Honey Baker Watch
With the season drawing nearer and nearer to postseason play, the Hobey Baker watch becomes ever more important. This week, I’ll give you the one of the top players from each position in the running for the award.
Forward - Taro Hirose, Michigan State
Hirose, a junior, along with his linemates, Mitchell Lewandowski and Patrick Khodorenko, have been the bright spots on a struggling Spartan team. The line has combined for 110 points this season, and Hirose accounts for 46 of them with 15 goals and 31 assists. In Michigan State’s most recent series with Wisconsin, Mitchell, Khodorenko and Lewandowski were the only names on the scoresheet, scoring all six of Michigan State’s goals in the series. For a team at the bottom of the Big Ten to have a line of this power and the leading point scorer in the NCAA says a lot in itself. As it stands right now, Hirose is a frontrunner in my books, even without a tournament berth.
Defense - Joseph Duszak, Mercyhurst
Duszak is currently chasing Hirose down quickly in the NCAA points race. The junior has 39 total points, and before last weekend’s tilt with Canisius, was on a 12-game point streak in which he scored 24 points. If Duszak keeps up his 1.34 points per game average for the rest of the season, he could very well be a Hobey finalist.
Goalie - Joey Daccord - Arizona State
Even though it is very unlikely that we’ll even see a goalie included in the Hobey Baker finalist list, Joey Daccord is still one of the best goalies in the NCAA. He could very well win the Mike Richter award, which is given to the best goalie in college hockey. While his 2.18 GAA and .931 save percentage aren’t the best in the league, he’s played more games than any other goaltender and still has the fourth-best save percentage and is in the top 20 for GAA. With that workload, those statistics and Arizona State currently in a tournament spot, Daccord is arguably the best goalie in college hockey.
Nathan Pullen is a freshman majoring in journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.