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Bemidji State men's hockey: Rendle fitting in as a freshman

Sam Rendle has played in five of the six games for the Bemidji State men's hockey team so far this season. Playing against the top teams in the country was a position the Grand Rapids freshman did not expect to be in so quickly. "I remember two y...

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Bemidji State freshman Sam Rendle has played in five games so far this season for the Beavers. Pioneer?File Photo/Eric Stromgren

Sam Rendle has played in five of the six games for the Bemidji State men's hockey team so far this season.

Playing against the top teams in the country was a position the Grand Rapids freshman did not expect to be in so quickly.

"I remember two years ago being at my aunt and uncle's house watching the Beavers in the national tournament," Rendle said. "I never thought I would be playing already this soon. It's been a lot of fun so far and I have a lot of respect for the guys on my team."

Rendle, a 20-year-old defenseman, is one of the six players from Minnesota on Bemidji State's roster this season. He played football, tennis and track at Grand Rapids High School and was a captain for the Thunderhawks hockey team.

Rendle's parents, Pat and Valerie, are Bemidji State graduates.

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His path from high school hockey to Bemidji State and the WCHA was a relatively fast one.

Rendle played junior hockey last season for Bismarck in the North American Hockey League and was a key player for the Robertson Cup champion Bobcats.

He had 10 goals and 37 assists during the regular season. In the Roberston Cup playoffs, he had six goals and 11 assists. Rendle was named to the NAHL's All-Rookie team and the Robertson Cup All-Tournament Team.

After just one year of juniors, Rendle made the jump to college. He was put into the opening night lineup against North Dakota in the first game at the Bemidji Regional Event Center.

He played in the first five games for BSU and earned his first collegiate point by assisting on Ian Lowe's goal in last Friday's 6-3 loss to St. Cloud.

Rendle has adapted to the college game quickly and he credited his teammates for helping in the transition.

"They've been good to have a freshman's back and kind of break me in, so it's been fun," Rendle said.

As a native Minnesotan, Rendle is looking forward to the rest of the season competing in the WCHA.

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"So far every game - even going to St. Cloud and I know going to Mankato and the University of Minnesota - it doesn't matter where you go, it's going to be an awesome atmosphere," Rendle said. "I don't think there's a bad place to play in this league and every player is top notch. There's no such thing as a fourth line I don't think and you can't take a shift off or it will come back to bite you."

Bemidji State hosts Alaska-Anchorage this weekend in a WCHA series at the Bemidji Regional Event Center. Game times are Friday at 7:37 p.m. and Saturday at 7:07 p.m.

The Beavers (1-4-1 overall, 1-4-1 WCHA) have a two-point lead in the league standings on the last-place Seawolves (1-5-2 overall, 0-3-1 WCHA) and will be looking to build on last week's 3-2 overtime road win over St. Cloud State - BSU's first win as members of the WCHA.

"Hopefully we can get a win get a win and start working our way back up to the top ... Everyone's still excited about it (winning at St. Cloud State)," Rendle said. "It was nice to get the monkey off our back and the boys are excited to carry it into this weekend."

Related Topics: HOCKEY
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The following is a letter to the editor submitted by a reader and does not reflect the views of the Pioneer. Letters can be sent to letters@bemidjipioneer.com or P.O. Box 455, Bemidji, MN 56601.
The following is a letter to the editor submitted by a reader and does not reflect the views of the Pioneer. Letters can be sent to letters@bemidjipioneer.com or P.O. Box 455, Bemidji, MN 56601.
The following is a letter to the editor submitted by a reader and does not reflect the views of the Pioneer. Letters can be sent to letters@bemidjipioneer.com or P.O. Box 455, Bemidji, MN 56601.