As the only Frozen Four team based outside of the Northeast, St. Cloud State was the lone squad that could ruin New England’s hopes of laying claim to the 2013 national champion in college hockey.
A 4-1 loss in the semifinals to Quinnipiac put an end to the Huskies’ season, but their leading scorer still managed to play spoiler in another New England-dominated field.
St. Cloud senior Drew LeBlanc took home the Hobey Baker Award on Friday night. He beat out Boston College forward Johnny Gaudreau and Quinnipiac goaltender Eric Hartzell for the top honor in college hockey.
A two-year team captain, LeBlanc led the country with 37 assists and ranked seventh with 50 points – only three back of Division 1’s top point-getter, Colorado College’s Rylan Schwartz.
Gaudreau, a sensational sophomore and a prospect of the Calgary Flames, scored 21 goals and added 30 assists for 51 points, which tied for fourth in the nation.
Hartzell, who will play for the national championship when Quinnipiac takes on Yale Saturday night, finished the season with a spectacular 30-6-5 record, a .934 percentage and the third-best goals-against average in the country (1.53).
LeBlanc signed a one-year contract with the Chicago Blackhawks a few hours after winning the prestigious award.
The American Hockey Coaches Association named both Hartzell and Gaudreau to the East’s First Team for the AHCHA/CCM Hockey Men’s Division I All-American Teams. UMass-Lowell’s Chad Ruhwedel, UNH’s Trevor van Riemsdyk and BC’s Steven Whitney (Reading, Mass.) were also named to the squad.