MINNEAPOLIS - The University of Minnesota men’s hockey team announced Monday that goaltender Jack LaFontaine has been nominated for the 2021 Hobey Baker Award.
The honor goes annually to the top player in college hockey. Phase 1 voting for the award started Monday, and the top 10 finalists will be announced on March 17. The winner will be announced on April 9.
LaFontaine leads the NCAA with 13 wins, and the Gophers moved up to No. 2 in the country after a weekend sweep at Ohio State. He is second nationally with a 1.28 goals against average, and is third in the country with a .948 save percentage. His three shutouts this season are also tied for third nationally.
LaFontaine is one of the key leaders of the Gophers’ defense, which is No. 2 in the country, allowing an average of 1.61 goals per game.
In addition to play on the ice, Hobey Baker Award candidates must demonstrate strength of character both on and off the ice, contribute to the integrity of his team and display outstanding skills in all phases of the game.
LaFontaine would be just the third Minnesota goaltender in the 40 years of the award to be named a finalist, if that happens. He would join Adam Wilcox in 2014, and Robb Stauber in 1988. The Gophers have four Hobey Baker Award winners in this history of their program – Neal Broten in 1981, Stauber in 1988, Brian Bonin in 1996 and Jordan Leopold in 2002.
The Gophers (15-3, 11-3) have won four straight as they host Wisconsin this weekend in a battle of the top two teams in the Big Ten. Minnesota has a five-point lead on the Badgers through 14 Big Ten games.