Denver's Cheverie top Hobey watch pick

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. 28.

The Big Board

Marc Cheverie
Denver | Junior | Goalie
To Date:
28 GP, 21-3-3, .938 save pct., 1.93 GAA, 6 SO

The Skinny: Denver's the top-ranked team in the nation, and Cheverie, with apologies to Rhett Rakhsnai and Joe Colborne, has been the Pioneers' best player. He leads the nation in wins, save percentage, and shutouts and ranks second to Miami's Cody Reichard in goals against average. He's also been great down the stretch, backstopping DU to nine straight wins and the WCHA regular-season championship.

Brendan Smith
Wisconsin | Junior | Defense
To Date:
32 GP, 15-25-40, 11 PPG, 4 GWG, +14

The Skinny: Smith pops back into the spot previously occupied by teammate Blake Geoffrion. It's not a case of Geoffrion losing his place because he missed last weekend's series at Michigan Tech due to injury, but because Smith's numbers from the blue line are amazing -- he has 40 points, eight more than any other defenseman in the country, and Wisconsin is 11-1-2 when he scores a goal.

Cam Atkinson
Boston College | Sophomore | Forward
To Date:
32 GP, 21-18-39, 8 PPG, 2 GWG, +19

The Skinny: After an uneven first half, the Eagles are making a late-season charge and Atkinson has been one of the keys to that run. In 15 games since BC's Jan. 2 loss at Denver, Atkinson has 11 goals and 12 assists. He's been the embodiment of consistency -- Atkinson has at least one point in 26 of the Eagles' 32 games, and BC is 1-4-1 in those games in which he's been shut down.

What About This Guy?

A deeper look at a Hobey hopeful and an issue (or issues) surrounding his candidacy.

Ben Scrivens, Cornell: The biggest issue facing any Cornell netminders when it comes to earning all-league or All-American recognition is stereotyping the Big Red for playing an all-defense style that protects their goaltenders from facing any quality chances or odd-man rushes. That's not the case anymore and Scrivens has been counted on to make a handful of big saves every night. He's played his best games in some of Cornell's marquee matchups -- against Yale, at New Hampshire, twice against North Dakota, and this past weekend's series against Union and Rensselaer. He has four shutouts and ranks third nationally in goals-against average (1.99) and save percentage (.931).

Hidden Hobey

Jeff Petry, Michigan State: When people talk about defensemen as Hobey candidates this year, the list starts with Brendan Smith of Wisconsin and pretty much ends with Blake Kessel of New Hampshire. It might be worth considering Petry as well. The junior is very likely to earn first team All-CCHA recognition and was recently honored as Michigan State's top defensive performer for the third consecutive year at the team's annual banquet. Corey Tropp gets lots of attention, but Petry might be more important to the team's overall success. The junior defensemen logs lots of minutes, has 26 points in 36 games, and is the wily veteran on the blue line as all other MSU defensemen are sophomores or freshmen.

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