Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Bennett departs from BU crease

Coach Jack Parker announced yesterday that sophomore goalie Brett Bennett will not return to the Terrier hockey team for the 2008-09 season. In the brief announcement, Parker said, “Our staff has decided that we move in a different direction in regards to our goaltending. We wish Brett the best in his future endeavors.” There was no indication of Bennett's immediate plans.

He appeared in 31 games for BU in 2007-08, making 29 starts. He posted an .888 save percentage and a 2.63 goals against average along with a 16-10-3 record. The Daily Free Press issued a news brief on this developement.

BU will begin next season with three goalies. The sole returnee is sophomore-to-be Adam Kraus, who made two starts in 2007-2008, including a win the Beanpot Consolation game, and posted a 4.04 goals against average. A pair of highly regarded recruits, Grant Rollheiser of the Trail Smoke Eaters (BCHL) and Kieran Millan of the Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL), will compete for the vacant starting spot.

Our friends at Shawn's Smoke Eaters Blog posted late yesterday about Rollheiser's opportunity at BU:

This is a familiar position for Rollheiser. When he joined Nelson in the 06-07 hockey season it was as part of a tandem in goal. Rollheiser worked all season to win the confidence of Coach Simon Wheeldon, and he was given the starting job for a playoff run all the way to the KIJHL finals. When he joined the Trail Smoke Eaters in the 07-08 hockey season it was as part of a tandem in goal with Paul Barclay. Rollheiser struggled with confidence early, but he found his game and won the confidence of Coach Jim Ingram. Within a month or so Rollheiser took over the starting job and ran with it all the way to a fantastic finish and scholarship to BU.

This whole scenario has got to feel like deja vu to Rollie. Three seasons in a row he jumps to a new level of hockey with another rookie goaltender battling for the starter's job. Each time he started a bit slow as he got used to the level of play, and each time he won the starters job and played at an elite level in the second half. We know the jump from Junior A to Division 1 is a huge leap, but I expect Rollheiser will establish himself as the starting [goalie] for the Terriers at the very least by Christmas this year. I also expect he'll be doing that after getting his name called by an NHL team this June at the draft in Ottawa. What a crazy three years it's been for the young goaltender.

Shawn Mullin, who also handles radio play-by-play for Trail, will share further information about Rollheiser in the weeks preceeding the June NHL draft. We're also seeking an informed analysis of Millan who was named the AJHL Northern Division All-Rookie goalie in 2006-07. He led Spruce Grove to an impressive, upset-filled playoff run this past spring, posting a 2.19 GA and 923. save percentage.

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