Hobey Baker Watchlist: Week 22

Story posted February 24, 2021 in CommRadio, Sports by Matthew McLaughlin

Another week of college hockey in the books means that it’s time to revisit the watchlist for the Hobey Baker Award for Week 22 of the regular season. So, here’s the top three candidates from this past week.

Thomas Bordeleau, F, Michigan Wolverines

While Bordeleau has remained under the radar for most of the season, he exploded this past week against Wisconsin and Ohio State. Over four games, Bordeleau racked up seven points, which featured an incredible four-point performance in the second game of the series versus Ohio State.

In that game, Bordeleau displayed rare instincts and skill, scoring two goals while facilitating the offense at a great level to get two more assists, but what matters most is who he carved up. Ohio State and Wisconsin are two of the best teams in the Big Ten and succeeding in those high pressure contests will surely get the attention of voters across the country.

Collin Adams, F, North Dakota Fighting Hawks

Another name who may not be a household name yet, Adams has quietly put together a solid streak of four games with at least one point, most notably putting three goals in net and dishing out an assist in a dominant 7-1 win for the Fighting Hawks against the Omaha Mavericks.

Over the course of the season, Adams has developed into a consistent offensive weapon for North Dakota and has become much more aggressive on the offensive end, which will lead to higher numbers as the end of the season draws near.

Jack LaFontaine, G, Minnesota Gophers

To repeat last week’s edition of the Hobey Baker article, LaFontaine is a rare breed of goaltender. He is cool and focused in between the pipes, and despite the fact Minnesota was coming off a two-week pause due to COVID-19 protocols, LaFontaine shined in Minnesota’s series against Michigan State.

Now, a counterpoint can be made that he should be succeeding against a Spartans squad barely staying out of the conference cellar, but coming off a two-week pause, LaFontaine picked up right where he left off, which is a true sign of a rare talent.

In the Gophers’ first game facing the Spartans, LaFontaine only allowed a pair of goals to get by him. How did he follow up that performance? By only allowing one goal on 19 shots. Simply put, you cannot improve much more than that as a goaltender.

With the Gophers facing another postponed series with the Nittany Lions, LaFontaine will once again be asked to step up after extended time off. Given how he dominated the Spartans, the smart money would tell you he’s likely to bounce back, but the Gophers do face the Michigan Wolverines, which could make or break LaFontaine’s chances at the Hobey Baker.

Matthew McLaughlin is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email mem6936@psu.edu.