Jordan Timmons overcomes adversity, shines in new role at RMU


Jordan Timmons has had a long path to where he is today at Robert Morris, and CSN’s Nathan Breisinger sat down with him to discuss it. Photo Credit: Nathan Breisinger

By Nathan Breisinger, Editor-in-Chief

From fighting adversity and hardships to becoming the Robert Morris men’s hockey team’s current leading goal scorer, Jordan Timmons has endured a difficult journey over the past few years.

Before joining his hometown college hockey team and donning the red, white, and blue sweater this season, the Bridgeville, PA native faced tragedy head-on.

It is coming up on three years since he was playing for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders of the USHL when Timmons lost one of the closest people in his life, his mother, Lisa Kane.

Timmons, at the age of 19, dealt with the passing of his mother, who struggled with a lengthy history of complications stemming from two separate instances of cancer and a triple bypass surgery leading to a failure of her organs.

The death of his mother impacted him greatly, leading to months of heartache.

“The only way I can describe it is like waking up into a nightmare especially at the time it happened, and for months after, every morning when I woke up I just wanted to go back to sleep because it felt like it couldn’t actually be real,” Timmons said.

Although it was an unfathomable time period for Timmons, he used her passing as a way of inspiration while playing the game he loves.

“It did motivate me though because she sacrificed a lot for me to be there so I felt like I owed it to her to play the best I could,” Timmons said.

Timmons owes a lot of his success in his hockey career to his mom as she made it viable for him to grow as a player.

“She was always super supportive of me,” Timmons said. “Financially she paid for a lot of the stuff I did and took so many hours out of her life to take me to the rink and take me on trips.”

As a young player, Timmons had aspirations of becoming a professional hockey player and he still plans to do whatever it takes to reach that level for his mother.

“I always told her when I was young that I’m going to play in the NHL,” Timmons said. “I owe it to myself and her to take it as far as I can and do the best that I can at it.”

At a young age, it was the support of his family that propelled him to begin his hockey career.

“I got my start in hockey when my dad coached for [Bishop] Canevin High School when I was really young so I was always around the rink when he was there,” Timmons said.

While his dad was an important part in kick-starting his career, the game of hockey runs throughout the family. Timmons’ step-brother, Connor Fedorek, plays for Ferris State in the NCAA, while his younger brother, Greg Timmons, plays for the Pittsburgh Predators in the PAHL.

“My dad was a big hockey guy and so was [Connor’s] dad, so we both grew up around hockey,” Timmons said. “We basically grew up together and there was always competition there. We were always trying to make each other better, which I think has definitely helped both of us and now with my little brother I like to think he looks up to us and he sees how hard we work.”

Through this family tradition in hockey, Timmons has been able to annually compete with different teams on the ice as he has moved along through the years.

It was just a few years before his mother’s death though that he experienced a career year while skating for three different clubs. In 2015-16, Timmons played high school hockey for South Fayette where he totaled 57 points in just 12 games, as they went on to play in the Penguins Cup. He also experienced his first action in the USHL that year, dressing in two games for the Sioux City Musketeers.

However, it was while playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite 18U team in both the AAA bracket and Tier 1 Elite Hockey League where he saw the most success that season. Timmons put up a remarkable 91 points in 67 games of action, including 54 goals.

For the Pens Elite squad, Timmons had also won a National Championship that year defeating Culver Academy from Indiana, 3-0, marking the first-ever Youth Tier 1 national championship for a Pens Elite team.

“I can pretty much remember all of the national championship winners since I was ten years old, so to think that we are in somebody else’s mind as being in that category, and it was the first one that a Pens Elite team has ever won, that was probably the most special moment in my hockey career,” Timmons said.

With the astounding season Timmons had in 2015-16, he felt that he had the potential to reach new heights in his hockey career.

“That was probably the season for me where I realized I had the ability to [play at a higher level],” Timmons said. “That was the first time that I realized if I really put my mind to it and put all of my effort into it, I could do something special not a lot of [other] people could.”

Following the sensational year that Timmons put together, he made a full-time adjustment into junior hockey when he was drafted by the Muskegon Lumberjacks 15th overall in the USHL Entry Level Draft. However, during this season, he faced some tribulations.

“It was a difficult transition because you go from being one of the top guys on your team in U18 to being at the bottom of the totem pole in the USHL,” Timmons said. “It was very eye-opening for me.”

Not only did Timmons not see the ice-time he was used to from the season before, but it was also a new change living away from home.

