Hobey Baker Watch: Week 2
Some of college hockey’s best have begun their seasons and are already making their cases to be awarded the level’s most prestigious honor.
Starting with Dryden Mckay, whose team made a massive statement going to Massachusetts and sweeping the No. 1 team in the USCHO.com poll.
McKay wasted no time in getting his Hobey Baker Award campaign started, collecting a shutout in the first game of the year. It was his 25th career shutout, bringing him just one shy of being tied for the all-time lead in that category.
He fell back down to earth a bit in game two of the series, giving up three goals, but backstopping your squad to a road sweep against the defending national champions is an impressive feat.
Staying with Minnesota State, junior forward Nathan Smith jumped out as the nation’s leader in points after the first weekend as he tallied two goals and three assists over the weekend.
The forward shined brightest in game two against Massachusetts, starting a comeback from being three goals down by scoring two and later assisting the game-winning goal.
Unlike Minnesota State, Michigan did not begin its season this past weekend.
Instead, the Wolverines played an exhibition against Bowling Green, and as expected, they dominated their opponent.
The win was highlighted by a power-play goal that showed off the team's top-tier talent.
However, the exhibition may have displayed some significant hurdles for Michigan’s possible Hobey Baker candidates.
It was sophomore Brendan Brisson who recorded a hat trick and was the Wolverines’ star in the exhibition with Bowling Green.
It seems that Michigan is so talented and full of stars that each night a different player might emerge as the squad’s top player, which will benefit the Wolverines well as a team, but hurt their individuals’ chances at the Hobey Baker Award.
Among other players just participating in exhibition games this weekend, North Dakota’s Jake Sanderson looked promising despite the low stakes.
Sanderson assisted the Fighting Hawks’ first tally then scored a spectacular end-to-end overtime goal to win the exhibition tilt.
The Arizona State Sun Devils played meaningful games this past weekend and were led by sophomore forward Mathew Kopperud.
Despite Arizona State splitting its weekend series against UMass Lowell, Kopperud starred, scoring three goals over the two contests.
Two of his goals came on an Arizona State power play that went 5/10 over its opening weekend.
The Sun Devils obviously will not be able to keep that pace, but if they have one of the best power plays in the nation, and Kopperud is the one scoring many of those goals, he could see some Hobey Baker Award consideration down the road.
This past weekend was a prime opportunity for those playing meaningful games to get a jumpstart to their Hobey Baker campaigns and that is just what some did.
Maclain Young is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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