Undermanned Chiefs hang tough

Kelowna hits KIJHL break with short bench and win over Summerland

  • Mon Dec 19th, 2016 11:00am
  • Sports

Josh Kobelka (right) had four points in the Kelowna Chiefs’ last game before Christmas

The undermanned Kelowna Chiefs headed into the Christmas break on the upswing, edging the Okanagan-rival Summerland Steam 5-4 in KIJHL action Saturday at Rutland Arena.

Jason Village and Josh Kobelka paced the Kelowna attack with two goals and two assists apiece. Dakota Kittle added four assists, with Jaden McNulty scoring the other Chiefs goal.

Tanner Marshall stopped 32 shots in the Chiefs’ net for his 11th win of the season.

With Brett Witala and Brendan Mongey injured, and Brody Dale serving a suspension, the Chiefs were without three of their top offensive players and had just 15 skaters—including two APs—on the roster Saturday against the Steam.

For a team that hasn’t had its full lineup in tact since Nov. 1, head coach Jason Tansem is happy with the way the Chiefs have weathered the storm.

Kelowna (16-12-1-1) heads into the break solidly in third spot in the Okanagan Division.

“We’re set up pretty well going into the last part of the season,” said Tansem. “This team has built itself up despite all the players coming in and out of the lineup.

“It’s a tight group, they’re bold and they play hard,” he added. “I like where we’re at now and hopefully we’ll be where we need to be come February.”

The Chiefs return to action Wednesday, Dec. 28 when they visit the Osoyoos Coyotes.