As ties go, this is one Osoyoos head coach Mark Chase doesn’t mind wearing.
His Coyotes earned their third point of the young KIJHL season Friday evening, knotting up the Summerland Steam 2-2 at the Sun Bowl.
“It was slightly bittersweet,” Chase said of the single point the club earned. “But it was more sweet than bitter.”
The result was a huge improvement from the 6-0 drubbing the Coyotes (1-7-1) endured in Summerland two weeks previous and snapped a seven-game losing streak.
Tonight the young Coyotes proved they could skate with the big boys — although they needed a big performance from rookie goaltender Bailey Monteith, who turned away 43 of 45 Summerland shots, to make that happen.
“He was phenomenal tonight,” said Chase. “He was square to pucks all night. Nothing seemed to rattle him. He was definitely a key contributor to our success.”
At the other end of the rink, the Coyotes kept Steam netminder Jared Breitkreuz just as busy, peppering him with 39 shots.
The two goaltenders earned game stars for their performances.
After a scoreless 20 minutes of play, Brandon Della Paolera would give the Coyotes the early lead just two minutes into the second period, slapping home a rebound off the stick of Brax Klassen.
The Coyotes, although surrendering 17 shots in the frame, would hold the fort until Everett Scherger would score in the final seconds of the period with two Coyotes in the box.
The two-man advantage came following a skirmish behind Breitkreuz that resulted in a double minor to Slade Desharnais and a bench minor thrown in for good measure.
The game would remain tied at 1-1 until Peter Michailides put the Coyotes up a goal with 3:50 remaining in the third. But the Osoyoos lead would be short-lived, the Steam’s Cairo Rogers scoring with 1:07 remaining to knot the game again.
Ten minutes of overtime would do little to settle the matter.
“If it hadn’t have been for that five-on-three we had to endure, I think we would have come out on top,” Chase said. “Tonight we were the better hockey club.”
The evening was also a celebration for the Coyotes franchise. The club honoured Judd Repole, who played five seasons with the Yotes, recording 209 points in 267 games played.
His jersey number 18 was retired.
The Coyotes will have very little time to celebrate tonight’s small measure of success.
They travel to Nelson tomorrow to take on the high-flying Leafs, tops in the Kootenay Conference’s Neil Murdoch division with nine wins in 11 starts.
Game time for that contest is 7 p.m.