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Karyn Bye Dietz Selected as Patty Kaz Keynote Speaker

03/04/2015, 2:45pm MST

Jim Rich to Serve as Master of Ceremonies

Karyn Bye Dietz (River Falls, Wis.) has been named keynote speaker at the 2015 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award Ceremony and Brunch, set for Saturday, March 21 at the McNamara Alumni Center on the campus of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Jim Rich (Duluth, Minn.), the longtime sports director at KMSP/Fox 9-TV in Minneapolis will serve as master of ceremonies for the event.

The Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award is presented annually to the top player in NCAA Division I women’s ice hockey by the USA Hockey Foundation. The award is part of the festivities associated with the NCAA Women's Frozen Four, which also takes place at the University of Minnesota.

A pioneer in women’s hockey, Bye Dietz is a two-time Olympian (1998, 2002) and eight-time member of the U.S. Women’s National Team who was recently inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2014.

For 10 years (1992-2002), Bye Dietz was one of the world’s elite players for Team USA. An alternate captain in 1998, she helped Team USA win the first gold medal ever awarded in women’s ice hockey at the Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan.

In addition to her Olympic experience, she represented the United States at six International Ice Hockey Federation Women’s World Championships (1992, ‘94, ‘97, ‘99, 2000, ‘01) and two IIHF Women’s Pacific Championships (1995, '96). She also participated in six Four Nations Cups between 1995-2000.

A native of River Falls, Wisconsin, Bye Dietz was honored as USA Hockey’s Bob Allen Women’s Player of the Year in both 1995 and 1998. In addition, Bye Dietz a member of the 1998 U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Team that was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009 also entered the IIHF Hall of Fame in 2011.

Bye Dietz played collegiately at the University of New Hampshire where she won ECAC titles in 1990 and 1991. She served as captain in 1990-91 and was inducted into the University of New Hampshire Hall of Fame in 1998.

Rich has a long association with USA Hockey and has previously served as master of ceremonies for this event. In addition to his lengthy tenure at KMSP/Fox 9-TV, Rich has been the television play-by-play voice for numerous international tournaments, including Team USA’s first-ever gold medal at both 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 other duties, Rich is also the host of Fox 9 Sports Now and Minnesota Vikings postgame shows on Fox 9 and is the television play-by-play voice for the St. Cloud State University men’s ice hockey team. He previously created and was the host of the nationally syndicated College Hockey USA television program that ran for 15 years (1986-2001) across the United States and Canada.

NOTES: Tickets to the 2015 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award Ceremony and Brunch are on sale now and can be purchased here. For more information about Patty Kazmaier, the award, and the Top-10 finalists, visit Top-3 finalists for the award are expected to be announced on Thursday. The Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award is supported, in part, by a grant from the NHL Foundation.

2015 Ceremony Information

Saturday, March 21, 2015
McNamara Alumni Center- University of Minnesota
10:30 a.m. – noon

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