Maybe the only goalie to have a better weekend than sophomore Cam Johnson heading into the holiday break was senior Shelby Amsley-Benzie, and that’s probably just fine by him since they both goaltend for North Dakota.
And in reality, it’s debatable who had the better weekend.
Both recorded back-to-back shutouts against top league competition. Johnson (above) turned away 78 shots in a road sweep at Minnesota-Duluth and Amsley-Benzie turned back all 67 shots in two shutouts against the previously unbeaten and top-ranked Wisconsin women’s hockey team.
The stellar performances led to each earning ASN Hockey Player of the Week honors.
Johnson, a sophomore, is 6-0 since returning from an injury midway through the third game of the season and has strung together three consecutive shutouts and a scoreless streak that’s reached 218 minutes, 38 seconds, second longest in school history and the second longest scoreless streak of the season behind Duluth’s Kasimir Kaskisuo’s 263 minutes, 56 seconds.
Johnson ranks second in the nation in goals-against average (1.20) and save percentage (.955%). HIs next shot at a fourth consecutive shutout is Jan. 1 when Alabama-Huntsville visits Grand Forks for a two-game series.
Amsley-Benzie (above) was equally impressive because of who the shutouts came against.
Wisconsin entered the weekend with an 18-0 record, outscoring their opponents by an average of 4.22 goals per game and having swept No. 3 Minnesota the week prior in their annual Border Battle against UND.
The 3-0 loss and 0-0 tie — though the Badgers won the shootout for the extra conference point — marked the first time since 2012 Wisconsin hadn’t scored in a two-game series.
This is the second time this season Amsley-Benzie has backstopped North Dakota to an upset win against a visiting unbeaten No. 1 team. Earlier this year UND knocked off then-No.1 Minnesota, 5-1 at Ralph Engelstad Arena.
Amsley-Benzie now has six shutouts this season and three in the past four games. She has 20 shutouts for her career.
The UND women (11-6-3) areninth in the USCHO poll while the men’s team enters the holiday break ranked second and third in all polls with a 16-2-2 record.