College Hockey’s Hobey Baker Award Nominees Announced
Two Friars Nominated for Prestigious Award
by Meaghan Cahill
In the final stretch of their sophomore season, Providence College Men’s Hockey Team players Jack Dugan ’22 and Tyce Thompson ’22 were announced as nominees for the prestigious Hobey Baker Award, which is given to the top player in college hockey. They were joined by 76 other Division I college hockey players throughout the country.
The Hobey Baker Award follows four criteria when considering the nominees: strength and character, on and off the ice; contribution to the integrity of the team and outstanding skills in all phases of the game; scholastic achievement and sportsmanship; and compliance with all NCAA rules, including being a full-time student in an accredited college or university and completing 50 percent or more of the season.
All 78 players who were nominated will go through a three-part selection process. First, NCAA head coaches nominate players from the league in addition to the top three players in the nation. Then, fans have the chance to vote online to narrow down the top 10 candidates. Lastly the Hobey Baker Memorial Award Selection Committee that consists of 29 individuals representing print and electronic sports media, college hockey coaches and officials, and NHL scouts, will vote on their top three candidates and, ultimately, who they think should win the award. Fans are also allowed to provide input by voting during this stage as well. Notable players that have won the Award in recent years include NHL players Johnny Gaudreau, Jack Eichel, Jimmy Vesey, Will Butcher, Adam Gaudette, and Cale Makar.
Dugan, whose goal is to be “the best player in college hockey,” currently leads the NCAA in assists (34), points per game (1.78), power-play points (17), and even strength points (24). He also currently leads the league with 41 points over the course of 23 games. In addition, Dugan has an impressive presence on the ice and has been a key player for the Friars all season long, especially since he has spent time transitioning into a more defensive style of play.
On his way to becoming a well-rounded two-way player, the Las Vegas Golden Knights draft pick said, “I’ve become more of a 200-foot player. Coming in, I was pretty offensive, and now I can play in the last few minutes of a game and be trusted defensively.”
Thus far, the numbers have backed his improvement and the efforts he has put into being recognized as the top player in the NCAA. Described as a “dominant player,” throughout the course of the season, there have been 14 games where he notched at least two points, five games of at least three points, and three games of four points—the most in the nation.
Despite the fact that he has yet to complete two full seasons of play, head coach Nate Leaman believes that Dugan has a lot going for him, saying, “He’s strong on pucks, he’s got a good stick, he’s got very good vision.”
Ranked the best forward in college hockey by the NHL, as well as being listed in their top three for this year’s most valuable player, Dugan is believed to be the frontrunner for the Hobey Baker Award. Should he win, he would be the first player in PC history to win, something that he finds to be “very cool.”
However, Dugan is not letting his explosive second season cloud his judgement as he looks to what he hopes to be a future in the NHL. And similarly, neither is Thompson, who is listed as the NHL’s top breakout player.
After a relatively quiet freshman year due to Leaman’s stacked “older team” and desire to allow him to develop and grow, Thompson is experiencing a breakout sophomore season that has led to him being nominated for the Hobey Baker Award.
Currently sitting on 38 points overall, Thompson’s 17 goals have him tied for top goalscorer in the country. In the 23 games already played this season, he has scored at least one goal in 15 of them, which leads all NCAA players, and has 13 multi-point games.
Like Dugan, Thompson also is a dominant player on the ice who brings “the energy and the smarts” to the game, according to Leaman. Furthermore, from last season to this season, Leaman also acknowledges that Thompson’s overall strength buildup has significantly helped him with having such a great season with the Friars.
In addition to the Hobey Baker nomination, the 2019 New Jersey Devil’s draft pick is joined by Dugan and co-captain Michael Callahan ’22 in being nominated for the Walter Brown Award, which recognizes the best American-born Division I college hockey players in New England.
The winners of both awards will not be announced until the end of the season during the NCAA tournament.
Jack Dugan Sets High Goals for Season
Sophomore Wants to Bring National Title to PC
By Thomas Zinzarella ’21
“I just want to be the best player in college hockey.” That’s the personal goal that Jack Dugan ’22 has this year as he takes the ice for the nationally ranked Providence College Men’s Hockey Team.
Dugan was most recently awarded the Hockey East Player of the Week for the week of Oct. 28 and was named the Hockey East Player of the Month for October. Dugan has been one of the most electrifying players to watch in college hockey this year, and he currently leads the country in assists (13) and points (18).
