Jared Breitkreuz made 23 saves, while Ty Banser redirected Bevis Chou’s point shot to lead the Summerland Steam to a 4-2 over the Princeton Posse.
The Game 5 victory punched a ticket into the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League’s second round for the Steam, who will now face the Kelowna Chiefs, starting Friday and Saturday in Kelowna.
Breitkreuz played very well filling in for Eric Scherger who was given rest following an injury. The veteran netminder shrugged off the importance of the game.
“It’s just another game for me,” said Breitkreuz, named the first star and given the fire fighter’s helmet. “I think it is just relaxing, enjoying the process and just trusting yourself.”
Mitchell Gove opened the scoring at 10:25 of the first period. Assists went to Dawson Jenner and Lane French. Banser scored the eventual winner with 1:12 remaining in the period on the power-play.
In the second period, French put the dagger into his former team skating hard to the net after Tyson Conroy and Linden Gove set the play in motion. French beat Posse goalie Jayson MacLean on the top corner. Two minutes later, Gove added an insurance goal beating MacLean glove-side for his seventh of the playoffs.
The Posse added a second goal in the third period.
French led the Steam with three points, while Mitchell Gove and Cody Swan each had two points.
With the Okanagan/Shuswap Conference, Okanagan Division championship up for grab, Breitkreuz expects the series with Kelowna to be good.
“I’m looking forward to it, obviously Kelowna has got a good team over there,” he says. “They have got some good players ,but I think we just have to take away their time and space. Focus on our game and the rest will take care of itself.”
Summerland hosts Games 3 and 4 on March 11 and 12, respectively, at 7:30 p.m.