MILWAUKEE — There have still only been two Hobey Baker Award winners that played between the pipes.
It may not have been the night that Wisconsin goaltender Brian Elliott was hoping for, but Saturday will prove to be a much more important day.
Denver defenseman Matt Carle, who recently signed with the San Jose Sharks of the NHL, was announced as the 26th Hobey Baker award-winner Friday evening, beating out the other “Hobey Hat Trick” finalists, Boston College’s Chris Collins and Elliott.
“The biggest thing I should be thankful for is that the votes were put in before yesterday’s games,” Carle said.
Elliott made 32 saves in Wisconsin’s 5-2 win over Maine and Collins notched a hat trick in Boston College’s 6-5 victory over North Dakota.
Elliott had talked in the past few weeks about how he was proud of his accomplishments and accolades this season, but has been persistent in focusing on a national championship.
His message remained the same following the announcement, and Carle’s was not much different. When asked which was better, the award or the pair of national championships, he did not hesitate.
“The national championships still top the Hobey Baker,” Carle said.
“[Collins and I] would trade that trophy for a ring any day,” Elliott said. They will have their chance at those rings Saturday night. “Tomorrow night’s game is the pinnacle and we’re going to try our best.”
Princeton senior goalie Eric Leroux was named the College Hockey Humanitarian Award recipient.
Badgers still not short on awards
Following the Hobey Baker Award ceremony and presentation of the Humanitarian Award, the members of the RBK/American Hockey Coaches Association All-American teams were announced and three Badgers made the West squad.
Elliott earned the first-team goaltender spot after leading the nation in almost every major goaltending statistic this season.
Senior defenseman and assistant captain Tom Gilbert and sophomore forward Joe Pavelski were named to the West’s second-team. Gilbert, who is highly regarded around the WCHA as being one of the league’s top defenseman, led all Badger defenseman with 11 goals and 19 assists this year. Pavelski leads the Badgers in scoring, with 23 goals and 54 points, and is currently tied for sixth in the nation. He has a team-best 15 multi-point games, six game-winning goals and 11 power-play goals.