Hello, my puckhead friends! It’s T-minus two days to the NCAA selection show. Thew conference tournament championships wrap up this weekend. Notre Dame and Penn State square off tomorrow to decide the Big Ten's autobid.
The men’s hockey Buckeyes will learn their tournament seeding and regional placement on ESPNU on Sunday night at 7pm. Ohio State is expected to be either a No. 2 or No. 3 seed. Until then, let’s catch up on the boatload of end-of-season honors being collected by current and future Buckeyes.
Dunne Named First Team All-American
Just when it seems we’re running out of superlatives to describe Jincy Dunne, along comes the ACHA to help. The Buckeye defender can now be called a two-time All-American. This is the second All-American nod for Dunne and her first First Team selection. She is only the second Buckeye in program history to earn First-Team All-American honors, again following in the footsteps of OSU legend Tessa Bonhomme. As we’ve been saying all season, “well-deserved” does not even begin to describe Dunne’s accolades. Hats off to the heart of the Buckeye blueline.
“Jincy’s hard work and commitment to excellence put her in this very deserving position to be named a First Team All-American,” said head coach Nadine Muzerall. “It speaks volumes to receive this award during a non-Olympic year with a very talented and competitive group of players to vote from. It is very rare to have the privilege to earn All-American status, let alone earning it twice with a year of eligibility left. Jincy is separating herself from the rest of the pack as being a very elite and talented player. We are very grateful to have her as a Buckeye.”
Jobst Among 10 Semifinalists for Hobey Baker Award
Mason Jobst is one step closer to college hockey’s ultimate individual prize. The Buckeye captain is one of ten semifinalists for college hockey’s version of the Heisman. The Hobey Baker Award is given annually to the player the committee feels best exemplifies an ideal combination of strength of character, team integrity, outstanding skills, scholastic achievement, and sportsmanship.
I’m not privy to the innermost thoughts of the committee members, but you have to think a guy who is the NCAA’s active all-time points leader and the Big Ten’s all-time points leader would have a pretty good shot. Especially when that same guy captained his team to its first conference championship in 47 years, while leading said team in scoring, in faceoff wins, on special teams, etc.
It is notable that he accomplished this with a pair of rookie wingers for most of the season. They were followed by a rotating cast of linemates as a horde of key players dropped out of OSU’s lineup with injuries in the second half of the season. Imagine the 2018-19 Buckeyes without Jobst. Zero titles. Guaranteed.
And don't forget this is a guy who has doggedly pursued a career as both a hockey player and a Buckeye in spite of obstacle after obstacle. Jobst certainly seems to check a lot of the boxes for a Hobey Baker winner. The list will be narrowed down to three finalists on April 4, following a period of fan voting. (Vote daily!) The winner will be announced on a show on NHL Network on April 12.
Future Buckeyes Piling Up Honors
In men’s commit news, Ohio State recruit Layton Ahac (Prince George) was named a Second Team All-Star, He was also a Defenceman of the Year finalist. Forward Arlo Merritt made his USHL debut last week with the Lincoln Stars. He scored his first league goal in his first league game. (Most of the Bucks’ commits are currently skating in the USHL. Its regular season is still underway. We’ll be keeping an eye out for their end-of-season awards.)
The Buckeye women’s recruits have been busy since we last checked in with them. In January defender Teghan Inglis won a gold medal with Team Alberta at the Canada Games. Fellow OSU commit Jenn Gardiner took bronze with Team B.C. Gardiner also won gold with Team Canada at the IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship (the women’s version of the WJC).
In regular season play, Gardiner finished as her league’s runaway scoring champ. She posted 37 goals and 43 assists while helping the Greater Vancouver Comets to an undefeated season (32-0). It was the second straight scoring title for the forward.
The Bucks’ American-born defenders also fared well in end-of-season honors. Blueliner Madeline Babnik was named Illinois’ Female High School Player of the Year. East Ridge (MN-HS) defenseman and team captain Addi Scribner was Class AA All-State.
Blaine (MN-HS) forward Ramsey Parent also earned Class AA All-State honors. She led her team in both goals (25) and points (36). Goaltender Quinn Kuntz and her Warroad (MN-HS) teammates were state runners-up. The netminder was one of five finalists for the Let’s Play Hockey Senior Goalie of the Year award. She was named Class A All-State.