And finally they’re on top of the heap.
Coach Ken Law knows there’s a whole lot of work left for his team to do to stay there but, for this weekend at least, the Osoyoos Coyotes are alone atop the KIJHL’s Okanagan Division standings.
The Yotes, in front of more than 340 Sun Bowl fans, scored a 5-2 win over Summerland Steam last night to pull ahead two points of their South Okanagan Valley rivals.
“That puts us up three games to one on them,” said Law, downplaying the chasing his team has had to do to run down the Steam. “The thing that kept them ahead of us was the extra games they were playing.
“We still have a game in hand; nobody ever looked at that when they said they were in first.”
The Yotes opened slowly, something Law attributes to a late-evening in Enderby the night before.
After a scoreless opening period, Summerland built a 2-0 lead with two quick goals midway through the second. Cole Williams opened the scoring for the Steam with 9:18 remaining. Less than a minute later, Ben Dietrich-Scammel gave the Steam a two-goal advantage.
Brayden Durante finally put the Yotes on the board three minutes later.
Their tired legs finally warmed up, the third belonged to the Coyotes.
Osoyoos outshot Summerland 28-7 in the final frame, taking advantage of three Steam penalties to wear down the visitors.
Colin Bell scored on the powerplay six minutes in to tie the game, then scored the game winner less than four minutes later.
Connor Onstein added a little insurance with five minutes remaining and Ryan Roseboom put the game away with two-and-a-half minutes left.
“Once we turned up our contact, (Summerland) didn’t like it too much,” said Law of the Coyote comeback. “That opened up space for some of our skilled guys.”
“We peppered them,” he said of the Coyote’s powerplay. “We were in their zone for the full two minutes a couple of times.”
The win was the seventh straight for the Coyotes.
The club is off until next Saturday when it hosts the defending champion 100 Mile House Wranglers. Osoyoos, playing on the road, dropped the Wranglers 3-0 in mid-September.