Summerland Steam: Notice Board
January 12, 2018
Swan, Jirousek To Represent Steam at Top Prospects Showcase
For the second straight year, the KIJHL will host a Top Prospects Showcase. Hosted by the Kelowna Chiefs and the Rutland Arena, the Top Prospects game will feature the best players in the league aged 16-18 in the form of the Kootenay Conference squaring off against the Okanagan Shuswap Conference. The KIJHL announced the rosters for the game, to be played January 13th at 2PM at Rutland Arena (West), on Tuesday and the Summerland Steam will send two representatives. Those two representatives are 18-year old Cody Swan and 17-year old Lukas Jirousek. Luke Jirousek Jirousek, out injured since November 17th with an undisclosed injury, is said to be close to return and will hopefully be ready to play in the Showcase on January 13th. The 17-year old from Whitehorse, YT has played just 18 of Summerland’s 31 games to date, and has put up nine goals and 15 points in those contests. He uses his big body and heavy shot to create opportunities for himself and offense for his team, and that’s been missed by the Summerland Steam while he’s been out with injury. cody_swan-crop Swan, meanwhile, has been the model of consistency for a Summerland Steam hockey club that’s lost A LOT of man games due to injury this season. The 18-year old from 150 Mile House, BC has played all 31 of Summerland’s games thus far, amassing 15 goals and 41 points to sit 2nd in team scoring. He’s done that while also only accumulating eight penalty minutes, and playing in all key situations for Head Coach John Depourcq and his staff. Jirousek and Swan will join Team Okanagan/Shuswap as they take on Team Kootenay. The rosters were released yesterday, and there’s some pretty top-end talent throughout both lineups, as you’ll see. 20180103_071124 20180103_071225.png Not a lot can be said for the Kootenay Conference roster, as they don’t travel to play the Okanagan Conference at all during the 2017/18 KIJHL season due to the elimination of the crossover schedule. The Okanagan Conference roster, however, proves that players aged 16-18 are impact players for their club teams and make up a large percentage of the top tier talent in the KIJHL. A lot of the forwards that make up Team Okanagan are in the top 5 in scoring on their respective teams, while the defensemen play big minutes, quarterback power plays, and are trusted by their coaches to play in big situations. It will be great to see them go up against talent that they don’t often see from the Kootenay Conference of the KIJHL. The KIJHL Top Prospects Showcase takes place January 13th at Rutland Arena in Kelowna, BC. Myself along with Justin McCartney, the Voice of the Kelowna Chiefs, will have all the action on
December 20, 2017
One Win, One Tie Send Steam to Nine Day Break
A trip to Osoyoos sometime in December hasn’t been a reason for joy for the Summerland Steam in recent experience. Generally, the Steam have a bit of a tough time with the Osoyoos Coyotes, but they got a boost in their visit this past Friday night that was a welcome sight. It didn’t come in the addition of one of their injured players returning to the lineup, but it was their power play that propelled them to a big 2-1 victory. As a broadcaster and a guy that watches just about every game the Summerland Steam have played over the past five seasons, I can tell you the power play hasn’t been the difference in a game in a long time. Certainly not in the past two seasons, but it was on Friday. The Coyotes’ power play, of course, opened the scoring and let the teddy bears fly thanks to Carter Shannon’s 14th of the season just 2:40 into the hockey game. It would be the only goal the Coyotes would score on the night, despite six more power play opportunities and 36 total shots on net. Matt Huber was the reason the puck stayed out, and probably should have been named the game star after making 35 stops. Morey Babakaiff would score his 5th of the season, on the power play, with 6:37 remaining in the second period to tie the game at 1. The Steam power play, which recently broke an 0-for-51 two weekends ago against Princeton, has simplified a bit and found success. The goal came from a simple shot from the point, Babakaiff locating a rebound before Coyotes goaltender Daniel Paul could, and tucking it in. Blake Holowaty would then score in the third period, with 10:36 remaining, on the same play. This time though, there was no rebound to locate. Holowaty took a pass up at the top of the ‘umbrella’ from Brogan Lautard, picked his corner, and didn’t miss, potting his 17th of the season and giving Summerland a 2-1 lead. That’s where the scoring would stop, although the Steam would keep pushing forward and not allow much from the Coyotes to try and get back on the board. Huber had to make one note-worthy save in the last ten minutes, but that would be it and Summerland would skate away with their first victory of the season in four tries against Osoyoos. With just one more road trip on the way before the holiday break, the Summerland Steam then loaded the bus on Tuesday to head for Princeton and a date with the Princeton Posse. Princeton, sitting in third place in the Okanagan Division, opened the scoring on a power play late in the first period. Lane French would notch his 11th of the season with 3:38 remaining in the frame, assisted by Posse captain Drew Carter and newcomer and former Kelowna Chief Jonathan Lee. The Posse power play goal in the first period, the only tally, would be met by a Summerland power play goal in the second period. Babakaiff would get the goal, his 6th of the season, on almost a mirror image play from Osoyoos on Friday. Blake Holowaty would put the shot in from the point, Babakaiff would locate the rebound, and put it behind Posse netminder Bobby Milligan to tie the game at 1. The Posse would then strike back, this time from the captain, Drew Carter. On another Posse power play, Carter was able to take a pass from Lane French at the top of the circles, and blast home his 11th of the season to give his team a 2-1 