On June 1, 2018, the Crusaders signed eight players to Letters of Intent for the 2018/2019 season. Included in those eight names was defenceman Michael Benning, an '02 defender from the North Alberta Elite 15's of the CSSHL. In his one season with the organization, Benning dominated: in 29 games, Benning exploded for 49 points, including 14 goals from the blue-line. The St. Alberta, Alberta product played his minor hockey for his hometown Sabres, where in his two seasons he collected 61 points in 70 games. As well, Benning was named captain of his team in 2016/2017, where he picked up 43 points in 36 games.
Let's get to know Michael better in this week's edition of Meet the Cru!
When did you start playing hockey?
3 years old
Do you have any pre-game rituals?
Everything goes on left before right, shoot a puck at the end of warmup on the ice in the net, do my own mini warm up after team warm up.
What's your favourite hockey memory?
favourite hockey memory was either playing in the Quebec peewee tournament finals going out to 9000 fans watching. Or playing in the world selects all-star game.
Why did you choose to sign with the Sherwood Park Crusaders
I chose this great organization because of the interest and relationships they make with the players, such as keeping in touch, as well and developing them the right way to be successful in the future.
What's your biggest accomplishment in hockey so far?
Winning the defenceman of the league in the CSSHL or getting drafted to Dubuque in the USHL.
What're your overall hockey goals?
Get an education out of my hockey career as well as playing in the pro level. Going to college and getting a degree. Getting drafted into the NHL. Playing in the AJ and progressing my hockey career into the USHL. Getting in the run for rookie of the year in the AJHL, as well as getting faster stronger and being the smartest on the ice.
Who's your favourite opponent to go against?
Carter Savoie, Ethan Leyer, and Jake Sanderson. These people either in practice or in games push me to greatness as well as doing it the right way and are good people on and off the ice.
What do you do when you're off the ice?
Usually when I’m off the ice in the summer I hang out at the farm with my dad helping him out, or just screwing around when I’m bored or go on the water with my brother and water ski and relax. This summer I’m in summer school and working out five times a week. During the season I either catch up on school or relax and hang out with friends.
What's a fun fact:
I played the piano for four years. I was awful at it. Mom said if I did it I could play football.