Hobey Baker Watch: Week 16
With the last couple weeks of the season drawing near, the Hobey Baker race is beginning to come to a close. Different performances across college hockey continue to garner attention, but only a couple weeks remain. Here’s a look at how the race stacks up with two weeks to play in the 2016-17 season.
In Atlantic Hockey, Brady Ferguson (Robert Morris) is the guy leading the way with 51 points, tied for sixth in the nation for scoring. Charles Williams (Canisius) is putting up ridiculous numbers (1.83, .944), as he leads the nation in save percentage, while Parker Gahagen (Army) is third in save percentage and fifth in GAA (1.90, .936), while Marotte (2.04, .936) has struggled to keep pace with both in the two major categories. If nothing else, Williams at least deserves some credit for the tremendous season he has had, helping to keep Canisius in contention down the stretch.
Meanwhile, in the Big Ten, Tyler Sheehy (Minnesota) has climbed into the top ten in the nation while Mason Jobst (Ohio State) still sits just outside of it. The two are currently eighth and 12th in the nation. Sheehy has 48 points while Jobst has 42. Both performances have considerably helped their teams on their path to the NCAA tournament. There really aren’t any goalies that can contend, and there are no players inside the top 15, aside from the duo of Sheehy and Jobst, both of whom still remain long-shots.
Over in the ECAC, the duo of Mike Vecchione and Spencer Foo (Union) continue to make their case, although Vecchione has fallen behind other competitors in the scoring race. Vecchione is third with 58 points, while Foo is fourth with 56. While still in the race, they have both fallen back in the scoring race and will need to keep their scoring pace up if they want to be included as finalists.
In Hockey East, the perennial Hobey conference, the competition continues to heat up. Tyler Kelleher (UNH) and Zach Aston-Reese (Northeastern) are tied for the national lead with 59 points. Aston-Reese’s teammates, Dylan Sikura (53 pts, fifth in the country) and Adam Gaudette (51 pts, tied for sixth) continue to make strong cases as well. Rounding out the top ten are UMass Lowell’s Joe Gambardella (45, ninth) and Notre Dame’s Anders Bjork (44, tied for tenth). Aston-Reese and Kelleher will certainly be in a heated race the next two weeks.
The NCHC still has Austin Ortega (Omaha) leading the charge, and he is now in the top ten for scoring, tied with Bjork at 44 points. For goaltenders, Tanner Jaillet of Denver (1.86, .929) and Hunter Miska of Minnesota-Duluth (2.00, .926) continue to put on solid seasons in net. Jaillet ranks third in GAA, while Miska is sixth. In save percentage, Jaillet is sixth and Miska sits at 11th.
Lastly, what the WCHA does not have for scorers, it does have in goaltenders. Michael Bitzer (Bemidji State) and Angus Redmond (Michigan Tech) continue to make voters consider them in the Hobey argument with sensational performances in net that have continued throughout the season. Bitzer continues to lead the country in GAA at 1.68, and is fifth in save percentage with a .932. Redmond is fourth in the nation for GAA at 1.87, but finds himself barely inside the top 20 in save percentage at .916.
Overall, the race enters the final stretch of the season with some contenders, but definitely a number of names to consider. Kelleher, Aston-Reese, and Vecchione remain the top forwards, while Williams, Jaillet, and Bitzer are the top goaltenders up for the award.
Zach Kaplan is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.