April 12, 2005

McKee Snubbed at Hobey Baker Ceremony

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Despite another season of record-shattering statistics and championship results, the men’s hockey team will have to wait at least another year for its first Hobey Baker Award winner. David McKee, Cornell’s standout sophomore goaltender out of Irving, Tex., was snubbed in last Friday’s Hobey Baker presentation at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio in favor of Colorado College forward Marty Sertich. Sertich, a junior from Roseville, Minn., led the nation in points scored (64) and points per game (1.52) in addition to being named the 2005 WCHA Player of the Year.

Sertich and teammate Brett Sterling — who was also among the top three finalists — spearheaded the Tigers’ charge to the WCHA championship and the Frozen Four this season. Colorado College lost to eventual champion Denver University in the national semifinal, 6-2. Sertich’s name was announced in front of a packed press conference after video clips of the three finalists were displayed at the presentation ceremony.

“All three of us were there to win,” McKee said. “Anyone of us really could have won it. It was an honor just to be named in the top-three.”

McKee was the centerpiece of a dominant Cornell defense that frustrated opponents throughout the Red’s championship season. McKee’s 1.24 goals against average for the year led all Division I goaltenders in 2005 and marked the third-best college hockey average of all-time. His .947 save percentage was also tops in the nation and ranked first in the history of the ECACHL. The sophomore also broke David LeNeveu’s ’05 single-season shutout record and Ken Dryden’s ’69 career mark this year by posting 10 shutouts. He has blanked opponents on 15 occasions during his career.

McKee also vaulted the Red into the NCAA tournament — Cornell’s third appearance in the last four years. After helping the squad to the ECACHL tournament championship and its fourth consecutive Ivy League championship, McKee backstopped the Red (27-5-3) in its two NCAA tournament games. After posting 34 saves in Cornell’s 3-2 victory over Ohio State in the Western Regional semifinal, McKee almost single-handedly escorted his squad into the Frozen Four with a show-stopping performance against Minnesota in the regional final. McKee stopped a career-high 37 shots before Gopher senior Barry Tallackson beat McKee in overtime to send Minnesota to the national semifinal.

“[The season] was exciting while it lasted, maybe a little bittersweet,” McKee said. “But now we know what we have to do for next season.”

McKee also was recently named as a CCM first-team All-American, an award voted on by the American Hockey Coaches Association. Teammates Matt Moulson and Charlie Cook were named to the CCM second-team.

With Moulson and McKee likely returning for the Red next season, the squad seems poised for another serious run at Cornell’s first national title since its undefeated season in 1970.

“The plan for next year is always the same,” McKee said. “To win the ECACHL championship and make the Frozen Four. Like always, we will just take things one game at a time.”

Sertich is slated to be honored at the Hobey Baker Award banquet in Minneapolis on Thursday, May 19. He is Colorado College’s second Hobey Baker winner, following in the footsteps of former teammate Peter Sejna, who won the award in 2003. The Tigers’ appearance at the Frozen Four this season was Colorado College’s first since 1997.

Archived article by Kyle Sheahen
Sun Senior Editor