PHILADELPHIA - It was about as surprising as the sky appearing blue on a clear day.
To the surprise of, well, maybe no one who follows college hockey, Boston College's Johnny Gaudreau was named to the 2014 Hobey Baker Award winner on Friday at Loews Hotel, Center City. The Hobey Baker is given annually to college hockey's top player.
St. Cloud State senior Nic Dowd and St. Lawrence senior Greg Carey were the other two finalists for the award. Dowd is the second straight St. Cloud State player to be in the top three. Drew LeBlanc became the Huskies' first Hobey Baker winner last year in Pittsburgh.
Gaudreau was the lone returning top three finalists for the award.
Gaudreau, who is from Carneys Point, N.J., leads the nation in goals (36), assists (44), points (80) and game-winning goals (seven). He is second in the nation in plus/minus (plus-42). Gaudreau, a communications major, led Boston College to the Frozen Four with four goals and seven assists in three NCAA tournament games.
Gaudreau, a fourth-round pick of the Calgary Flames, was the Hockey East Player of the Year this season.
Gaudreau, Dowd and Carey both were also named first team All-Americans Friday.
Dowd, who is from Huntsville, Ala., is the third St. Cloud State player to be a top three finalist for the Hobey Baker Award. The other St. Cloud State player to be a top three finalist was Mark Hartigan in 2002.
Dowd led the Huskies in goals (22), power-play goals (10), game-winning goals (five) and penalty minutes (32). He was second on the team in points (40), shots (96) and plus/minus (plus-17).
Dowd, an All-NCHC first team pick, was the NCHC Defensive Forward of the Year and the NCHC Student-Athlete of the Year. He has a 3.61 grade-point average as a biomedicine major.
Carey had 18 goals and 39 assists in 38 games. He had a 20-game point streak and has signed as a free agent with the Phoenix Coyotes.