Jack Connolly's college hockey career may have ended Sunday, but the enigmatic scorer could still take home some hardware.
The Hobey Baker Memorial Award Foundation announced on Thursday that Connolly, a Duluth native and University of Minnesota-Duluth star senior, has been selected as one of the three finalists to win the Hobey Baker Award.
Connolly served as the Bulldogs' captain this year and is a repeat finalist for the Hobey, which goes to the top player in all of college hockey. For the third-consecutive season, he was named WCHA First-Team all-star. He also claimed Player of the Year honors this year after scoring 20 goals and 40 assists for 60 points in 41 games. Connolly ranked second in the entire nation in both points and assists.
One stat not to be overlooked is that Connolly, a two-time All-American, has never missed a game in his four-year career at Minnesota-Duluth. That's 164 consecutive games for the Bulldogs. Connolly is a free agent.
University of Maine senior forward Spencer Abbott and Colgate senior forward Austin Smith are the other finalists. Abbott amassed 21 goals and 41 assists for 62 points this season. Smith tallied 36 goals and 21 helpers for 57 total points.
The final three "Hobey Hat Trick" finalists were narrowed down from 10 initial players, which also included Minnesota native Tim Kirby, a defenseman for Air Force.
From the press release:
The three finalists were selected from the initial list of Top Ten candidates by the 23-member selection committee and an additional round of online fan balloting to determine this year’s Hobey Baker winner. Criteria for the award includes: displaying outstanding skills in all phases of the game, strength of character on and off the ice, sportsmanship and scholastic achievements.
This year’s Hobey Baker Award winner will be announced Friday, April 6, 2012 from MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, FL during the NCAA Frozen Four. The 32nd annual announcement will be aired live on the NHL Network at 6:00 p.m., ET, and at the Hobey website, www.hobeybakeraward.com.