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Minnesota Scene: St. Cloud State, Minnesota State clean up in WCHA awards

  • March 15, 2013 - 12:04 AM

Senior forward Drew Le-Blanc of St. Cloud State was named the WCHA’s Player of the Year on Thursday. He also was picked the conference’s Outstanding Student-Athlete of the Year. It was the first time one player received both.

LeBlanc, of Hermantown, Minn., helped lead the Huskies to a share of their first MacNaughton Cup, which goes to the WCHA’s regular-season champion. SCSU and the Gophers tied for first place with 37 points. LeBlanc had a conference-high 25 assists and 35 total points. In all games, he had an NCAA-high of 34 assists and 46 points, fourth nationally.

Huskies teammate Nick Jensen, a junior defenseman from Rogers, Minn., was named the Defensive Player of the Year.

Minnesota State Mankato, which tied for fourth place, also had two winners of major awards. Goalie Stephon Williams was chosen the Rookie of the Year and Mike Hastings the Coach of the Year. Williams was also the WCHA’s goaltending champion with a league-best 1.93 goals-against average. Hastings, in his first season, led MSU Mankato to its first top-half finish in the conference since 2007-08.

Nebraska Omaha forward Ryan Walters, a junior from Rosemount, was the conference’s scoring champion. He had 16 goals and 24 assists for 40 points in conference play.

For a complete list of WCHA awards, see scoreboard on Page 11C.

Etc.

• Notre Dame junior forward Anders Lee and Ohio State senior goalie Brady Hjelle, two Minnesotans, are among the three finalists for Player of the Year in the CCHA.

• Eight Augsburg wrestlers will compete in the Division III national championships starting Friday at the Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Ice Arena. Among them is No. 1-rated Chad Johnson, the defending heavyweight champion. The Auggies have won 11 national titles and have finished in the top four 24 years in a row.

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