10 Finalists Named for Hobey Baker

Hockey East Player of the Year Spencer Abbott is a Hobey Baker Award finalist.

The Hobey Baker Memorial Award announced Thursday the 10 finalists for the 2012 award honoring college hockey’s top player. Alphabetically, they are: Spencer Abbott (Maine), Jack Connolly (Minnesota-Duluth), Brian Dumoulin (Boston College), Troy Grosenick (Union), Shawn Hunwick (Michigan), Tim Kirby (Air Force), Torey Krug (Michigan State), Justin Schultz (Wisconsin), Austin Smith (Colgate) and Reilly Smith (Miami).

The 10 finalists were selected by voting from all 58 Division I college hockey head coaches and by online fan balloting. Next, the 23-member Selection Committee and an additional round of fan balloting (at www.hobeybakeraward.com from March 16-25) will determine this year’s Hobey Baker winner. Criteria for the award include: displaying outstanding skills in all phases ofthe game, strength of character on and off the ice, sportsmanship andscholastic achievements.

The Hobey Hat Trick (three finalists) will be announced on March 29 and the Hobey Baker Award winner will be announced Friday, April 6, from MacDill Air Force Base, in Tampa, Fla. during the NCAA Frozen Four. A video feed of the award announcement can be watched live at Channelside in Tampa or live on the Hobey Baker website. Following, in alphabetical order, is a look at each finalist.

Spencer Abbott – University of Maine
Senior, Forward, Hamilton, Ontario

Heading into conference tournaments, Abbott leads the nation in scoring with 59 points in 37 games on 20 goals and 39 assists.  The Hockey East Player of the Year, he led the conference in scoring.

Jack Connolly – University of Minnesota-Duluth
Senior, Forward, Duluth, Minnesota

A repeat finalist from the defending national champions, Connelly is right behind Abbott in the national scoring race with 56 points. The hometown hero won the WCHA scoring title, was named first-team All-WCHA for the third straight year and was the conference Player of the Year. Connolly has been held pointless for more than one game in a row only twice in his four yearcareer.

Brian Dumoulin – Boston College
Junior, Defense, Biddeford, Maine

The smart, play-making D-man from the nation’s No. 1 team is a repeat selection as Hockey East's Best Defensive Defenseman and first-team all-league. He has 26 points in 38 games and leads BC with a +20 rating.

Troy Grosenick – Union
Sophomore, Goalie, Brookfield, Wisconsin

The first Hobey finalist from Union, Grosenick helped guide the Dutchmen to a first-place finish in the ECAC this season.  He has played in 28 of 36 games to date and has allowed two goals or fewer in 22 of those games.  He is third in the nation in goals-against average (1.66) and is third in save percentage (.936). The Ken Dryden Award winner as the ECAC's goalie of the year, he was also a first-team all-conference selection.

Shawn Hunwick – University of Michigan
Senior, Goalie, Sterling Heights, Michigan

At 5-foot-7, Hunwick may be smallish in size but hehas been huge in helping the Wolverines to a tie for second in the conference. Named second-team All-CCHA, his 23 wins are tied for second in the nation and he has set Michigan career records for goals-against average and save percentage.

Tim Kirby – Air Force Academy
Senior, Defense, Austin, Minnesota

Atlantic Hockey’s lone representative is a two-time first-team all-league selection, the conference's Best Defenseman and Player of the Year. His career-high 12 goals and 25 points in 33 games led Atlantic Hockey defensemen while he has played all 149 games in his college career.

Torey Krug – Michigan State
Junior, Defense, Livonia, Michigan

The CCHA Player of the Year, first-team all-league selection and Best Offensive Defenseman became one of only five defenseman in college history who has led his league in points; he tied for first with 29 points in 28 games. He is a second-year captain for the Spartans.

Justin Schultz – Wisconsin
Junior, Defense, West Kelowna, British Columbia

A Hobey finalist for the second straight season, Schultz leads the nation’s defensemen in scoring with 44 points in 37 games. His play earned him first-team All-WCHA and Defensive Player of the Year honors, both for the second year in a row.

Austin Smith – Colgate
Senior, Forward, Dallas, Texas

The nation’s leading goal scorer with 36, Smith has nine more than his closest rival. He’s currently tied for second in the nation in points and was named ECAC Hockey's Player of the Year and first-team all-conference. Smith has recorded points in all but three games this year.

Reilly Smith – Miami
Junior, Forward, Mimico, Ontario

A first-team all-CCHA selection for the second straight year, Smith was the CCHA Player of the Month twice this season. The nation's top returning goal scorer from a year ago ranks second only to fellow Dallas Stars pick Austin Smith (no relation). He follows in the footsteps of his brother, Brendan, a Hobey Baker finalist in 2010 with Wisconsin.

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