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Schuldt, Newell are SCSU's 1st Hobey Baker duo finalists

St. Cloud State senior forward Patrick Newell (left), The Rink Live's Mick Hatten and Huskies senior defenseman Jimmy Schuldt talk Friday about the pair being named top-10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Award. It is the first time two Huskies have been up for the honor in the same year. The Hobey Baker Award is given annually to college hockey's top player and will be awarded during the NCAA Division I Frozen Four in Buffalo, N.Y. Tom Nelson/St. Cloud State University1 / 5
St. Cloud State defenseman Jimmy Schuldt shoots the puck against Colorado College in February 2019 at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center in St. Cloud, Minn. Schuldt, a senior from Minnetonka, became the first Huskies player to be named a top-10 finalist for the Hobey Baker Award twice on Wednesday. Jason Wachter/The Rink Live2 / 5
St. Cloud State forward Patrick Newell (14) carries the puck on Saturday, March 16, 2019, in a game against Miami in the NCHC quarterfinals at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center in St. Cloud, Minn. Newell, a senior from Thousand Oaks, Calif., was named one of 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Award on Wednesday. Newell leads the Huskies in goals (19), game-winning goals (6), points (43) and plus/minus (plus-32). Jason Wachter/The Rink Live.3 / 5
Patrick Newell. Courtesy of St. Cloud State University4 / 5
Jimmy Schuldt. Courtesy of St. Cloud State University5 / 5

ST. CLOUD, Minn. -- Patrick Newell and Jimmy Schuldt are separated in physical size by about four inches in height and more than 40 pounds. Newell grew up in Thousand Oaks, Calif.; Schuldt grew up in Minnetonka, Minn.

But the St. Cloud State men's hockey seniors will be linked together in a unique way from now on.

Newell and Schuldt became the first Huskies duo to be named top 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Award on Wednesday, March 20.

"The relationships that you build throughout four years in college are all special, particularly with the guys in your own (recruiting) class," said Newell said. "You spend so much time together and go through a lot of the same things, the successes and failures.

"For me and Jimmy to go through some of this (Hobey Baker) stuff together, it's super special for both of us."

Schuldt also becomes the first St. Cloud State player to be a top 10 finalist twice. But the senior defenseman is excited ... mostly for Newell.

"I'm probably more excited for him than I am about anything," Schuldt said. "He deserves a lot of credit for what we've done this season. It's very cool for me to see him do this. I'm really proud of him."

Part of why Schuldt is so excited for Newell is because Newell was not even on the ballot for online voting for the initial group of candidates. Online voting for fans works only into a small percentage of the decision of determining the top 10 .... obviously.

"Not being in the voting and all that, I thought this wasn't even a possibility for me," Newell said. "I think everyone knows Jimmy and his talents and how incredible he is. We were all expecting that. I'm just happy to be up there with him."

The other finalists are Mercyhurst junior defenseman Joe Duszak, Harvard junior defenseman Adam Fox, Michigan State junior forward Taro Hirose, Michigan sophomore defenseman Quinn Hughes, Ohio State senior forward Mason Jobst, Massachusetts sopnhomore defenseman Cale Makar, Quinnipiac senior defenseman Chase Priskie and Clarkson junior forward Nico Sturm.

The Hobey Hat Trick top three finalists for the award will be named on April 4. The winner will be named on April 12 during the NCAA Division I Frozen Four in Buffalo, New York.

Newell and Schuldt, who are both All-NCHC First Team selections, are both up for some more awards that will be handed out by the NCHC on Thursday night in St. Paul.

More honors?

Newell, who led the NCHC in goals (13), points (28) and plus/minus (plus-18) in 24 regular season games, is one of three finalists for NCHC Forward of the Year.

Schuldt, the first player to be a three-year captain at St. Cloud State, is one of three finalists for the following NCHC awards: Player of the Year, Senior Scholar-Athlete Award, Defensive Defenseman of the Year and Offensive Defenseman of the Year.

Brett Larson, who is in his first season as St. Cloud State's head coach, was plenty excited to hear Wednesday's news on Newell and Schuldt.

"As a coach, you're just so happy because they're such great people," Larson said. "On and off the ice, they've been a huge reason that we've had the success we've had. Both of them are leaders.

"Jimmy, obviously, has been a three-year captain and an anchor to a program that's been successful all four years he's been here ... he's been a guy that you lean on," Larson said of Schuldt, who has played in 153 consecutive games for the Huskies, who have won two NCHC regular season titles, an NCHC playoff title and gone 101-41-11 in his career.

"Patrick is a real detailed and dependable player both ways," Larson said. "He kills penalties and his points could be down a bit because he's on the second power-play unit, but it says something about him that he has the points he has because he's playing against the top players in our league every night and most of those points are coming 5-on-5."

Schuldt has 10 goals, 33 points, is a plus-24 and leads the Huskies in blocked shots (69). Newell leads the Huskies in goals (19), game-winning goals (6), points (43) and plus/minus (plus-32). He is in the top 10 in Division in goals, game-winning and points and leads the country in plus/minus.

Top-ranked St. Cloud State (29-4-3) plays Colorado College (17-18-4) at 4:08 p.m. Friday in the semifinals of the NCHC Frozen Faceoff at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.

More rarefied air

The Hobey Baker Award has given to the top player in college hockey since 1981 and the Huskies have been an NCAA Division I program since 1987.

Schuldt and Newell are two of eight St. Cloud State players to be named a top 10 finalist. The others are forward Mark Hartigan (2002), goalie Bobby Goepfert (2007), forward Ryan Lasch (2008), forward Drew LeBlanc (2013), forward Nic Dowd (2014) and defenseman Ethan Prow (2016).

Dowd and Hartigan were top three finalists for the honor and LeBlanc is the lone St. Cloud State player to win the honor.