Cawlidge Hawkey Hockey NCAA Men's Hockey

2021 Hobey Baker Award: Reigniting A Dormant Rivalry

As the NCAA prepares to crown the winner of this years Frozen Four, they must first hand out the most coveted individual prize in men’s cawlidge hawkey! Tonight the Hobey Baker award will finally be announced, much to the delight of Habs and Sens fans alike. This year’s three finalist bring the best of each world to the forefront. Will it be the clutch scoring leader, the 200-foot team leader or the brick wall?

Dryden McKay (G)
(5) Minnesota State University (Mankato)
2020-21 Season Stats – 25GP | 21-3-0 | 1.39 GAA | 0.931 SV% | 10 SO
NCAA Career @ MSU – 96 GP | 75-14-4 | 1.49 GAA | 0.934 SV% | 24 SO
WCHA Goalie & Player Of The Year
WCHA First All Star Team
WCHA Regular Season Champs

Mike Richter Award Top 3 Finalist
(Source – Eliteprospects.com)

Dryden McKay enters the Hobey Baker conversation with Aerin Frankel vibes. His stellar numbers did not get the recognition they deserve with many critics citing East Coast bias. Call it what you want, McKay has been a literal brick wall since joining the Mavericks. He is a Finalist for the Mike Richter Award as the NCAA’s top goalie for the second year in a row (semifinalist in 2019) and will try to be the first ever goalie to pull off the sweep!

Dryden will attempt to become the first goalie since Ryan Miller (2000-01) and the third goalie all time to win the award. He certainly has the numbers to support his claim to the Hobey Baker. Dryden ranks 1st in Shut Outs (10), 2nd in Wins (21) and GAA (1.39), 5th in Minutes (1462) and 6th in SV% (0.931). The only knock against him is that he finished outside the Top 25 in Saves, 26th to be exact. His 460 Saves (18.4/game) is a very light workload to average over the course of a season, however you can only stop what you face, and to that extent, there was no one better.

(Stats provided by Collegehockeynews.com)

Shane Pinto (C))
(1) University of North Dakota
Drafted – OTT 2019 2nd Round (32 Overall)
2020-21 Season Stats – 28GP | 15G (7PPG / 3GWG) | 17A | 32P (1.14 PT/G) | +19 | 94 Shots
NCAA Career @ UND – 61GP | 31G (7PPG / 6GWG) | 29A | 60P (0.98 PT/G) | +38 | 94 Shots
NCHC Player Of The Year (Unanimous)
NCHC Top Forward & Top Defensive Forward
NCHC First All Star Team
NCHC Regular Season Champs & Tournament Champs (Frozen Four #1 Overall Seed)

(Source – Eliteprospects.com)

Pinto vs Caufield has sparked a nice little rivalry between Habs and Sens fans and for good reason. Pinto may not have the offensive numbers to keep pace with a guy like Caufield, but he is one of the most complete centers in the NCAA. His 32 points were good for 9th in the NCAA, he was T-4th in Power Play Goals (PPG – 7) while sporting a +19 and a 61.9% Face Off rate. The latter two stats are the only real public stats to attempt to quantify the defensive side of his game, however winning the NCHC’s Best Defensive Forward Award speaks for itself.

More importantly Pinto was a prominent fixture and leader for the NCAA’s top ranked school to begin and end the season. North Dakota were the pre-season favourites but slipped as low as 4th before fighting their way back and enter the Frozen Four as the #1 seed in the Tournament. While Pinto’s style of play may not be the sexiest, he is reliable in all three zones and brings a defensive awareness and skill set that most coaches try to teach to about 95% of other players.

(Stats provided by Collegehockeynews.com)

Cole Caufield (RW)
(4) University of Wisconsin (Madison)
Drafted – MTL 2019 1st Round (15 Overall)
2020-21 Season Stats – 31GP | 30G (11PPG / 5GWG) | 22A | 52P (1.68 PT/G) | +9 | 165 Shots
NCAA Career @ UW – 61GP | 49G (18PPG / 7GWG) | 39A | 88P (1.31 PT/G) | +6 | 305 Shots
B10 Player Of The Year (Unanimous)
B10 & NCAA Scoring Champ (Goals & Points)
B10 First All Star Team & B10 Tournament All Star
B10 Regular Season Champs & B10 Tournament Runners Up

(Source – Eliteprospects.com)

If you are unaware of Caufield’s statistical dominance in the NCAA this year you are either intentionally trying to, or living your life like Patrick Star. To quickly recap he ranks 1st in Goals (30), Points (52), PT/G (1.68), Shots (165), Power Play Goals (11), 3rd in Game Winning Goals (5) and 6th in assists (22). Not that these numbers aren’t nice, but on a more important note he also drastically raised the play of his linemates, both of whom had careers seasons. Caufield’s regular linemates Linus Weissbach (41 pts, 1.32 PT/G) and Ty Pelton-Byce (31pts, 1.29 PT/G) both finished top 10 in PT/G in the NCAA.

Caufield’s ability to raise the play around him is but the tip of the iceberg in terms of what he brought to this team. From a team success standpoint, Wisconsin finished dead last in the Big 10, losing two of their top three scorers (Wyatt Kalynuk and Alex Turcotte). Let’s not forget to add K’Andre Miller who is currently playing in the NHL with the Rangers. Now of course North Dakota and Minnesota State lost players as well, but they replaced them with players like Riese Gaber (UND – 21 pts), Jake Sanderson (UND – 15pts) Todd Burgess (14 pts).

Wisconsin’s best recruit was Mathieu De St. Phalle who only managed 8 points this season. With all due respect to De St. Phalle and the rest of the 2020 recruiting class, there is a clear discrepancy in talent.

The Badgers rise to the top of the rankings this season was a joy to watch. They weren’t even ranked in the top 20 to start the season yet they were the #1 Seed in the East Bracket in the Frozen Four. Not to mention the team was without standout and fellow Hobey Baker top 10 finalist, Dylan Holloway for a stretch as he joined Team Canada’s World Junior Training Camp.

While the stats are nice, let’s not forget it can be easily argued that no player was more valuable to their team’s success than Caufield. I may be a little biased though.

(Stats provided by Collegehockeynews.com)

As always don’t forget to check out the rest of the Hot Sauce Family and check us out on Youtube! In their latest episode, Chtib and Zhang sit down with Hockey Hall of Fame broadcaster Dick Irvin Jr. The boys reminisce on some of the highlights of Irvin’s famed career which included dozens of iconic Stanley Cup moments.

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