Fourteen players with local ties — including Gophers forwards Justin Kloos and Tyler Sheehy and defenseman Jake Bischoff — are among 66 players nominated for the Hobey Baker Award, given annually to college hockey’s top player.
Other nominees with local ties include Bemidji State goalie Michael Bitzer, Wisconsin forwards Grant Besse (Benilde- St. Margaret’s) and Luke Kunin (Wild draft pick); Minnesota Duluth forwards Alex Iafallo and Dominic Toninato and defenseman Neal Pionk; North Dakota forwards Brock Boeser and Shane Gersich and defenseman Tucker Poolman; Holy Cross forward T.J. Moore (Edina); and Miami (Ohio) forward Louie Belpedio (Wild draft pick).
Fans can cast their vote for the award at www.hobeybaker.com/vote. The nominees will be trimmed to 15 candidates on March 15 and three finalists on March 30. The winner will be announced April 7 during Frozen Four weekend in Chicago.
• Minnesota Duluth returned to the top of the U.S. College Hockey Online men’s poll, after it won the final North Star College Cup on Saturday. Denver was No. 2, followed by Boston University, Union and Harvard in the top five. The Gophers fell one spot to No. 7, behind Penn State.
• The top four in the USCHO women’s poll remained unchanged. Wisconsin (24-2-1) is the unanimous No. 1, followed by Minnesota Duluth, Clarkson and the Gophers.