When the list of Hobey Baker Memorial Trophy finalists were announced, it was no surprise that two VJW alums were among the nation’s best.
Ryan Fitzgerald (Boston College) and Mike Vecchione (Union) have been nominated for the 2015 Hobey Baker Memorial Award and you can help them earn college hockey's top honor by voting online through March 8.
CLICK HERE to cast your vote for these outstanding VJW alums!!!
Awarded annually to college hockey's top player, the Hobey Baker's highly popular fan-voting opened on Wednesday, January 7.
Fitzgerald, a sophomore standout for the Eagles, played for the VJW Junior A squad and earned EJHL Rookie of the Year honors. He was also a two-time Massachusetts Super 8 Tournament Champion at Malden Catholic.
Vecchione epitomizes what the VJW development philosophy is all about. After all, he came to the Warriors as a Squirt Minor and played all of his youth hockey with the program! He now centers Union College's top line and helped lead his Dutchmen team its first NCAA Championship title during the 2013-14 season.
This first phase of fan balloting for the Hobey Baker Memorial Trophy will run now through March 8, 2015. Phase two of fan balloting will begin on March 19 from the list of Top Ten Hobey Baker finalists. The fans' vote accounts for a full 1 percent of the total ballot in each phase in selecting this year's award recipient.
Award criteria include candidates emulating the exceptional character traits exhibited by the award's namesake, Hobey Baker. A legendary American hero, Baker was a World War I fighter pilot and was known as America's greatest amateur athlete in his day, excelling at hockey and football at Princeton University. Award candidates must demonstrate strength of character both on and off the ice, contribute to the integrity of his team and display outstanding skills in all phases of the game. Consideration should be given to scholastic achievement and sportsmanship.
See below for the complete bios that were posted online at www.hobeybakeraward.com for Fitzgerald and Vecchione.
Ryan Fitzgerald’s Career Highlights
2014-15: Scored his first goal of the season at UMass Lowell (10/10)…became the first Eagle to score in consecutive games with a goal and an assist against RIT (10/18)…posted a career-best three-game goal scoring streak, including the game-winning power play goal against Colorado College (10/24)…turned in his first-career two-goal performance including a power play tally and his second game-winning goal of the season at Denver (10/31)…notched his second two-goal performance in four games, including BC’s first short-handed marker of the season, against Boston University (11/7)…provided the primary assist on Austin Cangelosi’s game-tying goal at New Hampshire (12/5)…secured his third-career three-point performance, including the game-winning goal against Brown (1/2)
2013-2014 (Freshman): Notched his first collegiate goal in a 7-2 victory against Rensselaer (10/13/13)…posted his first multi-point game with a pair of assists against Wisconsin (10/18)…scored the game-winning goal against Northeastern (11/1), marking the first of his career…scored the opening goal at Northeastern (11/2)…earned the Eagles’ first Hockey East award of the season, claiming Pro Ambitions Rookie of the Week honors after his two-goal weekend (11/4)…assisted on Kevin Hayes’ goal at Boston University (11/8)…tallied his first-career three-point game, including his first power play goal and two assists against Army (11/10)…assisted on Kevin Hayes’ game-winning power play goal at Massachusetts (11/14)…scored his fifth goal of the season against Massachusetts (11/15)…capped his point streak to seven games with a goal and an assist at Harvard (11/20)…tallied seventh goal of the season against Holy Cross (11/29)…named Hockey East Rookie of the Month after a six goal, five assist November (12/3)…selected for the 2014 U.S. National Junior Team preliminary roster for the 2014 World Junior Championship (12/4)…assisted on Destry Straight’s goal and finished a +3 against New Hampshire (12/6)…finished with his second three-point performance of the season and tallied a season-high seven shots against Penn State (12/28)…assisted on Adam Gilmour’s power play tally against Boston University (1/17)…assisted on Ian McCoshen’s goal against Maine (1/18)…assisted on Patrick Brown’s goal at Merrimack (1/21)…scored a power play goal in his first Beanpot performance against Boston University in the semifinal round (2/3)…assisted on Patrick Brown’s goal against Merrimack (2/7)…doled out a pair of assists in a victory at Vermont (2/14)…logged his 10th goal of the season at UMass Lowell (2/22)…netted his fourth power play goal of the season against Notre Dame in the Hockey East quarterfinals (3/14)…scored the game-tying goal against UMass Lowell in the NCAA quarterfinals (3/30)
Highlights from Prior to Current Team:
Named MVP of the first ever USHL/NHL Top Prospect Game...registered 30 points - 14 goals and 16 assists - in 26 regular season games for the Junior Warriors in 2012-12...recorded three goals and three assists in six playoff games...participated in the World Junior A Challenge for the USA U-19 team in 2012-13 registering four goals in four games...played five games for the U.S. Nation Under-18 Team for the United States Development Program in 2012-13...was a two-time Massachusetts Super 8 Tournament Champion at Malden Catholic.
