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Three finalists named for Hobey Baker

Written by Jenn Menendez on .

The Hobey Baker Memorial Award Foundation announced the three finalists for the Hobey Baker on Wednesday: forward Johnny Gaudreau of Boston College, goalie Eric Hartzell of Quinnipiac, and forward Drew LeBlanc of St. Cloud State.

Two of the three – Hartzell and LeBlanc – will be playing in the Frozen Four next week.

The award, considered college hockey’s Heisman, will be announced Friday April 12 at Consol Energy Center at 6 p.m. during the Frozen Four on the day between the semifinals and final.

The three bios of the finalists, from HobeyBakerAward.com are as follows:

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.

Drew LeBlanc – St. Cloud State University, Senior, Forward, Hermantown, Minnesota

Coming off a redshirt season after severely breaking his leg last year, Drew LeBlanc (pronounced la-BLAH) has proved to be a masterful playmaker. Skating with two freshmen for portions of the season, the two-year captain has helped guide the Huskies to their first ever Frozen Four and will try to score on Hartzell in the upcoming national semi-finals. He enters the tournament leading the nation in assists (37) and is seventh in points (50), just three points from the top. LeBlanc has scored 13 goals including three on the power play and three that proved to be game winners in the 41 games he has played so far. Named First Team all-conference, LeBlanc attained a first in the 52 year history of the WCHA, being named both the Outstanding Student-Athlete of the Year and the Player of the Year. A four-time All-Academic student, he has been student teaching all season to complete his requirements for his Math Education major. LeBlanc finds time assisting with new student move-ins, helps out at hockey clinics and the Skate with the Huskies events. He is a pro hockey free agent.

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