. Matthew Monk drew an assist on Lautard's 1st of the year for his first KIJHL point in his first KIJHL game. 

Jack Mills would then notch his first of the season with 5:35 remaining in the 2nd frame to give his team the lead with his 1st of the season. Lautard and defenceman Cole Williams would draw assists on the eventual game winner. 

Pettitt would add his 2nd with just :13 left in the second period to round out the scoring and give the Steam the 4-2 lead that would eventually turn to a victory by the same score. 

It turned out to be a great night for the visiting Summerland Steam, who managed to put 53 shots on Princeton goaltender Stephen Heslop. Heslop, much like all of last season, held his team in the game and made three or four very high quality saves to give his team a chance to win. He was particularly good in the late stages of the first period when Summerland was pressing in the Princeton zone, but finally allowed a couple of goals in the 2nd that allowed Summerland to pull away for the victory.

After the W last night, Summerland will now travel to Grand Forks to face the Border Bruins at 7PM tonight at the Jack Goddard Memorial Arena.