The Vegas Golden Knights draft pick has caught the attention of hockey fans including ESPN broadcaster and SportsCenter anchor John Buccigross. Buccigross, who coined the term ‘Cawlidge Hawkey,’ religiously follows college hockey and broadcasts the NCAA Tournament and Frozen Four every year for ESPN. Buccigross attended the game on Saturday night at Schneider Arena against Boston College and went onto Twitter after the game and tweeted this:
“I enjoy watching @GoldenKnights draft pick #12 Jack Dugan play hockey. He is hard nosed, confident, has a good release & works well with his linemates. He digs deep & works to make a play even when he’s tired. The PC Friars are very young, so they need his example and consistency.”
Dugan would finish the game with a goal and an assist, and has now recorded points in seven of the eight games this year. In all seven of those games he has recorded at least two points.
The sophomore forward is coming off a promising freshman season during which he skated in 41 of 42 games and was an active part of the Friars offense. He notched a team high 29 assists which led all NCAA freshmen during the 2018-2019 season.
Dugan was a key part of the Friars’ run to the Frozen Four last year. He put up five assists in the Hockey East quarterfinals against Boston College and had two assists throughout the NCAA tournament. The Friars defeated the top-seeded Minnesota State University in the opener of the tournament and rolled over 3-seed Cornell University to advance to their fifth ever Frozen Four.
The Friars unfortunately fell to Minnesota-Duluth, who would go on to win the National Championship. Going to the National Championship is one of the goals that Jack Dugan and this Friar team have their sights set on.
Dugan also alluded to a Hockey East championship, since the Friars did not make it past the Hockey East Quarterfinals last season after being bounced by Boston College on their home ice.
“We were close last year…obviously came up a little bit short.” Dugan added, “We played a really good team that ended up winning the whole thing. Our focus hasn’t changed. If anything it’s a little more focused on ‘alright we know can get there…now what are the little things we have to do to break through and actually win it.’”
It is still very early in the season but so far Head Coach Nate Leaman’s squad has amassed a 4-3-1 record, including a 2-2 mark in Hockey East play. The Friars opened up their season with a thrashing of Maine 7-0 and followed it up with a sweep of St. Lawrence and No. 9 Clarkson. It will take until December-January for the Friars to try and hit their stride. Under the tutelage of Leaman and with promising play from Dugan, the Friars can only get better from here and boast one of the best scoring offenses in the country.
PC Athletes Earn Conference Honors
Four Friars Recognized for their Standout Performances
by Scott Jarosz ’21
Athletes from multiple Providence College athletic teams received awards this past week for their athletic performances. The athletes that received awards were Jack Dugan ’22 of men’s hockey, Paulo Lima ‘22 of men’s soccer, Lydia Rice ’20GS of field hockey, and Clare Minnerath ’20 of women’s hockey.
Dugan started off the 2019-2020 season on the right foot to say the least. On Friday, November 1, Dugan was named the Hockey East Player of the Month for October by the Hockey East Association. Dugan currently leads NCAA Division I Men’s Hockey in points with 18 total on five goals and 13 assists. The player of the month honor is not the only award Dugan has won this season, as he was previously named Hockey East Player of the Week after totaling five points in just two games against the University of Massachusetts- Lowell and Boston College. Dugan’s consistently impressive numbers throughout the early stages of the 2019-2020 season show that he is deserving of the Hockey East Player of the Month award.
Another athlete who has put out a series of impressive performances as of late is Paulo Lima of the men’s soccer team. On Oct. 28, Lima was named to the Big East Weekly Honor Roll for the first time in his career. Lima had an outstanding week to earn the honors, as he totaled five points in just two games for PC that week. In the team’s first game of the week against Villanova University, Lima played a part in each of PC’s goals in a 2-0 victory over VU. Lima assisted the first goal and scored the second to secure the win for the Friars. Lima’s impressive week did not stop there, as he scored the golden goal game winner in overtime against Creighton University in the following game. Lima’s five-point week led him to receive the Weekly Honor Roll recognition from the Big East.
Another athlete who received an accolade this past week is Rice, a graduate student goalkeeper for the field hockey team. On Oct. 28, Rice was named the Big East Defensive Player of the Week. This marks the first time this season that Rice received the award and the third time in her career. The performances that led to Rice being named defensive player of the week were a five-save shutout against Georgetown University and a three-save shutout against Rider University. These back-to-back shutouts against Georgetown and Rider solidified Rice as the Big East Defensive Player of the Week.
The final Providence College athlete that earned an award this past week was Claire Minnerath, goaltender for the women’s hockey team. Minnerath was named the Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 28. In an upset 1-0 victory over Northeastern University, Minnerath recorded 33 saves, a career-high. Minnerath then recorded 20 saves on Oct. 26 in a game against the University of New Hampshire. Her impressive performances against both secured her the defensive player of the week honor.