By John Arendt
The coaching staff of the Summerland Steam screened potential players during their main camp on Wednesday and Thursday.
“It’s looking like a really strong group,” said Tim Keilty, owner of the junior B hockey team. “Gregg (Wilson) and John (DePourcq) are both very excited about the prospects this year.”
The team, entering its third season, reached the playoffs last year in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League. Keilty expects to see another strong year from the players.
“I think we’re going to be contending for the top position in our division all year long,” he said. “I don’t see any reason why we can’t be major contenders in the league.”
DePourcq, head coach of the Steam, said he wanted to find players with good character, not just hockey skills. He added that the mix of new and returning players will add to the strength of the club.
“We’re excited with the core coming back,” he said.
The Steam host two exhibition games at Summerland Arena this weekend. The first Aug. 30 against the Kelowna Chiefs, then Aug. 31 against the Princeton Posse. Both games start at 7:30 p.m. The last exhibition game for the Steam at home is against the Osoyoos Coyotes on Sept. 8 at 7:30 p.m.
The regular season begins the following weekend with five out-of-town games in Osoyoos, Revelstoke, Nelson, Beaver Valley and Spokane.
The regular season home opener is on Sept. 27 against the Posse.
Volunteers and billet homes are still needed for the hockey season. To get involved, call 250-462-0905.