COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Senior defenseman Megan Bozek (Buffalo Grove, Ill.), junior forward Amanda Kessel (Madison, Wis.) and senior goaltender Noora Räty (Espoo, Finland), all of the University of Minnesota, have been named the Top-3 Finalists for the 2013 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award. It is the first time ever that the Top-3 Finalists all represent the same university.
The three players have helped the University of Minnesota women's ice hockey team to a perfect 36-0-0 record this season. The Gophers are in the midst of an NCAA-record 44-game winning streak, dating back to last season.
The 2013 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award will be awarded at a brunch ceremony on Sat., March 23, at the McNamara Alumni Center in Minneapolis, in conjunction with the NCAA Women's Frozen Four. The award, which is in its 16th year, is given out annually by The USA Hockey Foundation to the top player in NCAA Division I women's ice hockey.
The selection process began in late February, when NCAA Division I women's ice hockey coaches were asked to nominate players for the award. Players who were nominated by two or more coaches were then placed on an official ballot, which was sent back to the coaches to vote for the Top-10 finalists.
The three finalists were then chosen by a 13-member selection committee comprised of NCAA Division I women's ice hockey coaches, representatives of print and broadcast media, an at-large member and a representative of USA Hockey, the national governing body for the sport of ice hockey in the United States. The independent accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP, tabulated the ballots.
Tickets to the 2013 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award Ceremony and Brunch can be purchased at PattyKaz.com.
As team captain for the Golden Gophers, Bozek anchors a defense that is first in the NCAA in goals allowed per game (0.81). She ranks seventh in the NCAA in assists with 34 and second among defensemen. Additionally, Bozek currently has 52 points (18G, 34A), second among the nation's blueliners, and has 17 multi-point games to her credit in 36 games played. In Western Collegiate Hockey Association play, Bozek accumulated 20 power-play points (7G, 13A), second in the league. She also tied for seventh in the WCHA with 14 goals. A Hockey Humanitarian Award nominee, Bozek spends significant time volunteering in the community, with more than 200 hours logged to assist groups such as HopeKids, Feed My Starving Children, Amplatz Children’s Hospital and local elementary schools.
Kessel leads the NCAA in goals (43), assists (51), points (94), points per game (2.94), goals per game (1.34), assists per game (1.59), short-handed goals (5), and is second in game-winning goals (8). She has recorded a point in each of the 32 games she has played this season and has 28 multiple-point games, including 11 contests with at least four points and 20 games with at least three points. In addition, Kessel has been a key component in helping the Gophers to a 31.9% success rate on the power play this season, tops in the NCAA. Kessel is active in the local community and volunteers her time at places such as HopeKids, Feed My Starving Children, Amplatz Children’s Hospital and several local elementary schools.
Backstopping the University of Minnesota during its current 44-game winning streak, Räty has a perfect 33-0-0 record this season and has established a new NCAA single-season record with 15 shutouts to date. Räty also leads the nation in save percentage at .953 and is second in goals against average at 0.93. Thanks in part to Räty, Minnesota currently boasts the second-best penalty kill in the NCAA at .922. Räty is active with multiple community service and volunteering efforts, as she dedicates her free time to charities such as HopeKids and Feed My Starving Children while also participating in outreach to Amplatz Children’s Hospital and several local elementary schools.
ABOUT THE PATTY KAZMAIER MEMORIAL AWARD
An award of The USA Hockey Foundation, the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award is annually presented to the top player in NCAA Division I women's ice hockey. Selection criteria includes outstanding individual and team skills, sportsmanship, performance in the clutch, personal character, competitiveness and a love of hockey. Consideration is also given to academic achievement and civic involvement.
ABOUT PATTY KAZMAIER
The Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award is named in honor of the late Patty Kazmaier, who was a four-year varsity letter-winner and All-Ivy League defenseman at Princeton University from 1981-86. An accomplished athlete who helped lead the Tigers to the Ivy League Championship in three consecutive seasons (1981-84), Patty Kazmaier-Sandt died on Feb. 15, 1990, at the age of 28 following a long struggle with a rare blood disease.
Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award Winners
|2012||Brianna Decker||University of Wisconsin|
|2011||Meghan Duggan||University of Wisconsin|
|2010||Vicki Bendus||Mercyhurst College|
|2009||Jessie Vetter||University of Wisconsin|
|2008||Sarah Vaillancourt||Harvard University|
|2007||Julie Chu||Harvard University|
|2006||Sara Bauer||University of Wisconsin|
|2005||Krissy Wendall||University of Minnesota|
|2004||Angela Ruggiero||Harvard University|
|2003||Jennifer Botterill||Harvard University|
|2002||Brooke Whitney||Northeastern University|
|2001||Jennifer Botterill||Harvard University|
|2000||Ali Brewer||Brown University|
|1999||A.J. Mleczko||Harvard University|
|1998||Brandy Fisher||University of New Hampshire|