Street proving critics wrong

first_imgPeople told Ben Street he should play juniors one more year. People told him, he would have to wait to get playing time at the Division I level. People told him he wasn’t going to make an impact. No one told him he would score the first goal of the season for the Wisconsin Badgers, or that he would be among the team leaders in goals by this point in the year.Good thing he didn’t listen to those people. Street came to Wisconsin from Salmon Arm, British Columbia. He was recruited by several teams, including Colorado College, North Dakota and two-time defending national champion Denver. But Street chose to come to Wisconsin because he wanted to make an impact right away with a Division I team.”A lot of the schools were looking at me playing another year of juniors and then coming on to play, so [Wisconsin] was a good fit,” said Street of his decision to forego another year of juniors to play for the Badgers.With an immediate chance to bring something to a team, Street did just that in his first game as a Badger. With the Badgers trailing 2-0 in the third period against St. Lawrence, forward Robbie Earl passed the puck to Street in the slot, who beat Saints goalie Kevin Ackley with a quick shot to cut the lead in half. The 10, 000-plus crowd went crazy for the young Canadian, whose first career goal was integral in his team’s eventual comeback.”It was like being in a video game,” Street said of the goal.Since that goal, Street has added two more, propelling him to second on the team in goals scored. With those efforts, he has shown that he belongs not at the junior level, but at the college level. He has succeeded thus far, and he continues to show improvement. Badger head coach Mike Eaves agrees that Street can make it in the WCHA.”He’s adapted pretty well,” said Eaves. “His ability to skate at that pace and think at that pace, he keeps getting better and better at it.”With 190 pounds stacked on his 5’11” frame, Street won’t overpower anyone with his size, but he has shown he has the quickness to move around people. Street has also impressed with his puck handling skills. He doesn’t possess the highlight reel moves that someone like Earl has, but he gets the job done, says coach Eaves.”I think the best way to talk about Ben is he’s effective in the way he plays,” Eaves said. “There’s not a lot of flair or flash, but he does a lot of little things well, and when the puck is on his stick he has a good stick.”He also wants to shoot the puck. Street is fourth on the Badger squad with 17 shots so far this season, and he has the most of any freshman on the team.”He shoots the puck a lot, and he gets a lot of chances out there, which is great,” said fellow freshman forward Jack Skille. “He always wants the puck out there, and that’s one of the best things I’ve seen so far.”Skille and Street are both part of a promising group of rookies that include forward Tom Gorowsky, Minnesota’s 2004 “Mr. Hockey,” as well as a couple of goaltenders in Shane Connelly and Ryan Jefferey. While the goalies may not get a chance for some serious playing time in the near future with junior Brian Elliott in net, the trio of forwards could be making a serious impact by the end of the year.As far as goals go for the young Street, he just wants to make a difference for his teammates, and he wants to help them win in any way possible.”You always want to contribute as well as you can,” said Street. “We’ve chipped in, got a few goals. We’re playing significant roles and on some of the top lines, so it’s been really good to step in and be able to contribute right away.”For now, Street continues to improve on all the things he hasn’t yet perfected, which seems to be only the little things.”He wants to get better every day,” said Eaves. “He comes here with a purpose, and that’s a real treat to be around.”last_img read more