November 14, 2006
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. In yet another
new coverage item presented by Inside College Hockey
for the 2006-07 season, we introduce Hobey Tracker with
a look at the top three candidates, those whose stock
is rising, and other players worthy of consideration.
Senior | Forward
Week: Three goals and one assist as the
Black Bears beat UMass Lowell and lost to New Hampshire.
The Buzz: Léveillé
started a new scoring streak with a pair of multi-point
outings. Even in Maine's loss to UNH, Léveillé
kept his team in the game. His goal early in the
second period gave the Black Bears life after the
Wildcats scored three first-period goals, and he
helped set up a power-play goal later in the second
that trimmed the UNH edge to 4-2.
2. Nathan Davis
Junior | Forward
Week: One goal in a split with host Lake
The Buzz: Goals were at a premium
in the Soo last weekend, and Davis's line was the
primary reason the RedHawks salvaged a split against
the Lakers. Davis scored Miami's first goal Saturday
and while he and Ryan Jones kept LSSU's skaters
preoccupied, linemate Jarod Palmer notched a goal
and two assists.
3. David Brown
Senior | Goalie
Week: 24 saves in a 5-2 win vs. Bowling
Green; 28 saves in a shutout win vs. Bowling Green.
The Buzz: Brown's numbers are just
too terrific to ignore. He's the nation's leader
in both goals against average (1.20) and save percentage
(.953), and shares the lead in shutouts (2). Only
Maine's Ben Bishop has surpassed his seven wins.
Brown has allowed two or fewer goals in all but
one of his nine starts.
Cory Schneider – His numbers
(2.14 GAA, .928 save pct.) are fine, but Brown's
fans, who've become accustomed to seeing talented
players depart, must be thrilled to welcome Hirsch
back into the maroon-and-gold fold this season.
People forget that the Bloomington, Minn., native,
who sat out most of last season for personal reasons,
led the Gophers in scoring during the 2004-05 campaign
with 44 points in 41 games. A gifted playmaker,
Hirsch is tied for third nationally with 14 assists.
Linemates Kyle Okposo (a team-high nine goals) and
Ryan Stoa (six goals in 11 games after netting 10
in 41 games last year) have been the primary beneficiaries
of Hirsch's largesse.
has been solid for a Badger team that has struggled
mightily in its first 12 games out of the gate this
season. Though his numbers are good (2.04 GAA, .924
save pct., two shutouts), he's not gotten much offensive
support – Wisconsin ranks third from the bottom
nationally in scoring offense. And while the Badgers'
goal production should improve, especially when
forward Jack Skille returns from injury, the team's
schedule gets tougher. Between now and Jan. 13,
Bucky plays two series with Minnesota, one series
at North Dakota and Denver, single games with Michigan
and Michigan State in Madison, and a date with Clarkson
in the Badger Hockey Showdown.
its drubbing of Maine in Orono, New Hampshire hadn't
generated much ink nationally. Some of that is due
to the Wildcats' quirky schedule – they started
the regular season a week or two later than the
other non-Ivy schools, and they opened way out west
in Colorado Springs. Should Smith, tied for the
NCAA lead in goals per game (nine scores in eight
games, 1.12 gpg), keep up his current pace, he'll
definitely turn heads. Smith, who contributed 10
goals and 10 assists as a freshman, has at least
one goal in all but one of UNH's games this season
and, amazingly, they're all at even-strength. Smith
centers a potent second line between wings Matt
Fornataro and Jerry Pollastrone.