Captain drives Steelers to OT victory

Captain Gabe Adam put his teammates on his back Dec. 20. (Alistair Burns / Grandview Steelers)

Steeler Luke Cox chats with Wolf Pack captain J.J. Pickell. (A. Burns / GRA Steelers)

Gabe Adam’s two goals leads Grandview to 4-3 win over North Van

BURNABY WINTER CLUB – True leadership involves risk, especially in three-on-three overtime. With mere seconds left, Grandview captain Gabe Adam’s risk to skate hard into the slot paid off Dec. 20.

Adam finished off a give-and-go from teammate Cam Northard to ensure a 4-3 victory for the Steelers over the North Vancouver Wolf Pack.

“I really feel my game peaking here as we approach play-offs,” Adam said. “I just love being engaged all over the ice.”

Steeler Colby Longeau scored as well. (A. Burns / GRA Steelers)

Adam’s game-winner was his 10th of the season and second of the night. The 19-year-old veteran’s adept on-ice intelligence was on full display; he dictated the place of play and was a roving fourth forward – especially in the lead-up to his first goal.

Adam pushed his way past numerous defenders to pull off a wraparound on Wolf Pack netminder Brayden Burrows with the man advantage.

Powerful PP

The Steelers may have only had two power plays but their brief sojourn with the extra man was perfect. In the first period, Ben Ruthven’s wrist shot from the face-off circle flashed into the top corner before Adam’s wraparound.

Later, Steeler Colby Longeau scored on a rebound to put Grandview up 2-1. However, North Van’s Anthony Reimer and Rylan Oatman both lit the lamp to tie the contest at 3-3.

If you smell what Grandview’s ‘Rock’ is cooking!

Steeler rookie Kori Belanger. (A. Burns / GRA Steelers)

In the last minute of regulation, Grandview rookie Kori Belanger put all of his five-foot-ten frame in front of the Wolf Pack’s Branden Pollock’s shot from the top of the circle.

Steeler goalie Shayan Kermany appreciated the blocked shot. “It gets everyone fired up when you see something like that.”

Seconds later, Kermany stoned North Van’s Rylan Oatman in the crease. But the netminder saved his best for last in overtime. He kicked his pad out to rob David Yoon on a breakaway.

Adam pointed out that “Shayan’s huge for us. He’s our rock back there. Whenever he’s in the net, we have a lot of confidence that we can pull out a win.”

Kermany faced 34 shots and improved his record to five wins and eight losses. It was one of his finest performances of the season. “We just wanted to get ourselves rolling before January,” he added.

Steeler Shayan Kermany. (Alistair Burns / GRA Steelers)

Not yet time for turkey

With the overtime win, the Steelers left their last home game before Christmas with a record of 16 wins, 14 losses and two shootout losses for a total of 34 points – still five points behind the fourth-place Wolf Pack in the seven-team Tom Shaw Conference.

Grandview will close out 2023 with four away games – against the Port Coquitlam Trailblazers Dec. 22 and in Port Moody Dec. 23.

After Christmas, the Steelers will play back-to-back games against the Chilliwack Jets at the annual Pacific Junior ‘A’ Winter Classic tournament in Richmond.

Winter Classic Game 1: Thursday, Dec. 28th at 4 p.m., Minoru Arena.

Winter Classic Game 2: Friday, Dec. 29th at 1 p.m., Minoru Arena.

Inside Steeltown post-game interviews

Captain Gabe Adam chats about the tough December schedule.

Goalie Shayan Kermany on how to harness momentum before the postseason.