SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Miami University sophomore forward Austin Czarnik was recognized for his strong season this year by being selected as one of just 10 finalists for the prestigious Hobey Baker Memorial Award, which were announced Thursday. Czarnik is the lone representative from the CCHA among the finalists and Miami’s 12th Hobey Baker finalist in program history.

The RedHawks have now had a Hobey Baker finalist each of the last four seasons, which is the longest active streak in the country. Miami has also had a finalist for college hockey’s top honor in eight of the last 10 years (since 2003-04), with nine RedHawks being named a finalist during that time, which is the most in the country over that period. Reilly Smith was Miami’s Hobey Baker finalist last year while Carter Camper and Andy Miele were both finalists in 2011 and goaltender Cody Reichard was a finalist in 2010. Miele is Miami’s lone Hobey Baker Award winner.

Czarnik (Washington, Mich.), in addition to being a Hobey Baker finalist, is also one of three finalists for CCHA Player of the Year and a finalist for CCHA Best Defensive Forward. The shifty forward earned First-Team All-CCHA this season while totaling 36 points on 14 goals and 22 assists, all of which rank second on the team. He has played in all 39 games this season and ranks fourth in the CCHA with his 36 points, as do his 22 helpers, while his 14 goals tie for 11th in the CCHA. In league play only, Czarnik tied for fourth with 26 points in 28 games while his 18 helpers tied for second. 

On the year, Czarnik has a point in 22 of 39 games, including 11 multi-point games. He had four multi-goal games and seven multi-assist games, while tying a career high with three points three times this season –- Oct. 20 vs. Providence, Nov. 9 vs. Northern Michigan and Nov. 30 at Alaska. The 20-year-old boasts a +20 rating, which ranks second in the CCHA and ties for 10th nationally. Czarnik leads the entire NCAA by himself with four short-handed goals while tallying one power play goal and scoring three game-winning goals, the first three of his career.

Czarnik was named CCHA Player of the Month for October after totaling eight points in six games and also collected CCHA Postgame® Offensive Player of the Week after a five-point weekend vs. Alaska Nov. 30-Dec. 1. He had a season-long four-game point streak from Oct. 19-27. The 5-foot-9 center also blocked 32 shots this year while playing on Miami’s top penalty kill unit and first power play unit.

In just two years, Czarnik has totaled 73 career points in 79 games with 24 goals and 49 assists. He has a +45 rating and six short-handed goals, which already ties for third in school history. The sport studies major was named to the CCHA All-Rookie Team as a freshman, as well. He already has a team-best 21 multi-point games, including five multi-goal outings.

Czarnik is one of just two sophomores named a Hobey Baker finalist along with Boston College forward Johnny Gaudreau.

The 10 Hobey Baker Award finalists were selected by voting from all 59 Division I college hockey head coaches and by online fan balloting at www.hobeybakeraward.com. The 23-member Selection Committee, along with an additional round of fan balloting from March 21-31, will determine this year’s Hobey Baker winner.

The Hobey Hat Trick (three finalists) will be announced on April 3, 2013 and the Hobey Baker Award winner will be announced Friday, April 12, 2013 from CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pa. during the NCAA Frozen Four. The award announcement will be televised live on NHL Network or live on the Hobey Baker website at 6 p.m. ET.

Criteria for the Hobey Baker Award includes displaying outstanding skills in all phases of the game, strength of character on and off the ice, sportsmanship and scholastic achievements.

2013 Hobey Baker Award Finalists
Greg Carey, St. Lawrence
Carsen Chubak, Niagara
Austin Czarnik, Miami
Kyle Flanagan, St. Lawrence
Johnny Gaudreau, Boston College
Eric Hartzell, Quinnipiac
Corban Knight, North Dakota
Danny Kristo, North Dakota
Drew LeBlanc, St. Cloud State
Ryan Walters, Nebraska Omaha

--MURedHawks.com--