lead. The lead would hold until the middle of period three. Special teams was the flavor of the day for these teams, as Summerland would capitalize on another power play with 13:40 remaining. Simon Snyman would get the goal, his third of the season and first on an actual goaltender (2 previous goals into empty nets). Blake Holowaty would snake his way through the neutral zone and over the Princeton blue line before dropping off to Snyman, who would wait for a crowd to form in front of the goal. He then changed his shooting angle ever so slightly at the right point, and sent one into the top corner over the blocker of Miligan to tie the game at two. That’s where the score line would stay through regulation time. Each team recorded a point, and Summerland awarded another power play at the end of regulation as Jonathan Lee was assessed a minor for roughing. Summerland could do nothing with that power play, and would then have to kill a couple penalties of their own to nurse the clock down to 0:00 of double OT. As they did that, however, referee Kevin Crowell awarded Posse forward Lane French a penalty shot at the final buzzer. French would wind his way in, but was met by Matt Huber at the top of the crease, who made a blocker save to preserve the 2-2 tie. Each team would get a point, which propelled Summerland into sole possession of first place in the Okanagan Division headed to the Christmas break. The Osoyoos Coyotes do hold a game in hand, and will be the first opponent Summerland sees after Christmas, with a 7:35 pm start at the Sun Bowl in Osoyoos on December 29th. The Steam and the Coyotes seem destined to be intertwined in a race for the Okanagan Division pennant for the fourth season in a row, and face each other four times down the stretch. The Division standings look like this as the Steam head for their nine day holiday break: As shown, the Steam and Coyotes are eight and seven points clear of third place Princeton, respectively, and each have a couple of games in hand as well. It’s a safe bet that they’ll finish 1 and 2, barring disaster of course, which could potentially mean a second round meeting in the KIJHL playoffs for the fifth season in a row. When the teams come out of the break on December 29th, Summerland will face an extremely tough set of games. They’ll start with Osoyoos on the road on December 29th, followed by another meeting with Princeton at the SOEC in Penticton at 7PM on Thursday, January 4th, 2018. They’ll then travel to 100 Mile House, Princeton, and play a ‘destination’ contest against the Coyotes once again in Oliver on January 14th. They’ll return to the Summerland Arena on January 19th, 2018 when the team hosts the Chase Heat. On behalf of the entire Summerland Steam organization, we would like to wish all of our players, fans, families, and volunteers a very happy and safe holiday season. Merry Christmas!
December 6, 2017
Steam Split Weekend Set, Get Ready For Home Weekend
This past weekend was what seems to have been a rare ‘road weekend’ for the Summerland Steam. They’ll have to get used to it as they’ve played the majority of their games so far on home ice, and will see plenty of time on the bus in the coming few months. This past weekend, it was two different directions on back to back nights. On Friday night the Steam went north to Armstrong to play the North Okanagan Knights at the Nor-Val Centre. In just their second visit there this season, they were able to come away with a 5-1 victory thanks to an offense that continually pushed forward to the tune of 51 total shots on goal. Owen Petten got the start, and was sturdy in a victory, making 28 saves for his 3rd victory in five appearances as a member of the Summerland Steam thus far. Brogan Lautard scored twice while Simon Snyman, Blake Holowaty and Scott Robinson all added singles in a game that saw Summerland dominate the Knights from start to finish. As much as they dominated, the trouble continued for the Steam on their power play. They went 0-4 in Armstrong and pushed their scoreless streak to a whopping 50 straight opportunities, with their last PPG being scored by Luke Jirousek on October 27th against the Kelowna Chiefs. The streak would extend to 51 on Saturday night when they headed to Princeton, failing on their first power play opportunity of the night. They did, however, convert on their second one thanks to Morey Babakaiff. He scored his 4th of the season with 4:38 remaining in the first period to tie the game at one and stop the PP dry spell at 36 days, 10 games and 51 chances. Their power play wouldn’t hurt them on Saturday night in Princeton, but unfortunately their penalty kill did. The Posse scored three power play goals, including two in the final seven minutes of play, to pull off a 5-3 win. Cairo Rogers (6) and Sam Jones (6) scored the other Summerland goals, while Matt Huber made 30 saves in a losing effort. Summerland outshot the Posse 40-35 in the game, and did well to carry the majority of the play. Unfortunately for them, the Posse were able to capitalize on their opportunities as well as make their power play count. Linden Gove, Lane French, Tristyn Olson, Mort Johnston and Ethan Schmor converted for the Posse, while Bobby Milligan picked up the victory thanks to a 37 save performance. Summerland will return home this weekend to play two games, Friday, December 8th against the same Princeton Posse, and Saturday, December 9th against the Revelstoke Grizzlies. Both games will have special meanings, as Friday night is Summerland Food Bank night, where the Steam will be offering $2 off any regular priced ticket with the donation of a non-perishable food item for the Summerland Food Bank.   After Friday night, the Steam will host the Revelstoke Grizzles on Saturday. It is Summerland’s first annual TEDDY BEAR TOSS, which will result in (hopefully) a whole lot of stuffed animals thrown onto the ice when the Steam score their first goal of the night. It’s also a first place showdown in the Okanagan Shuswap Conference, as the Steam and the Grizzlies do battle for the second time this season.    
