The biggest reason for the success of the Summerland Steam Junior Hockey Club is returning for a 6th Season behind the bench. On Sunday the organization announced the return of Head Coach John Depourcq for the 2017/18 season, his 6th consecutive season behind the bench for the red, black and white.
Coming off the most successful season in franchise history from a win percentage standpoint in 2016/17, Depourcq and his staff are primed to have another good team this season. With 15 players eligible for return, and several promising prospects identified at Spring Camp in April, Depourcq and General Manager Mike Rigby will have some very good roster options when September rolls around.
Coach Depourcq along with assistants Carter Rigby, Jordan McCallum, and Olli Dickson led the Steam to 34 wins and a .723% win percentage during the 2016/17 regular season. That 34th regular season win in was number 150 for Depourcq in five seasons with the organization, marking a type of success that not many can duplicate.
The team finished second in the division for the third time in five years, and made the playoffs for the fifth straight season. Unfortunately the regular season success was halted in the playoffs as the Steam bowed out to the Osoyoos Coyotes in the Division Final after a gruelling 7 game series against the Kelowna Chiefs.
More importantly than the win percentage, the Steam wound up with an .808% points percentage, meaning they picked up points in 38 of their 47 regular season games last season. Depourcq and his systems are a large reason why the organization has been so successful, and the organization is excited to have such a key piece back in the fold for 2017/18.
“We’re extremely pleased to have John back for another year with this great organization” says General Manager Mike Rigby, “Coach Depourcq has been a monumental part of this organization for the past five seasons and we are very pleased to have him back with us for another season.
John brings a winning attitude and many great attributes to the table for this team, and a certain level of class and respect for both his players and his peers that is rarely found. He is a great mentor, and helps our players in all aspects of their game, both on and off the ice. He is a big part of our success.”
Rigby, after five seasons with the Steam as their Director of Player Development and Assistant GM, will move into the GM’s chair on a full-time basis for the 2017/18 KIJHL Season. It will be his first season in the role, after assuming Interim GM status for a part of the 2016/17 season. He and the coaching staff will work together over the next several months to ensure that the organization can continue to be successful both on the ice and in the community in years to come.