The Cardiff Devils are pleased to announce that netminder Ben Bowns will be back in a Cardiff Devils jersey for the 2019-20 season.
The 28-year-old from Rotherham first joined the Devils back in 2014 when the Calgary 4 took over the team and has been a crucial part of the success that the Devils have enjoyed in the last five years, backstopping the team to 2 league titles, 2 Playoff championships, 2 Challenge Cups and 3 Conference Titles.
Bowns posted a 91% save rate and 2.32 goals against average in 2018-19 while helping the team win another Playoff trophy with a man of the match performance in the final where he saved 34 of the 35 shots he faced. He played every league game and recorded a personal record of 9 shutouts during the season, taking his total shutout record for the Devils to 29 and breaking the franchise shutout record, previously held by Stevie Lyle who finished his impressive Devils career with 28 career shutouts.
Bownsy then led the charge for Team GB who after back to back gold medals, managed to stay in the top division of the world championships with a big win over France on the final game day. Ben made 230 saves during the tournament, setting a new record for most saves at the group stage of the IIHF world championships.
Head coach Andrew Lord is delighted by the return of his starting netminder: “Ben is so valuable to this team. What he has achieved here is nothing short of extraordinary and then add to that what he’s done with Team GB. He is our last line of defence and he gives the guys in front of him a lot of confidence.
"He played a lot of hockey last season and then added even more games with Team GB at the World Championships where again he played great. He wants to play every night; he is a competitor and we believe he is the guy that can lead us to more championships.
"Importantly, Bownsy isn’t just a great goalie, he is also a great guy who is very popular amongst his teammates and famous for his jokes and pranks in the locker-room. He is loved by the fan base and just such a crucial part of our success here in Cardiff and I couldn’t be happier that he’s back for another season."
On returning to Cardiff for another year, Ben said: “There is no club I want to play for in the UK besides Cardiff. This team, the management, the coach, the owners have looked after me for five years now and helped me improve into the player I am today. Wales has become home for me and my fiancée and we are so happy here.”
Bowns sat down with John Donovan to talk about the year that was and the season ahead: