Trio vie for Hobey Baker Award

Apr 11, 2008 - 2:40 PM DENVER (Ticker) -- With a national championship game on the horizon, Nathan Gerbe may enter that contest with college hockey's ultimate individual honor.

Gerbe, who helped earn Boston College a berth in Saturday's Frozen Four title game, is one of three finalists for this year's Hobey Baker Award, which will be presented Friday night at the Pepsi Center.

Forwards Kevin Porter of Michigan and Ryan Jones of Miami (Ohio) also are in the running for the award.

At 5-5, 165 pounds, Gerbe is one of the smallest players in the NCAA. However, the junior forward - who was selected in the fifth round of the 2005 draft by the Buffalo Sabres - did not allow his size to be a detriment, instead using his speed and energy to frustrate opponents.

Heading into Saturday's title game against Notre Dame, Gerbe has registered 33 goals and 31 assists in 42 contests this season. On Thursday, the 20-year-old recorded a hat trick and set up another goal in a 6-1 triumph over North Dakota.

"I understand that you need some real marquee players to make it to the national championship game and to win championships, and he's certainly one of ours," Boston College coach Jerry York said of Gerbe. "He's had a fabulous three years at BC, and right now, he's perhaps playing his best hockey."

"I'm sure the award has already been picked, but all three finalists are incredible players in their own," Eagles teammate Andrew Orpik said. "But I get to watch Nate play every day. He's one of my roommates and he is, to me, the most exceptional player in college hockey.

"He puts you on the edge of your seat every time he gets the puck. To watch him play is something special."

Porter also was special for Michigan, notching 33 goals and 30 assists in 43 games this campaign. A fourth-round pick of the Phoenix Coyotes in 2004, the 22-year-old senior is a consistent two-way player who was named the Central Collegiate Hockey Association's Player of the Year.

Jones, 23, recorded 31 goals and 18 assists in 42 games for Miami. A fourth-round pick of the Minnesota Wild in 2004 who signed a contract with the NHL club on April 2, he finished his four-year career with the RedHawks as the second-leading goal-scorer in school history with 90.

No one has shouted yet.
Be the first!