TAK­ING FLIGHT

Duffy turns pro­fes­sional with Ital­ian hockey team

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE - BY JA­SON MAL­LOY

Ben Duffy, the P.E.I. Rocket’s all-time lead­ing scorer, turns pro­fes­sional with Ital­ian hockey team

Mr. Rocket is go­ing to Italy. Ben Duffy, the P.E.I. Rocket’s all-time lead­ing scorer, has signed a one-year deal with the WSV Sterz­ing Broncos Wei­hen­stephan for the up­com­ing sea­son.

“I’ve been told for a long time that my game, the way I play, suits the Euro­pean style,” Duffy said Tues­day. “I have a lot of ex­pec­ta­tions for my­self to go over there and be a top scorer on the team and in the league.”

The 25-year-old Lower Sackville, N.S., na­tive played five sea­sons with the Rocket from 2008-09 to 2012-13. He had 39 goals and 71 as­sists for 110 points in 68 games to lead the Que­bec Ma­jor Ju­nior Hockey League in scor­ing dur­ing his fi­nal sea­son. He didn’t miss a game dur­ing his fi­nal four sea­sons in the red, white and blue.

Duffy played 21 games be­tween Hamil­ton (AHL) and Wheel­ing (ECHL) his first sea­son out of ju­nior be­fore turn­ing his at­ten­tion to univer­sity. He played two and a half sea­sons with the Saint Mary’s Huskies be­fore com­plet­ing his com­merce de­gree ear­lier this year and play­ing seven games with Wi­chita (ECHL) to end the sea­son.

Duffy said bal­anc­ing univer­sity stud­ies and hockey is a lot of work, but he is glad to have his de­gree and is look­ing for­ward to the next step in his hockey ca­reer.

“I knew the time would come if I still worked hard in univer­sity, (the At­lantic Univer­sity Sport is) an awe­some league, that I would still have op­por­tu­ni­ties,” he said. “I’m fully ready to take that step pro­fes­sion­ally and re­ally ex­cited to get over to Italy.”

Duffy’s agent lives in Europe and had con­nec­tions with the Ital­ian team. They worked out the con­tract and Duffy will be head­ing to Italy in early to midAu­gust.

“I’ve never been to Europe, so it’s ob­vi­ously a life op­por­tu­nity to get to play over there,” he said. “Most im­por­tantly, the rea­son I am go­ing over is be­cause I think (with) the way they play and the style of game, I can be suc­cess­ful and I can help the team out a lot.”

JA­SON MAL­LOY/THE GUARDIAN

Ben Duffy, who played for the Saint Mary’s Huskies the past three sea­sons, is go­ing to play in Italy this year.

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