Riverites playing big roles in BCHL playoffs

Andy Stevens

The Powell River Kings move into the final round of playoffs against the Victoria Grizzlies this weekend with three players representing Campbell River on their roster.

“All three of them have been real good for us,” said Kent Lewis, head coach and general manager.

Josh Coblenz is the most recent Campbell River addition to the team. During the regular season, the rookie scored four goals and assisted 16 others. Lewis said Coblenz’s numbers don’t show how far he has come this season.

“He added key depth to us,” Lewis explained. “He’s worked into a solid role on the penalty kill.”

Coblenz plays centre on the Kings’ fourth line and has “gone about some good business.” Lewis is optimistic that he will advance offensively and continue in his role as an important player on the team.

This is Andy Stevens second year playing for the Kings. As a rookie he scored three goals and assisted 17 others, this year, during the regular season, he scored two goals and assisted 17 others.

“He’s a big, reliable, steady presence that is improving offensively,” Lewis said.

Stevens plays defence and Lewis is sure that with a little more confidence and physical assertiveness, he will garner interest from higher level teams.

Gavin Rauser has the most goals of the three Campbell River boys this season, his second with the team, with nine goals and seven assists. In his first year he scored 10 goals and assisted 11 others.

The forward battled injuries this season, but Lewis said he skates on one of the best third lines in the league.

“He plays with spunk, great teammate, great energy guy, good character,” Lewis said.

Rauser is a key guy in the King’s system and has played solid offence this season, Lewis added.

The Kings and the Grizzlies faced off eight times during the regular season. Powell River won five, but each game was close.

The Kings finished second in the league on the Island with 37 wins, 19 loses and one tie, just behind the Grizzlies, and fifth overall in the BCHL.

The first playoff game in the best of seven series takes place tonight at the Q Centre in Victoria. The teams will meet in Powell River on March 20 for the third and fourth games of the series.