The Renouf twins, Jonah and Nathan, transferred to UAA from the division I Quinnipiac University in 2015, but only to redshirt the entire season at UAA. Not long after, turmoil began to brew as a prospective hockey cut put the twins’ future collegiate hockey career on the edge.
After over a year in Alaska holding on with anticipation, the Renoufs’ finally got to step onto the ice for the first time to compete with their team in September 2016. As the team suffered a rocky start as a whole, the twins’ started to thrive and be the perfect duo the Seawolves needed.
“To going through some slumps, as a team and individually, I think our team is definitely headed in the right direction and we can definitely make some noise in the next 5-6 weeks before playoffs come along,” Jonah said.
Nathan added that they have made a comeback and already beaten some of the best teams in the league. Out of the most recent 10 games, the Seawolves have only lost three. This puts them at No. 9 in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. Even at this rank, the Seawolves were able to recently beat No. 1 Bemidji State and tie with No. 2 Michigan Tech.
This season to date, Jonah and Nathan have accumulated eight points each, good for a three-way tie for third highest on the team. Most collegiate athletes never get to play a sport with their siblings, but the twins have been fortunate to make it this far together; this sport has brought them a lot closer.
“The biggest advantage of having a twin on my team is obviously the continuous support of someone that always has your back. Also, the chemistry we have developed over the years is very helpful game-wise,” Jonah said.
Both twins have been on the ice for nearly their entire life, as the love for the sport was passed down from their father.
“My dad built us a backyard rink every year until we were about 16, so we learned to skate around and just fell in love with the sport,” Jonah said.
With such a long history and experience in hockey, it’s only natural to see the skill and chemistry they share on the ice as they play. Fortunately, that was the reason that brought them to UAA. With very little playing time in Quinnipiac, the two mutually decided to transfer. Not only did UAA work out well for hockey, but also for them to get their degrees.
“UAA was a good fit, as the coach [Matt Thomas] is from our hometown, so he had watched us play growing up, he knew what kind of players we were. UAA also has a great engineering program, so it fit our academic interests as well,” Nathan said.
Both of the twins are mechanical engineering majors and hope to see themselves be successful in that field in the future. However, as they have already redshirted two year, the twins’ final academic year is next year, but they still have two more years of NCAA eligibility.
While Nathan expressed interest in a possible double major or masters degree, Jonah considers a possible future hoping to play professional hockey at some point. At this point, the twins were more focused on the recent weekend games against Northern Michigan on Friday, Jan. 20 and Saturday, Jan. 21.
“I think this weekend [was] a huge weekend to determine where we’re at in the standings and where the season will continue to progress,” Jonah said.
Despite coming in with an optimistic attitude for the back-to-back weekend games, the Seawolves suffered an unfortunate double loss against Northern Michigan at 1-6 in the first game and 0-4 in the second game.
The Renouf twins and UAA Hockey team will be back in action and ready to redeem themselves on Friday, Feb. 3 and Saturday, Feb. 4 at the Sullivan Arena against Minnesota State Mankato.