Hobey Baker Watch: Week Thirteen

Story posted February 11, 2017 in Sports, CommRadio by Zach Kaplan

The Hobey Baker Award race continues to unfold with just a few weeks remaining in the season. Players are making strong cases across college hockey, and it seems that a clear-cut winner has yet to emerge from the season so far. With a number of notable performances across each conference, let’s take a look at how the race looks heading into this weekend.

In Atlantic Hockey, Brady Ferguson (Robert Morris) leads the conference in scoring with 44 goals, good for sixth in the nation. The goaltender trio of Williams (Canisius), Marotte (Robert Morris) and Gahagen (Army) continue to make their cases with strong statistical seasons, essentially standing on their heads for their respective teams. Williams has been the most impressive (1.80 GAA, .946 save percentage), but Marotte (1.95, .938) and Gahagen (1.88, .936) have put up fantastic numbers. The trio all individually rank in the top five in save percentage, and in the top 10 in GAA. At this point, none of them can be counted out of the race.

Over in the Big Ten, Mason Jobst (Ohio State) has taken charge of the scoring race, beginning to play himself into the Hobey race at 37 points, tied for ninth in the nation. Sitting only one point behind him is Tyler Sheehy (Minnesota) at 36, 12th in the country, but only two points separate the 8th and 12th spots nationally. While there have been some decent performances, no goaltender in the Big Ten is really challenging for the award at the moment.

The ECAC continues to present its case in the Union duo of Mike Vecchione (48 pts, leading the country) and Spencer Foo (46 pts, tied for fourth nationally). St. Lawrence goaltender Kyle Hayton also remains in the conversation (2.08, .934) with his save percentage good for seventh in the country. It will be interesting to see how the scoring battle between Vecchione and Foo continues as the two go back and forth as leading scorer in the nation.

And in Hockey East, where Zach Aston-Reese (Northeastern) and Tyler Kelleher (UNH) continue making their cases, as well as Dylan Sikura (NU) and Adam Gaudette (NU) who are beginning to turn some heads as well. And incredibly, those are only the top four in Hockey East. Anders Bjork (Notre Dame) and Joe Gambardella (UMass-Lowell) are among the top ten in the country as well. Aston-Reese and Kelleher both sit tied for second in the country at 47 points, while Sikura sits tied for fourth at 46, and Gaudette is seventh with 43. With Oettinger not listed as a nominee, there aren’t any goaltenders who garner consideration for the Hobey.

The NCHC has a couple of players who have been worth noticing, as Austin Ortega (Omaha) continues his scoring pace with 37 points, tied for ninth in the country. Shane Gersich (North Dakota) has 33, and the Winnipeg Jets prospect sits tied at 15th currently. The conference does stand for goaltenders, with three different goalies that have GAA’s under 2.00. Ben Blacker of Western Michigan (1.83, .932), Tanner Jaillet of Denver (1.89, .931) and Hunter Miska of Minnesota-Duluth (1.98, .928) all sit in the top ten for goaltenders and represent players who can’t be ignored when it comes to Hobey voting time.

And in the WCHA, Marc Michaelis sits tied with the aforementioned Gersich at 33 points, tied for 15th in the country. The story in this conference however, remains about the goaltenders, who have been nothing short of outstanding. Michael Bitzer of Bemidji State and Angus Redmond of Michigan Tech continue to impress and could definitely get attention from voters. Bitzer (1.61, .935) and Redmond (1.72, .922) both remain in the top 15 for save percentage, but sit first and second respectively in GAA for college hockey. They both will garner high consideration as the season winds down.

 

Zach Kaplan is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. If you have a question or comment, email him at zvk5072@psu.edu.