East Lansing, Mich. - Junior goaltender Jeff Lerg (Livonia, Mich.) has been named one of ten finalists for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award, as announced by the Hobey Baker Foundation on Thursday, March 20.
Alphabetically, the ten finalists are: Nathan Gerbe, Boston College; Ryan Jones, Miami University; Lee Jubinville, Princeton; Simon Lambert, RIT; Jean-Philippe Lamoureux, North Dakota; Ryan Lasch, St. Cloud State; Jeff Lerg, Michigan State; T.J. Oshie, North Dakota; Kevin Porter, Michigan; and Kevin Regan, New Hampshire.
Lerg is the 13th player in Michigan State history to be a finalist for the Hobey and first since Jim Slater in 2004. Four players have been finalists twice: Ron Scott (1982, 1983), Kip Miller (1989, 1990), Mike York (1998, 1999), and Ryan Miller (2001, 2002). Both Millers went on to win the statue - Kip in 1990, and Ryan in 2001.
Other Michigan State finalists were Kelly Miller (1995), Craig Simpson (1985), Mike Donnelly (1986), Bobby Reynolds (1989), Bryan Smolinski (1993), Anson Carter (1995), Chad Alban (1998), Shawn Horcoff (2000), John Michael Liles (2003
"This is a great honor," noted Lerg. "It’s always nice to be recognized for your accomplishments. Its special, particularly when you look at the guys who have been finalists from Michigan State. It’s amazing company to be in."
Lerg’s list of accolades from this season is nothing short of impressive. He earned a spot on the CCHA’s first team all-conference. In CCHA contests (on which the all-CCHA teams are selected), Lerg ranks first in minutes played (1666:59), save percentage (.935) saves (786), shutouts (4) and goaltender victories (19); second in winning percentage (.714); third in goals against average (1.98). He is the only goalie in the league to play in every CCHA contest of the season, and he was a six-time CCHA Goaltender of the Week, the most weekly awards of any netminder in the conference.
Overall on the season, Lerg owns a .925 save percentage (11th nationally), 2.25 goals against average (17th), and 23-11-5 record (.654, seventh). Lerg also first among all Division I goaltenders in saves (1072) and faces an average of 27.4 shots per game, the third-most of any CCHA netminder and 13th nationally. Only two goalies ranked in the top 15 in saves per game play for teams that are better than .500 (Lerg and Kevin Regan of Hockey East champion New Hampshire.) He ranks first in the nation in minutes played (2345:01), and ranks sixth in percentage of team minutes played, (96.1 percent).
Lerg is also MSU’s candidate for the CCHA Scholar-Athlete of the Year award. The finance major boasts a 3.75 cumulative grade point average; in his first five semesters on campus, he has twice earned a perfect 4.0 semester GPA.
Lerg is also a finalist for the prestigious James E. Sullivan Award, which will be announced on April 1. The award honors the top amateur athlete in the United States.