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Adult Skills Camp Participant Debuts Helmet Cam

by Tony Jovenitti / Pittsburgh Penguins
Hockey players often say that it would be nice to have an extra set of eyes on the ice. So one participant in the Penguins’ annual Adult Hockey Skills Clinic brought an unblinking eye – a video camera – and mounted it to the top of his helmet to help him improve his game.

Bill Bennett donned a helmet cam on Friday night during the Penguins' Adult Hockey Skills Clinic.
Bill Bennett enjoys broadcasting and editing, in addition to playing hockey, during his spare time. So he used his technology knowledge to fasten a small camera to the top of his helmet as he recorded Friday night’s session of the clinic.

He said the idea came to him on a snowmobile ride. 

“I used the helmet cam already on my snowmobile, so I thought, ‘wow, that’s not the only place you can use that,’” he said.

He plans to use the footage to improve his own game, and to possibly pioneer a movement within the sport to use this type of camera as a teaching tool.

“It goes so fast on the ice and I love to capture what happens, good or bad, so I can look later and see,” he said. “When you wear the helmet you can’t see what you’re doing, but at least you can see everything else around you and maybe get an idea of how you react. I wanted to be able to reconstruct what I saw in slow motion and hopefully try to improve.”

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He plans on giving the tapes to the Penguins to try to improve the sport in the region.

“Anything they can use is all the better to help the Pens organization to grow the education program that they have,” he said.

This was the first Penguins amateur event that he attended, but he plans on participating in the annual fantasy camp this year – perhaps with the helmet camera on somebody else’s head.

“One day I hope somebody will follow me with it so I can see how I’m doing,” he said.

Bill Bennett hopes to have someobody wear his helmet cam at Adult Fantasy Camp in February.

Bennett hails from Detroit, but he was impressed with the Penguins when he moved to Pittsburgh.

“Coming here to Pittsburgh was just awesome to see how the Pens are doing,” he said. “They have so many great benevolent programs and educational programs. I think they’re setting the bar high for the whole NHL. It’s awesome being part of this town.”

With his participation in the skills clinic comes two tickets to the Penguins’ preseason game against Columbus, but it won’t be the first game that Bennett has enjoyed in CONSOL Energy Center. He attended the first-ever game there on Wednesday night when the Penguins defeated Detroit – his former hometown team – 5-1. But his allegiances lie with Pittsburgh now.

“Don’t tell my friends in Michigan, but I’ve made the transition and I’m pretty much 100 percent Penguins now.”

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