November 30, 2017
Chiefs Win Return Match as Division Standings Tighten
After a 4-3 victory over the Kelowna Chiefs on Tuesday night last week, the Summerland Steam expected them to come back hard on Saturday night looking for a victory. Meeting for the second time in under a week and fourth time in 47 days, the two teams have become familiar with one another and are playing each other extremely tough as of late. Summerland had won all three meetings coming into Saturday night, with all three being closely played games. Both teams being incredibly shorthanded offensively on Saturday night, the game left a little to be desired in that offensive category. Kelowna was without leading goal scorer and captain Brett Witala, as they will be for some time as he recuperates from a broken thumb/hand, as well as diminutive forward Brendan Mongey. Mongey, as talented as they come offensively and a gifted special teams player, was suspended 6-games by the KIJHL for this hit on Summerland defenseman Bailey Tamminga in the previous matchup on Tuesday night: The Chiefs were also missing Lane Paddison, Devin Sutton, and starting goaltender Aris Anagnostoupolos. Max Gaudet would start in place of Anagnostopoulos and be forced to make just 19 saves. For Summerland they remained without Luke Jirousek, Blake Holowaty, and Everett Scherger, as well as defenceman Noah Kallichuk. All are listed as day-to-day, with the hope that all will be available as Summerland starts their December schedule on Friday against North Okanagan in Armstrong. Defenceman Ryan Allen left Saturday night’s game with a lower-body injury and did not return, leaving his status for this coming weekend questionable at this point in time. On Saturday night against the Chiefs, it was clear early on that whoever was going to win was going to have to grind one out. The game didn’t have a lot of flow, and scoring chances came few and far between as the teams skated to a 0-0 draw after the first period. Cody Swan would net his 14th of the season near the midway mark of the period, managing to be the last one to touch the puck out of a scrum before it found the back of the Kelowna goal. Morey Babakaiff and Scott Robinson would draw assists on the goal that put Summerland up 1-0. Kaden Stewart would reply for the Chiefs, converting on a power play with 4:41 remaining in the second period to tie the game at 1 after 40 minutes. That would be the only scoring we would see, netting each team a point as we headed for 4on4 overtime. In the extra frame, former Summerland Steam defender Cole Williams would factor in setting up Tyler Love on a 2-on-1. Williams picked up a loose puck in the neutral zone and was able to burn down the left side before feeding Love a cross-crease pass that he made no mistake on to give the Chiefs the 2-1 overtime win. The three point game between Summerland and Kelowna tightened things up considerably in the Okanagan Division standings. Summerland picked up a crucial point and actually extended their lead over the Osoyoos Coyotes to eight points, as the ‘Yotes fell 7-5 to the 100 Mile House Wranglers. This came one night after the Coyotes put the boots to the Princeton Posse by an 8-0 score at the Princeton & District Arena on Friday night. The Chiefs were the only Okanagan Division team to pick up four points on the weekend, vaulting them into a tie for second place with the Coyotes. Princeton was able to beat the North Okanagan Knights by a 6-3 score on Saturday to keep pace, but fall to fourth place, a point behind Kelowna and Osoyoos. As mentioned, Summerland has managed to maintain their division lead against one of the toughest divisions in the KIJHL. They’ve done so while battling the injury bug and struggling on special teams, which is impressive against the quality of competition they’ve been up against. The power play has been particularly concerning for Summerland, in fact they may just want to begin declining them, as they’re mired in an 0/46 slump. Their last power play goal came October 27, 2017 in the third period against the Chiefs, by Luke Jirousek. They’ll likely be working on getting back to basics in practice this week, trying to get pucks and traffic to the front of the goal to see if they can get an ugly one to bump the slump on Friday when they pay a visit to the North Okanagan Knights. It’s a big weekend for the Steam as they play two road games, in Armstrong to face the Knights Friday and in Princeton to play the Posse on Saturday. It’s imperative they come up with four points in those two games if they want to see their lead continue to stay at eight points out front.