“I went in and was immediately being scratched and in and out of the lineup and living with a new family in a new part of the country… it was definitely a tough transition,” Timmons said.

During that season with Muskegon, the right-handed shooting forward was dealt to the Cedar Rapids Roughriders, which was another unexpected leg of his journey through these past few years.

“I got called in one night at 5:00 p.m. and my general manager said, ‘We just traded you to Cedar Rapids and you’ve got to be there for practice in the morning.’ That was the last I’ve seen some of those guys from [Muskegon] was that night. I had to be up real early in the morning and leave that family and move to Cedar Rapids.” Timmons said.

In that 2016-17 season where he split time with the Lumberjacks and RoughRiders, Timmons registered just 14 points in 36 games.

“That whole year was a challenge, but I think it was something that was really good for me and it was really good for my development as a hockey player,” Timmons said.

It was during the next season for the RoughRiders when Timmons had faced the passing of his mother. It had a huge effect on his playing career.

“It impacted me a lot because she was one of my best friends and she passed when I was in Cedar Rapids, so I wasn’t really able to be with her very much before, but she was very supportive of me in hockey,” Timmons said.

Timmons went on to score 24 times and totaled 38 points through 50 games while being an assistant captain for part of the 2017-18 season in Cedar Rapids.

After his time in the USHL and the tragedy he experienced, Timmons leaped to the NCAA where he played for the University of Connecticut Huskies.

“They were very optimistic about me in the recruiting process. They were very vocal about wanting me [in Storrs],” Timmons said. “They’re a very good program in a great league, so it was kind of a no-brainer at the time for me to go there.”

Over his two seasons there, Timmons only put up two points in the 36 games he dressed in.

“It was tough because I knew that I had the ability to be an impact player on that team, but I only played half the games that I was there, and even when I was playing it was maybe three shifts a game,” Timmons said.

While he did not meet the expectations he had in his time at UConn, Timmons returned home to play for Robert Morris where he felt it was the right fit for his next playing destination.

“I entered the transfer portal, and coach [Derek] Schooley was the first coach to reach out and give me an offer,” Timmons said. “To have the opportunity to come back to Pittsburgh in my hometown where I haven’t lived in four or five years and to be able to play Division 1 hockey here is pretty special.”

After finally getting on the ice following the lengthy pause from COVID-19, Timmons did not waste any time making his impact felt as he scored his first career goal for the Colonials and the team’s first goal of the year in the opening game against Alabama-Huntsville.

“I had a lot of self-doubt coming from UConn, not playing very much, not scoring at all and it had been two years since I had played a full hockey game,” Timmons said. “In my mind, I was thinking am I actually good enough to play here because I had never really been tested at this level, so to be able to go out and score the first goal for us was an unbelievable experience because it kind of validated my decision to come here and it was pretty special.”

Timmons would then notch two more goals before the most recent set of games for the Colonials in Colorado Springs when they took on Air Force. In the second game of the series, Timmons exploded for a natural hat trick in the first ten minutes of the opening period to give him a team-leading six goals.

“My first goal was on the first shift of the game, so when you can score on the first shift it lifts everyone. To get two more after that was surreal and I didn’t really know what was going on and it was a really cool experience.” Timmons said.

With the natural hat trick that Timmons put together, it was the first of its kind in Colonials history since the all-time leading goal scorer for the program, Cody Wydo, did it in 2013 against Canisius.

“It’s really cool especially coming from where I was last year, I didn’t really expect for that to happen,” Timmons said.

His six goals currently lead the Colonials and are near the tops in all of college hockey this far into the season, which is a complete turn around from Timmons’ production in Connecticut.

“It gives me a lot of confidence and now my mindset is very different than going into games at UConn. Going into games at UConn, I was thinking, ‘Those couple shifts you get, don’t mess up’ and now I’m thinking, ‘Go out and score as many goals as you can, go out and help the team,” Timmons said.

Following his performance against Air Force, Timmons earned the Atlantic Hockey Player of the Week award.

“It’s definitely a confidence boost, my roommate Nick Prkusic got that award the first weekend and I know how good of a player he is, so to be in a category with him is pretty special,” Timmons said.

With the early-season accolades that Timmons has picked up, he has contributed towards Robert Morris’ best start to a season in recent memory as they are also riding a three-game win streak in conference play.

As the Colonials continue their quest for an Atlantic Hockey championship and a potential NCAA Tournament berth, Timmons will be an integral part of this team following his long journey that has had its trials and tribulations along the way.