Through the struggles and the triumphs, Sam Bennett’s four seasons in Calgary have been well documented.
But at the moment — especially after Saturday’s game winner in a 4 2 win over the visiting Vancouver Canucks — the 21 year old Calgary Flames forward is in the limelight for all of the right reasons.
Points in six of his last seven games.
And three goals and seven assists for 10 points in that span.
Life is good for Bennett, and it’s almost made up for his frustratingly slow start, which saw him notch only one point in the Flames first 16 games of the 2017 18 campaign.
But what isn’t known is his commitment to the community this season — a quiet contribution which exemplifies how Bennett has embraced his position in the National Hockey League.
The newest Flames ambassador for ‘Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids,’ Bennett has embarked on a path already paved by the team’s leadership group which includes Mark Giordano, TJ Brodie, Mikael Backlund, Matt Stajan and Travis Hamonic, all of whom are making a difference.
The program and its volunteers helps feed or supplement the diets of children in the city’s school system who would otherwise go without or not receive the nourishment they need.
To kick things off , Bennett donated 10,000 which was matched by the Calgary Flames Foundation and has been raising awareness for the BB4CK organization. He’ll also be visiting schools and volunteering to make lunches with an upcoming visit happening Friday.
In the new year, he’ll be launching a social campaign which is to engage Calgarians with BB4CK and the need within the city.
“I just started,” Bennett said with a grin, after Saturday’s victory — a much needed eighth win at home which gave the Flames a 8 8 0 record at the Saddledome. “It provides kids throughout the whole community that can’t afford lunches. The program’s able to give them lunches and provide for over 3,000 kids.”
Bennett, a fourth overall selection of the Flames in 2014, has called Calgary home since — officially — the 2015 16 season. Following his draft year, the native of Richmond Hill https://www.cgyflamesfans.com/mikael-backlund-jersey-c-23.html, Ont., underwent shoulder surgery and was dispatched back to the Ontario Hockey League’s Kingston Frontenacs to gain his conditioning after rehab. He was summoned to the Flames before the 2015 NHL playoffs and has been with the club ever since.
On the ice, this season hasn’t always been easy for Bennett.
But, off the ice, his focus turned elsewhere this campaign.
“I was just looking to help out in the community some way . . . to start when Bennett joined the Flames , I was just in a new city and a new team,” he said. “You just want to adjust a little bit. But now Kris Versteeg Jersey, I’ve been here for four years and I want to get involved in any way I can with the community.”
As for his contributions with the Flames, Bennett seems to have turned a corner and appears to have left his early season struggles behind him.
Playing on a line with Mark Jankowski and Garnet Hathaway, the three were producing energy and providing production on Saturday.
“ My linemates have been unbelievable,” said Bennett, who has four goals and three assists in 30 games this season. “They both play with so much heart and so much energy. They’re battling and getting pucks, and it makes it so much easier.
“It feels good. Obviously I want to help our team with producing, and that’s part of my game. It definitely feels good.”
And it’s good for the Flames who have been desperate for secondary scoring in recent weeks.
“For me, it’s changed probably 12 or 13 games ago,” said Flames head coach Glen Gulutzan of Bennett’s play. “You could see he was trending in the right direction when it comes to chances and creating chances, and he was doing a heckuva job, but it just wasn’t going in for him. Now, he’s going to get results. That’s a good sign for our hockey club and a real good sign for Benny.”
As for the team, Saturday’s victory was the Flames’ second straight and gave them points in three games. They’ll practise Monday at the Scotiabank Saddledome before a one game road trip to Minnesota to play the Wild Tuesday 6 p.m. https://www.cgyflamesfans.com/customize-jersey-c-24.html, Sportsnet West/Sportsnet 960 The Fan .
“It’s huge,” said Bennett of the win which improved the Flames to 16 12 2. “We knew coming into this game that it was a big one for our team. I liked our game, even when we knew we were down. We didn’t change anything, and we stayed with it. It was a good come from behind win.
“We know we’re a lot better than we’ve shown on home ice so we hope this is going to turn the corner at him for us.”