February 5, 2009

Scrivens Considered For Hobey Baker Award

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Shattering team records can present a daunting task, especially when your predecessors include the likes of hockey legend and six-time Stanley Cup champion Ken Dryden ’69 and a handful of past first-team all-American net minders, such as David LeNeveu ’05 and David McKee ’07.
However, junior goaltender Ben Scrivens has already established the all-time school record for tallying 206:44 consecutive minutes without permitting a goal and is on pace to shatter one, if not two, other individual records during the course of the 2008-09 campaign. While individual accomplishments are always nice, teammates of Scrivens also view them as an open invitation for some friendly ribbing.
“I honestly didn’t really know about the streak until…after the game,” Scrivens confessed. “It’s always a nice feeling when you have personal success. … I try to stay level-headed. Sometimes, it gets a little bit tough when you get on a roll there. You get a little bit more media attention and stuff like that, but the guys around you have a pretty good way of keeping you level-headed. You get a little bit of razzing if you get too many articles written on you and stuff like that. They definitely help shrink the ego a little bit.”
Scrivens’ performance during his second season as the starter between the pipes for Cornell has placed him atop most of the ECAC statistical categories, as well as several national categories. His success has not gone unnoticed, as Scrivens has been a primary reason why Cornell boasts the No. 3-ranked defense in the nation.
As one of the leading goaltenders in college hockey, Scrivens is among the 73 college hockey players nominated by collegiate hockey coaches to receive the Hobey Baker Award. Much like the Heisman Trophy, which is presented to the best college football player, the Hobey Baker Award is annually given to the top NCAA men’s ice hockey player. Coaches and media members represent 99 percent of the voting electorate, while fans are responsible for comprising the remaining one percent. The large pool of candidates will be whittled down to 10 finalists on March 19, with the top three finalists being announced on April 2 and the award presented at the Frozen Four on April 11.
“Obviously, it would be a huge honor,” said Scrivens. “It’s still early on in the running. You can’t get too ahead of yourself. I think any personal award like that really reflects well on the program and on the team because I’ve said all along that personal recognition comes along with team success. You don’t see too many Hobey Baker winners or Heisman winners or MVPs of leagues coming off of losing teams, sub-.500 teams. It always comes with teams that might have success and then there’s one guy, who might take a little more of the spotlight, but he has the support of the other 25, 26 guys around him that are helping him achieve that goal.”
“For me, the numbers that I have put up this year and the recognition I am getting, the majority of that credit should go to the guys in front of me for helping me out,” Scrivens added. “They’re blocking shots, they’re playing good, sound defense and it makes my job a lot easier. Like I said, it’s still a long ways off, but it would be an honor for a Cornell player to do that. We’ve had a close call a couple of times when Dave McKee ’07 and Dave LeNevneu ’05 were there, both being in the Hobey Hat Trick. Hopefully, all goes well and we’ll see how it goes from there.” [img_assist|nid=34761|title=Keeps gettin’ better|desc=Junior goaltender Ben Scrivens has been a driving force behind the Red’s success and is on pace to shatter several individual records this season.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
Currently, Scrivens and Quinnipiac freshman Nick Pisellini are tied for the highest save percentage in the NCAA. Scrivens has dominated the category for most of the season, doubling Pisellini’s playing time in terms of minutes, 1231:46 to 607:57. Scrivens’ 1.41 goals against average is second to Pisellini’s 1.38.
The Spruce Grove Alberta-native is also on pace to snap McKee’s single-season shutout mark of 10 games. Scrivens recorded his sixth goose egg in just the 21st contest of the season, three ahead of McKee’s pace.
“I think [Scrivens] showed great spurts last year throughout the course of the year, but I think watching him over the first 21 games, he has literally cut the amount of soft goals down a tremendous amount,” said head coach Mike Schafer ’86. “I think that has given him more confidence in his game. He’s done a tremendous job now twice in bouncing back [from poor games]. … He’s had a very, very consistent cutback on soft goals and I think that has led to a lot of confidence in his abilities and what he is going to do on a night in night out basis.”
The consistency of Scrivens in net has been exhibited almost on a nightly basis as the Red, ranked fifth in the nation, has only surrendered more than two goals on two occasions this season.
Scrivens secured the starting job at the beginning of the 2007-08 campaign, appearing in 35 of 36 games and starting the final 34 contests. He saw playing time in 12 games as a freshman, making eight starts. Scrivens and senior Troy Davenport were expected to split time at the beginning of last season, but Scrivens’ success made him a fixture between the pipes.
“Coming into my sophomore season, Troy and I both knew that it was going to be a battle,” Scrivens said. “… coaches were kind of looking for a go-to guy, if they could, but if it was going to be a rotation it was going to be rotation. I was lucky enough that I got some offensive support the first few games and we ended up putting up some wins and I went on a roll from there. A lot of that was due to the offensive support that I got. The team was scoring goals, which took a little bit of pressure off of myself to have to shut the door all of the time. I’m just really fortunate; pucks were bouncing at the right time for me. I’m just lucky that it worked out the way it did.”
Hours of hard work in the off season have paid off for Scrivens, who said he focused on improving his rebound control, directing initial shots into the corner and always being aggressive in front of the crease.
“He has continued to grow mentally and obviously physically as a goaltender,” Schafer said. “I think over his three years, he’s gone from not playing, to playing a lot of the games, but giving up soft goals, to playing all of the games and cutting his soft goals back dramatically, which has resulted in a tremendous goals against average and save percentage.”
With the Hobey Baker Award still in sight, Scrivens has already earned a laundry list of individual accolades this season, including ECAC Hockey Goaltender of the Week four times and the Florida College Classic Most Valuable Player award. Yet, it is readily apparent Scrivens would gladly swap all of these personal achievements to attain his true desires — an ECAC conference championship and a trip for the Red to the Frozen Four in Washington, D.C. this spring.