Castlegar Rebel Andrew Rennie is continuing his hockey career with the University of Toledo Rockets.
The Rockets play in the American Collegiate Hockey Association Division (ACHA) I. The Rockets won a national championship in 1992 and competed for two other championships in 2015 and 2018.
Rennie says joining the program means a lot and is a life-changing decision that he plans to take as far as he can. Rennie, a native of Melanchton, Ont., researched the school for a couple weeks before deciding he wanted to study civil engineering, while playing.
“I’m really excited to do it, says Rennie, who joined the Rebels midway through last season and in 27 regular season games, had 10 points. “
On the Rockets website, the team says Rennie, who is five-foot-11, 210 pounds, will be looked to help stabilize their defensive zone.
“The versatile defenseman can play in all situations and will be a great addition to the roster,” the Rockets said.
In his time with the Rebels, Rennie improved on the power play thanks to earning more minutes in that situation, helping him get more comfortable. He also improved his mobility around the net because of his speed.
“I’m a stay-at-home defenceman, I can get the puck out of our end first and move up the ice,” says Rennie, adding that the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League is a good development league. “I make good hard passes and I just try to get the puck on net every time, even if it’s a tight angle. I also like to play the body.”
“Andrew came to us after playing in the SIJHL and brought with him a desire to compete and improve everyday,” says Rebels coach-GM Carter Duffin. “He is a consistent and physical defenseman that we would use against teams top players every night. During his time here, we have focused on improving his puck skills and foot speed, as we noted those skills would be heavily sought after during the recruitment process (to university hockey).”
Duffin added that Rennie has a maturity and understanding for the game and his teammates that will allow him to make a smooth transition to the next level.
“He became a leader in our room immediately and was able to connect to everyone in our room,” says Duffin. “Pairing this with his skills, and desire to compete, he will be able to put himself in a good spot on University of Toledo’s line up.”
With the Rebels, some of the things he enjoyed was having access to the gym and pool facilities, the latter allowed him to relax after hockey. The ACHA is a national governing body for non-NCAA college hockey in the United States. The University of Toledo is located in Toledo, OH.