After an extremely successful Main Camp on August 21, 22, and 23, the Summerland Steam are headed into the 2015/16 KIJHL season with high hopes. The indication from Head Coach John Depourcq and GM Gregg Wilson as well as Director of Player Personnel Mike Rigby is that the 2015/16 edition of the Summerland Steam will be deeper than the team that went to the Okanagan Division Final last season.
With a possible 14 returnees to the roster, the Steam lineup will be littered with veterans like Paulsen Lautard, Jack Mills, Adam Jones, Alex Williams, Braden Eliuk and the Yukon line (Malchow, Pettit, Gale), but there'll also be an injection of youth around the Summerland Arena. The Steam started the youth movement by making 2 signings out of training camp, including one familiar name.
That familiar name will likely not have to be taken off the #31 sweater worn last season by Goaltender Brett Huber, as his younger brother and fellow goaltender Matt Huber ('97) has joined the Steam for the 2015/16 KIJHL season. The younger Huber spent 2014/15 with the Calgary Flames Midget AAA program, while also suiting up for 2 games with the AJHL's Calgary Mustangs. In those 2 games, Huber posted a 2.31 GAA and a .944 Sv%.
Photo via Twitter
In addition to the 2 new signees and Michael McLean, who the Steam signed early in the offseason, the Steam will carry several additional players through exhibition season to continue the evaluation process.
The Steam will begin their Exhibition Schedule with a pre-season rivalry revival with the Kelowna Chiefs on September 3rd in Rutland. The Steam and the Chiefs played down to the final whistle in a first round playoff series in 2014/15 that saw Jack Mills score both goals in a 2-1 victory in Game 7 to send Summerland to the second round. That game will go at 7PM on September 3rd at the Rutland Arena.
The Steam will also head to Osoyoos to play the Coyotes in exhibition action on September 5th, before hosting their one and only home exhibition game on Tuesday, September 8th at 7:30.