Making a Case

OK, I’m an Atlantic Hockey guy – I cover the league for and do radio for RIT – but even if I wasn’t, I’d be rooting for Eric Ehn to win the Hobey Baker Award.

Not that I don’t think the other two finalists don’t deserve to win, on the contrary I can make a strong case for each. And here I go:

  • Why David Brown will win: He’s the lone senior of the group, and was his team’s MVP, leading the Irish to their first ever CCHA regular season and playoff titles. Named CCHA player of the year, Brown finished with amazing numbers: a 1.58 GAA and a .931 save percentage. He is also active in the community, doing charity work with children in the South Bend area.
  • Why Ryan Duncan will win: He led the nation in power play goals ans was fourth overall in scoring with 57 points. Named WCHA player of the year, he was also named to the WCHA All-Academic team.

Ehn’s intangibles are what many think give him the strongest chance – his commitment to the military and his leadership abilities. But the Hobey Baker award is usually about what happens on the ice, and there is where I will make my case.

afa_e_ehn_1.jpgEhn plays in Atlantic Hockey, not a major conference. Some say that inflates his point production (64 points including 24 goals). I say look at what Ehn’s done against some “major” teams.

  • 10/6/06: Scored the Falcons’ only goal in a 2-1 loss at Colorado College
  • 10/14/06: Figured in three of Air Force’s four goals with two goals and an assist in an 8-4 loss at Alaska
  • 11/24/06: Scored the Falcons’ only goal in a 2-1 loss at Denver

Minnesota held him scoreless, but according to Air Force coach Frank Serratore, Ehn was heavily shadowed and still made contributions by winning faceoffs (63% on the season) and killing penalties.

Much has been made of the parallel between Ehn, and Hobey Baker, a military pilot. But even if you just looked at the numbers, Ehn would not be a surprising choice.

And I will be pulling for him.