Steam, Eagles battle to tie

Bevis Chou’s first career Kootenay International Junior Hockey League goal, and an 18-save performance by Jared Breitkreuz, helped the Summerland Steam earn a point in a 3-3 final against the Sicamous Eagles.

Chou earned the firefighter’s hat for the Steam’s best player Saturday night at Summerland Arena, but Breitkreuz was also important making some difficult saves in overtime to prevent the Eagles from skating away with an extra point. Cody Swan collected three assists.

“I was so happy with their performance, especially after last night’s game (4-2 loss to Kamloops) which, frustrating game for us, that we didn’t come out or play like we are capable of,” said Steam head coach John DePourcq. “Tonight that first period was awesome. Guys had a great first period, it could have easily been 3-0 at the end. It’s 1-0.”

Mitch Gove’s 12th goal in 23 games this season put the Steam up 1-0, 34 seconds into the game. They outshot the Eagles 15-7 and finished with a 44-20 edge.

The Steam went up 2-0 on Morey Babakaiff’s 13th of the season. A career high for him, as well with 23 points in 29 games, came with under seven minutes left in the middle frame. However, the Eagles responded quickly – 30 seconds later on a goal by Sebastien Archambault, then Colby Sherlock made it 2-2 capitalizing on a turnover as he beat Breitkreuz low glove side. The Eagles used a power play to take a 3-2 lead with 2:55 remaining on a goal by Jacob Chafe, set up by Brandon Pelletier and Trysten Brookman.

Chou’s equalizer came with 9:36 remaining in the third.

Brody Conroy also got his first KIJHL point, an assist on Babakaiff’s goal.

DePourcq said his players got caught up in the Eagles physical game instead of focused on the puck.

“We’re getting some valuable lessons coming back in that third and winning,” he said. “We have quite a few players up in the stands, whether it be from battles, injuries, or flu. There are some guys getting some minutes that are going to help us down the stretch.”

The power play for both teams went 1-for-6. At home, the Steam’s penalty kill is 80 per cent effective. Their next action are a pair of road games in Kelowna and Revelstoke.

The Steam are now 18-13-2-0-2 with 40 points. Kelowna is well ahead for first in the Okanagan Division with 65 points, while the Steam are 13 points ahead of Osoyoos in second.

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