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BC's Gaudreau wins Hobey Baker, signs with Flames

by Bob Snow

PHILADELPHIA -- Boston College junior forward Johnny Gaudreau didn't have to go far from home to pick up the 2014 Hobey Baker Award, but he won't be back to try for another one.

The native of nearby Carneys Point, N.J., on Friday became the first BC player since defenseman Mike Mottau in 2000 to receive the award, given to the top player in NCAA hockey. It's named in honor of Baker, a former Princeton star who was killed in a flight-training accident in World War I after a stellar college career.

Gaudreau was a fourth-round pick by the Calgary Flames in the 2011 NHL Draft and signed with the team moments after picking up the trophy. Linemate Bill Arnold, a 2010 fourth-round pick by Calgary, also signed with the Flames on Friday. (Full story here)

BC's season ended Thursday night with a 5-4 loss to Union College at the Frozen Four.

"It's an individual award and I'd rather be playing for a national championship," Gaudreau said. "But I wouldn't have done this without my teammates. It's been difficult these past few nights. I've had a special three years here, an exciting three [years] - I'll miss it a lot."

Gaudreau was a member of BC's 2012 championship team as a freshman.

Gaudreau, who's listed at 5-foot-7, 150 pounds, topped the nation in goals (36), assists (44) and points (80). He averaged two points per game in BC's 40 games, and his 80 points the most by a Division I player since Colorado College's Peter Sejna had 82 points in 2002-03. He also led the nation with seven game-winning goals and finished plus-41.

"Being a small player and playing at such a high level," he said, "I had to get my feet wet growing up and playing at BC."

The other two finalists this year were St. Cloud State senior forward, Nic Dowd and senior forward Greg Carey from St. Lawrence University. Gaudreau was a finalist last season, when St. Cloud State's Drew LeBlanc won the award.

The Hockey East Player of the Year recorded points in all but two games. His 31-game regular-season point streak tied the league record set by Maine's Paul Kariya in 1992-93, when he led the Black Bears to the national championship.

The weekend was special for the Gaudreau family, who live just across the Delaware River from Philadelphia. Younger brother Matt is a freshman at BC.

"I coached him from a baby to 14 then I let him go," his father, Guy Gaudreau, told "Both the boys are playing at Boston College. Most people dream this stuff; I can't even describe it."

The 2014 Hockey Humanitarian Award, sponsored by BYN Mellon, was presented Thursday to Holy Cross senior forward Jeffrey Reppucci. The award, given annually to college hockey's finest citizen, seeks to celebrate "Hall of Fame human beings."

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute forward Brock Higgs was selected as the 2013-14 Senior CLASS Award winner in Division I men's hockey. The award, chosen by a nationwide vote of D-I coaches, national hockey media and fans, is given annually to the most outstanding senior student-athlete

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