(ISN) – The Princeton Posse Junior Hockey club announced today that their Goaltending has made two immediate changes. 1996 second year goaltender Spencer Huff has left the Posse citing “personal reasons”.
In a related move, the Posse have signed 1996 goaltender Bailey Stephens. Stephens was the final goalie cut from Yorkton Terriers SJHL camp and has since been working out at World Pro Goaltending in Calgary, AB. Originally from Calgary, Bailey has spent the past three seasons with the Okanagan Hockey Academy, most recently under coach Robert Dirk. Other Posse players who spent time at OHA include Eden Dubchak, Keith Comte, Bryan Kromm, Daine Elphicke, Brandon Schaber (SJHL) and Huff.
General Manager Bill Rotheisler commented on the release of Spencer Huff: “Spencer is easily one of the most polite, hardest working athletes I ever coached. In addition, he is very talented and skilled at his position. His recent play in 100 Mile and his 20 save second period against Osoyoos shows exactly what he is capable of. Unfortunately, there is not enough skill and work available that can overcome when your head and heart are not in the game. With the direction we started to go, I don’t believe we were able to provide him with the proper environment to cultivate more success for him individually, and as a result he was not enjoying himself to the level at which one should while playing this sport. Spencer did everything he could to make it work here, but at no fault of his own, was not in a position where things could work. His mental toughness he has displayed over the past two seasons at one of the most pressured positions in one of the most pressured games, all but guarantees success in all of Spencer’s future endeavours”.
On the addition of Bailey Stephens and how it changes the tandem in net, Rotheisler continued, “We have actually been in touch with Bailey quite a bit during the season and I am excited that we are in a position to bring him in”. With the adjustment period over for Stephen Heslop, he has emerged as the same strong goaltender that he was in the VIJHL and is amidst a career season. Recently, the coaching staff had seemed to build a fair bit of confidence in the veteran goaltender, giving him 4 of the past 5 starts. During those games he went 4-0 with a 1.75 GAA, .933 save percentage and a shutout. With the departure of Huff, it all but solidifies Heslop’s position as the no.1 goaltender for the Posse.
Assistant GM Mark McNaughton added, “This allows us to bring in a very smart, coachable and good goaltender to support Heslop. Although the crease has had some good competition for starting jobs over the past two seasons, all of which involved Huff challenging for the starting position, the stability in the crease is what we need at this time. Bailey provides us with that”. Speaking of confidence in his goaltending, Rotheisler concluded by saying, “calling Bailey was literally the first action we made after meeting with Huff. It was not even a question of which direction we were going to go or how we were going to handle the situation. It was ‘let’s get Bailey signed before someone else does’, that simple”.
The Posse recently returned from a team building retreat this past weekend. They did not play but remain in sole possession of second place in the Okanagan Division. The Posse’s next game is against the North Okanagan Knights this Wednesday in Armstrong, BC.