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Steam get topped in seventh game
It took seven games to determine the outcome of the division semifinals in the Okanagan/Shuswap Conference: Okanagan Division of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League, but in the end, the win went to Armstrong, not Summerland.
The final game took place in Summerland on March 5 as the Steam hosted the North Okanagan Knights.
The first period belonged to the Knights, with two power play goals to take a decisive lead.
In the second period, Paulsen Lautard of the Steam scored at 6:28, assisted by Daylan Robertson and Michael Winnitoy.
The Steam tied the game in the third period at 15:21 as Sam Nigg scored, with assists from Jordan Boultbee and Dylan Burton.
A power play goal by Lautard at 8:13 gave Summerland the lead. Robertson and Easton Bodeux had the assists.
Less than two minutes later, the game changed.
The Knights had a shorthanded goal at 6:15 to tie the game, followed by a goal at 2:36 and an empty net goal with 36 seconds remaining.
Steam goalie Brett Huber made 27 saves in the loss.
Steam coach John DePourcq said two Steam penalties early in the game gave the Knights an advantage, resulting in the two power play goals.
The Steam players persevered and were able to keep the game close until the end.
“I’m very proud of what they’ve done and how hard they’ve worked,” DePourcq said.
Going into the division semi-finals, the Steam held the top spot among the five teams in the Okanagan/Shuswap Conference.
The Steam was able to force Game 7 after winning 2-1 in overtime in Armstrong. Nigg scored the winner, while Darren Hogg made 42 saves.
“To finish in first place in our division was a goal we had all set to achieve,” DePourcq said.
Coaches and management at the team will now work on a strategy for the next season, which begins in fall.
“We’re already starting to recruit for our spring camp, which will happen in early April,” he said.