Ferris State's CJ Motte A Top Ten National Finalist For Prestigious Hobey Baker Award
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Big Rapids, Mich. - Junior goaltender CJ Motte, who helped lead the Ferris State University men's ice hockey team to the 2013-14 Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Regular-Season Championship, has been chosen as one of the nation's top 10 finalists for the 2014 Hobey Baker Award, becoming only the third Bulldog player ever to receive such distinction.
The award is given annually to the nation's top collegiate standout on the ice with criteria for the award also including: displaying outstanding skills in all phases of the game, strength of character on and off the ice, sportsmanship and scholastic achievements.
Motte joins a select list of only two other former Bulldog student-athletes who have advanced to the top 10 phase. Former standout Chris Kunitz, now with the National Hockey League's (NHL) Pittsburgh Penguins, holds the distinction of being the only Ferris skater in the program's history to advance among the nation's top three finalists as he did so in 2002-03. One of his Bulldog teammates, Rob Collins, was FSU's first top 10 finalist when he received the honor the year before Kunitz for the 2001-02 season.
The ten finalists were selected by voting from all 59 Division I college hockey head coaches and by online fan balloting at www.hobeybakeraward.com. Next, the 27-member Selection Committee and an additional round of fan balloting (at www.hobeybakeraward.com from March 20-30) will determine this year's Hobey Baker winner.
In addition to Motte, the Hobey Baker Memorial Award also announced the following as top ten candidates for the 2014 award honoring college hockey's top player. Alphabetically, they are: Josh Archibald, Nebraska-Omaha, Greg Carey, St. Lawrence, Nic Dowd, St. Cloud State, Ryan Dzingel, Ohio State, Johnny Gaudreau, Boston College, Shayne Gostisbehere, Union, Kevin Hayes, Boston College, CJ Motte, Ferris State, Joel Rumpel, Wisconsin and Adam Wilcox, Minnesota.
The Hobey Hat Trick (three finalists) will be announced on April 2, 2014 and the Hobey Baker Award winner will be announced Friday, April 11, 2014 from Philadelphia, PA during the NCAA Frozen Four. The award announcement will be televised live on NHL Network or live on the Hobey Baker website at 6:00 p.m. ET. Following, in alphabetical order, is a look at each finalist.
Motte will lead the Bulldogs into the WCHA Final Five Championship this weekend at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids. Top-seeded FSU faces Alaska Anchorage in Friday's (March 21) league semifinals at 7:07 p.m. (ET) with the winner advancing to the tourney title game on Saturday (March 22) night at the same time. The winner of the WCHA Final Five Championship will receive the league's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.
In addition to being a top ten national finalist for the Hobey Baker Award, Motte is also one of five national finalists for the Premier Player in College Hockey Award along with being one of the national selected candidates for the inaugural Mike Richter Goaltender of the Year honor.
Below are biographical sketches on each of the top ten finalists:
Josh Archibald – University of Nebraska-Omaha, Junior, Forward, Brainerd, Minnesota
A dangerous offensive threat, Archibald becomes the first ever scoring champion of the new NCHC recording 32 points in 24 conference games. Heading into conference championships, he is second in the nation in goal scoring (29) in 37 games. Named First Team all-conference, he's a finalist for the circuit's Player of the Year and Forward of the Year.
- Had 29 goals, 14 assists for 43 points in 37 games – had 6 game-winners and 8 power play goals
- General Studies major – regular visitor to Children's Hospital and Adopt A Family
- Pittsburgh draft pick (6th round) – coach Dean Blais also coached his dad Jim at UND
Greg Carey – St. Lawrence University, Senior, Forward, Hamilton, Ontario
A repeat Hobey Baker top ten finalist, Carey led the nation in goals last year, and this year he leads in assists (39) and power play points (31). Has led the Saints in scoring for four straight years and repeats as scoring champion in the ECAC. His 57 points has him sitting second in the nation. A finalist this year for ECAC Player of the Year and Student-Athlete of the Year.
- Finishes season with 18 goals, 39 assists for 57 points in 38 games – had a 20-game point streak
- History major with 3.68 GPA – All Academic four years
- Member of advisory committee on athletics – participates with Saints Kids Club
Nic Dowd – St. Cloud State University, Senior, Forward, Huntsville, Alabama
Renowned as a solid two-way player, Dowd was a big part of St. Cloud State clinching the first ever NCHC regular season title. Already honored as First Team all-conference, Dowd, captain of the Huskies and tied for the team lead in points, is a finalist for four other league awards: Player of the Year, Forward of the Year, Defensive Forward of the Year and Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
- Has 21 goals, 18 assists for 39 points in 36 games – 10 power play goals tied 5th nation
- Los Angeles draft pick (7th round) – first ever Hobey finalist from Alabama
- Pre-medicine major with 3.61 GPA – works with school's Student Advisory Council
Ryan Dzingel – Ohio State University, Junior, Forward, Wheaton, Illinois
Led the new Big Ten conference in points with 24 in 20 games; overall, he leads the conference in points, tied for the lead in goals and is second in assists. Among the many offensive categories he tops the circuit in, are power play points with 18. A First Team all-conference performer, Dzingel can dangle with the best of them and had 12 multiple point games.
