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Read among Hobey Baker hopefuls

BOSTON, Mass. -- As the 2009-10 hockey season moves into its home stretch, the race for college hockey's most prestigious award, the Hobey Baker Award, is underway and Bemidji State University junior Matt Read is among those eligible for the honor.

Awarded annually to college hockey's top player, the Hobey Baker's highly popular fan-voting phase opened Friday, Jan. 8. Hockey fans from around the globe have the opportunity to have a say in who not only makes it to the next phase of voting, but also which players find a spot as a finalist in the Hobey Hat Trick.

The fan-voting phase is now open by visiting the Hobey Baker website: Click here to vote.

Read, BSU's top scorer in each of the last two seasons, paces the Beavers again in 2009-10 with 12-15--27 points. The junior leads all of College Hockey America with 8-6--14 points in league play and enters the second half of the season ranked 12th in the nation in scoring (12-15--27) and eighth in game-winning goals (3) for a BSU team that has been seated among the country's top 15 teams for a school-record 11 consecutive weeks.

During his 93-game career at BSU, he has accumulated 94 points (36g-58a) to rank sixth on BSU's Division I-era scoring list. His 36 goals place him alone in seventh place, while his 58 assists rank him fifth since the Beavers moved to the NCAA Division I ranks.

As important as any BSU player in recent memory to the success of the team, the Beavers are 27-7-2 when Read scores a goal and since stepping on campus, the junior has an impressive +46 plus/minus rating.

The first phase of fan balloting will run from now through March 7. Phase two of 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 that emulate the exceptional character traits exhibited by the award's namesake, Hobey Baker, a World War I flying star better known as America's greatest amateur athlete in his day. Award candidates must also 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.

Key Hobey Baker announcement dates for 2010 include:

- Top Ten list of candidates: March 18

- Hobey Hat Trick of three finalists: March 31

- Hobey Baker Award winner: April 9

The 2010 Hobey Baker Award winner will be announced from a field of three Hobey Hat Trick finalists on Friday, April 9 during the NCAA Frozen Four Championships in Detroit, Mich.

The 30th annual award announcement honoring college hockey's top player will be televised live during prime time on ESPNU.

For more info on the Hobey Baker Award visit