Hobey Watch: 10/21

After weekend No. 2 of the young season, the Hobey Watch is still all about balancing fast starters with proven commodities. Somewhat remarkably, considering how volatile the season can be early on, eight of the top 10 are actually the same as last week, just in a slightly different order.

Not featured anywhere on here are any Nebraska-Omaha players. No, I don’t have anything against the 4-0 Mavericks. It’s just impossible to pick one or two UNO players right now. Rich Purslow, Joey Martin, Alex Hudson and Matt Ambroz are all in the top 11 nationally in points, but none of them were anywhere close to being a Hobey candidate last year. If one or two of them can separate themselves in the coming weeks, they’ll certainly be on here.

Onto the list:

10) Stephane Da Costa, Sophomore F, Merrimack — Da Costa had two goals in the Warriors’ 7-1 win over Connecticut on Saturday and now has three goals and an assist in two games. His four points don’t even land him in the top 50 nationally, but his 2.00 points per game are good for a fifth-place tie. Oddly enough, Merrimack has its third straight one-game weekend coming up with a tilt at Vermont.

9) Jay Barriball, Senior F, Minnesota — The No. 20 Golden Gophers had a disappointing weekend, getting swept at home by No. 10 UNO, but Barriball had a goal and an assist. He’s now tied for second overall in goals with five and 12th overall in points with seven. Additionally, his three power-play goals are good for a first-place tie.

8 ) Pat Nagle, Senior G, Ferris State — Following two wins over St. Lawrence last weekend, Nagle is now 3-0-0 with just three goals against this season. He picked up his first shutout of the campaign Saturday, saving all 26 shots he faced. Among goalies who have made at least three starts, Nagle ranks first in both goals-against average (1.00) and save percentage (.951).

7) Justin Fontaine, Senior F, Minnesota-Duluth — Fontaine had a goal and three assists last weekend as the No. 5/6 Bulldogs swept Providence. His nine points are enough to put him in a first-place tie for the national lead. He’s also tied for 12th in goals (3) and fourth in assists (6). It’ll be interesting to see if either Fontaine or teammate Jack Connolly, who has a 3-5-8 line so far, can separate himself from the other enough to be considered a serious Hat Trick candidate.

6) Broc Little, Senior F, Yale — Still one more week until No. 5/6 Yale’s season gets underway. Little drops one spot this week simply because the next entry is doing too much not to be in the top five.

5) Carter Camper, Senior F, Miami — Camper had three goals and an assist this weekend in the No. 3/4 RedHawks’ win and tie at No. 14/15 St. Cloud State, including the lone goal in Saturday’s 1-1 draw. He is now first in the country in goals with six and is tied for first in points with nine. Miami has a strong group of forwards, but Camper, the team captain, is the best Hobey candidate of the batch.

4) Chay Genoway, Senior D, North Dakota — After recording just one assist in his first three games, Genoway broke through with a goal and an assist in the No. 2 Fighting Sioux’s 5-2 win Saturday that completed a weekend sweep of Bemidji State. His plus/minus rating of -1 rating on the season is still a concern (especially considering only four other Sioux players are in the red), but it appears that Genoway is starting to get back up to speed after missing most of last season with post-concussion syndrome.

The Hat Trick

3) Chase Polacek, Senior F, Rensselaer — Polacek had just one point the first weekend of the season, but he made a splash last weekend in the Engineers’ tie at Northeastern and win over Bentley. He was involved in four of RPI’s five goals on the weekend, scoring two and assisting on two more. He’s not among the national leaders in points just yet, but he could be there very soon.

2) Gustav Nyquist, Junior F, Maine — Nyquist had three assists last weekend as the No. 11/12 Black Bears struggled to a loss and tie at No. 16 Michigan State. He now has five assists on the season — good for a 10th-place tie nationally — but he has yet to score a goal. Given the fact that Nyquist led the country in points last year and was in the Hobey Hat Trick, though, it’s definitely not time to panic yet. Things won’t get easier this weekend, however, when Maine hosts North Dakota for a pair.

1) Cam Atkinson, Junior F, Boston College — Atkinson had two goals and two assists last weekend to help lead the No. 1 Eagles to a sweep of No. 11/13 Denver in Denver. Like Polacek and Nyquist, Atkinson isn’t at the top of any national stat columns yet, but his four-point weekend is certainly a step in that direction. So is the fact that he’s tied for the lead in both goals and points on the best team in the country.

On the bubble: Louie Caporusso (Senior F, Michigan), Cory Conacher (Senior F, Canisius), Jack Connolly (Junior F, Minnesota-Duluth), David Warsofsky (Junior D, Boston University), Keith Kinkaid (Sophomore G, Union)

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