(Photo Credit: UAH Athletics)
Freshman Alabama Huntsville Hockey forward Bennett Stockdale grew up Ottawa and has been around hockey almost all of his life. As he said ” Growing up in Ottawa my whole family were huge Senators fans and had season tickets so I’d go to most of the home games with my family, I became pretty obsessed with them and hockey by the time I was three.” The Stockdales are a hockey playing family as his sister, Kathryn is playing for the University of Connecticut Women’s Hockey Team in her freshman season as well.
He has been around the game all his life, and almost had his dream of playing Division One Hockey not become a reality before Lance West reached out to him in June. During the pitch, as Stockdale said on what the pitch from the team was, ” Coach West was really excited about the players that would be coming back and the culture in the locker room. With the program returning he also talked about the security and support of the program.” The consistent pitch proved resonant with many on this team, as 12 freshmen over the summer heard versions of it, and became members of Charger Hockey in part because of it.
In his time at Alabama Huntsville, Bennett has shown flashes of the leader he became for the Johnstown Tomahawks of the North American Hockey League. He is, at his best, a power forward with speed, and an eye for scoring goals, all while being responsible in his own end. In his time with the Tomahawks, he played extensively against Tyrone Bronte before joining forces this year. In the top six, Stockdale is a force on the left side, and brings his power and finesse to each game. On playing against Bronte he said, ” playing against him was always fun but Its been great to play with him. He’s a really hard worker and makes it pretty easy to play with him. Playing on the same team as him has definitely allowed me to see that even more.” That hard work is very much part Stockdale’s game as well.
Another thing in Stockdale’s play that stands out is his physical play, and high hockey intelligence, which plays well with the scoring threats on either top six line he is on. That is part of his work to model his game after Tampa Bay Lightning forward Brayden Point. That same physical play also comes from playing within the structure of West’s system, another improvement to his game he noted that the coaches were a big part of, in getting him to the Division One Level.
The development has shown, and the staff has given him more time in the top six recently. For as nervous as Bennett was in not having an offer until June, he has not shown it. He has added some physical play on whatever line he is on, and knows how to drive the offense forward positively. Stockdale and the Chargers are getting ready to take on Lake Superior State tomorrow night, and Saturday night as well.
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