Trail Times Columnist Dave Thompson

Support hometown boy for prestigious Hobey Baker Award

Sports ‘n’ Things with Dave Thompson

C’mon folks. Local boy Jake Lucchini still has a shot at making the Top Ten in the prestigious Hobey Baker Award listings, but only if everybody with access to a computer gets on board the voting train.

It takes less than a minute to sign up, then about five seconds to vote, and you can vote every day after the first time, in, as I said, about five seconds.. The link is here: hobeybaker.com/vote. You can also access it via Facebook and other social media sites. Not sure, in fact, I even had to sign up on the web page, so it might be even faster.

Pictures of the 81 contenders, or just the names on my phone link, come up in alphabetical order. Scroll to Jake, click, scroll to the bottom, click, “SUBMIT,” et voila. Once your vote has been accepted, there is a link to check on the updated standings of the vote.

Jake is doing great on the ice at Michigan Tech, and has settled in very well as a student, too. He is unlikely to win the award, but a top ten finish would move him on a round – a big accomplishment for the, “too small,” local kid who is now a bona fide NCAA star getting looks from NHL clubs.

It would give him bragging rights over a lot of other BCHL grads on the nominee list, against whom he competed during his long run with the Smokies, too.

The current fan voting round lasts until Mar. 10, so everybody can still add 38 votes to Jake’s current 11th-place total (down from ninth place a couple of weeks ago). It’s so easy, and takes so little time, why wouldn’t you?

The Smokies are now in town for a while. Six straight home games starting tonight.

They almost gave themselves a chance last weekend to pick a first round opponent, if not grab a home game start. Trail came within 53 seconds in game one of their doubleheader with Salmon Arm of creating a virtual tie between them and the Silverbacks, and they have a home doubleheader with the Backs next weekend.

Giving up that late goal, and eventually two points to Salmon Arm in overtime, put a crimp in any hopes of moving up much in the standings, although a strong home run could get them a bit higher. They could get within a game of Vernon, for instance, with a win tonight.

Third place is likely out of reach, but fifth, and a likely date with a West Kelowna club against whom Trail has matched up very well so far, is not a far-fetched dream.

So, still some regular season drama in the offing.

**********

The Nitehawks, meanwhile, will be in playoff preparation mode the rest of the month, including during a run of three straight home games starting Saturday. The Hawks cannot realistically hope to catch Nelson, and are unlikely to be overhauled by any team behind them, even though they play five of their last six for this regular season on the road.

So, tweaking, healing and overall improvement looking forward to the KIJHL’s second season will be the order of the day for Beaver Valley. Worth watching just the same.

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