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Coyotes sweep Steam in four and now face the Heat
The Osoyoos Coyotes swept away the Summerland Steam in four straight games, just 11 days after doing the same to the North Okanagan Knights.
The Coyotes now face the Chase Heat in a best-of-five Okanagan Conference final series that gets underway this Saturday and Sunday at the Sun Bowl Arena.
The short series with Summerland came to an end Saturday night when the Coyotes beat the Steam 2-1 in Summerland.
In earlier games, they beat the Steam 5-4 last Tuesday and 2-1 on Wednesday, both in Osoyoos.
Then on Friday, they came back twice from a two-goal deficit to win 6-4 in Summerland in a game that saw Ryan Roseboom get a hat trick plus two assists.
The potent Coyotes’ power play also made a big difference Friday as they capitalized four times on six Steam penalties.
It was a series that pitted two strong goalies against each other – Adam Jones for the Coyotes and Matthew Huber for the Steam.
“Huber played extremely well for them,” said Coyotes Coach and General Manager Ken Law. “We outshot them badly in several of the games. It just took a little while to figure out (how to beat him).”
Law said the Coyotes realized after a while that shots off Huber’s pads and downward provided rebounds that helped Osoyoos to score.
Law noted that the Steam were missing a few players from their lineup.
“I knew that we went in there with a pretty good game plan,” he said. “I felt pretty good about our chances.”
The Coyotes were relentless in their forecheck, he said, not allowing the Steam to go on the offensive.
The Chase Heat eliminated the Kamloops Storm Sunday night after five games.
They are a strong team that beat Osoyoos in two of the three regular season games when the two met.
“It will be pretty much the same as the Summerland series,” said Law. “We’re both teams with a lot of scoring punch and pretty good depth player wise. So it will come down to getting to [Nic] Bruyere, their goaltender. He was the difference in their first two series.”
The Coyotes will face Chase players like Michael Fidanza, who scored 23 goals and got 43 assists in the regular season, as well as Josh Bourne, who got 28 goals and 29 assists.
Those two come close to matching the records of top Coyote goal getters Ryan Roseboom and Colin Bell.
“They possess good speed and good backend,” Law said of Chase. “It’ll be a real challenge for both teams.”
Law added that Jones has been outstanding in goal for the Coyotes. He’s played all eight playoff games in net for Osoyoos.
“It was a real goaltender battle and we were fortunate enough to come out on the winning end,” he said of the Summerland series.
In other series, the Beaver Valley Nitehawks swept the Nelson Leafs in four games and advance to the Kootenay Conference final.
The Kimberley Dynamiters were on the verge of eliminating Creston on Monday, but Creston bounced back Monday night with a 3-0 win on home ice. Kimberley now leads the series 3-2.
Saturday’s game at the Sun Bowl gets underway at 8:05 p.m. and Sunday’s starts at 7:35 p.m.
The teams then play in Chase next Tuesday, and again next Wednesday if necessary, with both games starting at 7 p.m.
If a fifth game is necessary, it will be held Friday, March 24 at 8:05 p.m. at the Sun Bowl Arena.