BUFFALO, NY – Bismarck Bobcats defenseman Ben Danford became the tenth member of the black and gold to commit to an NCAA Division I program this season, announcing that he will play his collegiate hockey at Canisius College starting this fall.
“It’s a great feeling to know that I’ll have a chance to play Division I hockey,” said Danford. “Getting to the D-I level has been my goal since I started in the NAHL two seasons ago; now that I’ve achieved that I can focus on this season and winning the Robertson Cup with the Bobcats.”
Danford, who came to the Bobcats in a late-January trade with the North Iowa Outlaws, has 11 goals and nine assists on the year including a pair of power play goals since arriving in Bismarck.
The Stillwater, Minn., native notes that it was a mix of hockey and academics that attracted him to the western New York institution.
“I’ve always been interested in going to school and playing out east, and Canisius is a really great academic school out in Buffalo,” said Danford. “Plus, talking to [Golden Griffins head] coach [Dave] Smith and his staff, I knew I’d be in a great spot to contribute to a solid program.”
Danford says he plans on majoring in business finance at Canisius.
The Golden Griffins play in the Atlantic Hockey conference along with noted national powers Air Force, RIT and Sacred Heart. Canisius currently sits in fifth in the ten-team conference with a record of 13-9-4 in 2009-10.
Danford’s commitment extends the Bobcats’ team record for D-I commits in one season to ten players, joining Jason Fabian (Air Force), Casey Kleisinger (Air Force), Ryan Jacobson (Air Force), Aaron Quick (Air Force), Gavin Hartzog (Wisconsin), Tom McCarthy (Merrimack), Sam Rendle (Bemidji State), Tony Turgeon (alumnus, Nebraska-Omaha) and Blake Hietala (alumnus, Michigan Tech) on the 2009-10 Bobcat college list.
The Bobcats are on the road this weekend for a two-game series against the Albert Lea Thunder at Albert Lea Arena starting Friday at 7:30 PM.
“It used to be in the Central Division that you’d see the Thunder come up on the schedule and say ‘alright, four points,’” said Bobcats head coach Byron Pool, “but those days are long gone. [Thunder head coach] Chuck Linkenheld has that team completely turned around and they are right in the hunt for the division’s last playoff spot.”
Friday’s game will be broadcast locally on the radio home of Bobcat Hockey, Super Talk 1270, KLXX-AM, and worldwide at BismarckBobcats.com via B2 Networks. The pre-game show starts at 7:00 PM.
You won\’t want to miss any of the games this season, so order your Season Tickets, Family Packs and Group Nights today by calling the Bobcat Hockey Office at 701-222-3300 or by e-mailing the office for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.