skip navigation


By Rush PR, 01/19/19, 1:15PM EST



CHARLOTTE, NC: The Charlotte Rush are please to announce 2017-2018 USPHL Premier forward Blake Bennett has committed to American International College.  Bennett becomes the second former Charlotte Rush player to commit to play NCAA D-1 Hockey this week.  Blake will join former teammate Sam Best on campus next season. 

Bennett is one of six former Charlotte Rush players currently playing at the Tier II level for the Corpus Christi IceRays.  The IceRays who currently sit in 2nd place in their division are under the guidance of former Rush Head Coach Ryan Cruthers.  “While with the Rush our philosophy was always to develop players and move them to the highest level possible.  I was able to take those same beliefs with me to Corpus Christi and Blake is a perfect example of that.  Blake is an amazing story of perseverance” – Former HC Ryan Cruthers.  

Blake came to Charlotte needing guidance and a culture that would help him succeed on and off the ice.  “I could not be prouder of the man Blake has become over the last two years.  He decided that he wanted to change the course of his life and took action in order to do that.  He became dedicated to the gym, ice, classroom and community and in turn became a man I am very proud to coach”  

Posting 24 goals 28 assists 52 points in 42 games last season for the Charlotte Rush Bennett was won of the top point producers in the USPHL.   I can’t thank the Charlotte Rush enough for all they did for me in helping turn my life around.  Coach Cruthers believed in me and helped me become a man on and off the ice.  Everything in my life turned around playing for Coach Cruthers because he genuinely cared about me as a person and held me accountable” – Blake Bennett.  

The Charlotte Rush who are only in their 4th of existence have been a staple at the top of the USPHL standings while also being the leader in player development and advancement.  Former Head Coach Ryan Cruthers had this to say about his former program and the direction it is going.  “I am beyond proud of what we built in Charlotte and the number of talented players which come out of there.  We always put player advancement first and the wins second.  We were lucky enough to do both while I was there.  Our past teams had plenty of D-1 caliber players but just didn’t get the recognition” The former bench boss believes Sam and Blake will not be the last player from his time in Charlotte to earn NCAA D-1 recognition.  “This is the first two NCAA D-1 commits but I believe Charlotte has way more to come.  I was surprised after last season that none of our Rush players were picked at the Tier II level.  When I reached that level, I knew my guys were ready for the jump and I was happy to see them make my team.  Now watching them get NCAA D-1 attention proves that what we did in Charlotte works and will continue to work there.” 

Blake Bennett becomes the second player this week to commit to a NCAA D-1 school.  Blake committed himself to our process and the standard in which we hold our players to.  Seeing him receive the ultimate reward of a scholarship at the D-1 level is amazing.