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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Dexter's Ehn named to Hobey Hat Trick

Air Force junior Eric Ehn has been named to the Hobey Hat Trick as one of three finalists for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award, college hockey's most prestigious individual honor.

This year's winner will be announced Friday, April 6, at 6 p.m. CT in St. Louis. ESPNU will broadcast the Hobey Presentation live, followed by the Hockey Humanitarian Award and NCAA Skills Challenge as part of “Friday Night at the Frozen Four."

All three finalists, Ehn, North Dakota forward Ryan Duncan and Notre Dame goalie David Brown will be present for the presentation.

A center from Dexter, Ehn finished the season second in the nation in scoring with 1.60 points per game, just .08 behind the national leader from Michigan, T.J. Hensick. Ehn has 24 goals and 40 assists for 64 points in 40 games. Ehn led the nation in scoring 14 of the last 18 weeks. He ranks 11th in the nation in goals and second in assists.

Ehn becomes the first Air Force hockey player, and first ever service academy player, selected to the Hobey Hat Trick. He is also the first player named to the final three who is not a member of one of the four major conferences. Three other players were named to the list of 10 finalists, but none moved on to the final three. Those three players were Iona’s Ryan Carter (MAAC) in 2002, Niagara’s Joe Tallari (CHA) in 2003 and Quinnipiac’s Reid Cashman (AHA) in 2005.

The Atlantic Hockey Association Player of the Year and a first-team all-conference selection, Ehn scored in 31 of the 40 games. He became the first Falcon to score more than 60 points in 27 years. His 40 assists are the most by a Falcon in 31 years. Ehn set a new AHA record for points in a season in conference games with 45 points (16-29-45). In six games against teams from the Big Four conferences, Ehn had four goals, five points and was a +3.

The top vote-getter in phase two of the Hobey Baker fan voting, Ehn’s accomplishments extend well beyond the rink. He was an academic all-conference selection in 2005-06 as a systems engineering management major and maintains a 3.00 GPA, carrying 36 credits in two semesters this season. He spent two-thirds of this past summer in Air Force Academy-sponsored programs. Ehn attended Operation Air Force at Hill Air Force, Utah to experience the operational Air Force and also, worked Basic Cadet Training to prepare the incoming class of 2010 for the school year.

“This is a huge honor on the personal level, but is even bigger for the team and the program,” Ehn said. “Anytime you get recognized for any award is great, especially one as big as this. I could not be happier for the team to get this kind of recognition and publicity. Hockey is certainly not a game played by one guy, and I think recognition like this shows that we have some pretty good hockey players with some talent here at the Academy. (Andrew Ramsey) is going to St. Louis as well for the skills competition so this is definitely not about just one guy.”

The criteria for the award, which was first given to Minnesota’s Neal Broten in 1981, is: 1. Candidates must exhibit strength of character both on and off the ice; 2. Candidates must contribute to the integrity of the team and display outstanding skills in all phases of the game; 3. Consideration should be given to scholastic achievement and sportsmanship; and 4. Candidates must comply with all NCAA rules: be full time students in an accredited NCAA college or university; and complete 50% or more of the season.

A standout hockey and football player at Princeton, Hobey Baker was a fighter pilot in World War I. Prior to returning from France, he was killed at the age of 26 while testing a repaired aircraft in 1918. Baker is a charter member of the United States Hockey Hall of Fame and one of a handful of Americans to be inducted into Canada's Hockey Hall of Fame. He is a member of Princeton's Hall of Fame, both football and hockey.

Photo courtesy Air Force media relations/Danny Meyer, Rohmann Joint Venture

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