Showing posts with label Shelby Amsley-Benzie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Shelby Amsley-Benzie. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

UND Women's Hockey Season Review

In a season of struggles during the first half of the season (9-9-2), the North Dakota Women's Hockey team managed to earn yet another 20 victory season, but once again are on the outside looking in when it comes to the NCAA tournament due to the automatic bid by CHA champion RIT.

Looking at the PairWise rankings, it made me think. Is it time to expand the NCAA tournament to 10 teams with two play in games between seeds 7-10? There are certainly questions that could be raised about this. Mercyhurst and Minnesota-Duluth were the two other 20 win teams that were on the outside looking in on selection Sunday and with the auto bid by RIT being a factor, let those four teams battle it out for seeds 7 and 8 and keep the rest of the tournament with the same structure it has now. Just a thought.

The story of the second half for UND had to be the play of Junior Goalie Shelby Amsley-Benzie, who set countless records for UND this season. She set the career victory record, eclipsing the 50 win mark with the two victories against Ohio State two weeks ago. She also holds the career shutout record at 14, single season shutout record at 9, but came just shy of the single season wins record, which she holds, with 18 victories on the season. Amsley-Benzie also would set the school shutout streak record at 297 minutes and 13 seconds.

This was also a season where the ladies in kelly green and white would play with heavy hearts. Early in the season, Sophomore Forward Lisa Marvin was struck by a wreckless driver while filling up her truck with gas on the side of the road after she had ran out. The injuries she would sustain forced her to have a few surgeries to help repair the damage, and would end her season, if not her hockey career. Since that moment, the team would pull the laces tighter and play for Lisa, which was a big motivating factor for their amazing second half run, that included 8 shutouts, one of which was against the Gophers.

Although the season didn't end the way they wanted to, there is still many positives to take from what looked like was going to be a very long season for UND.


Most Valuable Player: Shelby Amsley-Benzie
Amsley-Benzie set numerous team records this season, and her 8 shutouts since the turn of the calendar to 2015 are nothing to laugh at. She ended the season with a 1.21 goals against average and a .952 save percentage. She was also a top 10 finalist for the Patty Kaz Memorial Award, women's hockey's version of the Hobey Baker, and the only goalie to make the list this season. She would also record an assist during a game this year too making just Goalie Lexie Shaw the only player who dressed and played to not record a point.

Rookie of the Year:
No freshman would dress in the line-up this season so this award will not be given.

Offensive Player of the Year: Josefine Jakobsen
Jakobsen led the team in goals this season at 16, one more then Sophomore Amy Menke, and was the driving force down the stretch for this team's offense. Some may ask why team point leader Meghan Dufault, Becca Kohler, or game winning goals leader Amy Menke isn't the winner of this award, but Jakobsen's niche to find the net helped UND finish off many games this season.

Defensive Player of the Year: Shelby Amsley-Benzie
Keeping pucks out of the net is a big part of team defense and although the defensive core for this UND squad is one of the most talented in the country, it is hard to not give this to Amsley-Benzie, especially with her just under 300 minute shutout streak to end the season and her 9 shutouts this season.
Most Improved: Amy Menke
The sophomore forward had a year she will probably remember for a very long time. She was third in team scoring with 28 points, and would lead the team with 5 game winning goals. She would set career highs in goals (15), assists (13) and points (28). With her willingness to go to the net, I can only see these numbers going up in the future.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Amsley-Benzie Patty Kaz Top 10 Finalist

Goalie Shelby Amsley-Benzie is currently on a shutout streak of
roughly 268 consecutive minutes
As announced earlier today, the top 10 finalists for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, women's hockey version of the Hobey Baker, and UND goaltender Shelby Amsley-Benzie was on the finalist list, making her the third player in UND history to make it. Jocelyne and Monique Lamoureux are the other two.

Amsley-Benzie has had a season to remember for North Dakota as she is making history in the UND record books. She now holds the UND goaltending records in wins with 49, career and single season shutouts (14 career and 9 this season), and needs just three more victories to tie her previous single season wins record of 19.

