Austin Steger has scored some pretty big goals in his career; none were as as big as the one he scored last night in Summerland.
You could say the same about Judd Repole.
The two Coyotes each scored in the final minute as Osoyoos stole an improbable finish from the host Steam and left town with a 5-4 win over their South Okanagan rival.
The win was pivotal. A Coyote loss would have meant just three points separated the two clubs — with the Steam enjoying an extra game remaining to all but make up the difference.
Instead, Osoyoos is up seven points.
The contest was another fitting display of how evenly matched the top two teams in the Okanagan Division are.
Osoyoos and Summerland have played six times this season, with the Coyotes winning four of those contests. But the Coyotes have only outscored the Steam 25-22.
Summerland opened the scoring 2:25 into the game on Riley Pettitt’s 20th goal of the season. The Coyotes responded with two powerplay goals — the first from Cody Allen with 9:49 remaining in the first, the second from Repole just over five minutes later.
Summerland would tie the game seven minutes into the middle frame, Wyatt Gale beating Aitken.
Allen got his second powerplay marker five minutes into the third to give the Coyotes a 3-2 lead. Then Summerland scored twice: Michael Maclean tying it with an unassisted effort at 11:35 and Calvin Rout giving the Steam a 4-3 lead with 6:46 remaining.
That set up the late-game heroics.
Repole’s game-tying goal came with 49 seconds left on the clock, after the Yotes had just killed a late penalty (Carter Robinson for roughing) and with goaltender Liam Aitken on the bench for an extra attacker.
Then, with just 11 seconds left, and everyone in the Summerland Arena settling in for overtime, Steger beat the Steam’s Matthew Huber.
The Yotes were three-of-five on the powerplay; the Steam zero-for-four. Osoyoos outshot Summerland 29-23.
The Coyotes are home tonight, hosting the Sicamous Eagles. Game time at Sun Bowl Arena is 7:35 p.m.