Steam ranked second in division

The Summerland Steam are in second place in the Okanagan/Shuswap Conference: Okanagan Division of the KIJHL.

The Summerland Steam are in second place in the Okanagan/Shuswap Conference: Okanagan Division of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League.

The Summerland Junior B team’s record is 15 wins, eight losses and one overtime loss in regular season action, behind the Osoyoos Coyotes.

Gregg Wilson, general manager and co-owner of the team, said Summerland has a lot of new players on the ice this year, with just seven who were part of the team last year.

In November, team captain Paulsen Lautard left the team to play for the Trail Smoke Eaters in Junior A hockey action.

Losing their captain was a big transition, but the Steam players have stepped up, Wilson said.

Several of the Summerland players have shown themselves as rising stars this season, including Cole Woodliffe, Jack Mills and Alex Williams.

Wilson is more impressed with the cohesive teamwork shown by the players, especially those playing defence.

“We probably have one of the strongest defence cores in the league,” he said. “We have the lowest goals against average in the league.”

Players have also shown determination.

During a recent game against the Creston Valley Thunder Cats, the Summerland team was behind 3-1 until a power play late in the second period. The Steam went on to win that game 4-3.

Regular season action for the Steam will continue until mid-February.