With a 1.15 goals against average, and a .955 save percentage, Amsley-Benzie has been the constant since the turn of the calender to 2015. She is also currently on a school record shutout streak of just under 268 consecutive minutes dating back to the second game of the Minnesota series in early February.

However, much like the Hobey Baker, the voters also look at their off ice activities to take into account on how they vote. With Shelby Amsley-Benzie in her fourth year in the UND Engineering program and started to work for her Masters Degree, her 4.0 GPA is something that the committee will take into great consideration come voting time.

Here is the list of the top 10 finalists and where they go to school:

1. Shelby Amsley-Benzie      University of North Dakota
2. Hannah Brandt                   University of Minnesota
3. Dani Cameranesi                University of Minnesota
4. Rachel Ramsey                   University of Minnesota
5. Alex Carpenter                   Boston College
6. Emily Pfalzer                      Boston College
7. Haley Skarupa                    Boston College
8. Marie-Philip Poulin            Boston University
9. Brianne Jenner                    Cornell
10. Kendall Coyne                  Northeastern

This is a pretty big name list with a few Olympians, and probably future Olympians on the list. However, one thing Amsley-Benzie does have going for her is that she is the only goaltender to make the list, so one could say that she is the best goalie in the NCAA. I'd say her numbers are able to back that statement up as well. The award will be announced Frozen Four weekend, just like the Hobey Baker is.

UND Takes on OSU in WCHA First Round

The regular season is now over in NCAA Women's Hockey as conference playoff first rounds begin to fire up this weekend. For North Dakota, the stars seemingly are starting to get together and making the NCAA tournament a near reality this season.

With UND being the third seed, they get the advantage of home ice yet again this season in the first round with their opponent being Ohio State this weekend. Last time against OSU, goaltender Shelby Amsley-Benzie pitched back to back shutouts and now has eight since the turn to 2015, one of which was a 3-0 shutout against the "mighty" Minnesota Gophers.

One added bonus for UND this season is the WCHA Final Faceoff is at Ralph Engelstad Arena this season. The UND ladies need to take advantage of this bonus home ice if they wish to sneak into the NCAA tournament.

Along with the stout goaltending of Shelby Amsley-Benzie, the depth of scoring on the roster is quite remarkable. Every player who has suited up for one game this season has recorded at least one point, and this includes goalie Amsley-Benzie who has one assist on the season. There are also five players above the 20 point mark on the season. Both senior forwards, Captain Andrea Dalen, and Josefine Jakobsen are among the top five in scoring. Jakobsen does hold the team lead in goals with 15.

In order for UND to advance to the Final Faceoff next weekend, North Dakota needs to continue to have great goaltending, and they also need their seniors to lead the way and keep the sense of urgency alive, although still showing some composure by staying out of the penalty box.

UND wins this series 2 games to 0, but both wins are one goal games, two if an empty net goal is scored.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

UND WHKY: Border battle

Grand Forks, N.D. -- Rewind to Nov. 21 of last year and the North Dakota women's hockey was on a eight-game winless skid. The team was swept by the Minnesota Gopher powerhouse and the newly revitalized Bemidji State program. They had a loss and a tie against Wisconsin.

Nothing seemed to be going right at that point in the season. But since Dec. 12, the team has gone 8-1-1. Most recently tallying back-to-back sweeps of Ohio State and BSU. Last weekend North Dakota was able to pull off a in and tie against the University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs.

The games that North Dakota has won as of late haven't been high scoring or glamorous, but the program has done enough of the right things to claw themselves back from sixth place in the WCHA to fourth.

The keys to UND's success have been the defense and being backstopped by junior goaltender Shelby Amsley-Benzie. Amsley-Benzie has allowed only four goals in the last six games and has three shutouts against nationally ranked opponents. She has also been named WCHA Defensive Player of the Week twice since the beginning of 2015.

