Adam Wilcox’s numbers from this year are outstanding.
Minnesota Bound for Frozen Four
The University of Minnesota Golden Gophers cruised to the Frozen Four by dismantling the Saint Cloud State University Huskies in the West Regional Final.
- Goals Against Average: 1.8865 (3rd in nation)
- Save Percentage: .934 (2nd)
- Win-Loss-Tie: 25-5-6 (25 wins is 3rd in the nation)
- Minutes: 2,162:43 (6th)
With numbers like that, many observers expected Wilcox to be one of the final three candidates for this year’s Hobey Baker Memorial award. Sure, he isn’t first in any category, but no other goaltenders are so high on the list for each statistic (except maybe UMass-Lowell’s Connor Hellebuyck, who has legitimate beef with not being a top-ten finalist). Wilcox, the last goaltender from the 10 Hobey Finalists still playing in April, was left behind with seven other candidates.
Only forwards made the final Hat Trick: Boston College’s Johnny Gaudreau (the odds-on favorite), St. Lawrence’s Greg Carey, and St. Cloud State’s Nic Dowd.
Gaudreau is a no brainer, as he leads the country in scoring by a large margin. Carey is a senior who has more than fifty points. Dowd is a senior who also has more than
50 points 39 points. He also led his team was second on his team in scoring. The final line on his resume is his team’s impressive postseason performance the fact that he returned to play for his school, forgoing an NHL offer.
Before I go further, I want to make it clear that I respect Nic Dowd, and I don’t intend to hatchet his accomplishments. He’s an NHL caliber player who returned to his school because he loves it. He will always love it and support it. He turned down more money than I could earn in multiple years for the chance to bring a championship home to people of St. Cloud. I wish every college player had the strength of character and the commitment to his school that Dowd showed.
Nic Dowd does not deserve to be one of the three finalists for this award.
Dowd is tied for thirtieth in in scoring in the nation, and he isn’t even the most prolific scorer on his team; sophomore Jonny Brodzinski edged him by a point.
If Gaudreau wins, this award is 100% about scoring. Carey will not win, his stats aren’t as good as Gaudreau’s stats and his story is not quite as compelling as Dowd’s, what with the Frozen Four run last year. If Dowd wins, this award is 100% about character and commitment. Gaudreau will win.
Since Gaudreau will win, this award is all about gaudy stats. The committee likes to say that character is important, but it will never override stats. That’s the truth of this situation, and it’s a shame that Adam Wilcox is not in the running for this award. His outstanding statistics were earned against one of the most challenging schedules in college hockey. He is as valuable to Minnesota as Gaudreau is to BC, if not more.
He deserved to be a finalist.