The Prediction

So, here we are, a little more than a day away from knowing who the 10 finalists are for the Hobey Baker Award.

To me, this is the fun part. After all, picking the Hobey winner can be very easy sometimes, as it was last year, when Kevin Porter had it locked up early. Picking 10 finalists, on the other hand, is a bit harder.

Now, there’s been some confusion about how the process works, so I put in a call Wednesday and got the lowdown on who votes when and for whom. The 10 names that will be announced Thursday are selected by vote among the nation’s 58 head coaches. Those are the finalists who will be considered by the 25-member voting panel – which includes one coach from each conference – to get the Hobey Hat Trick, which will be announced after the regionals, and the winner, who will be announced on April 10.

(So, for those of you who were wondering how Richard Bachman could be the WCHA Player of the Year and not a Hobey finalist, the media members who gave Bachman the WCHA honor were nowhere near the process that snubbed Bachman. Makes sense now, right?)

So, let’s get started, shall we?

Louis Caporusso, So., F, Michigan

Erik Condra, Sr., F, Notre Dame

Matt Gilroy, Sr., D, Boston University

Chad Johnson, Sr., G, Alaska

Zane Kalemba, Jr., G, Princeton

Jacques Lamoureux, So., F, Air Force

Ben Scrivens, Jr., G, Cornell

Ryan Stoa, Jr., F, Minnesota

Brad Thiessen, Jr., G, Northeastern

Colin Wilson, So., F, Boston University

Breaking my list down, I have five forwards, one defenseman, and four goaltenders. I also have three players each from the CCHA and Hockey East, two from ECAC Hockey, and one each from the WCHA and Atlantic Hockey.

Now, I know there are a few things that various folks may not like about my picks, so I should probably respond to them.

THESE AREN’T THE REAL FINALISTS; THEY DON’T REALLY MATTER

Sorry, had to get that out of the way. Now, addressing the various issues:

– Only one WCHA finalist. Now, there are a couple of other players who could find themselves in the top 10, particularly St. Cloud’s Garrett Roe and the 2007 winner, Ryan Duncan of North Dakota. Roe’s been among the nation’s top scorers all season, and Duncan was the glue on a North Dakota team that did what North Dakota teams do. However, St. Cloud’s lack of success this year will probably hold Roe back, and as much as I like Duncan, I don’t see a forward averaging less than a point per game being a Hobey finalist. There’s also a couple of defensemen worth talking about, but that leads into my next point. For now, I’ll just add that as the WCHA gets more and more blue-chip talent that doesn’t stay in school for very long, the number of Hobey finalists and winners the conference produces will continue to drop.

Matt Gilroy as the only defenseman on the list when 10 other blueliners have a higher scoring average. For starters, there’s the obvious fact that being a defenseman is as much about what you do in your end as what you do on offense, if not more so, and that’s a big part of why Gilroy is the only two-time All-American playing college hockey right now. You also have the fact that he’s the co-captain and unquestioned leader of the No. 1 team in the country, to the point where head coach Jack Parker said that Gilroy’s return for his senior year would have been worth it for his leadership alone, even if the Long Island native never played a game. There are 10 d-men who score more, but: Gregg Flynn takes a backseat to his team’s main Hobey candidate, Jacques Lamoureux;  Patrick Weircoch will likely suffer from Hobey’s anti-freshman bias; Jamie McBain will be held back by Wisconsin’s precarious NCAA Tournament status; and so on.

– The nation’s leading scorer, Bryan Leitch, nowhere to be found. Honestly, I doubt too many people outside the 203 area code will be up in arms over this one. First of all, there’s a disproportionate amount of assists among his 59 points, and it’s hard to see a forward contending for the Hobey. Second, he was voted to the All-ECAC Hockey Second Team. Leitch is going to have a hard time convincing people he’s one of the top 10 players in the country if he’s not one of the top three forwards in his own conference. Makes sense, right?

Of course, I’m not guaranteeing I’m going to be right – last year, I only got six of the 10, after picking nine the year before – but I’ve got a good feelign about these 10.

I guess we’ll find out.

