Jason Gonzalez has covered an array of sports at all levels over the last nine years. He learned ice hockey, however, long before — during the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah (his hometown). He got a close up look of legendary Gophers alum Herb Brooks and other Minnesota hockey greats. Jason has been with the Star Tribune since 2012.
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Nic Dowd of St. Cloud State, Greg Carey of St. Lawrence and Johnny Gaudreau of Boston College are the three finalists for the Hobey Baker Award, which goes to college hockey's best player.
The finalists were chosen by a 27-member committee with some fan voting. The winner will be announced April 11 in Philadelphia, the day between the NCAA Frozen Four semifinals and finals.
Gaudreau leads the nation in goals and assists and has led his team to the Frozen Four, making him the overwhelming favorite.
Carey, who signed with Phoenix last week, had 18 goals and 39 assists and is third in the nation with 57 points. He was ECAC co-player of the year.
Dowd, who signed with the Los Angeles Kings yesterday, scored an overtime goal to beat Notre Dame on Saturday in the NCAA West Regional semifinals. The Huskies lost to the Gophers 4-0 on Sunday. He had 22 goals and 18 assist this season.
Gaudreau has 35 goals and 42 assists and was Hockey East player of the year. He also leads the nation with a +41.
The award considers community involvement and scholastic achievement, to a point. Carey has a 3.68 GPA and Dowd has a 3.61 GPA. Gaudreau's GPA was not revealed on the official press release.
Gophers goalie Adam Wilcox was in the final 10, but didn't make the cut to three.