On Jan. 8, Yale (9–4–3, 5–3–1 Ivy) claimed three of the 77 spots announced in the opening voting round for the Hobey Baker Award — the most prestigious individual award in all of college hockey.

Captain and forward Andrew Miller ’13, top-scoring forward Antoine Laganiere ’13 and point-leading forward Kenny Agostino ’14 were the nominees from the Bulldogs who claimed three of the nine spots earned by Ivy League players.

“It is an honor to be considered,” Agostino said. “But obviously it is in the preliminary process.”

Hard work from all of the Bulldogs helped contribute to three nominations this season.

“It’s nice to see hard work pay off,” Laganiere said.

While it may be a long process of voting by both fans and coaches, the accompanying recognition is something of tradition for the Bulldogs.

The Elis have had a history of nominations, including six top-10 finalists: Chris Higgins in 2003, Jeff Hamilton ’01 in 1999, Hamilton again in 2001, Ray Giroux ’98 in 1998, Mark Kaufmann ’93 in 1993 and Bob Brooke ’83 in 1983.

In 2011, forwards Denny Kearney ’11 and Broc Little ’11 were also nominated for the award.

Miller said it is a great honor to be considered for the Hobey Baker Award. “But it is just the nomination process,” he said. “We are looking to have a good second half of the year, where we can put a string of wins together and try and get to the top of our league’s standings.”

Pulling together strong team victories for the rest of the season will help the Bulldogs both advance toward the playoffs and simultaneously bring more notoriety to Yale’s Hobey Baker nominees.

“It’s great recognition for those guys because they certainly deserve it,” forward Jesse Root ’14 said.

With tough games against Harvard and Dartmouth coming up this weekend, Laganiere said the Bulldogs will must continue to play with the same mental toughness that they had last weekend against SLU and Clarkson, which was one of the longest road trips of the season.

During the large opening round for Hobey Baker balloting, every vote counts. And the best news for Bulldog hockey fans is that their votes count too.

Voting has started and is open until March 10, when the list of finalists is cut down from 77 to 10. From there, a second round of voting continues until the “Hobey Hat Trick” group of three finalists is selected. The recipient of the award is chosen out of the top 10 with the most votes on April 12.

The Elis next compete on Friday night at home against the archrival Crimson. The game will also be broadcast live on NBC Sports.