A few good men came up big for the Summerland Steam en route to collecting four points over the weekend.
Those few good men will be mentioned briefly.
The weekend road trip began by defeating the Kelowna Chiefs 4-3 on Friday, then Steam defeated the Revelstoke Grizzlies by the same score in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League play. That victory comes with a sting, however. Suspensions are expected following a multiple fight incident at the end in front of 650 fans at the Revelstoke Forum.
The incident began following a face-off with about five seconds remaining. Leading up to the face-off, Steam head coach John DePourcq said his thought was, win the face-off and dump the puck and its over. Things played out differently. After the puck sat behind the centreman, Steam forward Morey Babakaiff decided to freeze the puck against the boards, as they faced a six-on-four advantage with the Grizzlies goalie pulled and captain Everett Scherger sitting in the penalty box.
“They have six guys that charge him at 100 miles an hour,” said DePourcq. “Crush him into the boards. Well here you go, look out, it’s on. Everybody is swinging and punching. Wrestling.”
When the clock hit zero, Scherger came flying in from the penalty box to join the melee. Cairo Rogers received a four-game suspension, as did Bevis Chou, Morey Babakaiff, one, and Scherger received 11 games for leaving the bench. From Revelstoke, Ryan Pereverzoff received four games, Tommy Bodtker, four, Matt Cadden, four and Jon Vandermolen, received a game.
Aside from the extra curricular activity, with a large energetic crowd, DePourcq described it as a “great old time hockey game.”
“Great performances though, just excellent,” he said.
Steam goalie Eric Scherger earned second star for his 50-save performance. He turned aside 36 of 39 in Kelowna.
“An amazing weekend for Eric Scherger in the goal,” said DePourcq, as his rookie goalie now has nine wins in 17 games. “Made the big saves when he needed.”
DePourcq liked how Scherger controlled the puck not allowing rebounds.
Revelstoke opened the scoring on a goal by Ryan Bedard at 8:20 of the first. In the second period, Mitch Gove scored twice on the power-play, netting his 15th and 16th goals of the season – seven have come on the man advantage. Everett Scherger, Cody Swan and Cory Loring picked up assists on those goals. The Steam went three-for-nine on the power-play.
In the second period, the teams traded goals. Matt Cadden and Josh Irvine for the Grizzlies, while Ty Banser was set up by Zack Cooper and Loring for his fifth of the season. Ryan Allen and Swan set up Scherger for his 11th. Swan finished with three assists.
Against the Chiefs, the line of Mitchell Gove, Lane French and Swan combined for nine points. Gove had two goals and four points, Swan netted the winner and added two assists and French collected two assists.
“The line of Mitchell Gove, Lane French and Cody Swan were really good,” said DePourcq. “It was a great team effort. Everybody played hard, played well. When they are all together and they are healthy, they have got to be one of the top lines in the league. They are very fast. French and Mitch Gove, there is a lot of speed there to go with Cody Swan. You add his skill to their speed, they generated a lot of opportunities.”
The Steam return to action Friday with a trip to Kamloops to take on the Storm. They return to the Summerland Arena Saturday to host the North Okanagan Knights at 7:30 p.m. The Steam are now 20-13-2-0-2 in 37 games.