FAIRBANKS, Alaska – North Iowa goaltender Josh Benson started November with a temporary call-up to the USHL’s Waterloo Black Hawks, serving as an emergency backup for the Hawks while one of the team’s netminders served a two-game suspension. The month of December begins with another call-up that he’s hoping will be a bit more long-term.
The Stillwater, Minn. native has been called up to the NAHL’s Fairbanks Ice Dogs, after posting an unbeaten record with seven wins in as many starts, and tossing a shutout against La Crosse this past Saturday. He is currently carrying a .941 save percentage and a goals-against average of 1.54 in NA3HL competition, and Benson is the two-time defending Bauer Hockey NA3HL Central Division Star of the Week.
“We are not surprised this opportunity has presented itself at this time,” says head coach Todd Sanden. “He is playing well and has a lot of confidence right now.”
It’s not the first time the Ice Dogs have given a North Iowa standout a shot to play junior hockey in the “Last Frontier,” signing Mason City native Joe Burgmeier to a tender following the 2014-15 season. Benson will join a team that sits in fifth place out of six in the league’s Midwest Division, eight points out of a playoff spot as the league nears its halfway point for the year. The defending NAHL Robertson Cup champions have the weekend off and continue their schedule Friday, Dec. 9 at the New Jersey Titans. The North Iowa Bulls wish Josh Benson the best of luck with the Ice Dogs.