Duncan wins Hobey Baker as consolation prize

ERIC FRANCIS, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:03 AM ET

Ryan Duncan's dream season had just come to a crashing end and the Calgary native was in search of answers.

Not concerning the loss his North Dakota Fighting Sioux hockey club had just suffered in the semifinal of the Frozen Four but about his beloved Flames.

"It was disappointing losing but after the game I asked my dad right away if the Flames had (clinched)," said Duncan, 22, after Thursday's loss to Boston College.

"I'm a diehard fan. I'm hoping they'll win (tonight) so I can watch some playoff hockey when I get home."

Duncan received much better news last night when he became the first Calgarian to be named the Hobey Baker Award winner as college hockey's top player.

The 5-ft. 8-in., 158-lb. winger is just the third sophomore to win the 27-year-old award previously won by players like Paul Kariya, Jordan Leopold, Chris Drury and Ryan Miller.

"The Hobey Baker kind of blindsided me," said Duncan, who was fourth in the nation with 31 goals and 57 points in 43 games while also compiling a 3.20 GPA.

"All I was doing was trying to help the team."

A product of the Calgary Flames minor hockey association before he won the Mac's midget tourney with Shattuck/St. Mary's, Duncan now has some scouts wondering if he might be able to overcome his size and sign somewhere as a free agent.

"We'll see what the future brings but for my development I don't think I'm ready to make the next step yet," said Duncan, who roomed with Sidney Crosby while at Shattuck and still stays in touch with the Penguins star.

"Although he was two years younger, living with him taught me a lot about what it takes to get to the NHL. I certainly don't think I'd be anywhere near where I am without the time I spent at Shattuck."


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