January 16, 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 51 of 55 shots he faced as the Fighting Irish swept Lake Superior State in Sault Ste. Marie.
The Buzz: So he hasn't had a shutout since Veterans Day. Big deal. Brown, who ranks second nationally with a 1.76 goals against average and leads the country with 18 wins, backstopped the Irish to a pair of critical wins against the Lakers. Do the same against Miami in two weeks, and he solidifies his position as the guy to beat,

2. Trevor Smith
New Hampshire
Soph. | Forward

Last Week: Scoreless in the Wildcats' win against Dartmouth in Manchester.
The Buzz: Smith still paces Hockey East in points, shares the top spot in goals with teammate Mike Radja, and stands tied for fourth in assists. The fact that he's done the vast majority of his damage at even strength – he's got three power-play points, two more than UNH goalie Kevin Regan – continues to impress us.

3. Nathan Davis
Junior | Forward

Last Week: One goal in Miami's split at Western Michigan.
The Buzz: Though Davis remains among the nation's top scorers he's tied for second in the country with 38 points his play has been uneven as of late. He's registered just two goals and three points in the RedHawks' previous six games, and in Miami's last three games, the usually reliable Davis has a woeful plus-minus rating of minus-8.

John Curry
Boston University

College hockey's Rocky Balboa he showed up on Comm Ave. from Minnesota (with a stopover at Taft Prep) without a scholarship just keeps swinging. In a league filled with goalies with superior pedigrees, Curry might just be the best of the bunch. In last weekend's sweep at Maine, Curry stopped 70 of the 75 shots the Black Bears fired netward, including all 30 in Saturday's 3-0 shutout. The man who kept the Terriers afloat when his teammates couldn't find the back of the net using Google Maps ranks fifth nationally in goals against average (1.86) and tenth in save percentage (.929).
Michel Lèveillè
The erstwhile Hobey frontrunner may soon find his picture on milk cartons if his disappearing act continues. Lèveillè, who scored 11 goals and 19 points in his first 11 games, has just one goal and six points in his last 10 outings. The Black Bears continue to roll on despite his lack of production – prior to being swept by BU, Maine owned an eight-game unbeaten streak by following the lead of freshman Teddy Purcell and senior Josh Soares, both of whom have passed Lèveillè as the team's scoring leaders.
Jocelyn Guimond
If Miami is the Cradle of Coaches, then Quebec is the Cradle of Goalies. From Roy to Brodeur to Luongo, the province is teeming with top-flight netminders. Just ask RIT coach Wayne Wilson, who watched Guimond, a Quebec City native, turn aside 62 of the 65 shots he faced in a sweep of Sacred Heart. Guimond, who first gained notoriety last season by making 66 saves in a 3-2 win against St. Lawrence, ranks ninth nationally with a .929 save percentage. Of his 13 starts this season he's 7-4-2 overall with a 2.32 GAA all but three have come against Atlantic Hockey foes.