November 28, 2007

The Hobey Baker Memorial Award is presented to a deserving recipient on the day before the last college hockey game of the season. But that doesn’t mean that college hockey fans, players and media members don’t think about it all season. Inside College Hockey's Hobey Tracker looks at the top three candidates for the award, those whose stock is rising or falling, and other players worthy of consideration.

The Hobey Tracker will be updated every other Wednesday morning during the first half of the season, and every Wedneday morning during the second half of the season.


1. Kevin Porter
Senior | Forward

To Date: 16-8—24, 8 PPG, +10
The Buzz: Since our last Hobey Tracker, Porter's gone from steady performer to explosive force, posting 7-5—12 and a +5 plus-minus rating in the Wolverines' last four games and doing everything other than leading the school's search for a successor to Lloyd Carr. He's now the nation's leader in points, goals, and power-play goals and — oh, by the way — still has just one minor penalty to his credit through 14 games this season.

2. Ryan Lasch
St. Cloud State
Soph. | Forward

To Date: 10-10—20, 5 PPG
The Buzz: Lasch is one of three players tied for second nationally in scoring with 20 points (Michigan's Chad Kolarik and Lasch's freshman linemate, Garrett Roe, are the others.) As we mentioned in the Bull Market portion of our last Hobey Tracker, what sets Lasch apart is his consistency. His goal-scoring streak ended at six games when Clarkson muzzled him in its 3-2 win over the Huskies Saturday, but he did record an assist to extend his point-streak to eight in a row.

3. Tim Kennedy
Michigan State
Junior | Forward

To Date: 11-5—16, 7 PPG, 4 GWG, +4
The Buzz: We tinkered with the notion of dropping Kennedy from the top three altogether, but chose instead to slide him down one spot to no. 3. Keeping him on the Big Board is his status among the national leaders in goals (tied for fourth), game-winning goals (tied for first), and power-play goals (tied for second). He falls a rung based on his relative silence — just two goals — in the Spartans' last four games, a stretch that included two losses to top-ranked Miami and ties with Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Joe Vitale


Vitale is only tied for seventh in scoring among Hockey East skaters with 5-8—13 in 11 games, but his production over the last month has propelled the upstart Huskies to the top of the conference standings. The St. Louis native has at least one point in seven of his team's last eight games; Northeastern is 5-2-1 during that span. Vitale also has a signature moment on which to pin his possible Hobey candidacy. Last Friday in Chestnut Hill, he scored a goal and three assists, including the set-up on the game-winning score with four seconds remaining in overtime, as the Huskies rallied from a 2-0 first-period deficit to down Boston College, 4-3.


North Dakota

On the surface, Lamoureux appears to be Hobey worthy, owning the nation's fifth-best goals against average and 12th-best save percentage, not to mention his NCAA-leading four shutouts. But in the Fighting Sioux's last five games, the Grand Forks native has been abysmal, posting a 2-3-0 record and a 2.65 GAA while stopping 96 of the 109 shots he's faced — that's a .881 save percentage for those of you scoring at home.

Luke Flicek
Bryce Hollweg
Owen Meyer

Air Force's Eric Ehn proved last season that a player from a service academy could garner support for the Hobey, so why can't a member of the high-scoring trio from West Point do the same this season? All three are among the country's top 20 scorers — Flicek and Meyer are tied for sixth nationally with 18 points, and Hollweg is in a tie for 15th place with 15 points. Flicek, a senior from Burnsville, Minn., might be the most viable canndidate. Though he doesn't have a five-point game to his credit (both Hollweg and Meyer achieved the feat in a win over Bentley earlier this month) he does have consistency working in his favor. Flicek has had multiple points in six of Army's last 10 games, and has at least one point in all but two contests over that stretch.