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Cole Caufield beats out Shane Pinto for Hobey Baker Award; UND has an NCAA-best three All-American picks

Shane Pinto, Jordan Kawaguchi and Matt Kiersted earn All-American honors.

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UND's Jordan Kawaguchi celebrates with Cooper Moore, Shane Pinto, Matt Kierstad and Tyler Kleven after scoring a goal in the second period of Saturday's game at the Ralph Engelstad Arena. Photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald
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Each year, the Hobey Baker Award Hat Trick -- the top three finalists for college hockey's greatest individual honor -- gather in the site of the NCAA Frozen Four and await the announcement of the winner.

Shane Pinto's experience was quite a bit different.

He was quarantined in an Ottawa hotel room Friday, awaiting to be cleared to join the NHL's Senators, participating in the event virtually.

The COVID-19 pandemic changed up the presentation this spring, but the outcome was as expected.

Wisconsin sophomore forward Cole Caufield, who led college hockey with 30 goals this season, was the recipient of the 2021 Hobey Baker Award. He joined Blake Geoffrion (2010) as the only Badgers to win it.

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Pinto, who was hoping to join Tony Hrkac (1987) and Ryan Duncan (2007) as UND's only winners, finished in the top three along with Minnesota State-Mankato goaltender Dryden McKay.

"I think he did a tremendous job coming in as a younger player," UND coach Brad Berry said of Pinto. "We really didn't know how his development path would be, how long it would take to be an impactful player in our group. It didn't take long for him to establish himself.

"He did a lot of great things individually and collectively for our team here. There are only so many players who come through college hockey who do what he did."

Pinto led UND with 15 goals and tallied 32 points in 28 games. He was the first in the eight-year history of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference to be a unanimous pick for the league's player of the year honor. Pinto also was named the NCHC forward of the year and the NCHC defensive forward of the year.

The Franklin Square, N.Y., product signed with Ottawa after UND was knocked out of the NCAA tournament in the regional final.

Pinto, Kawaguchi and Kiersted honored

Pinto was named a first-team All-American on Friday. A pair of his UND teammates joined him on the All-American list, too.

Jordan Kawaguchi, a first-team pick in 2020, was selected to the second team alongside defenseman Matt Kiersted.

Kawaguchi became UND's first two-time All-American since Chay Genoway (2009, 2011). He was the first UND player to be All-American in consecutive years since Jeff Panzer in 2000 and 2001.

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Kawaguchi led the Fighting Hawks in scoring for three-straight years, becoming the first player to do that since Greg Johnson in 1990-93. Kawaguchi had 10 goals and 36 points in 28 games this season.

Kiersted was UND's leading scorer from the blue line, tallying three goals and 22 points in 29 games. He is the Fighting Hawks' first All-American on defense since Tucker Poolman in 2017.

AHCA West All-Americans

First team

F - Cole Caufield, Wisconsin

F - Shane Pinto, North Dakota

F - Sampo Ranta, Minnesota

D - Ronnie Attard, Western Michigan

D - Cam York, Michigan

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G - Jack LaFontaine, Minnesota

Second team

F - Jordan Kawaguchi, North Dakota

F - Dylan Holloway, Wisconsin

F - Linus Weissbach, Wisconsin

D - Matt Kiersted, North Dakota

D - Jackson LaCombe, Minnesota

G - Dryden McKay, Minnesota State-Mankato

AHCA East All-Americans

First team

F - Bobby Trivigno, UMass

F - Odeen Tufto, Quinnipiac

F - Matt Boldy, Boston College

D - Brennan Kapcheck, American International

D - David Farrance, Boston University

G - Spencer Knight, Boston College

Second team

F - Will Calverley, RIT

F - Jonny Evans, UConn

F - Colin Bilek, Army

D - Zac Jones, UMass

D - Drew Helleson, Boston College

G - Trevin Kozlowski, Army

Schlossman has covered college hockey for the Grand Forks Herald since 2005. He has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors as the top beat writer for the Herald's circulation division four times and the North Dakota sportswriter of the year once. He resides in Grand Forks. Reach him at bschlossman@gfherald.com.
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