March 15, 2012
U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. – Air Force senior defenseman Tim Kirby was named one of 10 finalists for the prestigious Hobey Baker Memorial Award, presented each year to college hockey’s top player. Kirby is the third Falcon in school history, and the third in the last six years, to be named a finalist. Eric Ehn was a finalist, and also named to the Hobey Hat Trick as one of three finalists, in 2007. Jacques Lamoureux was one of 10 finalists in 2009.
Kirby, from Austin, Minn., is tied for third in the nation in goals by a defenseman with 12 and is 16th in the nation in points by a defenseman with 27 (0.75 per game) (12-15-27). He has scored in 21 of the 36 games, tied as the most on the team. Twelve of his 15 assists this season were first assists. Kirby leads Atlantic Hockey in points by a defenseman in all games (0.75 per game). He has played in every game in his career, breaking the Air Force Academy record with 152 consecutive games played (as of March 14, 2012). He ranks ninth in school history for points by a defenseman (26-61-87). His 26 career goals are the fifth most in school history among defensemen.
Joining Kirby as a finalist for the Hobey are Spencer Abbott, forward from Maine; Jack Connolly, forward from Minnesota-Duluth; Brian Dumoulin, defenseman from Boston College; Troy Grosenick, a goalie from Union, Shawn Hunwick, goalie from Michigan, Torey Krug, a forward from Michigan State, Justin Schultz, defenseman from Wisconsin; Austin Smith, forward from Colgate; and Reilly Smith, forward from Miami.
The 10 finalists were selected by voting from all 58 Division I college hockey head coaches and by online fan balloting at www.hobeybakeraward.com. Next, the 23-member Selection Committee and an additional round of fan balloting (at www.hobeybakeraward.com from March 16-25) will determine this year’s Hobey Baker winner. Criteria for the award include: displaying outstanding skills in all phases of the game, strength of character on and off the ice, sportsmanship and scholastic achievements.
The Hobey Hat Trick (three finalists) will be announced on March 29, 2012 and the Hobey Baker Award winner will be announced Friday, April 6, 2012 from MacDill Air Force Base, in Tampa, FL during the NCAA Frozen Four. A video feed of the award announcement can be watched live at Channelside in Tampa or live on the Hobey Baker website. Following, in alphabetical order, is a look at each finalist.
A standout hockey and football player at Princeton, Hobey Baker was a fighter pilot in World War I. Prior to returning from France, he was killed at the age of 26 while testing a repaired aircraft in 1918. Baker is a charter member of the United States Hockey Hall of Fame and one of a handful of Americans to be inducted into Canada's Hockey Hall of Fame. He is a member of Princeton's Hall of Fame, both football and hockey. --30--