Mottau, who on April 7 won the Hobey Baker Memorial Award as the nation's best college hockey player, is swapping his maroon and gold Boston College uniform for the red, white and blue of Team USA. He'll play with the US National Team at the World Championship Tournament in St. Petersburg, Russia from April 29 through May 14.
Following the world hockey competition, Mottau will change clothing once again, this time donning graduation cap and gown to join his classmates at Commencement Exercises on May 22.
It's a demanding schedule, but the affable defenseman from Avon, Mass. is clearly up to the challenge. "He's a special person as well as a special hockey player," said head coach Jerry York. "There haven't been many like him on this campus - or just about anywhere else. He's truly an ambassador for the sport of college hockey."
Mottau, a communication major, was a key contributor to the Eagles' successful 1999-2000 hockey season that saw BC advance to the April 8 NCAA Tournament championship game where they bowed to North Dakota by a 4-2 score.
During his four-year varsity career, the Thayer Academy graduate participated in more games (163) than any player in Boston College hockey history and scored the most points (157) of any Eagle defenseman. He was named first team All-America following his senior season, and twice won the Walter Brown Award as New England's best American-born player.
Mike Mottau flanked by teammates and fellow Hobey Baker Award candidates Jeff Farkas (right) and Brian Gionta. This year marked only the second time in history one school had placed three players among the finalists for the award.
Mottau became the second BC player (after David Emma in 1991) to earn the coveted Baker Award, which is given annually to the top player in the college game.
Mottau said that he learned that he had won the Baker Award immediately following BC's 4-2 victory over St. Lawrence in NCAA semifinal play on April 6. In that contest, he helped the Eagles overcome a 2-1 third period deficit, scoring the game's tying goal, and then stifling the Saints' offensive attack.
"It was so emotional in our locker room after that win," Mottau recalled. "It was a pretty nice feeling [winning the Baker Award]. There was a lot of hugging in there."
Mottau's Boston College career is filled with good memories. "There's no place I would rather have been for the past four years," Mottau declared. "When Coach York recruited me, he promised that 'BC will compete for the national championship and you will get a good education.'
"He was true to his word. I'll always remember having the opportunity to play in three Frozen Four championship tournaments," Mottau said. "I'll especially remember what the atmosphere was like on campus after each of the times that we played in the finals, even though we lost. It was really exciting."
York noted that when the BC contingent returned to campus after the North Dakota game in Providence, they were met by several hundred students who stood through a late night thunderstorm to greet the team and offer support.
"Mike was the last guy to step off the bus, but he went right up to the kids and shook every single hand," said York.
"That's just one of the reasons why he is not only the Hobey Baker winner, but why he's one of the most highly-respected young men on this campus."
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