The Summerland Steam are getting ready for another Junior B hockey season and Gregg Wilson, the owner and general manager is expecting a strong performance from the team.
“We have a really good team this year,” he said. “It’s going to be the best year yet.”
Topping last year’s performance will be a challenge for the team.
In the 2015-2016 season, the team had its strongest season to date, with 34 wins, 16 losses and two overtime losses, finishing second in the Okanagan Division, Okanagan/Shuswap Conference of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League.
The Steam then went on to defeat the Osoyoos Coyotes in the division finals, but lost to the 100 Mile House Wranglers in the conference finals.
This year, the team will feature 14 returning players.
Coach John DePourcq will coach the team once again. He will be joined by former Steam player Olli Dickson, who will take on an assistant coaching role.
Carter Rigby, a former player with the Kelowna Rockets in the Western Hockey League, will also serve as an assistant coach. Rigby also played for the Bentley Generals in the 2015 to 2016 season as the team won the 2016 Allan Cup.
“Both will be great additions to the team” Wilson said.
The team held its main camp on Friday, Sept. 2, with 30 players participating.
The first exhibition game was at home on Sunday, Sept. 4 against the Princeton Posse. Summerland won that game in a 9-2 decision. Details were not available by press time.
The first regular season game is on Friday, Sept. 9, at 7:30 p.m. when the Steam host the 100 Mile House Wranglers.