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UMass defenseman Cale Makar wins Hobey Baker Award

UMass defenseman Cale Makar (left) is a deft puckhandler with a high hockey IQ.
UMass defenseman Cale Makar (left) is a deft puckhandler with a high hockey IQ.(Elsa/Getty Images)

BUFFALO — Cale Makar’s breakout season continues to roll along, as the sophomore defenseman became the first UMass player to win the Hobey Baker Award Friday. Makar accepted the honor as he and his teammates get ready to face Minnesota Duluth in the national championship Saturday night.

Winning the Hobey was not the only recognition Makar received this week. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sent a letter of congratulations to the Calgary native on being named a finalist for the award.

“Our media relations people reached out to say the situation I was in, and they reached back within three or four days,” said Makar. “It was pretty cool. Any time you get a letter from the Prime Minister of Canada, I don’t think too many people are in that position. It was a very special moment for me.”

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Makar beat out Harvard’s Adam Fox and St. Cloud State’s Jimmy Schuldt to capture the award honoring college hockey’s top player. He becomes the fifth player from a Massachusetts school to win the award in the last six years, joining Boston College’s Johnny Gaudreau (2014), Boston University’s Jack Eichel (2015), Harvard’s Jimmy Vesey (2016), and Northeastern’s Adam Gaudette (2018).

Makar has 16 goals and 33 assists.

Earlier in the day, Northeastern goalie Cayden Primeau was named the winner of the Mike Richter Award, given to the most outstanding goaltender in college hockey. In leading the Huskies to the Beanpot and Hockey East titles, Primeau posted a 25-9-1 record and ranked second in save percentage and wins. He signed an entry-level contract with the Montreal Canadiens.

Forward Joel Farabee became the fourth Boston University player to win the 2019 Tim Taylor Award, given to the best first-year player in NCAA Division 1 men’s ice hockey.

Farabee had 17 goals and 19 assists in 37 games for BU, and already has signed with the Philadelphia Flyers.

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