This goes to the New England college athlete that performed the best. Included for consideration is the size of the stage an athlete performed on. In other words, Boston College dominates this Award.
The nominees are...
Nathan Gerbe - C, BC Hockey Tyrese Rice - G, BC Basketball Kevin Regan - G, UNH Hockey Mark Herzlich - LB, BC Football
And the winner is...
Nathan Gerbe, Center, BC Hockey!
Although he only played in the first half of the 2008 calendar year, what he did then was enough to win him this Award.
Gerbe's already playing for the Buffalo Sabres. He was named Most Outstanding Player in the 2008 NCAA Tournament, as well as MVP of the Hockey East tourney. He finished his final season with the Eagles with 35 goals and 33 assists in 43 games. He scored 5 goals in the last 2 games of the NCAA tournament. He was robbed of the Hobey Baker Award (hockey's Heisman), but wound up with the trifecta: a National Championship, a Hockey East Championship, and a Beanpot Championship. And now he has a Boston Blood Sox Award.
The Bruins are back on Boston's sports radar. You're seeing more and more Bruins jerseys and hats when you go to the mall or the bar. Lots of people who quit the B's back in the 80s or 90s are returning to the Black and Gold Faithful.
The Bruins have the best record in the Eastern Conference, the most goals scored in the NHL and the fewest goals allowed. They've won 13 straight home games, but also have the best record on the road.
The B's have been doing this as a team. There are some standouts, but they're rather numerous.
Here are the nominees for the Bobby Orr Award:
Milan Lucic - LW Phil Kessel - RW Marc Savard - C David Krejci - C Tim Thomas - G
This is a tough one...
The winner is Phil Kessel!
Savard and Thomas were also up there, and Lucic deserves an honorable mention.
Kessel was scratched from 3 games in the playoff series against Montreal in April. When he came back, he had 2 goals and an assist in the last 3 games of the series, helping to drive it to 7 games. He scored those 2 goals in that amazing 5-4 win in Game 6.
This season, Kessel's grown leaps and bounds as a player, offensively and defensively. He's already eclipsed his 19 goals from 07-08 with 23 so far. He's about to pass his mark of 18 assists, already with 16 this season. He racked up an 18 game point streak, and he's carried the Bruins for a few weeks now. He's on pace for a 50+ goal season.
One regular season game typically doesn't mean much in the big picture of college basketball. Unless you go on the road and take down the #1 team in the country, and do so in convincing fashion. And by now you know that's what the BC Eagles did Sunday night.
BC was 12-2 going into this game, but that record was bloated thanks to soft non-conference opponents. Teams like San Francisco, Sacred Heart, Bryant, and South Carolina Upstate functioned more as preseason tune-ups for BC's ACC schedule more than anything else.
But now they're playing teams on the same talent level, if not higher. Now they're playing in front of 21,000 fans. Now they're competing in one of the toughest conferences in the country.
The Eagles took the lead with 3:37 left in the 2nd and did not relinquish it. Tyrese Rice led the scoring with 25 points along with 8 assists. Rakim Sanders added 22, and Reggie Jackson came off the bench with 17. As a team the Eagles were 75% from the line, which was huge down the stretch.
BC didn't win by going crazy behind the 3 point line, or with a buzzer beater; they flat-out beat North Carolina.
It's just one game, and there's a great deal of basketball to be played between now and March. But if BC winds up a borderline tournament team, a win like this would put them over the top.
Last year BC was 4-12 in the ACC and 14-17 overall. They didn't even make the NIT.
The Eagles host Harvard Wednesday night before resuming ACC play with home games against Miami on the 10th and #6 Wake Forest on the 14th.