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Saturday, 14 March 2015


Photo: Sarah Mayer (
The end of the season is never a fun time in Junior Hockey. It means saying goodbye to 20 guys you watched battle for 52 regular season games before the grind of playoffs. This season for the Summerland Steam, that playoff run went deeper than in any previous year in the team's four year history. They made it to the Divisional Final for the first time, they drew record crowds at the Summerland Arena and continued to help grow a fan base that has improved with each and every game and most importantly, they were ENTERTAINING.

Throughout the regular season the Steam were again one of the best teams in the league on home ice. Fans of the Steam that only watch them at home have been privileged in the past 2 seasons, as they've seen their home team lose on home ice a combined 15 times in regulation in the past 52 regular season games at the Summerland Arena. 

The 2014/15 Summerland Steam set a couple of Franchise records this season, including just 7 home ice losses. Brett Huber, Spencer Huff and the rest of the team put up the best Goals Against Average in Team History at 2.71, and Jack Mills' 56 points pulled him into a tie with Kienan Scott, Daylan Robertson, and Paulsen Lautard for 2nd on the list of single season point totals. Jordan McCallum holds that record from 2011/12 when he put up 65 points. 

As for this year's playoffs, they were the best in Team History as well. The playoff run only lasted 17 days, but it felt like a month or two. For the first time in Franchise History the Summerland Steam went through to the 2nd round of the playoffs and played for a Division Championship. 

In those 17 days, the team played 13 games. 2 of those games went into overtime, one lasting into the middle of double OT, the other well into triple OT before both ended with Cole Woodliffe goals and Summerland Steam wins.

Playoff hockey lasted the better part of 46 periods over the course of those 17 days, and they never quit. All 20 guys had their endurance put to the test and put forth a commendable effort, although it fell just short in Game 6 against the Osoyoos Coyotes.

"We have a great group of boys here," Is something we heard from Head Coach John Depourcq almost every night in our pre-game show this season, and it's unfortunate that it all has to come to an end.

The organization put a bow on the 2014/15 KIJHL season on Saturday with an afternoon luncheon and awards banquet. It was well attended and the attendees were well fed thanks to some of our great Coporate Partners within the Community of Summerland.

During the luncheon, Steam staff handed out awards to the players, volunteers, Corporate Partners and Fan of the Year. It gave the players a final chance to sit together and interact with staff, fans and billets before all going their separate ways for the offseason.

Here's a list of 2014/15 Summerland Steam Award Winners:

Team MVP & Top Goaltender - Brett Huber

Brett was the backbone of the Summerland Steam this season, posting 3 shutouts, a 2.38 GAA and .916 SV% in 31 appearances. Brett posted a 17-11-2 record during 2014/15, and was among the league leaders in appearances, GAA and SV%.

Top Scorer - Jack Mills

 Jack led the Summerland Steam in scoring with 56 points (27 g, 29a) in 50 Games this season. After not playing any hockey last season due to injury, Jack excelled for Summerland this season. He was a big part of the offense for Summerland as well as on both sides of the special teams game. Jack showed his dedication to his teammates in the playoffs, coming back to play in Game 7 of round 1 after breaking his orbital bone in Game 4. Jack scored both goals, including the game winner in Game 7 against Kelowna.

On top of the team award for Top Scorer, Jack was awarded the Rookie of the Year for the Okanagan Division by the KIJHL.

Top Defenceman - Adam Jones

Adam was a big part of the Summerland Steam defense corps this season. He logged big minutes in all situations including special teams, and was an imposing force upon opposing forwards all season long. Adam's consistency and defensive responsibility are what make him the Summerland Steam's top defenceman this season.

Rookie of the Year - Cole Woodliffe

'Woody' had an outstanding rookie season for Summerland this season, tallying 48 points (22g+26a) in 48GP. Cole's blend of size, speed and skill made him difficult for other teams to defend all season long, and that continued into the playoffs. Cole added 4 goals and 5 assists for 9 points in 13 playoff games, including 2 OT winners. 

Playoff MVP - Daylan Robertson

After re-joining the Steam at the January 10th roster deadline, it took Daylan a couple of weeks to get adjusted. Once he did he looked like the Robertson of old, tallying 6 points in just 12 regular season games. His game peaked in the playoffs, as it seems to do, as he tallied 16 points (5g, 11a) and STILL leads the KIJHL in playoff scoring 6 days removed from Summerland's last playoff game. 

Fan Favourite - Kendell Wilson

This year's "Fan Favourite" award winner is 4 year veteran Kendell Wilson. Wilson has been with the Summerland Steam since their inception in 2011/12 and is one of the faces of the team in the community. A local boy, born and raised in Summerland, Kendell spends a lot of time with the kids of the community both on and off the ice, and it shows. Every game our "7th man" tells us their favourite player, and in 26 games this season Kendell was that player 11 times. For that, he is our Fan Favourite Award winner for 2014/15.

Most Sportsmanlike Player of the Year & Scholastic Player of the Year -
 Braden Eliuk

This season's Most Sportsmanlike Player is Braden Eliuk. During the regular season, Braden made an impact on both sides of the scoresheet for the Summerland Steam. In his rookie season in the KIJHL, Braden amassed 11 goals and 14 assists for 25 points in 49 games played. During those 49 games, Braden only accumulated a total of 8 penalty minutes, and for that he was awarded the Team award and the KIJHL Okanagan Division Award for Most Sportsmanlike Player. 

