Defenceman Moe Benoit, a gold medallist for Canada at the 1959 IIHF World Championship and silver medallist at the 1960 Olympics, passed away in Dayton, Ohio, on December 10. He was 81 years old.
Benoit was born in Valleyfield, Quebec, and played three years of senior hockey with the Belleville McFarlands (1956-59). It was during this period that he won the Allan Cup (in 1958) with the McFarlands, and the team went to Czechoslovakia to play at the World Championship. Canada won seven of eight games and finished ahead of the Soviet Union thanks to a 3-1 win during the round robin.
Canadaís only loss was to the Czechoslovaks on the final day, but the team had already won gold by the time they played.
That highly-talented McFarlands team was coached by Ike Hildebrand and included Red Berenson, J-P Lamirande, Al Dewsbury, and goalie Marv Edwards. Yet, when the Kitchener-Waterloo Dutchmen qualified to represent Canada at the Olympics the next year in California, it was Benoit alone whom they invited to join their team, needing help on the blue line more than up front. A shocking loss to the United States put the team in second place on the podium.
Benoit was offered a spot with Omaha in the IHL with a team partially owned by the Montreal Canadiens, which is how he came to leave Belleville. When the team moved to Toledo, he did, too, as a player coach. In the teamís first year the Blades won their first of two Turner Cup championships under Benoit.
Benoit played in the IHL for a decade, the last four years with the Dayton (Ohio) Gems, an expansion team. It was during this time that Benoit got a job with Guild & Landis, an insurance company, and it was there he lived the rest of his life.
Benoit and his wife had seven children, ten grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. He was inducted into the Dayton Hall of Fame for his contributions locally, but it was his play internationally for Canada that will be forever remembered.