FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
GONGSHOW GEAR SOUTH-WEST CONFERENCE PLAYER-OF-THE-MONTH ANNOUNCED
#12 – Kris Bennett – Oakville Blades
January 8, 2014, Oakville, Ontario – The OJHL announced today that Oakville Blades‟ forward Kris Bennett has been named the Gongshow Gear South-West Conference Player-of-the-Month for December after scoring 12 goals in 11 games played during the month.
Returning to the Oakville Blades from the OHL‟s Saginaw Spirit in early November, forward Kris Bennett went on a tear during the month of December, notching 12 goals and 18 points in 11 games played. A key member of the Blades attack, Bennett would score the game-winning goal for the club in all five victories during the month, including the overtime-winner in a 2-1 victory over the first place and nationally ranked Toronto Lakeshore Patriots. Bennett‟s totals included points in eight of the eleven contests, a pair of four point outings and a hat trick versus Newmarket. The 17-year old remains one of the Spirit‟s top prospects in their system and has already surpassed last season‟s totals with 15 goals in just 22 games played.
“Player-of-the-Month is a great honour, but one I feel is a team recognition as much as individual,” said Bennett upon hearing of the award. “After a slow start I’ve felt great and been playing very confidently. Having Matt McLeod and Dalton Bew to play with has helped a lot with the individual success for me and I think our team has been playing great, but not consistent enough. We’ve beat some top teams so we know we can compete. My goal for the year is to do my part and help the Oakville Blades make the playoffs and have teams scared to play us.”
“Having Kris come back has been a huge boost to our team,” said Blades General Manager Mike Daley. “He came in from day one with a great attitude and accepted that his development as a player was better served playing for the Oakville Blades than playing limited minutes in Saginaw. Kris has accepted the challenges we put in front of him and excelled. We think he’s proven at this point that he belongs at a higher level of hockey and look forward to seeing what the future holds for Kris.”
Aaron Thow of the Toronto Jr. Canadiens was runner-up to Bennett as the South-West Conference Player-of-the-Month. The defenceman recorded 10 assists and 12 points in nine December contests to finish second among all scorers in the South Division. Thow is committed to join the Clarkson University Golden Knights beginning with the 2014-15 ECAC season. ________________________________________________________________________________
Born on January 6, 1996, Kris Bennett grew up in Brampton, Ontario playing most of his minor hockey in the GTHL.
Bennett would finish his minor hockey career as a member of the North York Rangers „AAA‟ organization as part of a talented minor midget squad in 2011-12. He would form one of the GTHL‟s most impressive line combinations with Matt McLeod (Oakville Blades) and Calvin Gomes (North Bay Battalion), notching 17 goals and more than a point/game throughout the season. After participating as a member of Team Clark in the 2012 GTHL Top Prospects Game, Bennett helped lead the Rangers to a berth in the 2012 OHL Cup tournament, where he recorded three assists in four games as the club finished fourth in their division.
Following the season, the great skating, but slightly undersized forward, was selected by the Saginaw Spirit in the 3rd round, 50th overall, of the 2012 OHL Priority Selection. After attending camp, Bennett joined the Oakville Blades for the start of the 2012-13 OJHL season.
The skilled 16-year old did not disappoint during his rookie season in Oakville, finishing the year with a respectable 14 goals and 27 points in 50 games played, including four game-winners. Bennett also made his OHL debut as a member of the Saginaw Spirit, playing two regular season games.
After starting this season with a five game stint in Saginaw, Bennett returned to the Blades with a renewed confidence and has been one of the club‟s offensive catalysts since his return. Already having surpassed last season‟s goal total with 15 goals and 5 game-winning goals, he looks to continue the success and lead the Blades to a playoff berth in the competitive South-West Conference standings.
About Gongshow Hockey, Inc.
In late 2002, three teammates from the Central Junior „A‟ Hockey League celebrated a big win at a local Ottawa pub called Fathers and Sons. A few cold ones later, and inspired by the distinct lifestyle hockey players lived, they had an idea to make some buckets with Gongshow Hockey stitched on the front for their hockey buddies to rock around town.
Slowly but surely, word began to spread through tight-knit hockey circles about a brand that accurately represented what hockey players were all about. Soon, the lads found themselves teamed up with a roster of players united through their love and passion for the hockey lifestyle that they lived.
Today, the GSH boys feel excited and privileged to be part of such a powerful team that shares the goal of enjoying and spreading the Gongshow Lifestyle to hockey players all around the world…
About the OJHL – “League of Choice”
The Ontario Junior Hockey League is the largest Junior „A‟ league operating under the auspices of the Canadian Junior Hockey League with 22 member clubs. A proud member of the Ontario Hockey Association, the OJHL was originally named the Ontario Provincial Junior „A‟ Hockey League and it was formed out of the Central Junior „B‟ Hockey League in 1993-94. With a long and storied history of developing players for the next level, including the CIS, NCAA, CHL, Minor Pro ranks and the NHL, the OJHL had more than 150 commitments in 2012-13, including 56 NCAA Division I scholarships.