Alaska Aces broadcast voice Mike Benton, who has called three ECHL All-Star Games and enters his ninth season behind the mic in professional hockey, files this first installment of his new blog entry. He'll be dropping in from time to time at AlaskaAces.com.
Hello, dear reader.
Let’s cut right to the chase. I’m new here.
And I couldn’t be prouder to be here.
Roughly three and a half weeks ago, a call came from the Alaska Aces that would change my life. It was an offer to come to Anchorage and become the Aces’ new television and radio play-by-play announcer. With that, a career path has been transformed and a lifestyle has been reformed.
Much like Josh Bogorad (a great colleague and better friend), it’ll also be an adjustment from a much warmer climate.
We’re both Los Angeles natives.
We came to this job from an atmosphere that includes flip flops and a high air conditioning bill.
That’s changing now, thanks to the concept of layers and snow tires. Who wouldn’t want to entrench themself around these parts, offering passionate fans, an intense community bond and a dominating history that ranks among professional hockey’s elite?
It means the chance has arrived to engage with viewers and listeners each and every night on a terrific radio partner in KFQD and a wonderful, budding television outlet.
I’m very well aware of the bond that Jack Michaels and Josh made with Aces fans around here. My mission: keep that going.
To get a broadcast routine like this? Amazing.
We’ve all witnessed the amazing feats of resonant names like Scott, Daniels, Underhill, Lamoureux, Soares, Schmidt, Goldie, Shasby and more. And around here, it’s common to not be waiting very long for the next moment of glacier blue greatness.
With that, you’ll be hearing from me around these parts when we’re off the air. I tend to find myself as a very expressive personality and love engaging with friends in hockey. Many of us have an insatiable appetite for updates on this wonderful game. No better place to take advantage of that than the internet, eh?
That’s why this blog exists. Around my previous employers, a dedicated online video channel was also developed. That’s another goal here. And by the way, I’m also reachable on Twitter.
A few tidbits about me:
- I’m 32.
- An Aunt (Lavonne) and Uncle (Jerry) have lived in Anchorage since the 1970’s, which made the transition here for my family a pretty welcoming one.
- Speaking of: I’m bringing a wife (Amy) up here – we were married in 2011 (true story: one day before Josh and Andi Bogorad tied the knot). She was a resident of California her entire life up to this point, but loves the beauty of mountain ranges and snow – so she’ll be adjusting very quickly!
- A previous connection with the Aces NHL affiliate, Calgary Flames: my broadcast experience extends to several games involving Flames prospects at the 2010 and 2011 Young Stars Classic. Typically, you get to see a handful of these players in the ECHL, not too long after the tournament. I’m sure you’re wondering who the Aces will get, down the road. We don't know. Only time will tell.
- I’m a Subway-aholic.
- First hockey experience, in the working world: interning with the Los Angeles Kings for the 2000-01 season. Getting the feet wet professionally around icons like Rob Blake, Luc Robitaille, TV voice Bob Miller and more was an experience that will never be forgotten.
- Despite a seafood allergy (covered on the “Bob and Mark Show” two weeks ago), I’m not worried. Reindeer sausage is pretty good.
- There’s plenty of blue in the suit wardrobe. No problem with synching team colors!
Less than one month until The Sully gets rocking again and the cowbells ring. I hope to see you out there.