Porter, Gerbe, Jones Make Up Hobey ‘Hat Trick’

The Hobey Baker Memorial Award Foundation on Tuesday announced the three Hobey Hat Trick finalists for the 2008 Hobey Baker Memorial Award, honoring college hockey’s top player. Alphabetically, they are: Nathan Gerbe, junior forward from Boston College; Ryan Jones, senior forward from Miami; and Kevin Porter, senior forward from Michigan.

The three finalists were selected from the initial list of Top Ten candidates by the 25-member Selection Committee and an additional round of online fan balloting to determine this year’s Hobey Baker winner. Criteria for the award include strength of character on and off the ice, displaying outstanding skills in all phases of the game, sportsmanship and scholastic achievements.

This year’s winner will be announced Friday, April 11, 2008 from Pepsi Center in Denver, Colo., during the NCAA Frozen Four. The announcement will be aired live on ESPNU at 5:30 p.m. MT.

Gerbe has helped guide his Eagles to their third straight NCAA Frozen Four. As one of the smallest players in college hockey (5’5″ and 165 pounds), Gerbe has frustrated opposing defenses continuously with his high-energy game that has produced 30 goals and 30 assists in 41 games to rank second in the nation in scoring.

Down the stretch, he has chipped in with 12 points in six playoff games as BC seeks its third national title. Honored with a host of awards, Gerbe has already been named First Team Hockey East, was named the league’s playoff MVP, the Dodge Holiday Classic MVP and was the Hockey Commissioners December National Player of the Month when he tallied 16 points in just four games. The Oxford, Mich., native is a Buffalo draft pick and is a communications major. He volunteers his time with visits to the Franciscan Hospital for Children, serves food at homeless shelters and donates time to a variety of YMCA events.

Jones captained the RedHawks to a school-record 33 wins. A rare three-year captain, Jones’ leadership earned him all-conference honors for the third straight year when he was named to the CCHA First Team after finishing third in league scoring. He is tied for second in the country in goal scoring with 31 in 42 games and added 18 assists to place him seventh in the nation in scoring.

Miami lost to Boston College at an NCAA Regional for the third straight season last weekend, dropping a 4-3 overtime decision. On Wednesday, Jones, a sports studies major from Chatham, Ont., signed a pro contract with Minnesota, the team that drafted him. In four years, he never missed a game and finished his career as the second all-time goal scorer in RedHawk history. Recognized throughout the season by his long hair, Jones will be donating his locks to an organization providing wigs to children cancer patients stemming from a promise he made to a 13-year old girl undergoing cancer treatment.

Porter almost singlehandedly helped Michigan to their national-record 23rd Frozen Four. Last weekend in two games at the East Regional, Porter had a hand in six of the seven Michigan goals, bagging five goals and one assist, including four goals in a 5-1 win over Niagara.

He is the nation’s scoring leader in points and goals with 33 goals, 29 assists for 62 points in 42 games. Porter sits second in the nation with 15 power-play goals, has recorded 18 multiple-point games and has a plus-minus of +33. His steady, consistent two-way play didn’t go unnoticed as he was named the CCHA Player of the Year and was a finalist for the league’s Best Defensive Forward. The First Team CCHA honoree was named the Hockey Commissioners January National Player of the Month. From Northville, Mich., Porter is a draft pick of Phoenix. A general studies major, Kevin spends time with visits to Mott Children’s Hospital and volunteers for various Make-A-Wish Foundation activities.