3 Star Challenge: Benesch’s Week 16 chart topping forces extra round vs. Shattler

Ryan Benesch finished the 2011 regular season leading the NLL in points and goals after Week 16. (Photo: Dan Brodie)
Ryan Benesch finished the 2011 regular season leading the NLL in points and goals after Week 16. (Photo: Dan Brodie)

With only two regular season games in Week 16, IL Indoor’s 3 Star Challenge scaled back the amount of stars handed out to reflect the shrunken regular season schedule.

First Star (50 Points)

Ryan Benesch – Minnesota
The Swarm’s MVP contender factored in on as many Minnesota goals (3G, 5A) as the the Colorado Mammoth’s scoreboard finish in Minny’s second seed clinching 12-8 win over the recently very hot Mammoth. The Week 16 stat haul allowed Benesch to push past Lewis Ratcliff for the point scoring crown with 95-points, also leading the NLL in goals (46). Even his 49 end-of-season helpers ranked him tied for fifth overall. Really impressive stuff from Benesch, who before landing in Minnesota was struggling to find a leading role in Toronto and Edmonton.

Second Star (30 Points)

Cody Jamieson - Rochester Knighthawks
While most were debating between Curtis Dickson and Kyle Rubisch for Rookie of the Year Honours, Jamieson quietly snuck up on the rookie scoring crown this past weekend, finishing a single point ahead of Dickson thanks to his 7-point effort against the Buffalo Bandits. Coincidentally, last year’s rookie points lead was decided by just a one point different as well, Garrett Billings finishing with 83-points to Rock teammate Stephan Leblanc’s 82. Last year’s points runner-up, Leblanc, won the ROY award.

Third Star (10 Points)

Matt Vinc - Rochester Knighthawks
Know the league handed Nick Patterson this week’s defensive performance of the week and so hard to like one over the other, but we’ll give this last nod to Vinc, who matched Patterson’s 37-stops while in a hostile HSBC Arena on Saturday night, finishing the year with 585 saves total. It was Vinc’s third straight season leading the NLL in that column, which had only been done once before (Steve Dietrich). “It’s an honor. I look at it the way we played down the stretch. A lot of those saves were easier to make,” said Vinc on knighthawks.net. “Our defense tightened up and played a lot better in the last half of the year. A lot of those saves were compliments of them.”

Jeff Shattler or Ryan Benesch?

With Benesch’s points picked up in IL Indoor’s 3 Star Challenge this week, he is now tied with long time leader Jeff Shattler. In order to crown a winner of this year’s 3 Star Challenge, we’ll leave it up to a fan vote. Below, select if Shattler or Benesch deserves to be named this year’s winner, polls closing next week. Casey Powell won 2010’s 3 Star Challenge en route to also being named the NLL’s MVP while suiting up for the Orlando Titans.

Who is more deserving of winning IL Indoor's 2011 3 Star Challenge?

  • Jeff Shattler (62%, 18,242 Votes)
  • Ryan Benesch (38%, 11,354 Votes)

Total Voters: 29,586

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Check out our end-of-season leaderboard below…



     
PLAYER TEAM STATS 1st 2nd 3rd PTS
  Jeff Shattler CAL 29G, 46A, 6PPG, 4HG 5 0 0 250  
  Ryan Benesch MIN 46G, 49A, 79LB, 15FT 4 1 2 250  
John Grant COL 36G, 47A, 9PPG, 2SHG 3 2 0 210
Bob Watson TOR 10-4, 10.09GAA, 530SV 2 3 0 190
Colin Doyle TOR 27G, 43A, 4PPG, 2SHG 3 0 2 170
Dan Dawson BOS 31G, 59A, 5PPG, 65LB 2 2 1 170
Stephan Leblanc TOR 33G, 43A, 4PPG, 75LB 2 2 0 160
Mike Thompson BUF 10-3, 9.67GAA, 786SV% 3 0 0 150
Brandon Miller PHI 854Mins, 548SV, 774SV% 2 0 3 130
Casey Powell BOS 34G, 47A, 14PPG, 2SHG 2 1 0 130
John Tavares BUF 32G, 46A, 4PPG, 1SHG 2 1 0 130
Lewis Ratcliff WSH 41G, 51A, 9PPG, 2SHG 2 1 0 130
Scott Ranger CAL 29G, 32A, 12PPG, 3SHG 2 1 0 130
Brodie Merrill EDM 9G, 38A, 187LB, 30FT 2 0 1 110
Kyle Rubisch BOS 36PIM, 143PIM, 20FT 1 2 0 110
Andrew Watt MIN 16G, 4SHG, 70LB, 13FT 1 1 2 100
Chris Levis COL 841Mins, 509SV, 9.99GAA 2 0 0 100
Matt Vinc ROC 10-6, 9.77GAA, 933Mins 1 1 2 100
Nick Patterson MIN 812Mins, 497SV, 6-6 2 0 0 100
Rhys Duch WSH 42G, 48A, 8PPG, 5GWG 1 1 2 100
Tyler Richards WSH 11.61GAA, 781SV% 2 0 0 100
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The foremost boxla writer, Tutka is a former NLL scout and a longtime Inside Lacrosse contributor. Email him at paul.tutka@nllinsider.com.

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