Statistics: 44 GP, 30-31—61
not hard to see how much Junior Lessard means to the Minnesota
Duluth Bulldogs. Thirty goals and 61 points – two
totals that lead the nation – will do that.
look beyond the numbers, and you see a player who is the
undisputed leader of the resurgent Bulldog team. Never was
that more apparent than the first round of the NCAA Tournament
in Grand Rapids.
expected to be sidelined with an injury, made a game-time
decision to suit up. His presence alone seemed to energize
the Bulldogs, but just in case it wasn't enough, he chipped
in two goals as well.
our leader, both on and off the ice," said defenseman
Tim Hambly. "Every time he touches the puck, it seems
like he scores a goal."
sense, while Lessard's first-round NCAA Tournament performance
against Michigan State seemed remarkable, it was really
just another game in a season that has seen him emerge as
the nation's most feared offensive weapon. The 6-foot-0,
195-pound senior from St. Joseph deBeauce, Quebec, not only
captured a share of the WCHA scoring title, but also earned
the conference's Player of the Year honors.
It's interesting to note that Lessard's
improvement has mirrored that of his team. As a freshman,
he scored 12 point and the Bulldogs won seven games. He
scored 30 points the following season; UMD had 14 wins.
Last year, he totaled 37 points as the 'Dogs amassed 22
victories. This season? 61 points, 28 wins...and counting.
day after that Michigan State game, Lessard and UMD beat
archrival Minnesota, 3-1. Now he heads to the Frozen Four
as one of the three finalists for the Hobey Baker Award
and with a national championship in sight. Given his season-long
track record, the Bulldogs will want to make sure they have
space on the plan for a couple of trophies.