Steam eliminated in division finals

Junior B hockey team loses to Osoyoos Coyotes

The Summerland Steam are now out of the Junior B hockey playoffs after losing the division finals series to the Osoyoos Coyotes.

The seven-game series was decided in four games.

On March 7 in Osoyoos, the Coyotes defeated the Steam 5-4 in overtime. The following evening, the Coyotes earned a 2-1 win.

On March 10 and 11, the two teams played in Summerland.

The March 10 game ended in a 6-4 win for Osoyoos, while the final score in the March 11 game was 2-1 in the Coyotes’ favour.

John DePourcq, head coach of the Steam, said the playoff series was frustrating and challenging.

“We ran into a very good team playing against Kelowna,” he said.

Throughout the regular season, the two teams were close, with Osoyoos finishing in first place and Summerland in second place in the 47-game regular season.

In the division semifinals, the Steam defeated the third-place Kelowna Chiefs in seven games.

“It was a hard-fought series against Kelowna,” DePourcq said.

He added that the regular season standings do not indicate how a team will perform in playoff action.

“You need to have some luck,” he said.

Despite the final standings, DePourcq was impressed with the team’s performance. With the exception of the March 10 game, all were decided by a single point.

The Friday evening game in Summerland began with the Steam leading, but two Osoyoos power play goals in the second half of the second period changed the outcome of the game.

“I’m proud of how hard the boys played and how they never game up,” DePourcq said.

This year, the Steam had many experienced players, but as some of these players are leaving the team, the next year will be a rebuilding season, he added.