Author: Elliot Olshansky

Elliot Olshansky covers the Hobey Baker Award beat for USCHO.com and also covers men’s and women's hockey and lacrosse at NCAA.com for Turner Sports. His experience includes four years covering college hockey for CSTV, stints at other media outlets including the New York Daily News and Spike TV, and freelance writing. His debut novel, "Robert's Rules of Karaoke," is currently available from The Write Deal (www.thewritedeal.org).

  • Siwanoy

    All credit to Sullivan for making good on his promise to get it all out on the table despite the “my dog ate it” excuse! Now for the fun! The prediction here is that he’s half right. Yale and Cornell. On the other hand, Colgate and Harvard get my vote to both upset, despite the fact that neither has the better team, at least by any measure I can think of. What they both have are very annoying coaches who recognize their teams’ fundamental limitations and have their teams’ attention. And so they have both had their teams perfecting defensive trap play. Union players said they understood all that and would dump and out skate. They couldn’t in that third period — it was a shocking display. Harvard let it slip, but not by much. Whatever happens, this is sport that deserves national television in my book!

  • EliBlue

    St. Lawrence always plays Yale tough, and tonight will be a tight one. Colgate really showed a lot last night winning at Union. Wish I could have seen the Quinny Cornell game!

    In advance of RIGHTY the North Dakota troll posting (assume Righty is the hand he uses while wearing his man child TJ Oshie jersey), bottom line about the ECAC — two of the four top teams in the country came from the conference as chosen by people in the business.

    • GeauxSioux

      We shall see what happens….

      • EliBlue

        wow, amazingly insightful. So challenging on every level

        • GeauxSioux

          Thank you.

          I watched the Yale/St. Lawrence game. Yikes.

    • Css228

      I was at the Quinny Cornell game. The refs ruined it calling every last little thing to stop play, making people switch out on every faceoff and ruining a generally good game. Seriously the first period took 50 minutes. You were lucky not to see it.

      • Wainwrightd

        To Css228…But if you ask Paul Stewart like i have this year why the officials are so inconsisten with the calls, he will tell anyone that they have no respect for the game..you think the cornell-Qpac game was bad, you should have seen the Yale-St. Lawrence Game Saturday and Sunday night…2 Saints players hit from behind, one of which was put out for the rest of the season and no call…

        • Css228

          @ Wainwrightd – Well theres blatantly missed calls and then theres making a period last almost an hour. Also a potential goal was never reviewed because the ECAC never set up the video equipment. I just learned that today. That just might be the most egregious thing I’ve heard about ECAC officiating. Not having video review equipment ready for a playoff game. Game 2 was just a display in officiating incompetence

    • Righty

      And those to teams lost to cellar dwellers this weekend. They won’t be top 4 after this weekend. Who know they may not even make it out of the first round of the EZAC playoff

      • Righty

        two teams

  • Css228

    Predictions for tonights results
    Cornell starts Garman. Wins a one goal game with multiple overtimes (CU 2-1)
    SLU tops Yale for a major upset (SLU 3-1)
    Union loses shockingly to Colgate (Colgate 4-3)
    Dartmouth sends Haahvahd back to Bahstan (Dartmouth 2-0)
    And my final prediction
    Most of these predictions will be wrong. Very wrong.

    • FD8

      Surprisingly, you only got one of these wrong, and that pretty much includes scores!

      • Css228

        That only means that I should probably spend a little more time on studying than I am spending on USCHO and other college hockey websites. Gotta do that if I want to keep being a member of the Lynah Faithful

    • Sk8dylan

      i agree with the CU one

  • Siwanoy

    Well, Dartmouth is a bit more disciplined than I thought they might be — barely, but good for them! Congratulations to Yale, Colgate and Cornell. It just keeps getting “funner” in this great league whose teams entertain us better than anyone in that other sport being played this time of year! Union, don’t despair, you will go deep, I think, once you regroup.

  • Anonymous

    Am I reading the scores right? Colgate beats Union in OT? Who’da thunk! The Red Raider goalie must have had a whale of a game. Whose next for the Cinderella Raiders? In another shocker, can they pull down Yale? Not likely but they’re playing their hearts out. Gotta luv’em.