November 24, 2017
Steam Down Chiefs With Rematch Looming Saturday
The Summerland Steam and the Kelowna Chiefs don’t like each other. That much can be said as fact. When you play a team nearly thirty times in two seasons including playoffs, that can happen, and it usually produces pretty good hockey. It has so far in 2017/18, as the Steam and the Chiefs met for the third time on Tuesday night at the Summerland Arena. Their first meeting was a 5-2 Summerland victory that included an empty net goal, and the last two have been one goal Summerland wins, with the last one coming in overtime and Tuesday night’s game ending in a 4-3 score in regulation time. It’s a matchup of 1st and 4th in the Okanagan Division standings, but these games are always tight and filled with fire. Summerland came in after going 1-1 on the weekend, falling 4-2 in Chase on Friday before coming up with a big 5-2 win over Princeton at home on Saturday night. They’d been doing it recently without four big time bodies in their lineup as Blake Holowaty, Luke Jirousek, Morey Babakaiff, and Bailey Tamminga had been out of the lineup dealing with various ailments. Tamminga and Babakaiff returned to the lineup on Tuesday, giving a big boost to Summerland both on offense and defense. The Chiefs are having their share of injury trouble as well, as they played on Tuesday with just 15 skaters. Despite having the short bench, the Chiefs got out to a good start as 18-year old rookie standout Juanre Naude beat Matt Huber high over the glove just 3:15 into the first period on the Chiefs first power play. Naude made a great solo dash up the ice, beat two Summerland players and used his speed to get around the outside edge, before beating Matt Huber high on the short side to give the Chiefs the early advantage. The first fifteen minutes of the game was all Kelowna Chiefs, outshooting the Steam 8-2 in that time span and being led up front by big minute man Brendan Mongey. Mongey, counted on to play all over the ice in the absence of injured Chiefs captain Brett Witala, was all over the place in the first period. He started the game centering a line between Naude on the right side, and former Summerland Steam defender Cole Williams on the left side. Williams, normally a defenseman, has made the move up front for the time being as the Chiefs skate missing five forwards. With Kelowna dominating play through the first period and doing a great job using their speed through the neutral zone, it looked like it might be a long night for the Summerland Steam. Just as the Chiefs were about to finish a great period of hockey, a myriad of penalties allowed Summerland to gain some momentum back. These weren’t penalties that resulted in man advantage situations, but penalties that took both Mongey and Chiefs defender Jarin Sutton off the ice. Sutton and Ethan Grover got tied up and were each assessed two minutes, while Mongey stepped off the bench to involve himself in an altercation and picked up a 10-minute misconduct for his trouble. Summerland was then able to exploit the middle of the ice to tie the game at 1 in the final minute of the first period, courtesy of Sammy Gabriel’s first KIJHL goal with just :47 on the clock. A good hold at the offensive blue line by Niall Lawrie started the play, and Sam Jones got three cracks at a shot before a puck finally ricocheted to Gabriel in the slot. He was able to beat Chiefs starting goaltender Aris Anagnastopoulos on the blocker side to tie the game and send the teams to the dressing room locked at a goal apiece. Summerland had a much better second period than they did in the first. They carried the majority of the play, but found themselves trailing when Julian Fodor notched his second of the year for the Chiefs just 4:12 into the frame. Morey Babakaiff would draw the Steam back even just 2:08 later, taking a cross-zone pass from Bailey Tamminga and beating Anagnostopoulos on the short side to tie the game at 2. Summerland would then take the lead late in the second period thanks to their captain, Sam Jones. He received a pass up the right wing wall from forward Liam McLaren, and was able to dance two Chiefs defenders before making a perfectly placed shot past a standing Anagnostopoulos to give the Steam a 3-2 lead. That lead would stay safe through the remainder of the second and most of the third period, and Summerland would have a chance to build on it courtesy of this hit from Chiefs F Brendan Mongey: Mongey would be assessed a 5-minute major for Head Contact plus the attached game misconduct, as well as a Match Penalty on the play, and resulted in a 5-minute power play for Summerland. The victim of the hit, Steam defenseman Bailey Tamminga, was helped off the ice and down the tunnel where he went through the appropriate testing for a concussion. He was able to return to the game about twelve minutes after the hit, but only played a couple more shifts on the night. Summerland would get nothing out of their power play, despite having 2 minutes of 5-on-3 during that span, and the Chiefs gained some momentum from the kill. They pushed forward, and finally broke through thanks to the recently returned Aidan Bar-Lev-Wise. He picked up a loose puck in the right wing corner and from an angle we all thought impossible, slipped it into the top corner on the short side above Matt Huber to tie the game at three with 6:12 remaining. It looked like we were destined for another overtime matchup, as neither team looked very interested in taking chances at goal in the final few minutes. Summerland, however, got the opportunity they needed with just under three minutes remaining. Morey Babakaiff was able to pick off a clearing attempt from Kelowna goaltender Aris Anagnostopoulos on the left wing boards. He had a shot at goal that Anagnostopoulos did a great job to get back in the net for, but the rebound popped straight out front to a waiting Ethan Grover in the high slot. He made no mistake, pounding his fifth of the season into the back of the net to give the Steam their lead back with 2:45 to play. It was all Summerland needed as they would hang on for the 4-3 victory thanks to a blocked shot by Everett Scherger, who used his face to deflect a puck away at the final buzzer to secure the Summerland victory. The two points saw Summerland to have their lead atop the Okanagan Division climb to nine points. That nine point gap over the second place Osoyoos Coyotes could evaporate very quickly, however, as the Coyotes have built up four games in hand. They’ll use one of those games when they take on the Princeton Posse on Friday night while Summerland is idle. The Steam will take Friday night off this week and enjoy Summerland’s 30th Annual Festival of Lights. Lights come on at 7, but with all the fun activities and food happening downtown, it will surely be a full night event that will end with fireworks sometime between 8 and 9pm. The Steam are back in action again Saturday night at home against these same Kelowna Chiefs, and I’d venture to guess that you won’t want to miss it. Joel and I will have full pre-game starting at 7:15pm on ahead of a 7:30pm opening face-off at the Summerland Arena.