Currently North Dakota trails Minnesota Duluth in the WCHA standings by three points and is ranked 10th in the Pairwise with only six games remaining in the regular season.

This weekend North Dakota will face rival Minnesota on Friday at 7:07 p.m. and Saturday at 4:07 p.m.. The Gophers are 17-1-4 with the lone loss to Bemidji in Nov. of last year. If UND plans to be successful this weekend against the Gophers they will need carry momentum from the past three weeks and have exceptional goaltending and defense.

UND is hoping to pack The Ralph and break last year's attendance record. Attendees will receive one of these ridiculously fun(ny) foam stick hats. Tickets are available for $1 at The Ralph box office.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Shelby Amsley-Benzie, WCHA Defensive Player of the Week

Congrats to UND junior goalie Shelby Amsley-Benzie for being named the WCHA defensive player of the week.

WCHA Defensive Player of the Week
Shelby Amsley-Benzie, Jr., G, North Dakota (Warroad, Minn.)
Amsley-Benzie continued her run of stellar play, backstopping North Dakota to a five-point weekend at No. 6 Minnesota Duluth. The junior from Warroad, Minn. recorded her fourth shutout of the season – third against a nationally-ranked opponent – when she stopped all 30 shots faced Friday in a 1-0 victory. She then followed up her shutout performance with a 25-save effort Saturday, helping UND to a 2-2 tie and shootout victory. North Dakota’s netminder helped her team’s penalty kill go a perfect 6-for-6 on the weekend, stopping 10 shots while short-handed. Amsley-Benzie currently leads the nation with a .949 save percentage. Since Jan. 1, she tops the country with both a .971 save percentage and 0.71 goals against average.

Also nominated: Ann-Renée Desbiens, So., G, Wisconsin

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Women's Hockey Week One: What We Learned

As the regular season opened last weekend for the UND Women's Hockey Team, we saw a lot of things that are needing to be addressed, some good and some bad. With a split on the weekend, the team would take an early big hit in the pairwise rankings seeing as both games were non-conference.

Friday night the offense was put on display as they fired seven goals past the RPI goaltender. Becca Kohler showed a net front presence once again, leading the team with a hat trick. Sophomore Marissa Salo finally was able to find the net Friday night too. The hard working Salo not only would net her first goal, but get two as well. This was a long time coming for her and it showed UND's depth off very well.

The downside to Friday was the penalties. However, as UND Women's Hockey fans, we should be used to this right? Although they did not surrender a power play goal on the 11 opportunities that RPI was given, still 11 penalties is something that no team wants to have. When it comes to WCHA play, there needs to be a stress on discipline, or it could be a very long season that will have an early end.

Shelby Amsley-Benzie looked like she was in mid season form already, making 20 saves on 21 shots against. She was square to the puck, didn't leave out many rebounds, and seemed very relaxed in her junior season opener. Playing like this, she could be stealing a lot of games for UND this season.

There wasn't many good things to say about Saturday night. It looked as if a completely different team was on the ice. Not many passes were being completed. Terrible turnovers in the defensive zone were committed and the offense looked powerless. I am not docking the play of Vermont because they played very well, but if UND was playing their best game, the score would have likely been very different.

Not one player stood out as excellent Saturday night and very few stood out as decent at that. The top line of Becca Kohler, Meghan Dufault, and Josefine Jakobsen did combine for the lone UND goal, but that would be about all they had to offer. They did have a couple of very late scoring chances, however were not able to put one in. Gracen Hirschy is the player who stood out the most for me, playing the most consistent game out of everyone.

Two of the three Vermont goals were the cause of two very terrible defensive zone turnovers giving goalie Lexie Shaw no chance what so ever to make a save. Breakouts were sloppy and passing was way off target in the Saturday night loss.

