Gophers’ Jack LaFontaine named Hobey Baker Award Finalist

Gophers goaltender Jack LaFontaine has been nominated for the 2021 Hobey Baker Award, which goes to the top player in college hockey. LaFontaine leads the NCAA with 13 wins. ((creidt: University of Minnesota Athletics))

Jack LaFontaine was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Big Ten Tournament after the Gophers men’s hockey team beat Wisconsin 6-4 Tuesday night to earn an NCAA Tournament bid.

LaFontaine on Wednesday was named a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award, which goes annually to the top player in college hockey. He’s the 16th Gophers player to be named a top-10 finalist, and the third goaltender, joining Rob Stauber and Adam Wilcox.

LaFontaine is also a finalist for the Mike Richter Award, which goes to the top goalie in college hockey. He was named the Big Ten Goaltender of the Year before the league tournament. He leads the nation with 21 wins, is second in the country with a .936 save percentage and is second with a 1.74 goals against average. He is also tied for second in the NCAA with five shutouts.

The 10 finalists were selected by voting from all 61 Division I college hockey head coaches, and online fan balloting. The three finalists will be announced on April 1. The winner will be announced on Friday, April 9, and it will be televised live on the NHL Network.

The Gophers are making their first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 2017.