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Long-term servant, Jordan Rauser, leaves the Campbell River Storm

Rauser captained the Storm to a treble-winning season in 2014-15
The Campbell River Storm side of 2014-15 was captained by Jordan Rauser. The team won the VIJHL, Cyclone Taylor Cup, and the Keystone Cup. Photo by Jim Hockley/Campbell River Storm.

A long partnership between the Campbell River Storm of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League (VIJHL) and Jordan Rauser has come to a close.

The Storm announced Rauser, who was behind the bench as an associate coach for the 2023-24 season, had left the club on May 6 to “pursue other avenues and adventures in life.”

“I’ve just been pursuing two other opportunities professionally. Obviously, coaching has a couple of good aspects to it in terms of what you can achieve, but there are only so many things you can do financially … so I had to pursue a little more full-time stuff,” says Rauser. “I’ll be moving over to Elevate Sports. I’ll be taking on the sports manager position.”

As the sports manager, he will involved in in-gym coaching for various sports teams and athletes. He has also taken on privatized hockey coaching.

Rauser, born and raised in Campbell River, skated into the Storm’s atmosphere when he joined them as a rookie in the 2012-13 season, joining from the Campbell River Tyees program.

Playing on defence, he appeared in 34 games and scored two goals. He also had 11 assists. He only appeared in one playoff game that season. He returned to the team for the second season and was named assistant captain.

He played in 43 games and recorded 10 goal contributions (three goals, seven assists) and played in 11 playoff games, getting three points. In his third and last season as a Storm player, he was named captain and had career bests in games played (48), goals (4), and assists (14). He played in 13 playoff games and recorded five assists. Rauser led the team to a VIJHL title, beating the Victoria Cougars.

“The year that I did captain the team, we had a lot of success. We won the Island Championships, the Provincial Championships (Cyclone Taylor Cup) and the Western Canadian Championships (Keystone Cup). We’re the only team from the Island, I think, to ever achieve that.”

The Storm beat out the North Vancouver Wolf Pack, the Mission City Outlaws (both of the Pacific Junior Hockey League) and the Kimberley Dynamiters (Kootenay International Junior Hockey League) in the pool stage of the Cyclone Taylor Cup. They then beat Kimberley again in the gold medal game (6-5) to win the tournament and qualify for the Keystone Cup.

In the Keystone Cup, they also topped their pool. They beat the Saskatoon Quakers (now defunct), Cold Lake Ice, Thunder Bay Northern Hawks, and the Selkirk Fisherman.

Their only loss (in overtime) came against the North Edmonton Red Wings. The two teams had a rematch in the Gold Medal game, and the Storm had the last laugh, winning 6-3.

Rauser also got to play with his younger brother, Gavin. In that treble-winning season, Gavin scored 46 regular season points and went on to play for the Powell River Kings for parts of four sevens. He has played for the Vancouver Island University Mariners since the 2018-19 season.

“[I] made a lot of close friends that I keep in contact with to this day. I think hockey was a really good avenue for me to create a lot of relationships professionally and in the community. I still get to utilize those to this day in Campbell River,” says the elder Rauser.

He earned a full scholarship from the University of Central Oklahoma Broncos in the American Collegiate Hockey Association. He made 33 regular season and two playoff appearances. After that lone season in Oklahoma, he returned to Canada, playing with Selkirk College and the Vancouver Island University Mariners for three seasons before playing with the Fort Macleod Mustangs in the Ranchland Hockey League for four games in the 2019-20 season.

“I was working in finance in Calgary for a little while after I graduated from university, and it was when the pandemic was going on, and things kind of hit a bit of a stall everywhere. I decided to switch things up and switch lanes. I headed over back to Campbell River,” says Rauser on how he rejoined the Storm as a staff member.

Rauser was involved in multiple roles within the organization, often as an assistant coach, but also had a short stint as interim coach.

“Yeah, the season before 2023-24, the Storm parted ways with their head coach (Lee Stone), and I took over as the head coach for the last short chunk of the season and took the team through the rest of the regular season and the playoffs as head coach. Then I returned as an assistant coach for the new coach they hired, Kyle Evans.”

While working with the Storm, Rauser also worked at Elevate Sports as a personal trainer and at a restaurant, Fifty Parallel Tap & Grill.

“I’d just say thank you very much for letting me be part of such a fun organization and the varying degrees of success. I was lucky to create a lot of lasting memories and a lot of lasting connections. I’m just thankful and [have] a lot of gratitude towards all the people involved from fans, volunteers, team players, members of the staff and organization,” says Rauser. “It’s a really good program that I think I’ve helped create over the last few years.”