Father, Tom Fitzgerald, is Assistant General Manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Also cousins with former Eagles Jimmy and Kevin Hayes along with NHL great Keith Tkachuk.
Mike Vecchione’s Career Highlights
(as of Jan. 8, 2015): Team’s leading scorer (26 points) ... owns 10 multiple-point games ... ranks sixth in NCAA scoring (1.37 ppg) and eighth in assists (0.89) ... leads ECAC Hockey in assists (16) and overall scoring (26 points) ... named ECAC Hockey Player of the Month (October) ... earned back-to-back ECAC Hockey Player of the Week honors (10/14, 10/21) ... chosen to Frozen Holiday Classic All-Tournament Team ... chosen No. 2 Star with a goal and assist in 3-3 tie at #1 Boston U. (1/3) ... named No. 2 Star of the Game both nights at Maine (10/17-18) ... tabbed No. 3 Star with a goal and assist versus Connecticut (12/27) ... amassed a career-high three assists in 5-2 win at Maine (10/18) ... successfully converted a penalty shot against St. Cloud State (10/25) ... scored Union’s lone goal at Rensselaer (10/31) ... strung together a seven-game points streak (10/10-10/31) ... started the season with four multiple-point games ... scored in first three games of the season ... produced two points streaks of seven games each ... assistant captain.
Ranked ninth nationally in rookie scoring (0.89 ppg) ... named Hockey Commissioners’ Association (HCA) National Division I Rookie of the Month for March-April ... ECAC Hockey All-Rookie Team ... tabbed Union’s Rookie of the Year ... ECAC Hockey All-Tournament Team ... ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Month for March-April ... ECAC Media Association All-Rookie Team ... ECAC Hockey All-Academic Team ... received back-to-back ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Week honors (3/19, 3/26) ... led Union freshmen in scoring (34 points), ranking fifth on the team ... recorded a team-best 344 faceoff wins and .533 faceoff percentage ... had 11 multiple-point games ... fourth among ECACH rookies in overall scoring (34 points) ... stood fourth in freshman scoring in conference games (17 points) ... logged a goal and assist in NCAA Semifinal win over #3 Boston College (4/10) ... amassed five points (1-4) in Union’s sweep of Dartmouth in the ECAC Hockey Quarterfinals (3/14-15) ... produced three points (1-2) in Cleary Cup-clinching-win over Clarkson (2/21) ... compiled three points (1-2) in 6-4 win against fifth-ranked Qunnipiac (12/7) ... registered a goal and assist vs. Lake Superior State (10/18) ... recorded two points (1-1) and eight shots at #19 Colgate (2/15) ... had two-point efforts (goal, assist) in 7-2 wins over Harvard (1/24) and Dartmouth (11/1) ... compiled 15 points (6-9) during a nine-game stretch (2/15-3/22) ... compiled seven points (3-4) during three-game goal-scoring streak (2/15-2/22).
Highlights from Prior to Current Team: Spent two seasons with the Tri-City Storm ... finished 2012-13 campaign with 60 points (26 goals, 34 assists) in 63 games ... served as team captain and earned Coaches Award.
Liberal arts major ... graduated from Malden Catholic High School (2011) ... born February 25, 1993 in Saugus, Mass.
Working alongside his teammates, Vecchione served Thanksgiving dinner at the Schenectady YMCA Residential Center, in addition to assisting with the team's “Helping Hands” neighborhood litter cleaning program ... spent numerous hours at public events centering around the 2014 NCAA Championship celebration,including the City of Schenectady parade and a visit to the State Assembly and Senate in Albany.