November 18, 2017
Chase Awaits after 1-1 Set With Knights
This past week, the Summerland Steam played two games against the North Okanagan Knights. On Friday the team traveled to Armstrong for the first time this season, and came up lame in a disappointing 4-1 loss. It was a case of North Okanagan playing their game and never taking a shift off, and Summerland being just not quite good enough on the road. Alec McLeod scored twice for the Knights on the night, while Ben Josinnet and Brady Marzocco added singles and Zach Willms made 32 saves for the victory. Riley Smoler scored the lone goal for the Steam, his ninth of the season, in the losing effort that saw Owen Petten take the loss in goal while making 25 saves. In the game Friday night, the Steam had a glimpse back to the not so distant past, as both Morey Babakaiff and Blake Holowaty left injured. Holowaty was particularly worrisome, as he was the recipient of a low hit in the neutral zone that flipped him end over end. The 20-year old Steam forward landed squarely on his head and neck, and had to be helped off the ice, obviously not returning to the hockey game. Both he and Babakaiff would miss the return match, which took place Tuesday night at the Summerland Arena. The Steam welcomed Everett Scherger back to the lineup after missing nine games due to an injury, which is a huge boost to the team. Scherger used his feistiness and fore-checking ability to cause problems all night on route to a 7-4 Summerland victory. Cody Swan scored twice (12,13), while Ryan Allen added his first KIJHL goal on a nice shot from the point that found the top corner over the blocker of Zach Willms midway through the first period. The Knights would score two in the first as well, one each from Tyler Olson and Dean Whitcomb, to keep the score tied. The Whitcomb goal came shorthanded in the final minute of the period, as the Steam are still having one heck of a time getting their power play to click. They were able to strike, and quickly, in the first half of the second period. Cairo Rogers (4), Luke Jirousek (9) , and Gavin Lawrie (7) each scored a goal in the span of 1:31 to break a 2-2 tie up into a 5-2 Summerland lead. The Knights wisely took their timeout after the third goal to collect themselves, and it seemed to help as they were able to claw back with two more goals before the end of the period. The second period was low-lighted by a multiple fight situation near the midway mark of the period. Jason Shaigec of the Knights hung a knee on Summerland forward Riley Smoler at the Steam blue line, and both Smoler’s linemates, Gavin Lawrie and Luke Jirousek, took exception. Jirousek shed his gloves to confront Shaigec, who tried to sneak to the North Okanagan bench as quickly as possible. Levi Harris stepped in his place to take on Jirousek, and while that was going on Gavin Lawrie and Brady Marzocco dropped the gloves as well. Jirousek and Harris, being the first ones to drop mitts, were only assessed their regular five-minute major penalties for fighting. Gavin Lawrie and Brady Marzocco will both miss their team’s next game, as they were the second fight in a multiple fight situation. After that was resolved, the Knights got their goals to make things close again. Tyler Olson notched his second of the night, while Ben Jossinet added the other to cut the Steam lead to 5-4 after two periods. In the third, the Steam took over. They would only add one goal, that from Everett Scherger exactly 5:00 in, before adding an empty netter from Swan to seal things up. Matt Huber made 17 saves for his 11th victory of the season, while Zach Willms made 23 saves in the losing effort. Summerland will now look forward to another meeting with the Chase Heat and KIJHL leading scorer Josh Bourne. Bourne leads the team and the league with 38 points (18G+20A) in just 18 games played. Bourne is followed closely by Summerland’s Scott Robinson, who added 4 more assists last week in those two games against the Knights, and sits second in league scoring with 36 points (12G+24A). The Heat are led by five key returning players in both the scoring department and the leadership department. Bourne, along with Kolten Moore, Kaden Black, Pat Brady and Zachary Fournier create one of the most potent offenses, and power plays, in the KIJHL. The Heat thrive on their power play, converting 29 of 110 opportunities, a 26.36% clip and good for 2nd in the KIJHL and first in the Okanagan Shuswap Conference. Special teams is somewhere that the Summerland Steam have struggled so far in 2017/18, so it would make sense to try and