Ice trim roster prior to Kennewick trip

Huston, Lieffers, Schaufler returned to midget; injured Steenbergen sent to Junior A

Kootenay Ice

Kootenay Ice

The Kootenay Ice roster has been further trimmed down ahead of the team’s trip to Kennewick, Wash.

Wednesday morning, it was announced that defencemen Loeden Schaufler (2000) and Sam Huston (1999) along with forward Eli Lieffers (2000) had been reassigned to their respective midget clubs following one-game exhibition stints in Cranbrook.

“We rewarded them for a very good training camp,” said Jeff Chynoweth, president and general manager of the Kootenay Ice, Wednesday afternoon.

“They got an opportunity to play in an exhibition game and I think having the extra days of practice when we were down in numbers hopefully will be a stepping stone for them into their club teams this year so they know what level it takes to play in our league.

“All three players did very well and all three players are hopefully going to be a big part of our future moving forward.”

Later in the afternoon, medical reports revealed a knee injury suffered by Jordan Steenbergen (1996) was going to keep the native of Sylvan Lake, Alta., out of action for a minimum of four to six weeks.

As a result, the veteran of 62 WHL games was reassigned to the Olds Grizzlys of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.

“As a 19-year-old that we can’t see for another six weeks, we’ve just got too many young guys here that we want to try and give opportunities to,” said Luke Pierce, Ice head coach, Wednesday afternoon. “It’s really unfortunate for Jordan — a guy who was looking for a fresh start again here, but injuries are part of the game and out of our control and his. Hopefully everything works out for him.”

The Ice roster now stands at 31 (16 forwards, 12 defencemen, three goaltenders) as the team heads to Kennewick, Wash., for a three-game pre-season swing.

The Kootenay Ice open a three-game swing in Kennewick with a Thursday night contest against the Tri-City Americans (8:05 p.m. MST).