Ehn Humble in Defeat
Hobey Finalist, Falcons Have Big Goals for Next Season
by Theresa Spisak/CHN Reporter
ST. LOUIS Once again, the Air Force Academy Falcons came up just a bit short in the postseason.
The Falcons nearly shocked the hockey world by defeating Minnesota at the West Regional, only to lose a two-goal, third-period lead. This time, it was Falcons junior Eric Ehn who lost out on the Hobey Baker Memorial Award to North Dakota's Ryan Duncan.
Ever humble, Ehn and fellow Hobey Hat Trick finalist David Brown (Notre Dame) were gracious (and self-deprecating) in defeat.
"I guess it's good for me not playing him being a goaltender," said Brown.
"We watched the video clips and I'm leaning over to David and going 'Wow' and another clip comes up and 'Oh, that was nice.' Then the next one comes up and 'Whoa, wish I could do that' — kept that one to myself though," quipped Ehn.
Still, for Ehn at least, the roller coaster ride of the Hobey Baker and Air Force's breakout season has been enjoyable and something he would never have dreamed of when younger.
"I don't think you ever imagine when you're riding the pine on a Junior B team you think you're going to win the Hobey Baker in a couple years.
"It's been crazy," he elaborated. "It starts off as something and then kind of just changes into its own thing; starts running away and just trying to keep up with it has been a little exhausting. It'll be nice to focus on school again, but definitely happy with the way things turned out.
"To help kick start what looks to be a bright future over there at the Academy and the hockey program is fantastic."
Now that the Falcons have broken ground and made the NCAA tournament and had a player nominated for college hockey's top honor, Ehn thinks things will only go up.
"Sometimes all it takes is a little bit of a taste and then once you have that taste, you just can't go without it anymore," he said. "It's something I'll never forget and something to strive for throughout next season so I'm going to be pushing to get back here and repeat the same things."
As for next season, Ehn and his teammates have already set the bar even higher — not only for their team, but for the rest of their conference.
"I would like to see a team in Atlantic Hockey or the CHA not only make the NCAA tournament based on auto-bid, so that would require someone getting within the top 14," Ehn said. "So I think that time is quickly approaching where we're going to start seeing higher and higher-ranked teams out of the smaller two conferences kinda closing that gap.
"That's a goal I think our team's going to try and pursue. I don't know if we'll get there, but we're going to go for it and definitely win the league regular season and the playoffs are goals we're going to have again."