IDAHO ICECATS take over for the Idaho Jr. Steelheads

by James Talluto

The Idaho Junior Steelheads have changed their name to the Idaho IceCats beginning immediately, Coach John Olver said Tuesday.

The name change comes at the start of the ninth year of the McCall-based amateur hockey team that has won five championships in the Western States Hockey League under Olver.

The IceCats will debut their new name, logo and uniforms in McCall when they host the Lake Tahoe Icemen on Oct. 13 at Manchester Ice and Event Centre.

The Junior Steelheads name was selected when the team was formed in 2009 in order to gain association with the professional Idaho Steelheads team in Boise, Olver said.

The team played some of its games in Boise for its first two years before moving all of its home games to McCall.

“A couple of years ago the Idaho Steelheads politely asked us if we would consider a name change,” said Olver, who coached the pro team to its only East Coast Hockey League championship in 2004. “They felt the two names created confusion in the Boise marketplace.”

The name also conflicted with the Junior Steelheads youth hockey team made up of players age 8 to 18 that compete in the Boise Youth Amateur Hockey Association, he said.

There also have been isolated incidents where there was confusion by fans, vendors, etc. when dealing with both organizations.

The IceCats name and logo are based on those used by the now-defunct Tacoma Sabercats, which Olver coached to the 1998-99 championship of the then-West Coast Hockey League.