January 30, 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.


1. David Brown
Notre Dame
Senior | Goalie

Last Week: Stopped 50 of 53 shots in a win and a tie against Miami.
The Buzz: Brown, who benefited from his teammates staking him a 4-0 lead against the RedHawks Friday, almost singlehandedly earned a point for the Irish in Saturday's 2-2 draw. Notre Dame was uncharacteristically sloppy in the first two periods of that game, and would have never escaped with a tie without Brown to repeatedly bail them out.

2. Nathan Davis
Junior | Forward

Last Week: 0-1—1 in the RedHawks' loss and tie against Notre Dame.
The Buzz: Davis's lone point was on Miami's only goal in Friday's 4-1 loss to the Irish. Notre Dame was effective in limiting the junior centerman's chances, especially on Saturday, when he mustered only two shots on goal. The extra attention, however, opened the door for linemates Ryan Jones (2-1—3 in the series) and Brian Kaufman (1-1—2).

3. Trevor Smith
New Hampshire
Soph. | Forward

Last Week: Scoreless in the Wildcats' lone game, a win against Providence.
The Buzz: Though Smith has had a fine season, his standing in third position on the Big Board is tenuous, especially with guys like North Dakota's Ryan Duncan and Michigan's T.J. Hensick putting up huge numbers. As we stated last week, Smith can bolster his status against Maine this weekend, and UNH still has series with both BC and BU.

Ryan Duncan
North Dakota


We started building a case for Duncan, who leads the WCHA with 21 goals and shares the league lead in scoring with 36 points, after naming him our Player of the Week for his efforts in the Fighting Sioux's sweep of Minnesota. Though his play against the Golden Gophers was particularly impressive, the diminutive forward (the Calgary native's listed as 5-foot-6, 158 pounds) has been the one constant in the lineup for a North Dakota team that's ridden the roller coaster this season. His more heralded classmates, T.J. Oshie (4-7—11 in his last five games) and Jonathan Toews (3-9—12 in his last six) have started to come around and may once again dominate the headlines, but Duncan's the one who's got them to this point.
Eric Ehn
Air Force
Yeah, it's kind of a stretch finding fault with the nation's leading scorer, a distinction it seems like Ehn has held the entire season. Still, his production has tailed off over the last three weeks, with no goals and six assists in six games. That's still a point a game, you say, and you're right – but three weeks ago, Ehn was averaging 1.82 points per game. He's now averagining 1.64 points a contest. What's more, Air Force's offensive production has also dropped. The Falcons have scored a total of 11 goals in their last six games. In 10 games prior to the current 2-2-2 run, the Zoomies scored 35 goals and posted a 6-2-2 mark.
Jack Johnson
If Johnson could toss out the middle third of his season – he endured a seven-game pointless stretch from Nov. 24 to Jan. 13 – odds are he'd be one of the top three on our Big Board. Consider that the hulking rearguard had at least one point in 11 of the Wolverines' first 12 games (he registered 6-7—13 during that span) and has 6-5—11 in his last four outings. For you stat geeks out there, that's 1.5 points per game, which would put him fourth in the NCAA in that category behind Ehn and Michigan teammates Hensick and Kevin Porter.