Hobey Baker Watch: Week 8

Story posted November 17, 2021 in CommRadio, Sports by Joshua Bartosik

As conference play continues for the top programs in the nation, several of college hockey’s best players continue to strengthen their Hobey Baker push along with some potential sleepers.

Starting in Denver, Pioneer’s forward Carter Savoie now leads the country in points per game with 17 points in 10 games.

The Edmonton Oilers’ fourth-round pick in 2020 bounced back from a three-game pointless skid and tallied five points in a series sweep versus Western Michigan, with four of those coming as goals as the Denver Pioneers move up to No. 11 in the USCHO poll and Western Michigan drops to No. 14.

Savoie now sits second in the country in goals with 10 sitting behind Omaha’s Taylor Ward’s 12 goals. Ward himself found the scoresheet once in a series split with No. 2 Cloud State this past week.

The alternate captain for Omaha has cooled off after his hot start with just two goals in his last four games. However, he still sits atop the league in points with 20, tied with Michigan forward Kent Johnson and Lake Superior State forward Louis Boudon.

Boudon continued to stay hot this week, adding a goal and two assists in the Lakers series loss to No. 20 Bemidji State. If Boudon continues at his current pace, he will no doubt be in the running for the Hobey Baker Award.

Moving on to the Big Ten, Michigan forwards Kent Johnson and Matty Beniers showed everyone their top-five draft pick talent, with both forwards putting up six points each in a series sweep against Penn State.

Johnson’s six apples put him atop the country in assists with 16. Beniers lit the lamp three times, putting his nine goals tied for third in the country.

After the weekend sweep, Michigan is now 10-2-0 and 5-1-0 in Big Ten play. The Wolverines are ranked first in the latest USCHO poll.

Traveling out west to the Grand Canyon State, sleeper candidate Arizona State forward Matthew Kopperud found himself on the scoresheet twice with a goal and a helper in a tough series loss to No. 5 Quinnipiac.

Despite the Sun Devil’s slow start at 6-6 on the season, Kopperrud has been consistently solid, only being held off the scoresheet in three games to start the year.

In the goaltending department, Ryan Fanti has been making a name for himself as of late. The Minnesota Duluth junior posted back-to-back shutouts against Colorado College this past week, stopping all 49 shots he saw in the series.

Fanti is tied for second in save percentage and third in goals-against average. Fanti and the No. 4 Bulldogs look to stay hot this coming week against a fierce No. 6 North Dakota team.

Another sleeper for the Hobey Baker award is puck stopper Devon Levi of the Northeastern Huskies. Levi recorded his first collegiate shutout in his first game and didn’t give up a goal for the first 121 minutes and 25 seconds of his career, a Northeastern record.

The sophomore goaltender posts a .943 save percentage and a 1.59 goals-against average to help lead the No. 18 Huskies to an 8-4-0 start. His save percentage and goals-against average totals are ranked fifth and eighth respectively.

The season continues to heat up as the top-ranked programs battle it out for the top spots in the nation and the top players look to keep their pace in hopes of hearing their name called in Boston next April.

Joshua Bartosik is a first-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email joshbartosik13@gmail.com.