- Has 20 goals, 23 assists for 43 points in 34 games, tied for 12th in the nation in scoring
- Communications major – Ottawa draft pick (7th round) – Assistant captain
- Active in community events visiting James Cancer Hospital, a Buckeye Buddy and assisting youth hockey teams
Johnny Gaudreau – Boston College, Junior, Forward, Carneys Point, New Jersey
Gaudreau was a Hobey hat trick finalist last year and returns as a top ten finalist. He tops the nation in points and goals averaging almost two points per game with 69 points – the most of any Division I player in three years. The Hockey East scoring champion is a finalist for the conference Player of the Year award and has recorded points in all but two games this year including tieing a Hockey East record with a 31-game point streak (Paul Kariya-Maine).
- Has 32 goals, 37 assists for 69 points in 37 games – 2nd in nation in assists
- Calgary draft pick (4th round) – Communications major
- Has 10 power play goals, tied for fifth in nation – 6 game-winning goals tied 2nd nation
Shayne Gostisbehere – Union College, Junior, Defense, Margate, Florida
(Pronounced GOSS-tiss-bear) The smooth, puck-handling defenseman helped Union to the ECAC regular season title and topped all college hockey players in the Hobey Baker fan ballot. An assistant captain, Gostisbehere ranked eighth in the nation in points by a defenseman (28) and topped the Dutchmen in shots on goal. He's a finalist for the ECAC Best Defensive Defenseman.
- Has 8 goals, 20 assists for 28 points in 36 games – was 3rd in ECAC in points by defense
- Philadelphia draft pick (3rd round) – History major
- Community work includes serving Thanksgiving meals, trash pickup, book drive
Kevin Hayes – Boston College, Senior, Forward, Dorchester, Massachusetts
A linemate of Gaudreau, Hayes is third in the nation in points and has tripled his goal output from the previous season. His plus-minus of +26 is tied for third in the nation as he continues to average one and a half points per game. Hayes collected points in 12 straight outings mid-season, and was named the MVP of the historic Beanpot Tournament.
- Has 24 goals, 32 assists for 56 points in 37 games – has 6 game-winning goals
- Chicago draft pick (1st round) – Communications major
- Recorded points in 29 of 37 games and Eagles went 24-2-3
CJ Motte – Ferris State University, Junior, Goalie, St. Clair, Michigan
The newly remodeled WCHA found Ferris atop the league thanks to Motte and his nation leading 26 wins. Ferris was ranked in the top five in the country for 15 weeks, propelled by a 16-game unbeaten streak and Motte didn't lose a game in the first half of the season. A First Team all-conference selection, Motte has helped Ferris to two regular season titles in three years.
- Currently has a record of 26-7-3 with 4 shutouts - .928 save percentage is 10th in nation
- Has a goals against average of 2.19 – honored as WCHA Defensive Player of Week 6 times
- Construction Management major – active in several community causes
Joel Rumpel – University of Wisconsin, Junior, Goalie, Swift Current, Saskatchewan
Coming back from an early season injury, Rumpel turned the Badgers into Big Ten contenders and heads into conference playoffs ranking sixth in the nation in both goals against average and save percentage. Second Team all-conference in the Big Ten, he defined consistency throughout the season becoming the backbone of Wisconsin's stingy team defense.
- Currently has a record of 19-5-1 with two shutouts – .931 save percentage is 6th in nation
- Has a goals against average of 2.19 – finished second in conference in GAA and SP
- Personal Finance major – Children's Hospital visits, Adopt-A-Player program
Adam Wilcox – University of Minnesota, Sophomore, Goalie, South St. Paul, Minnesota
Numerous honors have already been awarded to Wilcox including Big Ten Player of the Year, Goalie of the Year and First Team all-conference. Presently sitting third in the nation in goals against average and second in save percentage, he has been instrumental in the Gophers 16-week stay atop the national rankings. In 25 of 33 games played, he allowed two goals or less.
- Currently has a record of 23-4-6 with three shutouts - .934 save percentage is 2nd nation
- Has a goals against average of 1.91 for 3rd in nation – first in Big Ten in GAA and SP
- Has posted top two single season goals against averages in 93-year Gopher history
Hobey Baker Notes
Nominees by conference: Big 10 – 3, Hockey East - 2, NCHC – 2, ECAC – 2, WCHA - 1
By class nominees are: Senior 3, Junior 6, Sophomore 1
By position nominees are: Forward 6, Defense 1, Goalie 3
By nationality nominees are: U.S. 8 (Minnesota-2, Massachusetts, Michigan, Alabama, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey-1 each), Canada 2 (Saskatchewan, Ontario-1 each)
Hobey Baker Award Banquet will be held May 29, 2014 in St. Paul, Minnesota
Visit www.hobeybakeraward.com or on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/TheHobey
The Hobey Baker website also has the top ten video and in-depth bios
Upcoming Media Releases are as follows:
Hat Trick of three Finalists – Wed., April 2 at 11 am CT
Winner – Fri., April 11 at 6 pm ET