keep the conference’s best PP unit off the ice as much as possible. It will be a matchup of the best two teams in the Okanagan Shuswap Conference, Summerland sitting with 30 points through 20 games, while Chase has 26 points through 21 games played. Summerland will need to continue doing what they like to do, which is get in on the forecheck and make things difficult for opposing defenders. They’ve done a great job of it through nearly half the season, and that’s what they’ll have to do to beat a really good hockey club in Chase on Friday night. They’ll have to do so without Gavin Lawrie, who sits a one game suspension for his altercation with North Okanagan Knights forward Brady Marzocco on Tuesday night. Both were suspended one game for being the second fight in the same stoppage in play. Blake Holowaty and Morey Babakaiff, along with Bailey Tamminga, missed Tuesday’s game and are listed as questionable for this weekend’s games as well. It would be a big boost to the club to get even one of those players back, let alone all three. For the Steam it’s the start of a tough three game stretch over the course of five days. They’re in Chase tonight, who are in first place in the Doug Birks Divison. They’ll return home tomorrow for a clash with the Princeton Posse, who sit second in the Okanagan Division, followed by a home date with the Kelowna Chiefs on Tuesday night. Both Steam home games will start at 7:30pm.
October 24, 2017
Steam Split Rivalry Weekend, Continue to Lead Division By 5
Through a third of the KIJHL schedule as October rolls to an end, the Summerland Steam headed into the final weekend of the month with an 11-3 record. They sat first in the KIJHL’s Okanagan Division by a bushel full of points, and were looking to continue their consistently strong play as they hosted the Kelowna Chiefs and Osoyoos Coyotes on consecutive nights. With their lineup beginning to return to normal after being riddled with injury, the Steam hoped to flex their muscle over their division rivals and extend their division lead even further. The Chiefs came first, on Friday night at the Summerland Arena, and they came to play. Summerland would come up with a 5-4 overtime victory, but not before having to come back to tie the game three different times. It showed some serious resolve from a young hockey team to come back in a game like that as many times as they did, and ultimately they were led by their veterans. Scott Robinson scored twice, including the goal to tie the game at 4 with :53 seconds remaining in the third period, while Blake Holowaty netted the game winner in overtime to secure the extra point. Matt Huber stopped 34 of 38 for his 9th victory of the season, and Luke Jirousek and Sam Jones also notched singles for the Steam. Lane Paddison with two, Brendan Mongey and Brett Witala all scored for the Chiefs, who dominated the majority of the first two periods. The turning point of the game, with Kelowna outshooting Summerland heavily all night long, came with 5:02 remaining in the second period. With Kelowna up 3-2, Chiefs goaltender Aris Anagnastopoulos and Steam forward Morey Babakaiff were involved in an altercation in the Kelowna crease. It happened so far behind the play that we didn’t catch it in the broadcast booth or on camera, but by accounts of both Summerland and Kelowna fans and staff, it was quite the scene. With Summerland buzzing in the offensive zone, Babakaiff took up a familiar post in front of the opposing net, looking to create a screen and perhaps deflect an oncoming puck. As the puck was turned over, the play turned back up into the neutral zone, and the rest of the players vacated accordingly. Babakaiff took a step away from the net before Anagnastopoulos reached around with his stick and made contact with Babakaiff’s nether regions. This, naturally, caused Babakaiff to respond, and he did so with a cross check to the goaltender’s chest. As the play was moving back up the ice, nobody with a whistle in their hand, nor a black or white team jersey saw any of this happen, except for Kelowna defenseman Isaac Dutka. Dutka turned around in time to see Babakaiff take a swipe at his goaltender, and reacted how you may expect. He skated back, and he and Babakaiff then engaged in some sort of makeshift wrestling match that was ultimately called a fight and barred both players from the game. Dutka was given an instigator penalty plus a fighting major, while Babakaiff was assessed a 5-minute major for cross checking, and a 5-minute major for fighting. Anagnastopoulos got away scot-free. This fired up the