Vees grad Smith among final three for top college hockey honour
Thursday, March 29, 2012 - Submitted by BCHL Media/HobeyBakerAward.com
Penticton Vees graduate Austin Smith has signed with the Dallas Stars and begun his pro career but he may still land the top individual prize in U.S. college hockey.
Smith, along with Spencer Abbott and Jack Connolly were named Thursday as the Hobey Hat Trick finalists in the running for the Hobey Baker Award.
The native of Dallas, Texas led NCAA Division I players in goals this season with 36 as a senior forward at Colgate University. He played the 2007-08 season with the Vees and helped lead the club to the Fred Page Cup as BCHL champs that season.
Smith also assisted with the Hamilton, N.Y. Food Cupboard program, participated in food and toy drives and is involved with the local Goals for Good program.
Abbott, a senior from the University of Maine, led the nation in assists and points and just signed a contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He was named to hi school's Dean's list three times, helped with Special Olympics initiatives in his community and helped at various hockey camps and charity games.
Connolly, a senior from the University of Minnesota-Duluth, won the Western Collegiate Hockey Association scoring title. Playing in his home town, Connolly has been active with the Adopt-a-Highway program and is a frequent visitor to area hospitals and Boys and Girls Clubs as well as working on a variety of cancer fundraisers. He is a free agent.
The winner of the Hobey Baker Award will be announced April 6 at 3 p.m. Pacific in Tampa, Fla. during the NCAA Frozen Four.