Not to put any pressure on some young shoulders, but tonight’s Coyotes hockey game at the Sun Bowl is a big one.
Huge, in fact.
The Coyotes, holding down third place in the KIJHL’s Okanagan division, desperately need the two points they’d get for a win this evening to maintain that position.
And, as added incentive, they’re playing the Summerland Steam — the team against whom they would square up in the first round of the playoffs if they can hold on to that third spot.
Winning tonight would go a long way to building some confidence for that series.
“We definitely play well against them, for sure,” said head coach Dean Maynard, noting the significance of tonight’s game is not lost on his young squad.
“These guys know if they can play the way they’ve been playing for the last four or five games, they know they can play with anybody.”
The Coyotes come into the game on a two-game winning streak; meanwhile, the Steam are struggling through a four-game losing streak and haven’t scored a goal in the last three.
Maynard said his team hopes to take advantage of that drought.
“We need to jump on them immediately and use our aggressive forecheck and be on them quickly,” he said.
The Coyotes of late, have opened with a barrage of goals, scoring four in the first-period in a 5-2 win in Armstrong and three first-period goals against Sicamous in a 4-1 win.
They come into the game a point up on the Princeton Posse and five points up on the Knights.
Tonight’s contest is the first of two the Coyotes play against Summerland — both at the Sun Bowl. The two teams meet again Feb. 23.
Game time this evening is 7:35 p.m. Game sponsor is Telus.