04/10/2014 2:42 PM
When the Pirates make their way to Springfield for their bout against the Falcons on Friday, Greg Carey will be traveling further south to Philadelphia. The 23-year-old forward, who signed a one-year contract with the Coyotes last month, is one of three finalist for the Hobey Baker Award, presented annually to the best college player in men’s hockey in the NCAA.
The winner will be announced Friday night in Philadelphia, this year’s site for the Frozen Four, which begins Thursday with Minnesota taking on North Dakota and Union facing off against Boston College. The National Championship will take place Saturday at the Wells Fargo Center and Carey is excited to be part of the atmosphere that surrounds the tournament.
“We never made the tournament so to be down there with the Frozen Four, it’s a very special thing in college hockey and I’m excited I get to go down.”
Carey will fly down to Philadelphia Thursday night, and though his father and brother are unable to attend, Carey will meet up with his college coach, Greg Carvel, and his mother.
“My brother is in Chicago [with the Blackhawks], my dad is working so he can’t get down,” Carey explained. “But my mom is flying in, they booked her flight so it’ll be nice to see her. I haven’t seen her in a while, not since senior night in college so it’ll be nice and it’ll be fun to see my coach again.”
Friday will bring with it a whirlwind of events, starting with a run-through and culminating in the announcement of this year’s Hobey Baker winner.
“We get to go in about 5:30-5:40 and they announce the winner at 6 and there’s a reception after,” Carey detailed. “So it’s a whole day thing. It’ll be a lot of fun.”
Carey is thrilled to take part in the ceremonies and he does not know what to expect when it comes down to who will win. Though he would like to win, Carey is not hung up on that alone and plans to just take in the moment and celebrate his accomplishments, award winner or not.
“To be in the hat trick, it’s a big honor for my school,” Carey said. “I’m pretty sure the votes are all set, so we’ll see what happens. But Dowd and Gaudreau are two phenomenal hockey players, great college players with bright pro futures, so to be considered with those two is an honor within itself.”
Carey will miss Friday’s game for the ceremonies but will rejoin his team on the road for their next tilt against the Manchester Monarchs on Saturday.
“I’ll fly out around 9:30 in the morning and hopefully get to the hotel in Manchester around noon and get ready for the game Saturday night,” he said enthusiastically.
The game against the Monarchs will be the final road game for the Pirates as they close out their 2013-14 season with three games at home, first taking on the Norfolk Admirals on Sunday.