MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. -- University of Wisconsin junior forward Sara Bauer (St. Catharines, Ontario) was announced as the winner of the 2006 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award at a dinner at the Radisson University Hotel in Minneapolis, Minn., tonight. The award is presented annually by The USA Hockey Foundation to the top player in NCAA Division I women’s ice hockey.
Bauer was chosen from a group of three finalists that included sophomore forward Sabrina Harbec (St. Hubert, Quebec) of St. Lawrence University and junior goaltender Riitta Schaublin (Basel, Switzerland) from the University of Minnesota Duluth.
The Western Collegiate Hockey Association’s Player of the Year for 2005-06, Bauer helped lead Wisconsin to the best season in school history (35-4-1) and a berth in the NCAA Championship game. She ranks fourth in the nation in points (22-35--57) and is fifth in points per game (1.50). In conference action, she posted a WCHA-best 22 assists and ranked second with 38 points.
In Wisconsin’s 4-1 win over Minnesota in the WCHA Championship game, Bauer recorded an assist on each of the Badgers’ three power play goals. In the WCHA semi-final, she notched five points (1-4) to help Wisconsin to a 9-0 win over St. Cloud State.
An alternate captain of the Badgers, Bauer owns a 3.96 grade point average and is pursuing a degree in biology. Active in the community, she works with the Ronald McDonald House and helps children participate in wheelchair hockey. She is the daughter of Kim and Barb Bauer.
Bauer and the other finalists for the 2006 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 a grant from 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: Bauer is the second WCHA player ever to win the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award and the first winner from the University of Wisconsin ... Krissy Wendell became the first WCHA winner in 2005 . . . Wendell served as the guest speaker for the event while Fox Sports North broadcaster Jim Rich was the emcee ... The 10th annual Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award Dinner will be held in Lake Placid, N.Y., on March 17, 2007.