In the early history of the CWHL Draft, two college teammates from the Mercyhurst Lakers program in Erie, Pennsylvania may prove to be the greatest acquisitions in the history of the Brampton hockey club.
Vicki Bendus and Bailey Bram are not only a big part of the future for Brampton, but have already helped Canada claim the gold medal at the 2012 IIHF Women’s World Championship.
Bendus was the fourth pick overall in the 2011 Draft, a draft which saw Lakers teammates Meghan Agosta and Jesse Scanzano also go among the top five overall picks.
Bram was selected eighth in the 2012 Draft, a draft in which Lakers teammates Hillary Pattenden (first overall) and Kelley Steadman (24th overall) were also selected.
Teammates together at Mercyhurst from 2008 to 2011, Bram and Bendus were part of a Lakers team that accumulated a record of 90-12-3 in that time. This dynamic duo was a key factor in the Lakers winning three College Hockey America regular seasons and three postseason titles.
Statistically, the two amassed a combined 291 points in their three seasons as teammates. Bendus had 158 points (50 goals and 108 assists) and Bram had 133 (60 goals and 73 assists).
That productivity is now paying dividends for Brampton during the 2012-13 CWHL season.
Representing a new crop of remarkable talent in the CWHL, Bendus and Bram are recreating the magic that made them such accomplished players with the magnificent Mercyhurst Lakers.
By the end of November, the two were not only the top scoring leaders for Brampton, but first and third in the league overall. As of the first week of December 2012, Bendus sat first overall with 12, while Bram had 10 points (one point behind Boston’s Hilary Knight for second overall).
Of great benefit for them is the opportunity to learn from Brampton’s veteran duo of Jayna Hefford and Gillian Apps, both multiple-gold-medalists in the Winter Games.
Although Brampton has struggled early in the season against the likes of the Boston Blades (who sit first overall in the CWHL standings) and a revamped Toronto Furies squad, Bendus and Bram provide reason to believe that the season still holds great potential for Brampton.