(Photo Courtesy: Vicki Brown, MyLight Sports Photography)
PRINCE GEORGE – Prince George Spruce Kings defenceman Charlie Banquier (’02) recently announced he’s committed to Stonehill College, an NCAA Division I hockey program.
Stonehill College is located in Easton, Massachusetts, in the Greater Boston area. Last April, the school announced that they were promoting all their varsity programs to Division I for the 2022-23 academic year. The hockey program, which was elevated from Division II, is currently competing as an Independent, much like Arizona State and Lindenwood University.
“When I found out about Stonehill and their jump to D1, I thought it was interesting,” admits Banquier. “I thought it was cool that I could be a part of something new and lay the foundation for this program. Being part of a new program is amazing as you create the culture and pave the way for others. I’m really excited to be a part of it and can’t wait to get started.”
The Skyhawks completed the 2022-23 season with a record of 17-6-2, playing a schedule of opponents ranging from Division I to Division III.
For Banquier, the recruiting process began earlier in the season and had a number of schools express interest in him.
“I took all of the schools into consideration and talked it over with my family, coaches and advisor to see what would be the best fit for me. Talking with Stonehill, they had all great things to say about the school, the hockey program and the education. It was very hard to turn down. After thinking about it and talking it over, I believe it was the best fit for me and continuing my education and hockey career at Stonehill.”
When the Spruce Kings acquired Banquier from Odessa last June, he described himself as a two-way defenceman. And he has proven that in what will be his lone season in Prince George, being a physical presence in the defensive zone while proving to be skilled in the offensive zone and creating scoring opportunities.
“We are very proud of Charlie and he and his family are very deserving of this achievement,” said Spruce Kings head coach Alex Evin. “He has been a very durable addition as a 20-year-old to our defence core and a great teammate. We are very happy for Chuckie and wish him nothing but success at Stonehill.”
In 49 games this season, Banquier has scored six goals and 14 assists (20 points) and recently played in his 150th career game at the junior hockey level. Playing in the North American Hockey League with the Odessa Jackalopes last season, the Oakville, ON native scored 19 points (one goal, 18 assists) in 57 games while serving as an assistant captain.
“Charlie is a player that we had on our radar for a couple of seasons,” stated Spruce Kings general manager Mike Hawes. “He plays a very honest game and we knew that adding him to our lineup would give us a huge spark on the back end. He’s done that and more for us this season. He’s very deserving of this achievement and we’re thrilled for him.”
The Spruce Kings are proud of Charlie for this achievement as he looks towards the future of his hockey-playing career, and we look forward to his further contributions to our organization.