FRIDAY, AUGUST 5, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SPARTANS MEN’S HOCKEY TEAM INKS THREE MORE
LANGLEY, British Columbia – The Trinity Western University men’s hockey team is happy to announce the signing of three high-level recruits as defenceman Chris Stew (Surrey, B.C.) and forwards Josh Gordon (London, Ont.) and Kye Benjaminsen (Ladner, B.C.) will join the Spartans this fall.
Stew comes to the Spartans after a five-year Junior “B” career in the PIJHL (Pacific International Junior Hockey League) and one that was capped by being named the league’s top defenceman last season. Playing in 46 games last year with the Port Moody Black Panthers, the 6-foot-1, 185-pound blueliner – who was also the Black Panthers captain – had four goals, 16 assists and 63 penalty minutes.
In total, Stew played in 196 regular season contests in the PIJHL, split between North Delta, where he played 41 games in 2006-07 and five games in 2007-08, and Port Moody. He compiled 15 goals, 68 assists and 249 penalty minutes. Add to that 25 playoff games, where he had six points and 18 penalty minutes, and you have what was an extensive and impressive stint in Junior “B.”
“Chris is a very solid defenceman,” said Spartans coach Dwayne Lowdermilk. “He has an incredible upside and a knack for offence that we will certainly draw upon. He brings great leadership skills to our team and he has a contagious passion for the game. He’s excited about the possibility of playing hockey and getting an education.”
Stew played parts of the 2008-09 season with the Junior “A” Surrey Eagles of the BCHL where he suited up for 30 regular season and eight playoff games.
Josh Gordon is the type of player who will bring both a physical brand and an offensive punch to the Spartans forward unit this year. The 6-foot-1, 210-pound forward played last season with the AAA Chatham-Kent Cyclones major midget team where he had four goals, 13 assists and 76 penalty minutes in 30 games. He also played in the all-star game at the Midget “AAA” Canada Cup in Windsor, scoring the game’s winning goal and, while at the Windsor-based tournament, also won the shoot-out event at the skills competition.
“Josh is a strong power forward who has an NHL shot,” Lowdermilk said. “He sees and reads the plays very well and is a consistent player at both ends of the ice. He had lots of opportunities to play junior hockey and a number of eastern universities were vying for his hockey skills and academics but he happily chose Trinity Western. He’s also an all-around athlete who played seven varsity sports in high school.”
In 2009-10, Gordon successfully converted from defence to forward and, in the process, earned his team’s Most Dedicated Player Award. During that year, he also received MVP honours for both his high school’s swim and track and field teams.
"After visiting Trinity Western University and the hockey rink, I just knew it was the place I wanted to go to school and play hockey,” Gordon said. “Everyone made me feel welcome and I really liked the campus, the rink and the community. Coach Lowdermilk had a big influence on my decision to come to TWU because of the enthusiasm he has shown over the past few months. I am coming to TWU to work hard and win hockey games. I look forward to winning many championships with this team over the next few years."
Gordon has also been impressive in the classroom as he comes to Trinity Western with a 3.40 GPA in his senior year of high school.
Kye Benjaminsen is an offensive dynamo who had a stellar Junior “B” career in which he amassed 51 goals and 128 assists in 197 games with both the Delta Ice Hawks and the North Delta Devils.
“Kye was voted the most valuable player to his team and, when not in the running for Junior ‘A’ positions he brought three years of consistent scoring and leadership to the Delta Ice Hawks,” Lowdermilk said. “We are not only getting an offensive player but we are also getting an active personality in the community. The Ice Hawks general manager, Peter Zerbinos, said he is going to miss Kye’s influence in the Delta community as he is a true leader and was a solid captain.”
After collecting 59 points in 46 games with Delta in 2009-10 – which was good for third most in the PIJHL – the 5-foot-9, 174-pound centre tried his luck at the Junior “A” level with the Spruce Grove Saints of the AJHL (Alberta Junior Hockey League). Benjaminsen got into five regular season games with the now two-time defending AJHL champions before returning to B.C., where he played three games with the BCHL’s Nanaimo Clippers before eventually joining the Ice Hawks.
Upon his return to Delta, Benjaminsen put up 24 points in 23 regular season games and then went on to tie for the team lead in playoff scoring with nine goals and six assists in 12 games.
“I had always heard such great things about Trinity Western and when Dwayne brought me out to see the school and meet some staff I was blown away,” Benjaminsen said. “I knew right away it was going to be a great fit for me. I am excited to be a part of the Spartans and look forward to the season and school year getting underway.”
Stew, Gordon and Benjaminsen join Jonathan Demme and Sam Gemmel in this year’s recruiting class.
Last year, the Spartans had a regular season record of 10-12-2, which earned them a spot in the BCIHL’s five-team playoff. With one win and two losses in the playoffs, Trinity Western finished fourth for the fifth year in a row.
Last Updated: 2011-08-02