Steam Release One, Sign Two Ahead of Weekend Home Set

As the Summerland Steam begin to settle into the 2017/18 season, like most teams, the early season tinkering continues. Some roster moves can be extremely easy to make at this point in the season, and some can be extremely difficult. Steam Head Coach John Depourcq and General Manager Mike Rigby had to make one of those extremely difficult ones this week when they released 4th year defenseman Cole Williams. Williams, a native of Kelowna, BC, has spent the past three seasons with the Steam, and departs after being a big part of the team that went to the conference finals two seasons ago.

“It’s a sad day when you have to say goodbye to any player, but especially when it’s a player that has the pedigree and the personality of Cole Williams,” Steam GM Mike Rigby said, “But with our situation with our 20-year olds all being defenseman and one goaltender, we felt it was necessary to get more experience up front, which caused us to have to make a very difficult decision with one of our defenceman. We wish Cole the very best in whatever life and hockey have in store next for him, and we thank him for everything he did on and away from the ice for the Summerland Steam during his time here.”

Now a free agent, Williams was (rightfully so) snapped up extremely quickly, signing on the dotted line with the Kelowna Chiefs, his hometown team, less than 24 hours after his release. He was Summerland’s award winner as their Top Defenceman in 2016/17, and he’ll be missed in white, red and black. 

The experience up front for the Summerland Steam that GM Mike Rigby speaks of comes in the form of 20-year old Forward Blake Holowaty.  Holowaty was signed this week after spending the past two seasons in the NOJHL, with hopes he will bring some added firepower to the forward corps of the Summerland Steam. 

A former Osoyoos Coyotes forward, Holowaty was the captain of the NOJHL’s Iroquois Falls Eskimos last season, tallying a total of 19 goals and 60 points in 75 games over parts of two seasons in the league.

A native of Penticton, BC and a product of both Penticton Minor Hockey and the Okanagan Hockey Academy, Holowaty spent the 2014/15 season with the Osoyoos Coyotes before heading out east to play in the SIJHL and NOJHL. In his one KIJHL season he recorded 9 goals and 21 points in 44 games whilst being a rookie on an absolutely loaded Osoyoos Coyotes squad. He’ll bring a big chunk of offense and leadership to a Summerland Steam squad that needs it up front.

On the defensive side of the puck, the Steam have signed South African born Simon Snyman to take the place of the departing Cole Williams. Snyman, 18, is also the product of Penticton Minor Hockey and the Okanagan Hockey Academy. As a defenceman, Snyman tallied 40 points in 100 games played across three divisions of the CSSHL over the past three seasons. He skates well and makes a great first pass, and will surely see some special teams action under the tutelage of Coach John Depourcq and his staff.

Both players will be available to play this weekend, with Summerland hosting a pair of home games on Friday and Saturday night. They’ll host the Sicamous Eagles Friday at 7:30, and the Kamloops Storm on Saturday at 7:30. Both broadcasts will start 15 minutes prior to puck drop, with pregame going at 7:15pm on playfullscreen.com. 

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