After several successful seasons with one of the National Women's Hockey League's top franchises, Georgetown resident Stephen Bennett resigned last May as coach and general manager of the Brampton Thunder, vowing to take a break from the rink for a while. "A while" didn't last but a couple of months, however, as Bennett received a phone call from Randy Hall, coach and director of hockey operations for the NWHL's Oakville Ice, to join him as an assistant with the club for the 2006/07 campaign. A slow start to the season for the Ice didn't make the 45-year old Bennett second-guess his decision to get back into coaching so soon, and the Oakville squad has shown steady improvement, including a 3-0 victory over Brampton on Friday at Georgetown's Alcott Arena. "I was with Brampton for nine years and eventually people tune you out," said Bennett, who works at Mississauga's Parks & Recreation Department. "We won the nationals and we'd won the league and we did everything we could have accomplished. There was a lot of administrative work and North Halton Twisters' Girls' Hockey Association. Bennett isn't the only Halton Hills connection in the Ice organization as Georgetown's forward Dayna Kanis plays for the Oakville Jr. AA team and had an assist for the senior side as a recent call-up. The 19-year-old Kanis left Lake Forest University in Illinois during her sophomore season to enroll at the University of Guelph while playing for the 12-13-1-2 Ice. The Twisters are celebrating their 10th anniversary as an organization and took time prior to Friday's contest to honour 15 of its founding volunteers. Kathleen Bevan, who along with longtime assistant Janet Garton coached the firstever Twister rep team, was among those recognized for their years of dedication. Her Peewee Twisters were the first local squad to earn a medal at the provincial championships with a runner-up finish at the 199798 tournament in Mississauga. "I've always believed that kids shouldn't have the same coach year after year after year, so I think we've been through pretty much every age group," said Bevan, who played varsity hockey at Dalhousie University and is considering a comeback with the Friday Night Twisters' women's league in Acton. "The growth of girls' hockey over the last decade has been unbelievable. I never thought we'd have a rep program when we started with the house league, so it's come a long way."
Amanda Barre of the Oakville Ice gets a rough ride from Brampton's Kristy Zamora Friday while teammate Carly Haggard (7) swoops in for the scraps as the National Women's Hockey League played a regular-season game at Georgetown's Alcott Arena for the fifth year in a row. The Ice, with local resident Stephen Bennett serving as an assistant coach, skated to a 3-0 win.