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Penn State Hockey: Trio Of Nittany Lions Up For Hobey Baker

by on January 31, 2017 2:19 PM

Three Nittany Lions have been tabbed to represent Penn State for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award.

Two freshmen, netminder Peyton Jones and forward Denis Smirnov join sophomore Andrew Sturtz as the three players from Penn State on the ballot for the Heisman Trophy of college hockey.

The award is given annually to the top college hockey player in the nation. All three players join the likes of former Nittany Lions, Casey Bailey, Taylor Holstrom and Luke Juha who have been nominated for the award during Penn State's short tenure as a Divison I program.

On March 15 the list will be narrowed down to the Top Ten Hobey Baker finalists and phase two of fan balloting will begin the following day and will close March 26. The fans’ vote accounts for a full 1 percent of the total ballot in each phase in selecting this year’s award recipient.

The Hobey Hat Trick will then be announced on March 30 and the Hobey Baker Memorial Award will be presented to the winner on April 7, 2017 during the NCAA Frozen Four Championships in Chicago.

Sturtz, a dependable offensive weapon for the Nittany Lions, leads the Big Ten with 17 goals, good enough to put him fourth in the nation. The sophomore is just one goal shy of his mark of 18 during his rookie campaign last season. Sturtz is 10 goals shy of tying the career record mark set by Bailey.

In net Jones has set Penn State's single-season wins record with 14 backed up by .905 save percentage and a 2.45 goals against average in 20 games so far this season. Jones opened his first season in the blue and white going perfect over his first 13 games compiling an 11-0-1 mark during his first semester in goal.

The Russian native, Smirnov has also already set a new single-season freshman points and assist record at Penn State with 29 and 18, respectively. The rookie ranks tied for 18th in the nation in points, but second among freshman while his 11 tallies tie for the freshman lead. Smirnov leads all Big Ten rookies in goals, assists and points.

Penn State is back in action this weekend as they travel to No. 7 Minnesota for a critical series in the Big Ten title race.

Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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