COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Jim Rich will serve as master of ceremonies and Laura Halldorson as the keynote speaker for the 16th Annual Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award Ceremony and Brunch slated for Sat., March 23, at the McNamara Alumni Center on the campus of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.
The Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award is annually bestowed upon the top player in NCAA Division I women's ice hockey by the USA Hockey Fondation.
Rich has spent the last decade at KMSP/FOX9-TV in Minneapolis/St. Paul where he serves as sports director. He has a long association with USA Hockey, serving as the television play-by-play announcer for numerous international tournaments, including Team USA's first gold medal at the 2005 International Ice Hockey Federation Women's World Championship in Linkoping & Norrkoping, Sweden, and the 2004 IIHF World Junior Championship in Helsinki, Finland. Along with his duties at KMSP/Fox 9, Rich is the television play-by-play voice for the St. Cloud State University men's ice hockey team. He began his career in his hometown of Duluth, Minn., where he served as sports director at KBJR-TV and was the television play-by-play voice for the University of Minnesota Duluth men's ice hockey team.
Halldorson is among the most successful coaches in NCAA women's ice hockey history with 337 wins and a .691 winning percentage in 17 seasons as a head coach. She spent her final 10 campaigns (1997-2007) at the University of Minnesota, where she won three national championships (2000, 2004, 2005) and reached five consecutive Frozen Fours (2002-06). From 1989-96, Halldorson was the head coach of the Colby College women's ice hockey team. She also served two seasons as an assistant coach at Princeton University. A three-time American Hockey Coaches Association Women's Coach of the Year (1998, 2002, 2004), Halldorson was the recipient of the AHCA's prestigious Women's Ice Hockey Founders Award in 2011. She was an all-conference performer and co-captain of the Princeton women's ice hockey team from 1981-85 and played alongside Patty Kazmaier for three seasons.
NOTES: The three finalists for the 2013 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award are senior defenseman Megan Bozek (Buffalo Grove, Ill.), junior forward Amanda Kessel (Madison, Wis.) and senior goaltender Noora Räty (Espoo, Finland), all of the University of Minnesota. It is the first time ever that the Top-3 Finalists all represent the same university ... The Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award Ceremony & Brunch is held each year in conjunction with the NCAA Women's Frozen Four.