Summerland bench something fierce, and very likely is what turned the game in their favor. Through two periods they mustered just twelve shots on goal, but came out blazing in the third looking to make a comeback. They put 15 shots on Aris Anagnostopoulos in the third period, but were unable to break through until around the mid-point. Luke Jirousek scored nearly halfway through the third to tie things at three before Brett Witala responded for the Chiefs just :38 seconds later. That score line would stick until the final minute, after Summerland spent the entire third period pushing forward. They were finally able to pot one with the extra attacker with :53 seconds remaining, courtesy of Scott Robinson. Robo would notch his eighth of the season, and second of the night, as he located a rebound to the left of Anagnastopoulos and lifted it over him to tie the game at 4. That would earn each team a point, and Blake Holowaty would end it for the Steam in OT, batting a puck out of mid-air and past a sprawled Anagnastopoulos for a 5-4 overtime victory. With the victory, the Steam kept their distance between themselves and the 2nd place Osoyoos Coyotes, who were also winners on Friday night in Armstrong. The Coyotes would come for a showdown on Saturday night, and there’s no doubt they were ready for it. The ‘Yotes blew the doors off in the first period, scoring three times in the first 13:15 and a fourth before the first period was over to chase Matt Huber from the Summerland crease and take a 4-0 lead to the locker room. Carter Shannon would score his third of the night, this one past Owen Petten, just 1:10 into the second period to stretch the lead to 5-0 before Summerland began to show signs of life. Scott Robinson would tally for the Steam at 15:06 of the second period, finding a puck in the slot and beating the little-tested Daniel Paul in the Coyotes crease. With the score 5-1 and there being signs of life around the Coyotes end of the ice, there was slim hope for a comeback as the Steam looked like they were finding their feet underneath them. That hope was snuffed out 1:01 after the Robinson goal when Hunter Johnson made it 6-1 Coyotes off the rush, beating Petten on the glove side. Credit to the home team, however, they did not quit. Cody Swan scored a pair in the back half of the game to make it 6-3 before Connor Onstein rounded out the scoring late in the third. The Coyotes rolled to a 7-3 victory, handing Summerland just their fourth loss of the season. Of those four losses, three have come against those same Osoyoos Coyotes. The season is only 1/3 done, but the season series with the Coyotes is nearly 1/2 way over. They’ll have to get it together and hope to beat them at least a couple of times if they want to win the division, and certainly if they want to have playoff success. As the month of October comes to a close, beginning to prep for the stretch drive to the playoffs will be in the back of everyone’s mind. Yes, it’s a long way off, but it’ll creep up a lot faster than one would think. The Steam finished October with a 6-2 record, their best October in franchise history, and they lead the Okanagan Division by 5 points with a 12-4 record. The teams behind them though, namely the Coyotes and the Kelowna Chiefs, have two games in hand to play as well. The Steam continue to be without veterans Everett Scherger and Morey Babakaiff, as well as rookies Bailey Tamminga and Riley Smoler. Scherger and Tamminga continue to recuperate from injury, while Smoler will serve the third and final game of a suspension in Summerland’s next game. Babakaiff had returned from injury on Friday night against Kelowna, where he re-aggravated the same injury in the altercation with Anagnostopoulos and Dutka. The Steam are back in action this coming Friday, with another home date on tap against the North Okanagan Knights at 7:30PM. The last two games against the Knights have been barn burners, both needing overtime and resulting in 2-1 and 5-4 Summerland victories. They’ll then have Saturday off before firing up the bus for a Sunday visit to the Sicamous Eagles. Summerland will have to get familiar and comfortable with that bus, having only played five road games thus far. Three of those trips have been trips inside an hour’s drive, to Princeton, Osoyoos, and Kelowna, so they’ll have to get comfortable as they get set for a heavy road schedule in the coming months. All broadcasts are available on, and Joel and I will have pre-game starting at 7:15pm on Friday night ahead of Summerland’s home game against the North Okanagan Knights.
