ST. PAUL, Minn. (March 25, 1999) – A.J. Mleczko (Nantucket, Mass.), a senior forward from Harvard University, has been selected recipient of The 1999 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award. An award of The USA Hockey Foundation, The Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award is given annually to the women’s intercollegiate varsity ice hockey player who displays the highest standards of personal and team excellence during the season. Mleczko was honored at a dinner held earlier this evening at the Radisson Hotel St. Paul.
Texaco is the Presenting Sponsor of The Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award and also supports other USA Hockey women’s initiatives, including the 2001 International Ice Hockey Federation Women’s World Championship and the USA Hockey Women’s National Team Tour prior to the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The National Hockey League’s Minnesota Wild was the local host of this year’s event, which is also supported in part by a grant from the NHL Foundation.
Mleczko was chosen from a group of three finalists that also included goaltender Ali Brewer (Racine, Wis.), a junior from Brown University, and defenseman Nicki Luongo (Tyngsboro, Mass.), a senior from the University of New Hampshire. The finalists and recipient of The 1999 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award were chosen by an 11-member selection committee comprised of women’s intercollegiate varsity 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. Candidates for the award must compete for a women’s intercollegiate varsity ice hockey team at an NCAA-member institution. Other 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.
“Texaco is proud to be the Presenting Sponsor of The Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, an award which symbolizes excellence and outstanding achievement,” said Texaco Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Peter I. Bijur. “We congratulate all the candidates, especially A.J. Mleczko, who through their hard work, dedication and continuous pursuit of excellence have demonstrated world-class performance.”
“A.J. Mleczko had one of the most productive seasons in the history of intercollegiate varsity ice hockey,” said USA Hockey Foundation President Walter L. Bush, Jr. (Edina, Minn.). “Her accomplishments truly represent the spirit and level of excellence upon which The Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award was established.”
Mleczko enjoyed the most prolific scoring season in the history of women’s intercollegiate varsity ice hockey in 1998-99. She easily eclipsed the previous single-season scoring mark for women’s ice hockey (89 points set by Cindy Schlaepher in
(1976-77) and enters this weekend’s American Women’s College Hockey Alliance National Championship with 109 points (36-73) through 32 games.
As captain of the Crimson, she also broke the all-time Harvard single-season scoring mark of 89 points, set in 1954-55 by 1960 Olympian and current Harvard Athletic Director Bill Cleary. Mleczko scored at least one point in each of Harvard’s 32 games to date, and notched both her 100th career goal and 200th career point this season.
A member of the 1998 U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Team, Mleczko was also honored as the 1999 Ivy League Player of the Year.
“It is a great honor to recieve The Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award,” said Mleczko. “Winning this award was not an individual effort. It was the skill, support and commitment of my teammates, coaches and family that made it possible for me to be recognized today.”
Mleczko is a history major at Harvard University. The 23-year-old is the daughter of Tom and Bambi Mleczko.
As the recipient of The Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, Mleczko was presented with a custom-designed award hand-crafted for The USA Hockey Foundation by Tiffany & Co.
The award is named in honor of the late Patty Kazmaier, who was a four-year varsity letter-winner and All-Ivy League honoree for the Princeton University women’s ice hockey team from 1981-82 through 1985-86. An accomplished athlete who excelled in ice hockey, field hockey and lacrosse, Patty Kazmaier-Sandt died on Feb. 15, 1990 at the age of 28 following a long struggle with a rare blood disease.