Drew LeBlanc, from Hermantown, was named the 2013 winner of the Hobey Baker Award. LeBlanc was the WCHA Player of the Year and led St. Cloud State with 50 points in 42 games.
PITTSBURGH –The mood on St. Cloud State’s charter flight back to central Minnesota late Friday was likely a little lighter than it might have been had the team left 24 hours earlier. Though the Huskies won’t get a team trophy after Thursday night’s 4-1 loss to Quinnipiac in the Frozen Four semifinals, they took home college hockey’s top individual honor.
Senior forward Drew LeBlanc, from Hermantown, was named the 2013 winner of the Hobey Baker Award. LeBlanc was the WCHA Player of the Year and led the Huskies with 50 points in 42 games. It was a notable comeback for LeBlanc, who had what would have been his final season of college hockey cut short in November 2011 when he suffered a compound leg fracture in a game against Wisconsin.
“When he was sitting on the sidelines, he had unfinished business,” said Huskies coach Bob Motzko. “He wanted to come back and help this program, help his teammates.”
Motzko’s first concern was ensuring LeBlanc would fully recover, and then he concentrated on getting him to come back for a fifth season instead of turning professional. LeBlanc came back, and he played a key role in leading the Huskies to their first WCHA regular season title.
“As it turned out it was a blessing in disguise, to come back this year and play with these guys all year,” said LeBlanc of his teammates. “We had a tremendous ride.”
LeBlanc becomes the ninth Minnesotan to win the trophy, which was first awarded to Neal Broten of the Gophers in 1981. Jack Connolly of Minnesota Duluth, whom LeBlanc has known since they played youth hockey against one another, won it last year.
“There must be something in the water up there,” LeBlanc joked.
Quinnipiac goalie Kevin Hartzell, from White Bear Lake, and Boston College forward Johnny Gaudreau were the other finalists.
|Minnesota - WP: C. Thielbar||7||FINAL|
|NY Yankees - LP: M. Banuelos||3|
|Seattle||1||Top 3rd Inning|
|Texas||0||Bottom 1st Inning|
|LA Lakers||61||4th Qtr 11:25|
|LA Clippers||43||3rd Qtr|
|Nashville||3||3rd Prd 6:12|
|NY Rangers||4||3rd Prd 6:25|
|Anaheim||3||2nd Prd 11:26|
|Stephen F Austin||85|
|Ark-Little Rock||114||4th OT 0:06|
|Sam Houston St||45||2nd Half 10:14|
|Northwestern||33||2nd Half 12:40|
|Colorado||29||2nd Half 13:57|
|Massachusetts||36||2nd Half 15:46|
|UNLV||26||2nd Half 18:10|
|San Diego St||31|
|Northern Colorado||37||2nd Half 9:53|
|Idaho||46||2nd Half 13:28|
|Utah Valley U||42|
|Eastern Mich||28||2nd Half|
|Connecticut||27||1st Half 0:06|
|Prairie View||25||1st Half 6:00|
|Cal Poly||31||2nd Half|
|Clemson||25||1st Half 0:59|
|Ole Miss||28||1st Half 5:48|
|Xavier||20||1st Half 6:48|
|Baylor||32||1st Half 3:36|
|Boise State||10:30 PM|
|New Mexico St|
|Long Beach State|
|(22) Middle Tennessee||64|
|(25) Bowling Green||55|
|New Mexico St||65||FINAL|
|Coll of Charleston||70|
|Illinois-Chicago||57||2nd Half 0:19|
|Montana||55||2nd Half 5:21|
|Illinois State||22||1st Half 6:50|