By NEHJ Staff
BC forward Johnny Gaudreau and Quinnipiac goaltender Eric Hartzell are two of the three Hobey Baker Award Hat Trick finalists.
A 23-member selection committee initially came up with a list of the top ten candidates for the award annually given to the best player in college hockey before whittling the group down to three.
Gaudreau’s Eagles had their repeat hopes dashed by Union in their NCAA tournament opener last week. Hartzell and the Bobcats advanced to the Frozen Four and will face St. Cloud State in the national semifinals.
Drew LeBlanc, a senior forward for St. Cloud State, is the third candidate for the top honor in NCAA hockey. Here’s more on the two nominees with New England ties, per a press release from BC Media Relations:
Johnny Gaudreau – Boston College, Sophomore, Forward, Carneys Point, New Jersey
Back to back 21 goal seasons is a fantastic way to start your college career, and so is posting 95 total points. The smallish scoring dynamo, Johnny Gaudreau (pronounced GOO-dreau), proved he can make plays as well as score goals by leading Hockey East in both points and assists. He completed his season tied for fourth in the nation in scoring while tied for eighth in both goals and assists. Gaudreau recorded 21 goals and 30 assists for 51 points in 35 games. He also contributed four power play goals and he is tied for second in the nation with his six game winning goals. His scoring exploits saw him average 1.46 points per game, topping everyone in the nation. Gaudreau was duly honored, heralded as a First Team all-star in Hockey East and was named their Player of the Year. A Communications major, Gaudreau joins in volunteering with a variety of team functions as well as visiting Children’s Hospital, elementary schools and assisting race-day for a 5K fundraiser. He was a draft choice of Calgary (4th round) and missed two games this past season to play for the U.S. World Junior Team, earning a gold medal while leading the IIHF tournament with seven goals.
Eric Hartzell – Quinnipiac University, Senior, Goalie, White Bear Lake, Minnesota
There is a reason why Quinnipiac is making their first ever trip to the NCAA Frozen Four. They are firmly anchored in net by their outstanding goalie Eric Hartzell. The Bobcats enter the national tournament ranked number one and have the top overall team defense in the nation (1.63). Hartzell has been a work-horse and will end up leading the nation in minutes played. In 40 games so far, Hartzell has a 1.55 goals against average (3rd in the nation) and a .933 saves percentage (8th in the nation). His overall record in 40 games is 29-6-5, good enough for the second best win percentage in the country and he has the most wins. While leading all ECAC goalies in conference play, the league acknowledged him as a First Team all-star, Player of the Year and Goalie of the Year. Remarkably, he allowed two goals or less in 34 games and at one point, posted a 21-game unbeaten streak. Hartzell is a pro hockey free agent and is a Marketing major. He is an active volunteer visiting elementary schools, assisting at hockey clinics and an active participant in the team’s St. Baldrick’s annual fundraiser.
The winner will be announced Friday, April 12, from Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, the day prior to the national championship game.