October 13, 2017
Peacock Signs With Silverbacks as Steam Make Trio of Moves
If you saw Brandon Peacock play goal for the Summerland Steam, you got the feeling he may not last too long in the KIJHL. He’s big, he’s mobile, and he’s always in position, giving him all the attributes BCHL and other Junior A teams look for in a goaltender. All it was going to take was an injury or a stumble out of the gate for Brandon to get his shot, and that came this week when he signed with the BCHL’s Salmon Arm Silverbacks. The ‘Backs have struggled to a 5-6 start out of the gate, and sit second to last in a very tight Interior Divison through 11 games. “We always knew there was a strong possibility that Brandon wasn’t going to be with us all season,” Said Steam GM Mike Rigby, “He’s a very good young goaltender who was close to being in Junior A to start the season, and it just didn’t work out that way. We were very lucky to have him here even for a short period of time, and we wish him the best as he moves on to join Salmon Arm.” When asked about the KIJHL and it’s knack for moving players to the next level, that being either higher levels of junior hockey or into the collegiate ranks, Rigby added that “This is what we’re here for. We want to help these young men become better hockey players and better citizens and I think our organization and the KIJHL as a whole have done a great job of that, particularly over the last four or five years.” Having a vacant opening at the goaltending position after the departure of Peacock to Salmon Arm, Rigby swung a deal with the Castlegar Rebels, acquiring 1999 born goaltender Owen Petten in exchange for Future Considerations. “Owen was at our prospects camp in April so we kind of knew about him a little bit and how he likes to play,” Said Rigby, “We like what he brings to the table and we’re excited to have him join our team.” Petten will be in the lineup this weekend, presumably backing up Matt Huber when the Steam face North Okanagan on Friday at home, and travel to Osoyoos on Saturday to play the Coyotes. After acquiring Petten, Rigby completed one more trade, again with the Castlegar Rebels. The Summerland Steam acquired 18-year old forward Brady Olson from the Rebels in exchange for the playing rights of 19-year old forward Calvin Rout. Olson, from Redwater, AB, spent the past two seasons with the Fort Saskatchewan Rangers Midget AA team, collecting 7 goals, 17 assists, and 137 PIM in 61 games. Rout spent the 2015/16 and 2016/17 seasons with the Steam, collecting 10 goals and 6 assists in 68 career KIJHL games. Summerland will hit the ice again tomorrow night, Friday, October 13th when the North Okanagan Knights pay their first visit of the season. The Steam will see a couple of familiar faces, as former Affiliate Players Brett and Sean Wilson, twins from Summerland, BC, signed with the Knights full time for the 2017/18 season.
September 12, 2017
Rookies Power Steam to First Weekend Surge
Rookies Power Steam to First Weekend Surge Posted on September 12, 2017 The start of a new season is always an exciting time of year. The hustle and bustle of getting everything prepped and ready, getting new players situated with their surroundings both on the ice and away from the arena, and getting them familiar with one another is a challenge every team faces in the early going. For the Summerland Steam, this season brings a whole lot more of that than they’re used to. For the first time in the last four seasons, the Steam start the season with more rookies than they do veterans. A young group is something that the coaching staff and team personnel were both excited and nervous about going into Friday’s home opener against the 100 Mile House Wranglers, and they showed themselves well in a 4-3 victory. Scott Robinson opened the scoring for the Steam on the power play, taking a feed from Steam rookie Niall Lawrie and beating Wranglers goaltender Hayden Lyons to give Summerland a 1-0 lead. Cody Swan would draw the second assist. Cairo Rogers, a native of Penticton BC, would then get in on the scoring act in the final minutes of period one. He found himself wide open in front of the Wranglers’ net and did well to pot a pass from fellow Steam rookie Riley Smoler to put the Steam up 2-0. Scott Robinson would draw the second assist on Rogers’ 1st KIJHL goal. Once down 2-0, the Wranglers fought back. Travis Gook scored on a long point shot in the final minute of the first, and Todd Bredo would do the same nearly five minutes into the second, tying the game at 2. Riley Smoler would take matters into his own hands in the third, scoring the only two goals of the period to push Summerland back into a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Matt Huber made 19 saves for his first victory of the season, and the Steam looked to continue rolling on the road in Kamloops on Saturday night. Kamloops Memorial Arena has been kind to the Steam in the limited number of times they’ve played there, and it was again Saturday night as they skated away with a 6-2 win. Peachland, BC native Ethan Grover led the way for Summerland with two goals and three points, while Luke Jirousek netted two goals of his own. Scott Robinson and Morey Babakaiff added a goal each, and Matt Huber continued his strong start to the season with a 21 save effort for his second win in as many nights. The Steam were able to take advantage of a Kamloops team that had two forwards playing defense on the first weekend of the season, and walked out of Kamloops with 2 points and a perfect weekend. Summerland will go back to practice ice this week in search of more team bonding and work with Head Coach John Depourcq’s systems. They led the league in scoring 10 goals over two games on opening weekend, which will surprise some, but it’s something to build on nonetheless. They’ll see game action again next Friday, when the Revelstoke Grizzlies pay a visit at 7:30pm.
September 8, 2017
Home Opener 2017!
The Summerland Steam open the 2017/18 KIJHL Season on Friday, September 8th, 2017 vs the 100 Mile House Wranglers! Puck drop goes at 7:30PM and tickets are just $10 for adults, $8 for Seniors & Students! Come and check out great hockey, and enjoy our new BEER GARDEN located on the east side of the arena!
Kelowna 49 43 3 1 0 2 89
Summerland 49 25 20 2 0 2 54
Princeton 49 19 25 1 0 4 43
Osoyoos 49 17 29 2 0 1 37
North Okanagan 49 16 32 0 1 0 32
Steam season comes to a halt
The Gove Bros.
Steam lose to Chiefs, Mitch Gove gets injured
Chiefs take series lead in lopsided victory
Steam host Chiefs in Game 3 tonight