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Dubuque Defenseman Commits to Northeastern University

Friday November 9, 2012

Dubuque Fighting Saints defenseman Matt Benning. (photos courtesy of the Dubuque Fighting Saints)

Dubuque Fighting Saints defenseman Matt Benning has committed to play college hockey at Northeastern University following his USHL career.

Benning has recorded five points (2g, 3a) through 11 games this season.  He scored his first USHL goal in his first game on September 28th during the 4-1 victory over Tri-City.  One week later in his second game, he netted the game-winner in the 2-0 victory against Fargo.  Benning has also earned a plus-eight rating which is tied for fifth among all USHL defensemen. 

The 18-year-old from St. Albert, Alberta was selected by the Boston Bruins in the sixth round (175th overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft.  He will be close to the Bruins organization when he gets to the Boston-based Northeastern University, and close to his uncle, Jim Benning, who is the Assistant GM of the NHL team.  Dubuque Fighting Saints part-owner Peter Chiarelli is the GM of the Boston Bruins.

Benning’s commitment comes shortly after his Saints teammate Mike Szmatula also committed to the school.  Their teammate John Stevens had previously chosen Northeastern University to continue his hockey career.

Six other current USHL players have also committed to the school; Garrett Cockerill (Des Moines Buccaneers), Zach Aston-Reese (Lincoln Stars), Ross Olsson (Lincoln Stars), Daniel Willett (Lincoln Stars), William Messa (Muskegon Lumberjacks), and Jason Cotton (Tri-City Storm).

Northeastern University is a member of Hockey East and 13 USHL alumni are on the Huskies roster this season; Mike Gunn (Youngstown Phantoms), Adam Reid (Team USA), Garrett Vermeersch (Lincoln Stars), Kevin Roy (Lincoln Stars), Ryan Belonger (Youngstown Phantoms), Ben Oskroba (Lincoln Stars), Colton Saucerman (Lincoln Stars), Clay Witt (Sioux Falls Stampede), Dax Lauwers (Lincoln Stars), Ludwig Karlsson (Green Bay Gamblers), Cam Darcy (Team USA), Vinny Saponari (Dubuque Fighting Saints), and Robbie Vrolyk (Sioux Falls Stampede).

USHL stats – Matt Benning


Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 11th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2012-13.  With 18 NHL Draft picks on team rosters and over 200 players already committed to NCAA Division I schools this season, the USHL has emerged as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.  For more information, visit us on the web at www.USHL.com or visit the League’s social media platforms, including Facebook (www.facebook.com/ushlhockey), twitter (www.twitter.com/ushl), and YouTube (www.youtube.com/ushlinteractive).  Fans can also watch USHL action all season long, live or on-demand via FASTHockey (ushl.fasthockey.com).

It’s not just hockey. It’s the USHL.

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