Hobey Baker Watch: Week 5

Story posted October 29, 2021 in Sports, CommRadio by Maclain Young

Another week of college hockey has come and gone with a plethora of teams and players putting on stellar performances.

However, five weeks in and there still has not been a bonafide standout, so let’s take a look at this past week’s top performers and see where they line up in the Hobey Baker conversation.

Starting in Happy Valley, Penn State’s Kevin Wall had himself a weekend scoring five goals and earning himself the Big Ten’s First Star of the week.

Wall tallied two goals in the Nittany Lions’ first matchup with Niagara including the game-winner.

In game two Wall notched his first career hat trick, securing the series sweep for Penn State and improving their record to 5-1 on the season.

Wall now has six goals on the year, just one short of the nation’s lead. 

Many expected Wall to be Penn State’s leader when it came to offense, but the Nittany Lions will need to finish near the top of a loaded Big Ten if they want their star forward to receive Hobey Baker level recognition.

One of the stories of the week in college hockey was Western Michigan upsetting No. 1 Michigan 5-2 in Ann Arbor.

They also played well in the second game at home, coming back from a two-goal deficit and falling in overtime.

So far, two Western Michigan players have stood out in senior forwards Ethen Frank and Drew Worrad.

Worrad is averaging two points a game with two goals and six assists in just four games while Frank leads the team in goals with five.

Western Michigan is now ranked No. 13 in the country and will find itself in the spotlight. It will be interesting to see if their top players can keep it up under the pressure of now being a top 15 team.

One team that has not flown under the radar this season is St. Cloud State.

The Huskies have hovered in the top five rankings all season and are now at the top as the No. 1 team in the country.
St. Cloud State has been one of the better defensive teams in college hockey only allowing 11 total goals in eight games played.

This strong defensive play is led by their backstop in senior David Hrenak.

The Huskies netminder has a 1.37 goals-against average and a .943 save percentage. Hrenak is 5-2 and has one shutout so far this season coming against St. Thomas.

St. Cloud State is a team with balanced scoring and good defense, a mix that bodes well for highlighting the goaltender. 

If the Huskies are still at the top of the rankings in a couple of months or at least near the top, it is going to be hard for voters to not consider Hrenak for the Hobey Baker Award.

Maclain Young is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email macyoung21@gmail.com.