If we learned anything from opening weekend, is that game play consistency between nights needs to be way better, or this season could be a very long one up in Grand Forks.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

UND versus OSU game two lines

UND Forward Lines

10 Andrea Dalen –17 Jocelyne Lamoureux (C) –19 Meghan Dufault
3 Michelle Karvinen (A) –63 Josefine Jakobsen—91 Ashley Furia
15 Megan Gilbert –51 Becca Kohler –13 Layla Marvin
6 Allison Parizek – 2 Mary Loken – 11 Shannon Kaiser

UND Defense Pairings

4 Sam LaShomb – 18 Monique Lamoureux (A)
22 Tanja Esenschmid – 8 Samantha Hanson
7 Jordan Slavin – 16 Tori Williams

UND goalies

1 –Shelby Amsley-Benzie
30 Jorid Dagfinrud
33 Michelle Bonapace-Potvin

OSU Buckeye Forward lines

23 – Tina Hollowell (A) – 15 Minttu Tuominen (A) – 25 Paige Semenza (A)
19 Danielle Gagne – 6 Taylor Kuehl –4 Ally Tarr
12 Hokey Langan (C) – 7 Kayla Sullivan – 17 Julia McKinnon
 (No Forward)—16 Melani Moylan—16 Melani Moylan

OSU Buckeye Defense Pairings

20 Kari Schmitt –22 Sara Schmitt
27 Annie Svedin – 14 Becky Allis
9 Bryanna Neuwald – 10 Kara Gust
2 Cara Zubko 

 OSU Buckeye goalies

31 – Chelsea Knapp
39 – Stacy Danczak

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Saturday, October 06, 2012

UND Women’s Hockey the day after

From Sioux Sports this morning on the UND Women’s Hockey team losing a two goal lead and the game against the MSUM Mavericks… @pucknut9 on last night’s loss, “looks like the women have been reading too many headlines as they lose 3-2 to MSU.” Mea Culpa.  
Also, another good point from @pucknut9 “hell of a comeback for sure, I mean give credit where credit is due instead of some of these posters blaming the refs.”
Good words of advice from a guy that I have a lot of respect for – winners will look answers and not excuses… In this case the UND women will regroup and make the proper adjustments and you didn't hear any excuses last night for their performance.
I am not going to kid anyone – I have to admit that I thought the officiating was questionable at times myself, someone from my twitter account might have tweeted something along those lines as well last night.
But I digress.
I don’t think the officiating is the reason the UND women lost the game last night… I blame a plethora of things… I saw young players try to force pucks in instances where later in the season they wouldn’t make that pass. There also many opportunities in the blue paint and in the slot that weren’t capitalized on.
When the refs are calling the game tight last night – what’s new?  It’s the player’s responsibility to make adjustments to how the game is called – that didn’t happened last night.
Also, the MSUM defenders were relentless and this was actually the first time that I have ever seen the “trap” played at a women’s game – the Mavericks were miserable team to play against.
Let’s give credit where credit is due the Mavericks got into the shooting zones – pressured the defenseman and their goaltender Danielle Butters was very good and made the big saves and stopping 18 out of 20 shots and she was big late in the game when she had to be… Luck was also on her side and one of the twins had her beat glove side late in the game only to see it puck clank off of the iron.
I can tell you based on the head coaches’ body language and by his comments last night during the postgame conference that Brian Idalski was “less” than pleased about his team’s play during their game.
“I thought we were a little sloppy and I thought we were way too cute and down the stretch we made some poor decision defensively that ending up costing us pretty big,”
I don’t think that any of us are worried though because Brian Idalski is a good hockey coach and he will make adjustments and I expect the team to be much better this afternoon against the Mavericks.
There were some positive points to take out of last night’s game.
Freshman forward Becca Kohler from St. Thomas Ontario is going to be a big time forward and she showed glimpses of greatness.
Freshman goalie Shelby Amsley-Benzie was very good in her debut and I predict that we will see her again between the pipes very soon.
Freshman Leah Jensen didn’t look out of place and seemed to do well in the pressure position playing on the wing with Jocelyne and Monique Lamoureux.