Braden was also named the Steam's Scholastic Player of the Year, scoring the highest GPA among his teammates. This season the Steam had six players in the running for Scholastic Player of the Year who scored higher than 90%, but Braden scored highest. For this, Steam staff awarded him the 2014/15 Summerland Steam Scholastic Player of the Year.

In addition to these team awards, the KIJHL handed out some hardware in the early part of the playoffs, and the Summerland Steam were represented well among the winners. Jack Mills took the honour for Rookie of the Year inside the division, while Head Coach John Depourcq picked up his 2nd consecutive Coach of the Year honour inside the division. Braden Eliuk was given the Most Sportsmanlike Player award for the division, and Brett Huber took home a well deserved and much overdue Goaltender of the Year award. This SHOULD have been Huber's second consecutive, but he somehow finished 2nd in voting last season despite having superior numbers in more appearances and minutes than any other goaltender in the division.


This award is a first annual award. This award going forward is going to be meant for a specific player. A player that is absolutely vital to the success of the Summerland Steam, but might not fit into any of the 'uniform' categories. I'll break code right off the bat and tell you that this year the Blogger's Choice Award Winner(s) are The Yukon Line: L-R Wyatt Gale, Riley Pettitt, Jarrett Malchow


These guys, man. How fun were they to watch this season? It's impossible to pick just one of them, because all season they've come as a package deal. Independently, all three are spectacular hockey players and even better people. When together on the same line though, they caused absolute HAVOC for opposing defenses. The blend of speed and skill from Pettitt with the physicality of Malchow and the finishing ability of Wyatt Gale made them an extremely dangerous line. They were vital to the Steam because of their tenacious puck pursuit all over the ice and their ability to make defenses panic when they were on the forecheck. It was a lot of fun to watch them this season for those reasons, and that's why they're the 2014/15 recipient(s) and first ever Blogger's Choice Award Winners.

With the awards over and done with, the players will finish their locker room cleanout and head their separate ways for the season. Some will be back next year as a lot of these guys are eligible to return, but this is the time we say goodbye to those who won't return and will move on to life after the KIJHL. 

THE 20'S

This year, just like every other, we say goodbye to the 20 year olds. They move on to life after Jr. hockey, and this year's group of veterans rides into the sunset knowing they helped lead the Summerland Steam on their deepest playoff run in the team's short history. It's always a sad time of year to say goodbye to these young men for the final time, but it's also a fun time to reflect on the time they spent with us during their junior hockey careers. 

This season's group of 20 year olds is an extremely special one made up of an All Star Goaltender, a former Captain, and 3 local kids born and raised in Summerland. Here's a look at the junior career numbers and accolades of these 5 young men: 

#31 Brett Huber
 Goaltender (3 seasons, Summerland Steam)


2013/14 Team Award Winner - Most Valuable Player
2013/14 Team Award Winner - Goaltender of the Year
(*SHOULD HAVE BEEN* 2013/14 KIJHL Okanagan Division Top Goaltender)
2014/15 KIJHL Okanagan Division Goaltender of the Year
2014/15 Team Award Winner - Goaltender of the Year
2014/15 Team Award Winner - Most Valuable Player

Career Numbers, Summerland Steam:
Regular Season: 92 GP, 44-36-4, 2.99 GAA, .905 Sv% 1A, 6 PIM, 5SO,
Playoffs: 22 GP, 9-13, 3.24 GAA, .899 Sv%, 2 PIM

** Huber leaves the Steam as the Franchise Leader in Games Played, Goals Against Average, Save Percentage, Minutes Played (5059) and shots faced (2664)

#15 Daylan Robertson
Centre (2 Seasons)

Awards:2013/14 Team Award - Playoff MVP
2014/15 Team Award - Playoff MVP
(Also tied for Top Scorer in 2013/14 with 56 Pts)

Career Numbers, Summerland Steam & Penticton Lakers:

Regular Season: 115 GP, 35G, 47A, 82 PTS, 52 PIM
Playoffs: 27 GP, 7G, 16A, 23 PTS, 8 PIM

#89 Kendell Wilson
Center (4 seasons)


2014/15 Team Award - Fan Favourite

Career Numbers: 4 Seasons, Summerland Steam
Regular Season: 170 GP, 13G, 36A, 49 PTS, 203 PIM
Playoffs: 24 GP, 3G, 5A, 8 PTS, 14 PIM

** Wilson leaves the Summerland Steam after 4 seasons as the Franchise Leader in Games Played at 170.

#44 Nelson Hurry
F/D (4 Seasons)

Career Numbers: 4 Seasons, Summerland Steam

Regular Season: 148 GP, 6G, 20A, 26 PTS, 220 PIM
Playoffs: 20 GP, 1G, 5A, 6PTS, 28 PIM

#17 Rylan Sideroff
F/D (3 Seasons)


2013/14 Team Award - Most Sportsmanlike

Career Numbers: 3 Seasons, Summerland Steam
Regular Season:
138 GP, 16G, 22A, 38 PTS, 70 PIM
Playoffs: 26 GP, 2G, 3A, 5 PTS, 12 PIM