PRINCE GEORGE – Rookie goaltender, Joe Rodwell, was born in England and moved to Langley when he was seven years old. While looking for a hall, he stumbled upon an ice rink and was instantly mesmerized by the great Canadian game. Rodwell knew immediately that this was something he wanted to try and spent the next couple of years learning to skate and play the game before finally donning the big pads and taking up position between the pipes.
Although he tried to make the BCHL with the Langley Hornets two years ago, Rodwell had to fine tune his abilities with the Hope Icebreakers and the Abbotsford Pilots of the Pacific International Junior Hockey League. The Everett Silvertips liked what they saw from the youngster and used a draft pick they acquired from the Calgary Hitmen to select Joe Rodwell in the 2003 WHL Bantam Draft.
Prior to the start of the 2006/07, Joe Rodwell decided it was time to get back to the Junior ‘A’ level. Ed Dempsey, general manager of the Prince George Spruce Kings, couldn’t agree more and invited Rodwell to the Spruce Kings training camp. Rodwell quickly established himself as the backup goaltender with his strong play in net. Rodwell picked up his first BCHL career shutout against the Quesnel Millionaires on October 14th.
On December 1st, Joe Rodwell discovered that he had been promoted to the team’s number one goaltender when Paul Dainton asked to be traded. Rodwell stepped into his new role with focus and determination and picked up two more shutouts in his next eight games. The trade deadline produced a second goaltender for the roster in Jordan White and together the pair would backstop the Spruce Kings to an eleven game point streak. In a year that saw the rookie goaltender go from a backup role to the sole goaltender to part of a tandem, Rodwell has remained calm and credits his teammates for his successes.
“The more games you get, the more comfortable you feel,” says Spruce Kings goaltender, Joe Rodwell. “The team comes into it and makes it really easy on me; the guys are really supportive and encourage me. They have shown confidence in me from right off the bat and that makes it really easy for a goalie to come and play well.”
“I don’t really focus on the individual stats,” continues Rodwell when asked about his top ranked league goalie stats. “I want to keep getting better so that I can go somewhere in hockey, but paying attention to the win/loss columns is the main goal for this season especially when we are hosting the (RBC Royal Bank Cup) tournament.”
Joe Rodwell and the Prince George Spruce Kings are guaranteed a spot in the five team tournament to crown a national Junior ‘A’ champion. Prince George will host the RBC Royal Bank Cup tournament from May 5-13; tickets and tournament passes are available from Ticket Master. The RBC Royal Bank Cup is a week long round-robin tournament with elimination games to determine the ultimate winner.