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Kaz Watch: Gwyneth Philips Continuing the Northeastern Goalie Tradition

03/07/2024, 11:30am MST
By Dan Scifo

Following a dominant first year as starter, Philips stepped up for an even bigger season this year.

Northeastern goalie Gwyneth Philips, in the team's red and black jersey, looks to make a save in the crease.

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 2024 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award winner will be announced on March 23 in conjunction with the NCAA Women’s Frozen Four in Durham, New Hampshire. The 2024 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award Show will be broadcast live from the Whittemore Center Arena Lobby beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET on NHL Network.

The top-three finalists are expected to be announced on Wednesday, March 13.

Northeastern goalie Gwyneth Philips sought to follow a dominant first year as a starter with another historic season this year.

It all worked out for the fifth-year senior, who found her way back into the conversation for the 2024 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award. For the second consecutive season, Philips was named a top-10 finalist for the honor presented annually to the top player in NCAA Division I women’s ice hockey.

“It’s really cool, and I know the award itself means a lot within the hockey community,” said Philips, who’s originally from Athens, Ohio. “It means a lot to me, and a lot of really impressive names have won this award before. Even to be nominated means that I worked hard enough at some kind of level to be considered alongside those other big names.”

Arriving at Northeastern in 2019-20, Philips started her college career behind legendary goaltender Aerin Frankel, the 2021 Patty Kazmaier Award winner. Frankel finished her career as the program’s leader in all the major goalie stats

Patty Kaz: Gwyneth Phillips (School: Northeastern, Class: Fifth Year, Position: Goaltender, Hometown: Athens, Ohio, Statistics: 23 wins, 6 shutouts,.953 SV%, 1.19 GAA)

Philips carved out her own illustrious career at Northeastern. As a starter for the first time in 2022-23, she set single-season program records in wins(34), games played (38) and minutes played (2,272). The national leader in wins, goals-against average (0.87) and save percentage (.960), Philips also earned the Hockey Commissioners Association’s Women’s National Goaltender of the Year Award, which Frankel had won the previous two seasons.

This season, Philips also stepped into a leadership role as one of the alternate captains.

“Definitely a lot of confidence came with it,” Philips said. “With how I performed last year, enough of my teammates trusted me in the capacity of goaltending and leadership.”

It’s for good reason. After losing seven graduating seniors from the 2022-23 season, Northeastern welcomed eight newcomers in the offseason, including seven freshmen. But Philips still helped the Huskies to another deep playoff run and served as the backbone to the fifth-best scoring defense in the country. Last season, Philips faced 21 shots per game, but that number jumped to 25 shots per game this season — and she still ranks among the top goaltenders in the country.

“It’s been a lot different this year, and my team relies on me a little more than past years,” Philips said. “I’ve seen more shots per game, but I still have such a great defensive team in front of me that I’m still seeing a lot of shots from the perimeter. My job hasn’t changed and it’s to stop the puck.”

She’s done her job well this season. Philips carries a 1.19 GAA and a .953 save percentage, good for fourth and second-best in the country, and her six shutouts are tied for fourth in the NCAA. Philips also carried a heavier workload than those who rank above her in GAA and save percentage.

Philips, who went 23-10-3 in 36 games, was named a First Team All-Star and three-time Hockey East Goaltender of the Month. She was also Hockey East Goaltender of the Year for the second straight season. It’s the fourth consecutive season a Northeastern goaltender was named Hockey East Goaltender of the Year, joining Frankel in 2021 and 2022.

“To win the award and keep it in-house would be quite an honor,” Philips said. “Aerin put in the time and work. I got to see what she did to have success and follow suit. This was my year to prove that last year wasn’t a fluke. I was selfishly a little proud.”

Philips will have Frankel as a teammate again at the end of March, as they were among six goalies who were invited by USA Hockey to the 2024 U.S. Women’s National Team Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid, New York.

The 2024 U.S. Women’s National Team will be named at the conclusion of the camp and will compete at the IIHF Women’s World Championship in April in Utica, New York. Philips also hopes to play in the new Professional Women’s Hockey League next season, as well.

“I have (Women’s World Championship) tryouts, so I’ll hopefully put my best foot forward with that and see what happens,” Philips said. “With the new league, I’m hoping to join that. … I’m hoping it works out in my favor, I get drafted, I end up somewhere and start playing at that next level.”

Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.


Junior forward Abbey Murphy taps the gloves of her teammates after scoring in her white and maroon Minnesota jersey.

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