An Olympic Hobey Moment

So, has everyone come down from that Olympic high of Sunday night? Ready to focus on the quarterfinals today?

It’s been a fun couple of days for college hockey fans – and not just the BC fans who saw their team smash Merrimack on Tuesday ngiht – reveling in the success of so many college hockey alumni in Sunday night’s US-Canada game.

And for someone who spends a good chunk of his time sizing up the race for the Hobey Baker Award – and has, on occasion, endured conversations about the Hobey-winners who never made it on the next level – Sunday night’s US win was gratifying on another level.

For all the great performances in Sunday’s game – I’m still trying to figure out how Ryan Kesler got that shot off – two of the players standing tallest were the two Hobey winners on the team.

The go-ahead goal, of course, came from Chris Drury, the 1998 winner from Boston University, who adds another chapter to his legacy as a consummate winner, the well-worn story that stretches from his Little League World Series victory with Trumbull, Conn. all the way through his Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche, and including the 1995 NCAA title and 1998 Hobey Baker Award that bookend his celebrated career at BU.

(Now, if only Chris could add a great accomplishment with the Rangers to that, I’d be happier than ).

Meanwhile, watching Ryan Miller in net, fending off shots from the likes of Sidney Crosby, Dany Heatley and Jonathan Toews, it was easy to see how he stopped 95 percent of his shots over the course of the 2000-2001 season en route to the last Hobey to be won by a goaltender. If my dad hadn’t grown up a Michigan fan, I probably would have been doing some “Go Green, Go White” cheers on my couch on Sunday.

Of course, Hobey Baker never played in the Olympics. He repreented the US internationally in a much more important venue, flying in World War I. Still, it does seem appropriate that two of the biggest stars of Sunday’s win were Hobey Baker winners.

After all. while I’ll be the last one to try to compare the US win over Canada on Sunday to the Miracle on Ice (Although I can hardly blame the major media outlets who have done so, given the 30-years-minus-a-day timing), it is somewhat fitting that two Hobey Baker winners helped played key roles in the biggest US hockey win since 1980. After all, remember who won the very first Hobey Baker Award:

Neal Broten.


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