University of Maine seniors and linemates Spencer Abbott and Brian Flynn are two of the 77 players on the initial ballot for the Hobey Baker Award, given to the nation’s best Division I player. There are 22 Hockey East players on the ballot.
University of Maine assistant athletic director and sports information specialist Laura Reed explained that there is currently a fan vote being compiled on the hobeybakeraward.com website.
The Hobey Baker Award committee will factor in the fan vote when it whittles the list down to 10 finalists in March.
Left wing Abbott leads the nation in points per game (1.67) and assists per game (1.10) and he is in a three-way tie for second in overall points with 35 (12 goals, 23 assists). He is one point behind Minnesota-Duluth center Jack Connolly.
Center Flynn is fourth in points-per-game (1.52) and eighth in assists-per-game (0.95). He is tied for sixth in overall points with 32 (12 & 20).
“I never really expected anything like this coming into the season,” said Abbott. “It’s pretty cool to have both of us on the ballot. We’ll see what happens. I’m going to try to block thoughts of it out of my head. I’ll wait until the end of it.”
“I haven’t even looked at the ballot,” said Flynn. “I’m sure there’s a million guys on it.
“It’s nice. It’s good for Spencer, too. I’m happy for him. But we’ve got 13 games left and then the playoffs. There’s a long way to go.”
Flynn has 140 career points (63 goals, 77 assists) to rank him tied for 21st on the school’s all-time scoring list with Brian Downey and Dan Shermerhorn.
Abbott has 119 (45 & 74) and is tied with Bill Demianiuk for 36th.
“It’s great to see them get the recognition they deserve,” said teammate Will O’Neill. “[Former two-time Hobey Baker Award finalist Gustav Nyquist] took the spotlight from those two guys the past couple of years. They’ve had unbelievable careers.”
Flynn, Abbott and linemate Joey Diamond are the top three Hockey East point-getters in league play with 25, 24 and 22 points, and Diamond’s 13 league goals are tops.
Maine has had two Hobey Baker Award winners: Scott Pellerin in 1992 and Paul Kariya in 1993.
Besides Pellerin, Kariya and Nyquist, who made it to the final three in 2009-2010, the other finalists have been Jean-Yves Roy and David Capuano (twice each), Mike Golden, Chris Imes, Jim Montgomery, Steve Kariya and Greg Moore.