PHILADELPHIA – The Calder Cup Champion Philadelphia Phantoms announced that former Trenton center Ben Stafford has announced his retirement to enroll at Jefferson Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.
In his first professional season in 2001-02, Stafford was selected to the ECHL All-Star Game, named to the ECHL All-Rookie Team and voted as the recipient of the ECHL Sportsmanship Award, scoring 61 points (22g-39a) in 56 regular season games with Trenton. He also played in the AHL in 2001-02, scoring 16 points (4g-12a) in 24 regular games and appearing in two playoff games with Providence while also playing one game with Philadelphia and one games with Saint John.
The 26-year-old Stafford ends his career ranked sixth on the Phantoms career list for games played with 234 and ranks 16th with 94 points (39g-55a). He appeared in all 80 games twice in three years with Philadelphia and also appeared in all 21 playoff games in 2005, helping the Phantoms capture their second American Hockey League title by scoring the winning goal in the decisive Game Four of the finals.
He played the entire 2002-03 season with Philadelphia scoring 27 points (12g-15a) in 80 regular season games and scored 32 points (12g-20a) in 73 regular season games and had one goal in 12 postseason games for the Phantoms in 2003-04.