College Hockey's Hobey Hat Trick to Be Decided Tonight in Steel Town

Roman UschakCorrespondent IApril 12, 2013

Eric Hartzell of Quinnipiac is seeking to become the first Hobey goalie winner since Ryan Miller in 2001.
Eric Hartzell of Quinnipiac is seeking to become the first Hobey goalie winner since Ryan Miller in 2001.Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The pool of 10 finalists for the 2013 Hobey Baker Memorial Award has been whittled down to the Hobey Hat Trick of St. Cloud State's Drew LeBlanc, Boston College's Johnny Gaudreau and Quinnipiac's Eric Hartzell.

The trio emerged from an original pool of 10 finalists. The winner will be the 33rd recipient of the award that was first given in 1981 to Minnesota's Neal Broten, a member of the 1980 "Miracle" U.S. Olympic team.

The 2013 Hobey Baker winner will be announced tonight in Pittsburgh, site of the NCAA Frozen Four,  live on the NHL Network at 6 p.m. ET, and at the award's website,

(Statistics prior to national semifinals on April 11.)

Drew LeBlanc  

Sr., F, St. Cloud State (WCHA) 41 games played: 13 goals, 37assists, 50 points

The Western Collegiate Hockey Association Player of the Year and Outstanding Student-Athlete of the Year, LeBlanc rebounded from a broken leg in 2011-12 to lead all NCAA Division I players in assists this year. A four-time WCHA All-Academic choice, the Hermantown, Minn., native has also served as a high school math student-teacher this season.


Johnny Gaudreau  

So., F, Boston College (HEA), 35 GP: 21 goals, 31 assists, 51 points

A Calgary Flames draft choice, the Carneys Point, N.J., native helped Boston College to its fourth consecutive Beanpot Tournament title and led the Eagles in scoring while recording his second straight 20-goal season. A Hockey East First Team selection, he also scored a team-high seven goals at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship to help Team USA to the gold medal. A 2012 NCAA champion and a communications major at BC, he has visited Boston-area elementary schools and children's hospitals as part of his community service efforts.


Eric Hartzell  

Sr., G, Quinnipiac (ECAC), 40 GP: 29-6-5, 1.55 goals-against average, .933 save percentage, 6 shutouts

Hartzell is looking to become just the third goaltender ever to win the Hobey Baker Award, and the first since Michigan State's Ryan Miller in 2001. He backstopped the Bobcats to both a 21-game unbeaten streak from November to March, plus the Eastern College Athletic Conference regular-season title and the nation's No.1 ranking.

He was also an ECAC First Team All-Star, Player of the Year, and Goalie of the Year and is among the nation's top five Division I goaltenders in most major statistical categories. A White Bear Lake, Minn., native and marketing major, he visits elementary schools and assists with hockey clinics in the Greater New Haven (Conn.) community.

Hartzell's Bobcats eliminated LeBlanc's Huskies, 4-1, in an NCAA semifinal on Thursday, while Gaudreau's Eagles fell to Union in the first round of the NCAA East Regional two weeks ago.

Quinnipiac will now face ECAC opponent Yale Saturday night at 7 p.m. at the Consol Energy Center for the national title.