Gophers

Minnesota-Duluth’s Connolly Wins Hobey Baker Award

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(credit: Elsa/Getty Images)

(credit: Elsa/Getty Images)

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TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Minnesota-Duluth center Jack Connolly won the Hobey Baker Award on Friday night as the top college hockey player.

A Duluth native and Dallas Stars draft pick, Connolly had 20 goals and 40 assists in 41 games this season. He had 66 goals and 131 assists in 166 career games, leading the Bulldogs to the national title last year.

“Although I’m the one receiving this great honor, it would not have been possible with my teammates and I share this all with them,” Connolly said at the award ceremony at MacDill Air Force Base.

“I would like to give a special thank you to the UMD coaching staff — head coach Scott Sandelin, current assistant coaches Derek Plante, Jason Herter and Bill Watson, and my two former assistant coaches, Steve Rohlik and Brett Larson, for having a lasting impact on my college hockey career.”

He’s the record fifth Minnesota-Duluth player to win the award, following Tom Kurvers (1984), Watson (1985), Chris Marinucci (1994) and Junior Lessard (2004).

“I think Jack epitomizes what the award is about,” Sandelin said. “Obviously, he was a tremendous leader and an offensive catalyst for our team. He had a remarkable career and an even more remarkable senior season. Most of all, Jack has always represented our program in a first-class way and I couldn’t be happier for him.”

Maine forward Spencer Abbott and Colgate forward Austin Smith also were finalists.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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