Thursday, February 18, 2010
RPI's Polacek among Hobey picks
By Mike Eidelbes and Joe Gladziszewski Inside College Hockey
The Hobey Baker Memorial Award is presented to a deserving recipient on the day before the last college hockey game of the season. But that doesn't mean that college hockey fans, players, and media members don't think about it all season. Inside College Hockey's Hobey Tracker looks at our picks for the top three candidates for the award and other players worthy of consideration. All statistics are through games of Feb. 17.
The Big Board
Denver | Junior | Goalie
To Date: 24 GP, 17-3-3, .939 save pct., 1.88 GAA, 6 SO The Skinny: The Pioneers needed to bounce back after a tie and loss at Wisconsin last month. Thanks in large part to Cheverie, the team got just that. In his last five starts -- all wins -- Cheverie has given up a combined five goals and made 32 or more saves four times. With a three-point lead in the WCHA standings and series against tenth-place Michigan Tech, ninth-place Minnesota State, and fifth-place Colorado College remaining, DU is in the driver's seat to win the league's regular-season championship.
Blake Geoffrion leads the Badgers with 21 goals.
Wisconsin | Senior | Forward
To Date: 28 GP, 21-14-35, 12 PPG, 2 GWG, +14 The Skinny: Is it possible that a guy who's third on his team in scoring can be a leading candidate for the Hobey Baker Award? If it's Geoffrion, it is -- besides, he's only two points off the team lead in points. In the Badgers' last nine games, Geoffrion has 7-10-17, including three goals and four assists in a sweep of Minnesota State last weekend. And you think he's a finisher? Geoffrion has scored 21 goals on just 80 shots.
Rensselaer | Junior | Forward
To Date: 32 GP, 23-23-46, 11 PPG, 2 GWG, +3 The Skinny: A five-goal weekend against Harvard and Dartmouth increased Polacek's season total to 23 and into a share of the nation's goal-scoring lead with Nick Johnson of Sacred Heart. Meanwhile, Rensselaer has moved into a tie for fourth place in ECAC Hockey with four league games remaining. Polacek has 12 points in RPI's last seven games and had a 14-game point streak earlier this year.
What About This Guy?
A deeper look at a Hobey hopeful and an issue (or issues) surrounding his candidacy.
Bobby Butler, New Hampshire: New Hampshire has had its share of ups and downs in recent weeks but Bobby Butler's four-goal night in a win at Providence was certainly a highlight. Butler has carried New Hampshire's offense -- he has 11 points more than Blake Kessel and seven goals more than Paul Thompson. The key to Butler's Hobey candidacy depends on how UNH finishes its season, which concludes with a showcase home-and-home series against Boston College.
Nick Johnson and Dave Jarman, Sacred Heart: Only Miami, Union and Wisconsin have scored more goals than Sacred Heart this season, so it's not surprising that the Pioneers would have two players ranked in the top 10 nationally in scoring. Johnson has 23 goals and 44 points, and Jarman has 33 assists and 43 points. That duo has helped Sacred Heart into their current second-place standing in Atlantic Hockey, and the Pioneers are 13-1-2 in their last 16 games.
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