Northern Star: Ben Steeves
Steeves leads the team with 16 goals through 27 games.
DULUTH, Minn.- When you hear the name Ben Steeves, it’s often associated with his knack for finding the net. The freshman accounts for almost a quarter of the Bulldogs goals so far this season.
Steeves, a freshman out of Bedford, New Hampshire, has taken the ice for UMD and made an immediate impact, leading the team with 16 goals through the first 27 games.
“I just continue to shoot the puck, and always being a shooter is important and that’s what Coach Sandelin emphasizes. So, I definitely don’t stop shooting and I just keep that added to my game,” says Steeves.
His ability to score has given Steeves and unusual opportunity as a freshman, finding himself skating as part of the starting lineup on game day.
“My goal really coming in was just to be in the line up every night and eliminate turnovers and rather than, even just having positive shifts, just eliminating the negative shifts and having neutral and positive shifts, and when a coach gets your trust like that you can be put out in situations where, maybe a freshman wouldn’t be put out in,” says Steeves.
“A competitive player, obviously saw some goal scoring ability for sure but I love his compete level, he plays very emotional, in a good way. He’s had a great year so far for us, has a really good first half, 12 goals, nice to see him get back on the score sheet last weekend,” says head coach Scott Sandelin.
In last weekend’s series, Steeves netted four goal, including a hat trick in Game One, in the Bulldogs sweep over No. 1 St. Cloud State. That marked his second hat trick of the season and the first for a rookie since 1994, but Steeves gives credit to his teammates.
“Two guys can’t win a hockey game. It’s the whole team, you need 26 guys on the bench and on the ice and that’s what wins hockey games. Our team so far this year has definitely thrived this year. I think the best way to describe it is we play to the level of our opponent, which can be a great thing when we play the top teams in the country because we can play and beat anybody,” says Steeves.
UMD’s long line of success, along with playing under one of college hockey’s best, Scott Sandelin, made Ben’s decision to be a Bulldog a no-brainer.
“The success here, that’s a crazy factor, how much success they’ve had, especially recently and the coaching staff, Coach Sandelin has been a well known coach and has a lot of success in his career and he just knows how to coach he knows the game really well and he brings team’s together so, that was really attractive to me to come to this organization,” says Steeves.
Catch Steeves and the Bulldogs, this weekend at home taking on Western Michigan. Game One is set for 7:30 PM, Friday.