DU Recruit Beau Bennett Had Epic BCHL Season

(above) Beau Bennett will be a familiar sight in Magness Arena next season

From: BCHL Website
by Chad Klassen

Every Batman needs his Robin. For the BCHL Penticton Vees, this couldn’t be more true when it comes to the superstar tandem of Denver Manderson and University of Denver recruit Beau Bennett. Bennett will play for DU next season.

Bennett had been close to selecting Boston College and Colorado College, before finally selecting DU. It was after his verbal commitment to DU that he went on a scoring tear and drew the attention of NHL scouts.

The high-scoring duo were electric together during a season in which both players finished in the top-three in British Columbia Hockey League scoring. Bennett ended up tying for the BCHL's scoring title with Salmon Arm’s Mark Zengerle 120 points, while Manderson finished the season as the most productive player in the BCHL with 113 points in just 50 games.

"They’re both very driven individuals and they both want to play hockey for quite some time," says Vees head coach and GM Fred Harbinson. "Denver’s obviously our captain and has been a big key to our success this year, and Beau’s had one of the best rookie seasons in a long, long time in this league."

Bennett is projected to be an early second-round selection in the upcoming NHL Draft.

“He sees a lot of plays that other players don’t see, and he’s a good passer and a good finisher. It’s been good to play with him,” says Masterson about Bennett.

Bennett recently moved from the wing to center and went on a tear. The California native was already red-hot, having put up 30 points in 11 games to kick off 2010, but he upped his game down the stretch with 26 points and five four-point games in the month of February.

It was an opportunity for Bennett to shine as a solo act and receive some much-deserved attention from around the hockey world, according to Harbinson.

“Beau did an outstanding job in those 10 games when Masterson was injuried,” he says. “Everybody knew what Denver could do, because he’s been in the league for the last couple years. Maybe it was easy for certain critics to pick apart and say ‘Beau’s production had a lot to do with Denver.’ I think he silenced a lot of those critics very quickly in those 10 games.”

The time apart also proved that Manderson and Bennett don’t necessarily need each other to create offense.

“Both players are great players on their own. Denver Manderson doesn’t need Beau Bennett to make him a player, and Beau Bennett doesn’t need Denver Manderson. They’re both outstanding. So obviously when you have two players on your team, it definitely doesn’t hurt,” their coach adds.

Indeed, when the two are together on Penticton’s top line, it makes for offensive fireworks on most nights.

“They can make plays that a lot of guys at any level can’t. Both would tell you that when there’s no play to be made, either one of them can find a way to make a play and create offense,” says Harbinson.

After a sweep over the Centennials, the two will lead the Vees into battle against the Westside Warriors in the second round of the BCHL playoffs – an Interior semi-final series that begins Tuesday at the South Okanagan Centre.

Beyond that, many are looking to a potential Vernon-Penticton series in the Interior Finals, particularly after an epic regular season battle for conference supremacy. The Vees missed out on first place by five points. However, while one might be waiting in anticipation for that matchup, Harbinson says anyone overlooking the Westside Warriors hasn’t done their homework.

“I don’t think anybody in this area is taking Westside lightly. They’re a very dynamic hockey club, they work hard, they’ve got great goaltending. You’ve got [Trevor] Bailey, who had over 40 goals, Cam Reid who’s an NHL draft pick to Nashville, and kids like [Grayson] Downing, who is off to a great playoff start (five goals, two assists), then Alex Grieve is one of the better defensive forwards in the league,” he warns.

In that semi-final meeting with the Warriors, Bennett and Manderson will be relied upon to put up similar numbers, but a balanced attack offensively is an absolute must if the Vees are to take the playoff series.


Anonymous said...

why the hell isn't his linemate named DENVER coming here also? It's a travesty

dggoddard said...

Supposedly he played a little major junior hockey or participated in some sort of a MJ camp.

dggoddard said...

Bennett had a goal and an assist last night as the Penticton Vees defeated Westside 3-1.

Penticton leads the best of seven series 1-0.