The Selkirk College Saints have signed a pair of proven defensive specialists with championship pedigree as the team continues to build towards a fifth straight British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) title.
Defenceman Jordan Rauser and goaltender Russell Sanderson have committed to the Saints for the upcoming 2016-2017 season. The pair are transferring from the University of Central Oklahoma where they played last season with the Bronchos in the American Collegiate Hockey Association. Rauser and Sanderson were also members of the Campbell River Storm of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League during the 2014-2015 season where they helped capture the Keystone Cup as the top Junior B hockey team in Western Canada.
New Selkirk College Saints recruits Jordan Rauser and Russell Sanderson were members of the Campbell River Storm team that won the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League championship, the Cyclone Taylor Cup (BC Junior B champion) and the Keystone Cup (Western Canadian Junior B champion) in the spring of 2015. The two will join fellow Storm alumni Dane Feeney and Nathan Browne on a Saints team that will be going for its fifth straight BCIHL championship starting in September. (photo courtesy Jim Hockley/Campbell River Storm)
“Jordan is a very strong defensive d-man with exceptional character,” says Saints head coach Brent Heaven. “This is evident in his experiences as the captain of the Campbell River Storm, where he played with current Saints Dane Feeney and Nathan Browne. Jordan has a very strong work ethic and leadership qualities that every successful program requires. He plays a tough game and is not afraid to sacrifice his body for team success. We are very happy to be able to add another player with post-secondary experience and a strong desire to succeed."
Sanderson will arrive to the Saints to help fill the void left by BCIHL all-star goalie James Prigione who helped backstop the Selkirk College club to its last two championships.
"We’re very happy to be able to bring in a goalie with such great character and experience to help our program strive for a fifth consecutive BCIHL Championship,” says Heaven. “Russell has a couple seasons worth of Junior A experience with the Merritt Centennials, where I first had the opportunity to see him play while I coached against him with the Trail Smoke Eaters. His past junior hockey experiences, in addition to his past season with the University of Central Oklahoma, will no doubt help him in the transition to the BCIHL."
Selkirk Academic Options an Important Attractant
Both players are excited to have a chance to play for a team with a strong winning tradition.
“Selkirk's hockey program has been terrific for the last several years and they accompany that with a great deal of dedication to academics,” says Rauser, who will be enrolled in the Business Administration Program. “I have heard nothing but good things about the way coach Heaven instructs the program. I’m excited for the opportunity to be able to continue my education, as well as continue to play hockey with a successful program.”
Sanderson will attend classes in the School of University Arts & Sciences as he works towards an eventual Bachelor of Education degree.
“I chose Selkirk because the hockey program is one of the best in B.C. as well as a great school,” says Sanderson. “I want to be a part of continuing the winning tradition at Selkirk. I think I bring a strong skillset that will let me steal some wins, as well as just being a good team guy and doing whatever I can to help the boys succeed.”
Rauser and Sanderson join fellow new recruit Jackson Bruce-Fuoco on a team that lost six players to graduation after the end of the school year in April. The Saints will begin training camp in Castlegar during the last week of August.