Bella Shipley, Maple Grove's assists leader last season, commits to Minnesota State
Shipley, a junior forward, led the Crimson in assists last year with 35 helpers and propelled the team to a state tournament appearance.
MAPLE GROVE, Minn. — After posting a team-high 35 assists last season, Maple Grove's Bella Shipley will be swapping crimson for purple and gold.
The junior forward committed to play college hockey for the Minnesota State Mavericks on Oct. 18.
As a sophomore in 2021-22, the 5-foot-6 forward was second on the team with 49 (14 goals, 35 assists) points while being a versatile weapon out on the ice.
"I'm a really hard-working player that makes my teammates look better," Shipley said on her style of play. "I'm a good playmaker, and I can get to the net and score when I need to."
Maple Grove Head Coach Jim Koltes has been able to witness Shipley's skillset at work on the ice after stepping back behind the Crimson bench last season.
"Her strength as a player is that she is versatile," Koltes said. "She can play on the top line and the power play, then when asked she can be a penalty killer and a third line defensive specialist. She is a 200-foot player."
I am extremely humbled and honored to announce my commitment to play Division 1 hockey and continue my education at Minnesota State University, Mankato. I would like to thank my family, coaches, teammates, and friends who have helped and supported me along the way. Roll Mavs!💜 pic.twitter.com/PwfgvYR1jy— Bella Shipley (@_bellashipley) October 19, 2022
The 17-year-old said that almost all of the Minnesota State commits that play in the state of Minnesota know each other already, having either played with or against each other a lot in the past.
"I used to play with pretty much every single one of them (future teammates at MSU) at some point," Shipley said.
"I really liked the facilities. I'll know (future teammates) going in and it'll be close to home so my parents can come to my games."
Along with her physical skills out on the ice, the 17-year-old is also a leader on the team.
"Bella was named captain this year as a junior by her teammates. She is a lead by example player," Koltes said. "Bella is going to go all out in every drill and this forces others to play hard all the time — she is a tone setter ... Mankato is getting a great young player."
Shipley knows how important it is as both an upperclassman and a leader on the team to help out the younger girls and to make them feel included.
The Maple Grove native got into hockey at a young age, inspired by her family's history to with the sport.
Shipley's older brother was a hockey player, and her grandfather just so happens to be Mike "Lefty" Curran — a former Minnesota Fighting Saints goaltender and silver medalist at the 1972 Olympic Games.
Along with playing lots of hockey as a kid, Shipley was also quite successful in martial arts that she practiced at her father's Taekwondo school. Now entering her junior season with Maple Grove, the forward has hopes of hitting the 100-point mark and getting back to state with the Crimson.
Shipley is currently playing in the Upper Midwest High School Elite League and will start the high school regular season with Maple Grove in November. She will likely hit the ice for Minnesota State in 2024.