After putting together a string of six straight wins against second-level KIJHL clubs, the Osoyoos Coyotes will step up the test tonight in Summerland.
And they’ll be doing it with a bit of a hamstring pull.
We have a significant number of players who are out tonight,” said Osoyoos head coach Mark Chase. “We are banged up; we’ve got a number of injuries.
“Including a goaltender who is suspended, we will have six guys out and we won’t have six guys coming in to fill those roles.”
The Coyotes (7-10-1) will be looking to build on a 2-2 decision against the Steam Oct. 12, although a 6-0 loss in Summerland in late-September is still in the rearview mirror.
“We want to win — it’s a divisional game,” said Chase. “By no means do we want to go in there and get spanked again.”
Chase says despite the loss of some key players, the Coyotes have the skills to get the job done — as long as their heads are right.
“I have full confidence in them — that they have the ability,” he said. “It will just be, as it usually is for us, which group decides to show up.
“Are we going to be the group that’s prepared and focused for the tasks and job at hand? Or are we going to be riding a six-game win streak and feeling a little too comfortable.”
With Daniel Paul sitting out a game suspension this evening, the Coyotes will start rookie Bailey Monteith between the pipes. Monteith hasn’t played since October 19, when the club lost in Sicamous, but Chase said the young Kamloops native won’t be thinking about the big job at hand.
“I think he’s so young he doesn’t really focus on that,” Chase said. “He’s a typical 16-year-old.”
The Coyotes are home to face Sicamous Saturday evening. The Eagles are the last team to beat the Yotes.
The plan for the weekend, Chase said, is to “keep the win streak rolling and get four points.”
“We owe both Summerland and Sicamous some redemption here,” he said. “It would be nice if we can get one in Summerland and take that momentum into the Sicamous game and give the fans a really good showing on home ice.”
Game time at Sun Bowl Arena Saturday evening is 7:35 p.m. The game sponsor is McDonalds.