Duane Dennis

Duane Dennis was born in Edmonton, Alberta, and first put on a pair of skates when he was two years old. Lucky for Acadia his love of the game grew exponentially after that.
Duane later moved to the Okanagan Valley in B.C. and had a successful junior career with the Vernon Lakers, winning the Centennial Cup in 1990. He arrived on the Acadia campus that year and joined Norm Batherson, George Dupont, Colin Gregor and Jeff MacLeod to name a few on Axemen squads that would achieve unprecedented levels of success and accomplishment.
Duane scored 16 goals and had 38 points in his first season as an Axeman. The team took the Kelly Division in his second year and knocked off UPEI in two games after an exciting double overtime, shorthanded breakaway game-winning goal. Losing to Alberta in the national final was tough, but Duane’s performance didn’t go unnoticed as he was named a tournament all-star.
The next season was even better. Acadia lost only two games and returned to nationals, where they would beat the Alberta Golden Bears 9-6 in the semi-final. However, the team did it without Duane as he was laid up in a Halifax hospital due to a severe infection from a skate cut on his leg sustained in the AUAA final vs. UNB. But it healed quickly and he arrived in time to suit up and help Acadia claim the national championship with a 12-1 victory over University of Toronto.
That summer, Duane received an invitation to the Chicago Blackhawks training camp. He was later released and decided not to walk away from his education. He came back to Acadia to finish his Business degree in ’94 and had a career season. He notched 35 goals and 39 assists for 74 points in 26 regular season games, won the national scoring race and set Acadia records for goals and points scored in a single season. The Axemen returned to nationals thinking of back-to-back titles, but it wasn’t to be. They lost in the semi-finals, but once again Duane earned a spot on the tournament all-star team, was All-Canadian and awarded the Senator Joseph A. Sullivan Award as the CIAU’s Player of the Year. He was also nominated that year for the CIS/BLG Award as national Athlete of the Year.
After his Acadia career, Duane played roller hockey in Tampa Bay, FL with some of his fellow Axemen teammates, and was invited to the Edmonton Oilers’ training camp. He signed a two-way deal and returned to the Maritimes, playing for the Cape Breton Oilers in the AHL. After one year there, Duane went to Europe, where he played the remainder of his professional career. He was joined by his girlfriend and now wife Suzanne, another Acadia graduate, and over the next eight years played in Switzerland, Italy and Germany. Duane also teamed up and played for a time with Batherson in Germany. He was a member of Team Canada’s gold medal winning squad at the 1996 Spengler Cup in Davos, Switzerland. Jeff McLeod was a teammate.
Duane ended his professional hockey career in Germany in 2004. He and Suzanne settled in Vernon, B.C. and have two daughters, Katie and Sophie. Duane is employed with Accenture Business Services. The Acadia Sports Hall of Fame is pleased to induct All-Canadian and CIAU Player of the Year Duane Dennis in the athlete category.