The Kelowna Chiefs kick off the regular season this weekend with a pair of games as the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League begins play in the 2014-15 regular season including its home opener Saturday night at Rutland Arena.
The Chiefs open the season Friday night in Summerland before hosting the Golden Rockets on Saturday, kicking off its fifth season of operations at Rutland Arena.
Chiefs general manager Grant Sheridan says the team had an excellent training camp with more quality players than in past years.
“We had tons of good players out to camp but we based our selections on what we think is the best fit,” said Sheridan. “We think we have four lines that fit real well together. We wanted to put together the best team instead of just picking the best players. And players that didn’t fit with us but were good enough to play in the league, we found them places to play.”
The Chiefs return eight players from last year’s club and will ckick off the new season with a new head coach (Jason Tansem) and a new team captain (Kelowna Minor Hockey product Anthony Ruggiero).
In net Kelowna’s Chris Turner begins the season as the number-one, after being released from the Salmon Arm SilverBacks of the BCHL.
Sheridan says the organization continues to grow with more interest in the community each year.
“More people are stepping up each year to help out and it makes the program that much stronger,” he said. “Everything is bigger and better. The community support is better. We’re always looking at getting out there more but we’re happy with the growth and support that we have.”
Tickets for the Chiefs home opener will be available at the door or you can call in advance to the office at 250-862-8020.