Monday, October 30, 2017

Benton Maass: Leading UNH Scorer & Freshman Scorer in Nation

Benton Maass
UNH Freshman Defenseman

When I spoke with UNH freshman Benton Maass during the preseason Media Day, he was realistic about the challenges of becoming a top college hockey player:
"I'd say the biggest adjustment I'll need to make is to the speed. It's such a big jump playing against high school players that are 15, 16, 17 years old and to come out here and play against guys who are 18 to 24 years old. Last year, I played junior hockey (Fairbanks Ice Dogs) before and after my senior season at Elk River (Minnesota) high school and got a little bit of an adjustment period. And now, I've had about a month of captain's practices and regular practice which has helped a lot in adjusting to the speed - the faster pace of play."
He was also determined in expressing his personal goals for his future at UNH:
"I would say it's doing my best to help the team get back to that level of hockey that UNH is known for. Whether it be regular season or tournament championships in Hockey East. Obviously, our main goal is to get to the National Championship, to win the National Championship. Whatever role coach puts me in, my goal is to play that role to the best of my ability and to get UNH back to where it's been in the past."
One month into his freshman season, it's obvious the 18-year-old Maass has adjusted quite well to the college game. Over the course of three Hockey East and four non-conference games, Maass has distributed at least one assist in six games for an overall total of 9 assists. Two assists came on the UNH power play.

As of today, the UNH Wildcats have compiled a record of 5-1-1 and are ranked #13 in the National Poll. Right-shot, freshman defenseman Benton Maass is UNH's leading scorer. He has the second most assists in the nation. Among all freshmen playing Division I hockey, Maass is tied for the lead in scoring. All on the strength of 9 assists in 7 games. Here are two of his assists - the first against UMass Lowell at home showed Maass' puck-carrying and passing abilities. The second from the 4-4 tie against Vermont last Saturday came off a rebound of Maass' shot from the point:

Maass, a 6th round draft pick of the Washington Capitals, is also playing well in the defensive zone. His overall +/- rating is +5, second on the team behind sophomore forward Liam Blackburn (+6). He has blocked 10 shots, second to fellow defenseman Cam Marks (16). Finally, he is the only UNH defenseman who has not been penalized.

It's important to note that three of UNH's top scorers - Benton Maass (9 points, 1st), Max Gildon (8, Tied 2nd) and Charlie Kelleher (7, 3rd) - are all freshman. Gildon is tied for 2nd in NCAA goal-scoring with 6 and tied for 3rd in power play goals (3). Among all NCAA freshmen, Gildon has scored the most goals and most power play goals. Over the last 2 games, 5 out of the 6 UNH freshmen - Maass, Gildon, Kelleher, Eric MacAdams, and Kohei Sato - have played. Only freshman backup goalie Mike Robinson, has yet to play a game.

UNH returns to Hockey East action on Saturday at the University of Masschusetts.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Web Site Hit Counter

Firefox 2