The top 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award were announced Thursday afternoon, and the 58 Division I coaches who selected the finalists sent a clear message: scoring isn’t everything.
Just two of the top eight scorers in the nation made a list of finalists that included five forwards, two defensemen and three goaltenders.
Leading the list is Boston University, the only school to place two players in the top ten. Terrier defenseman Matt Gilroy, one of only two seniors among the finalists, is considered one of the premier blueliners in the game. Gilroy is joined by teammate and forward Colin Wilson, who currently is third in the nation with 49 points (14 goals, 35 assists).
Hockey East led the way with four finalists. Joining Gilroy and Wilson are Northeastern goaltender Brad Thiessen, who leads the nation in minutes played and saves, and Vermont offensive sparkplug Viktor Stalberg.
Similar to Thiessen are two other goaltenders who have lifted schools that a few years ago were cellar-dwellers to among the top of their respective leagues: Princeton’s Zane Kalemba and Alaska’s Chad Johnson.
Kalemba is fourth in the nation in goals against average and has already broken the school record for wins in a season with 22. Johnson, a senior, leads the nation in save percentage (.939) and is second in goals against average (1.67).
Air Force became the first Atlantic Hockey team to produce two Hobey Baker finalists (Eric Ehn, 2007) with the selection of sophomore transfer Jacques Lamoureux. The brother of last year’s Hobey Baker finalist J.P. Lamoureux of North Dakota, Jacques played his first season for the Falcons this year after transferring from Northern Michigan a year ago. He’s the leading scorer among the ten finalists, with 51 points in 37 games, including a nation-best 31 goals and eight game-winning goals.
The only WCHA player on the list is Wisconsin defenseman Jamie McBain. McBain is second in the nation among defensemen in scoring with 36 points in 38 games.
Rounding out the list are two selections that may surprise: Michigan’s Louie Caporusso and Colgate’s David McIntyre. Caporusso is second on the Wolverines in scoring behind Aaron Palushaj, and has posted 46 points (23 goals, 23 assists) thus far. McIntyre was the leading scorer by far for Colgate with 43 points (21 goals, 22 assists). He finished third in the ECAC in scoring.
There were some notable omissions from this year’s list of finalists, including Quinnipiac’s Bryan Leitch, who leads the nation in scoring; Notre Dame goaltender Jordan Pearce, the national leader in goal against average (1.62), wins (28) and shutouts (eight); St. Cloud State’s Garrett Roe, who leads all WCHA players in overall scoring and is fourth in the nation with 48 points; and Minnesota’s Ryan Stoa, who led the WCHA in conference scoring and is tied for third nationally with 24 goals.
Voting for the 2009 Hobey Baker Award will take place after the NCAA Regionals. Prior to the Frozen Four, the Hobey Baker Award committee will announce the “Hobey Hat Trick,” the top three vote-getters. The Hobey Baker Memorial Award will be presented during the Frozen Four on Friday, April 10, at 7 p.m. at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.