Now that the season has concluded for the Summerland Steam, John DePourcq, coach of the Junior B hockey team is looking forward to the next season, which will begin in fall.
The team had its strongest season in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League, finishing second in the Okanagan/Shuswap Conference: Okanagan Division in regular season play.
The Steam finished regular season action in second place in the division, with 34 wins, 16 losses and two overtime losses.
The team advanced to semifinals, defeating the Kelowna Chiefs in six games.
In the division finals, the Steam faced Osoyoos Coyotes, the top-ranked team in the division, winning that series in six games.
In the conference championship, the Steam lost to the 100 Mile House Wranglers in five games.
“I was very, very proud of the boys,” DePourcq said. “They worked hard to the end.”
He added that the competition was tough. In three of the games, the Wranglers won in overtime.
“It was a hard-fought series,” DePourcq said.
While some of the players will leave the team for next year, either aging out or moving on to Junior A hockey, some will return.
DePourcq said up to three-quarters of the players on this past year’s roster could be back in fall.
In addition, the team’s performance this year could bring out strong players to try out during the Steam camp in fall.