PORTSMOUTH, N.H. – The USA Hockey Foundation announced University of Minnesota junior Krissy Wendell (Brooklyn Park, Minn.) as the winner of the 2005 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award at a dinner at the Sheraton Harborside Portsmouth in Portsmouth, N.H., tonight. The award is presented annually to the top player in NCAA women’s Division I ice hockey.
Wendell was chosen from a group of three finalists that included junior forward Natalie Darwitz (Eagan, Minn.), her University of Minnesota linemate, and senior forward Caroline Ouellette (Montreal, Que.), from the University of Minnesota Duluth.
The Western Collegiate Hockey Association’s top goal-scorer (40),
Wendell was named WCHA Player of the Year for the second
consecutive season on March 2. Entering tomorrow’s NCAA championship game, Wendell is second in the nation in points (98) and ranks third in points per game (2.58).
A two-time All-America selection, Wendell helped the University of Minnesota to a 34-2-2 record as the team spent a record 23 weeks atop the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine women’s college hockey poll.
At the WCHA Championship, Wendell contributed eight (3-5) points including the title- winning power play goal in overtime of the final contest to give the Gophers their second- consecutive conference crown.
A 2002 Olympic silver-medalist, Wendell has competed in four International Ice Hockey Federation Women’s World Championships as a member of the U.S. Women’s National Team. She will again represent her country at the 2005 Women’s World Championship in Linkoping and Norrkoping, Sweden, April 3-9.
Wendell and the other finalists for The 2005 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award were chosen by a 13-member selection committee comprised of NCAA Division I ice hockey coaches, representatives of the print and broadcast media and a representative of USA Hockey, the National Governing Body for the sport of hockey in the United States.
Selection criteria for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award 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. The award is supported in part by The National Hockey League Foundation
Presented annually since 1998, the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award is named in honor of the late Patty Kazmaier, a four-year varsity hockey letter-winner and three-time Ivy League champion with the Princeton University Tigers. Patty Kazmaier-Sandt passed away in 1990 at the age of 28.
Notes: The 2005 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award dinner was sold-out...All four competing teams from the 2005 NCAA Women’s Frozen Four attended, including Minnesota and Harvard University, who will play for the NCAA championship tomorrow...Wendell is the first WCHA player ever to win the award.