NCAA Frozen Four
Carle Wins Hobey Baker Award
denfenseman Matt Carle accepts the Hobey Baker Award
at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee Friday
Wis. – In his three seasons on the Denver blue line,
Matt Carle mastered the stats that are only recorded by
NHL scouts. On Friday, his mastery of those stats earned
him the game’s highest individual honor.
ceremony at center ice in the Bradley Center, Carle became
the first Pioneer ever to receive the Hobey Baker Award,
as the best player in college hockey.
the award, Carle's on-ice accomplishments needed to stand
up for more than a month. The two runners-up, Wisconsin
goaltender Brian Elliott and Boston College forward Chris
Collins will meet head-to-head in the NCAA title game on
Saturday night, while Carle's season ended 27 days ago.
He signed with the San Jose Sharks shortly after the NCAA
tournament pairing (which did not include Denver) were announced
and scored a goal in his first NHL game.
kind of in shock right now,” Carle said in the post-announcement
press conference. “Ever since the selection show I’ve
been pretty much going non-stop.”
college career, and the Pioneers’ drive for three
consecutive NCAA titles, ended on March 12 with the team’s
upset loss to Minnesota Duluth in the opening round of the
WCHA playoffs. Carle said it pales in comparison to winning
the national championship, but he hopes winning the Hobey
means some kind of happy ending for his ex-teammates.
Leroux Wins Humanitarian Award
goaltender Eric Leroux is the winner of the 2006 Hockey
senior goaltender from London, Ontario, Leroux was
honored for his many volunteer projects, including
to traveling to Kenya to work as an HIV counselor
living in a rural village in a mud hut with no running
water. He also worked in a malaria clinic in Ecuador
where on weekends he helped build a rehabilitation
clinic from Amazon Jungle vegetation.
Upon his return from Ecuador, Leroux founded the Princeton
World Health Initiative, which recovers unused medical
supplies from area hospitals and pharmaceutical companies
and distributes them to hospitals in developing nations.
He's also the founder of PUCK (Providing Underprivileged
Communities and Kids), a team initiative to donate
old hockey equipment to youth hockey programs which
last year was successful in contributing more than
$5,000 worth of equipment to the Baltimore Area Youth
grandpa says you can find 18 hours in every day if
you keep moving," Leroux said, "so I try
not to ever stand still."
definitely had a rough loss to end the season, so hopefully
this will be a bright spot for the program,” he said.
definitely a bright spot for hockey fans in Colorado, who
have now seen either a Colorado College Tiger or a Denver
Pioneer win the Hobey in three of the last four seasons.
just have to get one more Hobey now and we’ll be tied,”
joked Pioneers coach George Gwozdecky about CC’s Peter
Sejna and Marty Sertich winning the award. Carle said there’s
a better measuring stick to see who’s ahead in the
you really want to get the rivalry going, count the national
championships,” Carle joked. “But to have three
Hobey winners come from Colorado College and Denver really
says something about the way hockey has grown in the state
also nodded to what it means for hockey in Alaska, Carle’s
home state. His journey of success started in Anchorage
when Carle first played hockey at age four.
mother Karen, after hugging her son and brushing away tears,
talked of how Matt always looked up to Alaskans like Scott
Gomez and Ty Conklin, who have had success in the NHL. When
Matt was 15, he moved to Ann Arbor, Mich., to play for Mike
Eaves in the USA Hockey Development Program. She says the
thought was he'd be in Michigan for a few seasons, then
would come back to play college hockey for Alaska Anchorage.
Instead, Carle ended up in Denver, impressed by the school's
business school and hockey program.
it was hard to see Carle leave the program early, Gwozdecky
said the contributions his defender made to the NCAA title
wins in 2004 and 2005 will be with him, and Pioneer fans,
think back to some of the big situations he was in and how
he made big plays and allowed us to win championships,”
Gwozdecky said. “His focus and concentration have
always been so strong that no matter what is going on around
him, he doesn't alter his course. I’ve always thought
that great players always play at the same level no matter
what the situation is. That's what made Matt Carle such
an outstanding college hockey player.”
runners-up, Wisconsin goaltender Brian Elliott and Boston
College forward Chris Collins, will play for the NCAA title
on Saturday night. Both tipped their hat to Carle, while
saying that they’d trade a national championship for
the Hobey, given the chance.
is a very deserving guy,” Elliott said. “He
shows what the Hobey Baker is all about with the way he
dominated his position."