NEVILLE TWP., PA. — The circumstances that brought Bridgeville, Pa. native Jordan Timmons back to his hometown roots doesn’t seem to matter much these days.
What does matter is what Timmons has done and shown he can do since he’s arrived back in town, on a new team, in a new league and with opportunities to thrive. The junior transfer from the University of Connecticut has already made his presence felt and then some to his new teammates in his new surroundings with the Robert Morris Colonials, and did so with authority.
Timmons has amassed six goals in his first seven games and shows no signs of slowing down. He appears to be in the right place at the right time with the Colonials, a talented, young team on the verge of perhaps being a league title contender in Atlantic Hockey sooner rather than later.
“Growing up in Pittsburgh I obviously knew about the program,” Timmons told Pittsburgh Hockey Digest in an exclusive interview this week. “I knew it was a really good hockey program and a really good school as well so that was a big part of it. The league is the other part that I think really plays into my game. I played in Hockey East and it’s a very skills based game over there. I think Atlantic Hockey is just built more towards my style of game and I think it’s been something that’s really helped me out early on in my career here.”
Timmons departed UConn after two seasons that saw him produce two points in 36 games during his time there. When the opportunities didn’t look as if they would open up for him at a consistent level, it was time to make a change.
“It was really tough for me because I really liked it at UConn,” Timmons said. “I loved the school, I loved my teammates, but I just wasn’t getting enough of an opportunity to play. I only played half the games there and even when I was playing I wasn’t getting many minutes. Add in the fact that they have a ton of really good players over there and I thought it was just time after two years of not really getting opportunities, to explore my options somewhere where I’d get an opportunity to play because I knew that I could have an impact.”
Thus far, the impact has been impressive. Scoring had always been a part of his game, as evidenced by a 24-goal season with the USHL’s Cedar Rapids Rough Riders in 2017-18. The production caught the eye of head coach Derek Schooley early on as Timmons was snatched up and signed early on in his career.
“Jordan committed very early in the recruiting process to UConn before he even played junior hockey,” Schooley said. “I watched him score a lot of goals in juniors; he scored 20 plus goals in the USHL and when you do that you don’t forget how to score. In watching some of his games at UConn, we didn’t feel he was given the offensive opportunities To tell you that I thought he would score six goals in seven games would be a lie but I did expect him to be a guy that we could count on in key situations. We’ve always wanted to keep the best players home and obviously keeping Jordan Timmons playing for the Colonials is really good for us.”
For Robert Morris, the addition of Timmons helps give them as talented a top six forward group as they could ask for. He brings the skills of net front presence, offensive-zone awareness and a sixth sense of where his team mates into the forward mix and power play as well.
“I consider myself a power forward,” Timmons stated. “I’ll go into the corners and win battles, get to the net, and score goals. It’s worked out well for me just getting to the net and finding loose pucks, that’s something I’ve always had a knack for. I’m not the fastest guy, I don’t have the greatest hands, but I think I can play the game smart and use my abilities to my advantage.”
It’s a way of playing that has blended seamlessly with line mates Justin Addamo and Grant Hebert, whom both find themselves joining him near the top of the team scoring statistics at the moment.
“It’s great playing with Addamo and Hebert. They’re both really good players and I think we complement each other well. From right off the bat we just seemed to kind of know where each other is on the ice and we trust each other to win one on one battles.”
It’s a case of so far so good for Timmons. The success on ice early on has been a welcome sight. And so far off the ice, it’s been a smooth transition for a player that has been patient with the process and is seeing that patience being rewarded.
“I haven’t been home since my junior year in high school so it’s really nice to be back in the city where I grew up and to be able to play D-1 hockey here is pretty special. Everyone on the team has been great, the guys that I live with welcomed me in, it’s been a really great experience so far. It’s been awesome being at home.”
BROOMS OUT IN COLORADO
Following a 6-3 loss to 18th-ranked Bowling Green on Tuesday, Nov. 30, the Colonials made their way westward for two games against the always formidable Air Force Falcons and found out a good deal about their potential at nearly 7,000 feet above sea level. When playing the Atlantic Hockey heavyweight, a good recipe to follow normally includes never falling behind while making the most of each scoring chance. The Colonials came ready and stuck to that recipe as they didn’t trail the Falcons throughout 120 minutes while getting timely goals from four different scorers on Friday and Timmons opening frame onslaught on Saturday. The wins snapped an eight game winless streak against the Falcons and put them in the driver’s seat in the conference standings.
“I thought we did some things well,” Schooley said. “Offensively, we put the pucks below the goal line, we played with a lot of energy and a lot of speed and our power play was very good and we got good goaltending. I thought our third periods on both nights were good,”
One development that came out of the Colonials weekend in Colorado Springs was the inspired play of freshman net minder Noah West. The Pittsboro, Indiana native turned aside 48 of the 51 Falcons shots he faced in collecting the first two wins of his NCAA career.
“I thought he did a little bit of everything this weekend in a tough place to play and win,” Schooley added. “He made the saves he was supposed to make and made some big saves as well.”
West has now tied senior goaltender Dyllan Lubbesmeyer in games started this season, and his performances in those games could very well point towards more playing time as the season progresses.