January 23, 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. Nathan Davis
Junior | Forward

Last Week: 0-3--3, +2 in the RedHawks' win and tie against Ohio State.
The Buzz: Davis played well as Miami took three of a possible four points from the resurgent Buckeyes in a series that could've easily gone Ohio State's way, so he returns to the top spot on the Big Board. This weekend's set between Miami and Notre Dame is the series of the year in the CCHA, and could be Davis's best chance to impress voters.

2. Trevor Smith
New Hampshire
Soph. | Forward

Last Week: 1-1–2 in the Wildcats' split with Massachusetts.
The Buzz: Smith's pace has slowed somewhat in recent weeks, but he's still scored four goals and four assists in UNH's last six games. His candidacy will likely hinge on his play in three huge Hockey East series over the next five weeks – two games with Maine at the Whitt and home-and-homes with Boston College and Boston University.

3. David Brown
Notre Dame
Senior | Goalie

Last Week: Stopped 41 of 44 shots he faced in Notre Dame's split at Western Michigan. Posted a shutout against WMU Saturday.
The Buzz: Brown, who sat atop the Big Board last week, drops after a clunker in which he allowed three goals on 19 shots in a loss at Western Michigan Friday. After a sterling start, his play has leveled off, too. Prior to shutting out the Broncos Saturday his first whitewash since Nov. 11 Brown had allowed three goals in four of his last seven starts.

Mike Santorelli
Northern Michigan

"So far," wrote NMU hockey beat writer Peter Pietrangelo in Monday's Marquette Mining Journal, "the conversation for college hockey’s most prestigious individual honor has not included Santorelli in any way." True, Santorelli has been forgotten despite scoring 22 goals only Niagara's Ted Cook, with 23, has more and 37 points, good for eighth nationally. The fact that the Wildcats lost nine of 10 games between Nov. 18 and Jan. 12 factors into his name being left out of the Hobey discussion. If Santorelli stays hot (he's got nine goals and four assists in his last seven games) and NMU plays some meaningful games in late February and March, he'll get his due.
T.J. Hensick Michigan
When's the last time a guy's stock dropped after scoring a hat trick? The three goals he tallied at Alaska Friday were Hensick's first scores since Thanksgiving weekend and other than the hattie, he's collected just five assists in the Wolverines' last nine games. What really hurts Hensick's candidacy, however, are his teammates. Junior forward Kevin Porter has 39 points to Hensick's 41, but he's got at least one point in 23 of U-M's 26 games. Sophomore forward Andrew Cogliano, meanwhile, has just 29 points, but he's been the most productive Wolverine over the last two months. Witness his 10-2—12 scoring line in eight games since Dec. 1.
T.J. Fox
The leading scorer in the ECAC Hockey League with 11-18—29 in 24 games has been on an extended tear over Union's last 10 games. He's got at least one point in all but one of those contests, and has six goals and eight assists during that span. Not surprisingly, Union is 6-4-0 in its last 10 and has climbed back to .500 at 11-11-2 overall. In the Dutchmen's 2-1 win against Clarkson Saturday, Fox set up Lane Caffaro's first-period goal, then scored the game-winner 1:04 into overtime.