The 2020 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award winner will be announced on Friday (March 27) at 1:30 p.m. ET. on USA Hockey's YouTube and Facebook channels. An award of The USA Hockey Foundation, the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award is presented annually to the top player in NCAA Division I women’s ice hockey.
Clarkson standout forward Elizabeth Giguere has a history with the Patty Kazmaier Award.
Last year, the Quebec City, Quebec, native was named a top-10 finalist for the trophy, presented to the top women’s college hockey player in the nation. She also played on the same line with Loren Gabel, the winner of the 2019 award, who has since graduated from Clarkson.
This year, for the second straight season, Giguere was again named a top-10 finalist for the prestigious award, and for the first time a top-three finalist.
“It’s an honor to be there,” Giguere said. “I didn’t expect it again, and of course this season has been different from any other season, but I found a way to kind of step it up and I’m really happy to be recognized. When you look at the 10 people who are on there, it’s amazing to see the talent that they all have.”
Last year, as a sophomore, Giguere established career marks in scoring with 26 goals and 73 points in 40 games to be recognized as a top-10 finalist for the Kazmaier Award.
“Last year, the feeling was amazing since it was my first time being recognized and I really wasn’t expecting it at all,” Giguere said. “This year, it’s just an honor. Some of the players on the list are really talented and it’s just fun to be recognized among all these players.”
Giguere was there with her teammates when they watched Gabel win the 2019 award. The two frequently stay in touch, and they saw each other when Gabel visited Clarkson a few weeks ago to practice.
“We had some fun and it was like the good old days,” Giguere said. “We’re really proud of her and everything she accomplished. We saw her all year long working for us, and for me to be part of that, as a linemate and a friend, it was just amazing to see her accomplish that.”
This season, Giguere took on more of a leadership role as a junior without her close friend Gabel around.
“I think I had to take on more responsibility on my shoulders,” Giguere said. “We lost a big piece last year with Gabel and we all knew that. So I felt like a lot of people had to step up; I did, I think a lot of people did on the team, too, and I think that’s why we’ve had success this year.”
In 118 career games, Giguere has 90 goals and 120 assists for 210 points. She’s just four points from breaking Clarkson’s all-time points mark of 213, currently held by Gabel.
“That’s something special, but at the same time I played with [Gabel] for two years, so she helped me a lot with getting those points,” Giguere said. “For two years, we helped each other. It’s big because we’re close, but it doesn’t take anything away from her and everything she’s done. I think she’s an amazing player.”
Giguere led the nation with 37 goals and tied for second in the country with 66 points. She was a two-time ECAC Hockey Player of the Month, the league’s two-time Player of the Week and a NCAA First Star of the Week as well as the ECAC Player and Forward of the Year.
Giguere’s 37 goals in 37 games were seven more than any other player in Division I. She also had 10 game-winning goals, which tied for tops in the country.
One game after Giguere was named a finalist for the Kazmaier Award, she scored all four goals — her first career four-goal outing — in a 4-1 victory at Harvard. Giguere, who has scored nine of the last 11 Clarkson goals, enjoyed a season-high seven-game goal-scoring streak earlier in the season. During that run Giguere scored goals in 15 of 18 games, netting 21 total.
Giguere credited teammates and coaches for her success.
“It’s fun to be part of this, but I just try to play my game,” Giguere said. “I can’t do this alone, and to be honest, I would rather have assists more than goals because I love it when my teammates score. These honors go on my name, but there’s a lot of people I feel are included in that.”
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.
Photo courtesy of Clarkson Athletics/Jim Meagher