By Thomas Perry, The Daily Press (Timmins)
TIMMINS – Former Timmins Rock captain Jordan Rendle will be playing hockey a little closer to home next season.
The 20-year-old Surrey, B.C., native who led the Rock in scoring during the 2016-17 campaign and finished sixth in the NOJHL scoring race, has committed to attend Trinity Western University and play for the Spartans.
Trinity Western University is located in Langley, B.C., a 15-minute drive from Rendle’s home town.
“That, being close to home and close to family, was a big part of my decision,” he said.
“My dad (Rock Western Canada player consultant Dave Rendle) is a pretty big hockey guy and he has been there for my whole journey, so for him to be able to watch me play in school for these next few years is going to be great.”
Rendle proved to be a consistent offensive force for the Rock and put up near-identical point totals during his two-year stay in the maroon, gold and white (52, 38-33-71, 77, 2016-17 and 51, 30-40-70, 67, in 2015-16).
He also averaged close to a point a game (10, 4-4-8, 16, in 2017 and 6, 2-2-4, 6, 2016) during 16 playoff games during that span.
Spartans coach Barret Kropf is expecting Rendle to provide a boost to the Trinity Western offence.
“Jordan is a proven sniper,” he said, in a press release on the university’s website.
“His point production in Junior ‘A’ is the highest we have ever been able to land here at TWU. He has all the tools to be successful in the BCIHL and he will certainly help bolster our power play, which struggled a bit down the stretch last year.”
The Spartans (24, 16-6-0-2, 34) finished second in the BCIHL last season, behind Simon Fraser University (24, 18-4-0-2, 38) and ahead of Selkirk College (24, 14-9-0-1, 29), the University of Victoria (24, 9-14-0-1, 19) and Eastern Washington University (24, 3-20-0-1, 7).
Rendle is the second member of the Rock to commit to Trinity Western University, as defenceman Brendan Campbell (48, 4-16-20, 82) announced earlier he would be attending the school.
The 20-year-old Surrey, B.C., native was a physical force for the Rock during the 2017 playoffs (10, 0-2-2, 38).
In an earlier press release posted on the Spartans’ website, Kropf said: “I love to see local guys go and gain Junior ‘A’ experience in other parts of the nation and then return to the BCIHL.
“It speaks volumes to how much the league has grown in calibre and recognition. Brendan is a quality young man who brings that traditional size that our defensive core has been known for. We look forward to seeing his experience put to use as we grow our program and pursue a championship next season.”
Rendle, for one, is pumped at the chance to play with Campbell again.
“It is going to be really nice to have a guy like him around,” he said.
“He is a really great guy. Living in the same city, we played minor hockey together and having him on the same team again this year is going to be nice. I also know a couple of other guys on the team including Evan Last.”
Last, a graduate of the Swan Valley Stampeders, of the MJHL, averaged more than a point a game (21, 7-24-31, 29) as a rookie with the Spartans during the 2016-17 BCIHL campaign.
Rendle is hoping to be able to help the Spartans build upon a very successful 2016-17 season.
“I am privileged to have this opportunity and hopefully we can keep on winning,” he said.
“It’s going to be awesome.”
Rendle feels he learned a lot playing for the Rock the past two seasons, which should help as he makes the transition to university hockey.
“I really learned a lot playing in Timmins,” he said.
“Moving away from home was a big move and it helped me to mature — not only on the ice, but off it as well. I think that’s big heading into school.
“The coaches and management I played for in Timmins were great. It was an unbelievable experience.
“Getting a chance to play in front of those great fans was awesome, as well. I don’t think I will ever have a chance to play in front of such good fans again. They are really loyal to their team.
“If I ever get the chance to play in a big championship game or something, the experience I gained in Timmins will help me out.”
The elder Rendle continues to be a key member of the Rock’s off-ice organization, but could Timmins fans see Jordan’s younger brother, 14-year-old Cameron Mackay, someday take his place in the lineup?
“I am hoping he will follow in my footsteps one day, but he is a little young right now,” Rendle said.
“I would like to see him find his way to Timmins, but we will have to see where his journey takes him. I will definitely encourage him to go there.”
Like last summer, Rendle will be spending much of his summer working at a golf course in Surrey.
He will also be working on his golf game, as well.
“I will be trying to improve that, for sure,” he said.
Of course, the shorter and milder winters typical in B.C.’s lower mainland should result in Rendle spending more time perfecting his golf game.
“That was quite an experience in Timmins with how cold it gets,” he said.
“We get lots of rain here, which kind of substitutes for the snow.”
Both Rendle and Campbell will be majoring in business at Trinity Western University.