When the Hobey Baker Award is presented next Friday in Philadelphia, Union junior defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere won’t be on the stage.
That’s because Gostisbehere wasn’t named a Hobey Hat Trick finalist. The top three candidates vying for the Hobey are St. Lawrence senior forward Greg Carey, St. Cloud State senior forward Nic Dowd and Boston College junior forward Johnny Gaudreau, it was announced Wednesday.
“It is what it is,” Gostisbehere said after practice Wednesday at Messa Rink. “It was such a tremendous honor to be recognized as one of the 10 finalists. I’m really grateful for the support that has come from so many people, like the Union administration and the Messa faithful.
“At this point, I have my eyes set on another trophy that, hopefully, we as a team can bring home to our fans.”
Gostisbehere, a third-round pick by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2012 NHL draft, was the only defenseman who was named among the 10 finalists on March 20. He has eight goals and 21 assists in 40 games this season. Gostisbehere won the ECAC Hockey Co-Player of the Year and Co-Defensive Defenseman Award. He was the second Dutchmen to be named a top-10 finalist, joining goalie Troy Grosenick (2012).
Union coach Rick Bennett is disappointed for Gostisbehere.
“Anybody that’s involved in our program that has a chance to win the Hobey Baker Award, we obviously want to see win,” Bennett said. “But I understand the criteria. It is what it is.”
Gaudreau, considered the favorite to win the Hobey, leads the country with 35 goals and 42 assists in 39 games. Gaudreau and Gostisbehere will square off in the Frozen Four semifinals at 5 p.m. April 10 at the Wells Fargo Center.
“He deserved to be in the top three, quite frankly,” Union junior goalie Colin Stevens said of his teammate. “At the same time, it’s in the past. All of our focus is on Philadelphia right now.
Carey led the Saints with 18 goals and 39 assists in 38 games. He shared the ECACH Co-Player of the Year with Gostisbehere.
Dowd was St. Could State’s second-leading scorer with 22 goals and 18 assists.
Gostisbehere was the only defenseman named to the top-10 finalists. Only six defenseman have won the Hobey since it was first presented in 1981. The last one was Boston University’s Matt Gilroy in 2009. Since then, no defenseman has made the Hobey Hat Trick.
Bennett pointed to former Wisconsin defenseman Justin Schultz, who was a two-time top-10 finalist after posting a 47-point season in 2010-11 and a 44-point season the following year, but never got into the final three.
“He didn’t stand a chance, either,” Bennett said. “It’s very tough for a defenseman to win it unless you have astronomical numbers. I thought Union College put a good push on. [Sports information directors] Daniel Jankowski and Eric McDowell did a phenomenal job promoting Shayne. It just didn’t happen.