A new face in the net for Gophers’ women’s hockey

After the departure of 2019-20 WCHA Goaltender of the Year Sydney Scobee, the Gophers brought in senior transfer Lauren Bench, who’s ready to fill her predecessor’s shoes.

Photo+Courtesy+of+Gopher+Athletics

Brad Rempel

Photo Courtesy of Gopher Athletics

Matthew Kennedy, Sports Reporter

For the second straight season, the Gophers’ women’s hockey team will start a senior transfer in between the pipes.

Lauren Bench, an Eagan, Minnesota native, transferred to the University of Minnesota after four years at Bemidji State. Now, she will look to fill the void left by the graduation of 2019-20 WCHA Goaltender of the Year Sydney Scobee and aim to help the Gophers win their eighth national championship.

Bench was a member of the 2019 All-WCHA third team and holds a .912 career save percentage and a 2.45 goals against average. She will have big shoes to fill in replacing Scobee, but Bench said she is excited for another opportunity after graduating in the spring.

“During the end of the season last year, after graduating with my teammates at Bemidji, it hit me that I wasn’t really done with hockey and with me being able to continue school at the University of Minnesota to achieve my master’s, it seemed like a perfect location for me education- and hockey-wise,” she said.

Bench, a redshirt senior, is currently completing her master’s degree in Kinesiology. She won multiple academic awards while at Bemidji State and was named to the Dean’s list three times during her tenure.

Bench already has good relationships with some of the players at Minnesota, having grown up playing with and against them. Head coach Brad Frost is eager to work with Bench, who is no stranger to starting on WCHA hockey clubs having been a consistent starter for the Beavers.

“Goalies that transfer have good experience, and that is certainly the case for Lauren,” Frost said. “So far the transition has been seamless, and we, as a coaching staff, like what we are seeing out of her on the ice.”

Bench is looking forward to the upcoming season. The redshirt senior will be key to the Gophers’ success in 2020.

“My main goal for this season is to play my absolute best with every opportunity I’m given to give my team the best chance to win. Growing up in Minnesota, I always wanted to be a Gopher and play right in front of my family,” she said. “Being close to home was the biggest reason why I came here, and I’m excited to have another chance to lace up the skates.”