January 8, 2010

Blair Riley Selected As Hobey Baker Memorial Award Candidate

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Ferris State University men's ice hockey senior forward Blair Riley (Kamloops, British Columbia) has been officially announced as a 2009-10 season candidate for the prestigious Hobey Baker Memorial Award, which is awarded annually to college hockey's top player.

Riley is presently midst his most productive season at Ferris State with a team-leading and career single-season high tying 24 points on a career season-best 15 goals with nine assists in 20 contests.  The FSU left winger has also recorded three power-play goals, two short-handed lamplighters, and one game-winning marker this season to go with a plus eight efficiency rating.  Riley has produced multiple points in eight outings this season, which includes a four-point game effort and his second career hat trick in a league home decision over Ohio State on Nov. 20.

Riley has been a major factor in Ferris State's noteworthy success this season as the 6-0, 220-pound skater has helped the Bulldogs to a current 14-4-2 overall record and a national ranking in all three college hockey polls.  Ferris State's performance this season represents one of the top three starts in the program's history while the Bulldogs are presently listed 11th nationally by U.S. College Hockey Online, 12th in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll, and 13th in Inside College Hockey.com's poll.  FSU has also compiled a 9-1-2 mark in its last 12 outings to date while the Bulldogs have currently registered a school-record tying 11-0-0 home ledger this campaign. 

Riley has already received numerous honors this season, highlighted by being chosen as the RBC Financial Group Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) Player of the Month for November following a combined 10 points (8-2=10) in six appearances.  He also has earned both CCHA Offensive Player of the Week and Inside College Hockey.com Player of the Week plaudits (Nov. 23).  Recently, Riley landed a spot on the 2009 Badger Hockey Showdown's All-Tournament Team (Jan. 3).

Nationally, Riley presently ranks tied for sixth in goals per game (0.75 gpg.) and is tied for 33rd place in points per game (1.20 ppg.).  He presently is first among the CCHA statistical leaders in goal scoring (11 goals) for conference contests only while being listed second in points (16 points) and tying for second-place honors in power-play points (seven points).

In 127 career games, Riley has accumulated 73 points on 39 goals and 34 assists while generating 14 power-play goals, two short-handed tallies, and three game-winning lamplighters.  He currently ranks tied for 35th place on FSU's all-time goal scoring leaders list.  

The Ferris State skater is among 70 candidates nationally vying for the award,  which includes 13 representatives from CCHA-member teams. 

The Hobey Baker's highly popular fan-voting phase opens on Friday, Jan. 8. Visit the Hobey Baker website, www.hobeybaker.com.  Click on the Vote for Hobey Baker icon and follow the prompts to make your selection from this year's outstanding crop of college hockey players.

This first phase of fan balloting for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award will run now through March 7, 2010.  Phase two of fan balloting will begin on March 19 from the list of the Top Ten Hobey Baker finalists.  The fans' vote accounts for a full 1 percent of the total ballot in each phase in selecting this year's award recipient.  Bulldog hockey fans are encouraged to visit www.hobeybaker.com to vote for Riley. 

Hobey Baker candidate criteria includes the superlative character traits put forth by the award's namesake, Hobey Baker, a World War I flying ace who was known as America's greatest amateur athlete in his day. Award candidates must exhibit strength of character both on and off the ice, contribute to the integrity of his team, and display outstanding skills in all phases of the game. Consideration should also be given to scholastic achievement and sportsmanship. In the 2002-03 season, former Ferris State All-American Chris Kunitz was one of the remaining three Hobey Baker Hat Trick finalists for the prestigious Hobey Baker Memorial Award.

The 2010 Hobey Baker Award winner will be announced from a field of three Hobey Hat Trick finalists on Friday, April 9, 2010 during the NCAA Frozen Four Championships in Detroit, Mich.  The 30thannual award announcement honoring college hockey's top player will be televised live during prime time on ESPNU. 

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