Despite a storied history that includes numerous NHL stars, including the likes of Mike Richter, Curtis Joseph, and Chris Chelios, Wisconsin's hockey program has never produced a winner of the sport's top individual prize.
The Hobey Baker Award has been given out for 30 years, but it had never been handed to a Badger until Friday night.
In a ceremony held at Ford Field, Wisconsin senior tri-captain Blake Geoffrion won the coveted trophy. He hopes it's a good omen, as last year's winner -- Boston University defenseman Matt Gilroy -- went on to help the Terriers win the national title the next night.
Geoffrion, who hails from Brentwood, Tenn., is a draft pick of the Nashville Predators. He has very impressive bloodlines in the sport. Blake's father, Danny, played in the NHL for the Montreal Canadiens. His grandfather is Bernie "Boom Boom" Geoffrion, widely regarded as the inventor of the slap shot. Great-grandfather Howie Morenz also played in the NHL.
Blake played four years at Wisconsin, was a leader on the ice, and also contributed off the ice by regularly visiting the local Children's Hospital and serving as a mentor. On the ice, Geoffrion scored 28 goals this year for the Badgers, giving him 55 for his Wisconsin career.
Instead of just looking at statistics, the Hobey committee has always taken other things into account. It's an award that leans heavily toward seniors, largely because of the off-ice contributions the committee looks for. They also want a player who has achieved scholastically and been a team player.
In the end, it was determined that Geoffrion's body of work was more impressive. Now, he and his teammates will try to complete a perfect weekend in Detroit by winning the national championship.