Mike Reilly became the first Gophers hockey standout to earn back-to-back First Team All-America honors in more than a decade on Friday afternoon. The junior was one of six defensemen selected to the First Team just days after telling the Star Tribune he won't return for his senior year of college hockey.
He was the only All-America selection this season to win back-to-back honors. Jordan Leopold last achieved this feat for the Gophers in 2001 and 2002.
Three other Minnesotans earned All-America status. Yale goaltender Alex Lyon (Baudette, Minn.) was a First Team selection, and North Dakota goalie Zane McIntyre (Thief River Falls, Minn.) and Minnesota State defenseman Zach Palmquist (South St. Paul) were named to the Second Team. Minnesota State's Matt Leitner (Los Alamitos, Calif.) was a First Team selection.
Reilly set career highs with 42 points and 36 assists to lead all college hockey defensemen in scoring this season. His 42 points are most by a Gophers defenseman since Leopold scored 48 in 2001-2002, and he's the first defenseman to lead the team in scoring since Mike Crowley in 1996-1997. He led the nation in power-play assists (19) and had the nation's eighth-best plus-minus rating of plus-25.
Reilly's standout season also earned him back-to-back Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year honors and a spot among the Hobey Baker Award top 10 finalists. He's the seventh player in Gophers men's hockey history to earn multiple All-America honors.
The Big Ten earned four All-America spots including Reilly's. Michigan State goaltender Jake Hildebrand and Michigan forward Zach Hyman were also First Team selections, and Michigan forward Dylan Larkin was Second Team. Complete list of All-America honors.