Longtime Stena Line Belfast Giant Brandon Benedict has informed the team that he will leave the organisation to move back to his native Nova Scotia in Canada to join Newbridge Academy.
Brandon will take on a new role as the Head Coach of Newbridge Academy’s Major Bantam boy’s hockey team for the 2018/19 season.
Benedict, a firm favourite both in the locker room and with the fans, leaves the Giants organisation after five seasons in Belfast. Well known for his work ethic on as well as off the ice, Brandon spent the previous three seasons as Player/Assistant Coach and played defence when required during the 2017/18 season due to injuries and suspensions. The organisation voted Benedict as the recipient of the ‘Giants Unsung Hero Award’ at the 2017/18 Awards Night.
Benedict helped the Giants to two major championships in his time with the Belfast organisation. First, the Playoff title in 2010 when the Giants defeated the Cardiff Devils on penalty shots after a 2-2 game and, most recently, the 2017/18 Challenge Cup after a 6-3 win over the Devils in Cardiff. Benedict scored the opening Giants goal in both finals.
Brandon’s Giants stats posted are 272 games played, 120 penalty minutes, 54 goals (including 10 powerplay and four shorthanded) and 126 assists – good for 180 points overall.
The Giants would like to thank Brandon for his five seasons of service to the Giants organisation, both on and off the ice, and wish him, Kirsty, Austin and Annika well as they move to Canada.
Steve Thornton, Head of Hockey Operations, gave his thoughts on the departure of Brandon Benedict:
“Brandon has been a big part of the success across his five years in Belfast. He has been a great player for us and has won a Playoff title and a Challenge Cup as a Giant. As good as he is on the ice, he is a better person off the ice as well.”
“It has been a pleasure working with Brandon in Belfast. He does whatever it takes for the team and he has scored some big goals for the Giants over the years. I wish him well in Canada with Newbridge Academy and know that he will be a great role model for their players.”
Photos: Helen Brabon Photography & PressEye