Union junior defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere is honored to be a Hobey Baker Award top-10 finalist, but with the way Boston College junior forward Johnny Gaudreau has played this season, leading the country with 69 points, Gostisbehere knows his chances of winning the trophy are slim.
Gostisbehere, who won the first phase of the fan balloting, became the second Union player to be named one of the 10 finalists for the Hobey, which goes to college hockey’s top player, it was announced Thursday. He joins goalie Troy Grosenick in 2012, the year Union reached its first NCAA tournament Frozen Four.
“It means a lot,” Gostisbehere said. “It’s a tremendous honor, of course. Just being associated with the award is really an honor and definitely a great feeling right now.”
Gaudreau, who was a Hobey Hat Trick finalist last year, leads the country with 32 goals. He also has 37 assists.
“I’m pretty sure Johnny’s got that all wrapped up,” Gostisbehere said. “It’s definitely a good honor for him.”
A slick puck-moving defenseman with a deadly slap shot, Gostisbehere is the second-ranked Dutchmen’s fifth-leading scorer with eight goals and 20 assists. He is tied for fifth in the country among defensemen with a plus-minus rating of plus-22. That is also tied for the team lead with left winger Daniel Carr.
In ECAC Hockey play, Gostisbehere was tied for fourth in defensemen scoring with four goals and 13 assists. His plus-19 was tied for first with Quinnipiac defenseman Danny Federico. Gostisbehere is a finalist for the conference’s Best Defensive Defenseman award.
“I’m extremely happy for him,” Union coach Rick Bennett said. “It’s well-earned. It was a lot of hard work over the years. It’s been a pleasure to work with him here at Union to help him in his quest to be the best possible player he can be. A lot of credit goes to [assistant coaches] Jason Tapp, Joe Dumais and John Ronan for their work with them, as well.”
Gostisbehere is the only defensemen among the finalists.
“It’s definitely an honor being the only defenseman,” Gostisbehere said. “It says a lot about our team. We’re a defensive group together. It definitely feels like a team [honor] because without my teammates, I wouldn’t be getting any recognition at all.”
Gostisbehere won the first phase of the Hobey Baker fan vote, garnering over 24,000 votes. The fan vote is counted toward one percent of the overall vote.
“It definitely surprised me,” Gostisbehere said. “I got lots of support from friends and family. I couldn’t be more happier right now.”
Phase two of the fan vote is underway and runs through March 30.
The other finalists are Nebraska-Omaha junior forward Josh Archibald, St. Lawrence senior forward Greg Carey, St. Cloud State senior forward Nic Dowd, Ohio State junior forward Ryan Dzingel, Boston College senior forward Kevin Hayes, Ferris State junior goalie CJ Motte, Wisconsin junior goalie Joel Rumpel and Minnesota sophomore goalie Adam Wilcox.
The Hobey Hat Trick finalists will be announced April 2. The winner will be named April 11 at the NCAA Frozen Four in Philadelphia.
Union dominated the ECAC Hockey all-conference team, placing four players on the squad.
Making the first team were Carr, Gostisbehere, defensemen Mat Bodie and goalie Colin Stevens.
RPI forward Ryan Haggerty, who signed with the New York Rangers last week, also made the first team, giving the Capital Region teams five of the six spots. Carey was the other first-team member.
Dutchmen forward Daniel Ciampini made the third team, and Union freshman center Mike Vecchione made the all-rookie team.
The rest of the awards will be announced today.