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Summerland Steam will compete in hockey playoffs

The Junior B team is in third place in the division
Mark MacMillan, head coach of the Summerland Steam, speaks with players during a recent game. At present, the Junior B hockey team is in third place in its division. (Contributed)

The Summerland Steam Junior B hockey team will compete in KIJHL playoff action.

The team is in third place in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League’s Bill Ohlhausen Division, behind the Osoyoos Coyotes and Kelowna Chiefs. At present, the Steam’s record is 22 wins, 13 losses, two overtime losses and two shootout losses.

Over the weekend the Steam enjoyed two victories on home ice. On Friday, Feb. 11, the Steam defeated the North Okanagan Knights in a 6-3 decision. On Saturday, Feb. 12, the Steam trounced the Kelowna Chiefs in a 7-3 win.

Another game was scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 15 against the Revelstoke Grizzlies. Results of that game, in Revelstoke, were not available by press time.

Cole Waldbillig, captain of the Summerland Steam, said the team was on a skid coming into a recent game against the Princeton Posse.

“We have been playing a more physical game lately, more playoff style and we’ve been in a lot of games where we have been going into the third period down a few goals,” he said.

“We’ve come back and made gains – games that went to overtime. A few comeback wins so that was really nice to see,”

He added that the coaching staff this year has helped the team.

“Mark (MacMillan), our coach, has done a super good job of fostering a positive environment for our young guys. He is always open to talk. He has a really good open door policy,” Waldbillig said.

MacMillan is in his first season of coaching for the team.

He took over head coach and general manager duties in late October.

“It’s fun to be at the rink. I think being at the rink every day in this aspect really lessens the blow of not playing,” said MacMillan, who stepped behind the Steam bench after six years of professional hockey, including the last two seasons in Denmark playing for the Herning Blue Fox. “That has been great.”

The Steam have two games scheduled for the coming weekend. On Friday, Feb. 18, the Steam will host the Kelowna Chiefs. Game time is 7:30 p.m. at the Summerland Arena.

On Saturday, Feb. 19, the Steam will face the North Okanagan Knights at the Nor-Val Centre in Armstrong. Game time is 7 p.m.

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John Arendt

About the Author: John Arendt

John Arendt has worked as a journalist for more than 30 years. He has a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Journalism degree from Ryerson Polytechnical Institute.
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