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. The 2023 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award winner will be announced on March 18 in conjunction with the NCAA Women's Frozen Four in Duluth, Minnesota.
The top-three finalists are expected to be announced on Wednesday, March 8.
Maureen Murphy is making a concerted effort to give back to the women’s hockey program during her final season at Northeastern.
The results are paying dividends on and off the ice, as Murphy was named one of the 10 finalists for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award.
“I’m using [my final season] as motivation to leave the environment better than when I found it,” Murphy, a graduate student, said. “I want to help younger players and try to instill a culture that will perpetuate for years to come. It’s something I’ve been trying to focus on and it’s helped me make the most of every situation, just trying to figure out how to help players on the team.”
Despite losing 12 seniors to graduation last season, the Huskies haven’t missed a beat. Northeastern won its sixth consecutive Hockey East championship and qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the sixth straight year as well.
Murphy has been a force offensively and a catalyst to the Huskies’ strong season, resulting in her individual recognition.
“It’s obviously a huge honor, but I think it’s great for the sport overall as a whole,” Murphy said. “Trying to get that awareness for women’s hockey is awesome and the Patty Kaz is one way to do that. Being on this list is something I’m really grateful for and something I’m really proud of.”
Murphy recorded a career-best 34 assists this season, while her 1.71 points per game and 1.10 assists per game rank among the top three nationally.
The Buffalo, New York, native spent her first three seasons at Providence before transferring to Northeastern. She established career highs with 30 goals and 56 points during the 2021-22 season but sought to tweak her game coming into this year.
“I wanted to grow this year as a playmaker, more than a goal scorer,” Murphy said. “My reputation in the past has been that I can shoot and finish, but I wanted to grow other aspects of my game. It’s something I’ve been happy with this season.”
Murphy reached 200 career points in February, in addition to the 100-goal and 100-assist milestones earlier this season. She became the 33rd player in program history to record 100 points, accomplishing the feat in just 68 games with the Huskies.
“She is a player who always does everything the right way on and off the ice and leads by example,” Northeastern coach Dave Flint said. “She is such a great leader and one of the best players in the NCAA.”
In February, Northeastern defeated Boston College to claim its record 18th championship at the 44th annual Beanpot. Murphy was named the Beanpot MVP with three goals and four points through two games, including the winning goal in the championship.
“Maureen, throughout her time at Northeastern has continuously come up with big goal after big goal,” Flint said.
On the winning goal, Murphy tipped a point shot from between the circles into the net for the Beanpot title.
“It was a huge honor, but there were a lot of people [the MVP] could’ve gone to,” Murphy said. “It was a great opportunity to get some more experience playing in a high-stress environment … not just for me, but for the young underclassmen on the team.”
Murphy got more big-game experience earlier in the season, as she had a chance to learn from some of the best players in the world.
Murphy was named to USA Hockey’s November roster for the 2022-23 Rivalry Series against Canada, making her U.S. Women’s National Team debut. She joined former Northeastern standouts Kendall Coyne Schofield, Hayley Scamurra and Aerin Frankel to help the U.S. win all three Rivalry Series games against Canada in November.
“It was really cool because you look up to them when you’re growing up and going through the college recruiting process,” Murphy said of the Northeastern alumnae. “I just tried to take everything and learn from it because it’s not too often you’re surrounded by that many good players at one time.”
Murphy will graduate from Northeastern this spring with a major in health science. She also applied to law school for the upcoming year in the Boston area and hopes to continue her playing career as well.
“I’m hoping to practice health law when I’m done with my college career,” Murphy said. “I’m hopefully going to stay involved with the USA Hockey program. I’d like to play professionally and stay involved, however that may look. I’d like to do both, but it’s hard to say right now what that will look like.”
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.