The Summerland Steam closed out the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League season with a pair of big wins over the North Okanagan Knights and Osoyoos Coyotes.
Veteran Cody Swan played a key role in both wins, racking up eight points, including a hat-trick against the Knights in a 6-1 victory Feb. 22. The next night, Swan’s five-point effort helped him set a new Steam single season point mark with 69, topping Jack Mills’ 67 in 2015-16.
Swan netted the eventual winner against the Coyotes in an opening period in which they had a 22-8 edge in shots at the Osoyoos Sunbowl and went into intermission with a 4-0 lead. The Steam went 4-for-8 on the power play, while the Coyotes were 0-for-4. Jared Breitkreuz, who turned aside 24 of 25 against the Knights, made 26 saves on 28 shots. The Steam peppered Coyotes goalie Daniel Paul with 57 shots.
Other scorers for the Steam were Morey Babakaiff with two, Cory Loring, Cairo Rogers, Mitchell Gove, Liam McLaren, Lane French and Ty Banser. Conroy enjoyed a three-point performance, while Loring and French finished with three. Against the Knights, French had three points, Banser, two, and Mitchell Gove with two.
Victory in Osoyoos was bittersweet for the Steam however. Captain Everett Scherger returned to the lineup, only to sustain a hit into the boards. He required assistance leaving the ice and was taken to hospital for further evaluation.
The Steam (25-20-2-0-2) face the Princeton Posse (19-25-1-0-4) in the opening round of the playoffs, which begin Tuesday at the Summerland Arena at 7:30 p.m.