    • Css228

      Well Mihalik did give up 3 goals but he did face 34 shots. That said it wasn’t even the best performance by a goalie on the night (That would be Mike Garman’s 37/39 to help the Ithacans escape Lynah). Still Mihalik had a hell of a series.

    • Wainwrightd

      I think Colgat ecould beat Yale..Yale’s performance Sunday night was so poor…Diving and falling down after a clean check and they got the calls all night long…Unclassy for a team that has won nothing yet..

    • RealDealYale

      I saw Yale and Colgate in the last reg. season game in New Haven….Colgate was excellent…..I thought Yale played a good game and Colgate was deservingly even all night long….I doubt Yale wants to play a consulation on Sat. heading into the NCAA’s….and I’m sure Colgate feels pretty good about themselves….should be a great game..Congrats to all 4 teams in NJ

      • i was at that game too, it was a great one, and quite shocking for a raider fan. We thought it would be 6-0 after the first (jk) im sure u spotted us though, being the only raider fans there

  • Ninedroppe

    Yale looked dominate like they did early and mid-season. I think they are getting their second wind, look out NCAA.

    • Y09

      We Yale fans hope so. It’s been a very, very rocky 2011. And we’re not discounting Colgate. They were the first team to give us anything but a W on home ice.

      • John Smith

        ur talking about having a rocky season us raiders have had it worst. We only won 3 games all against atlantic hockey, until february when we finally beat an ecac team. You yale guys have had an awesome smooth sailing season

  • Wainwrightd

    If i was a Yale fan, i would be disgusted with the way they played Saturday and Sunday night…Head hunters is all they are…If the physical play get’s taken to them, they head hunt…Put a player into the boards from behind and end his season, then turn around and hit another player from behind…Not to mention that it is pretty sad that when your player is bumped, he goes down like he was shot…Ivy League slouches that have won nothing yet…

    • RealDealYale

      What I saw over the series was pretty clear…SL played a good opener on Fri. I thought Yale had the over-all better of the play, but, weren’t crisp finishing ( credit to SL ) On Sat SL tried to get overly physical and ended up running around the def. end ….Yale basically kicked their butts…..On Sun. Yale beat SL in every zone….Basically I didnt see anything from SL on the offensive side that was sustaining in any of the 3 games…SL played the physical card, which was all they had in their hand…it wasn’t enough…the better team won the series…….

  • Sam

    LOL, Northeastern “may” be the hottest team?  They have the longest win streak in the nation.  I mean honestly you are scared to make a statement that obvious?

    • Hank

      Did you know the UMD Bulldogs have a 14 game unbeaten streak?

      • After Further Review

        We didn’t care, it’s a Hockey East blog!

    • Jim Connelly

      If I say that Northeastern “is” the hottest teams, plenty of fans will debate that fact. I would prefer to hedge a little with inference. But I’ll never please everyone.

  • Anonymous

    Another puff piece..nothign here that anyone who follows the league doesn’t already know..good grief how about a hard-hitting piece on some real topics…

    • Jim Connelly

      This, in general, is a recap of what happened this weekend. I would say the average fan doesn’t know all of what was in here. If you have ideas for topics, please send them along. Would love to hear them. You can always email me directly at jim.connelly@uscho.com.

  • Spidermonkey86

    Was at the UML/NU game; Bazin blew it. He didn’t even wait until he has possession to pull his goalie…Lowell lost the faceoff and lost the game. There is a difference between being gutsy and being stupid.

    I understand if Lowell had nothing to play for but being right in the thick of things I found the move silly. 

    They didn’t even need to pull the goalie they had no problems moving the pucj on the pp in that game.

  • blackbearfan

    Can you explain to me what embellishment is ? Did anybody watch Maine/BU game on Saturday night ? Is coach Whitehead for Maine teaching acting lessons ? Don’t think so. Did Brian Flynn really deserve a game misconduct ? Don think so. The officiating in Hockey East is brutal !!! If the officials have a beef with a coach or a school so be it, but don’t take it out on the kids.