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2017 Patty Kaz Top-3 Finalists Announced

03/02/2017, 11:00am MST
By USA Hockey

Desbiens, Mercer and Stalder Named Top-3 Finalists

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Senior goaltender Ann-Renee Desbiens (La Malbaie, Que./University of Wisconsin), senior forward Cayley Mercer (Exeter, Ont./Clarkson University) and senior forward Lara Stalder (Luzern, Switzerland/University of Minnesota Duluth) have been named top-three finalists for the 2017 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, it was announced today by USA Hockey.

Ann-Renee Desbiens

Goaltender • La Malbaie, Que.
University of Wisconsin • Senior

Leads the NCAA in save percentage (.963), goals-against average (0.69), wins (25) and shutouts (15) ... Has a 25-1-4 record in net for UW this season, which includes a 6-1-3 record against ranked teams ... Winning percentage of .900 paces the country ... Has held opponents to one goal or less in 24 of 30 games this season … Named WCHA Defensive Player of the Month for January and February ... Named American Sports Network Player of the Week on Nov. 8 after breaking the NCAA career shutout record ... Named WCHA Defensive Player of the Week on Nov. 8, Jan. 17 and Feb. 21 ... Accepted in the Wisconsin School of Business to begin her Integrated Master of Accountancy degree ... Volunteers with the Badger Life program and at the Veterans hospital.

Cayley Mercer

Forward • Exeter, Ont.
Clarkson University • Senior

Tied for third nationally in points (55) and is sixth in points per game (1.53) ... First in the NCAA with 25 goals and tied for fourth in power-play goals with six ... Led ECAC Hockey with 42 points and 20 goals in 22 regular-season league games ... Led the conference with six power-play goals and tied for third with 22 assists in regular-season league games … Has 18 multi-point games this season ... Has registered a point in 31 of 36 games ... Named ECAC Hockey Player of the Month for February and Player of the Week three times (Dec. 6, Jan. 31 and Feb. 21) ... Is a co-captain at Clarkson ... Graduated as a distinct member of the Honors Society Beta Alpha Psi and is now working towards her MBA ...  Involved with community service efforts with Potsdam Elementary School, community clean up, and helped organized the National Girls and Women's in Sport Day clinic.

Lara Stalder

Forward • Luzern, Switzerland
University of Minnesota Duluth • Senior

Second in the NCAA in points per game (1.66) ... Ranks second in the WCHA and fifth in the NCAA in points (53), tied for second in the league in goals (22) and third in the league with 31 assists ... Earned the first-ever Women’s Hockey Association Player of the Month for January 2017 ... Tallied a point in 28 of 32 games this year with 16 multi-point games… Named the WCHA’s Offensive Player of the Month for January 2017 ... Four-time WCHA Offensive Player of the Week on Oct. 11, Jan. 17, Jan. 24 and Jan. 31 ... 2016-17 WCHA Scholar Athlete ... Participated and Volunteered in the Udac Inc. Walk-a-Mile In Our Shoes fundraiser that provides an exercise environment for people of all abilities, UMD Athletics skating party and Laura MacArthur Elementary School outreach program and Skate with the Bulldogs.

The 2017 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award will be presented at a brunch ceremony at the Foundry Art Centre in St. Charles, Missouri, on Sat., March 18, as part of the NCAA Women's Frozen Four weekend hosted by Lindenwood University. The award, which is in its 20th year, is presented annually to the top player in NCAA Division I women's ice hockey.

The selection process commenced in early February when NCAA Division I women's ice hockey coaches were asked to nominate players for the award. Players who were nominated by multiple coaches were then placed on an official ballot, which was sent back to the coaches to vote for the top-10 finalists.

The three finalists, including the recipient of the 2017 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, were then chosen by a 13-person selection committee made up of NCAA Division I women's ice hockey coaches, representatives of print and broadcast media, an at-large member and a representative of USA Hockey, the national governing body for the sport of ice hockey in the United States. The independent accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP, tabulated the ballots.

NOTES: Tickets to the 2017 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award Ceremony and Brunch are on sale now and can be purchased here. Individual seats are $65, while tables of 10 are available for $600. For more information about Patty Kazmaier and the award, please visit The Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award is supported, in part, by a grant from the NHL Foundation.

About the Patty Kazmaier Award

An award of The USA Hockey Foundation, the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award is annually presented to the top player in NCAA Division I women's ice hockey. 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.

About Patty Kazmaier

The Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award is named in honor of the late Patty Kazmaier, who was a four-year varsity letter-winner and All-Ivy League defenseman at Princeton University from 1981-86. An accomplished athlete who helped lead the Tigers to the Ivy League Championship in three consecutive seasons (1981-84), Patty Kazmaier-Sandt died Feb. 15, 1990, at the age of 28 following a long struggle with a rare blood disease.

Year Name School Position Hometown
2016 Kendall Coyne Northeastern University Forward Palos Heights, Ill.
2015 Alex Carpenter Boston College Forward North Reading, Mass.
2014 Jamie Lee Rattray Clarkson University Forward Kanata, Ont.
2013 Amanda Kessel University of Minnesota Forward Madison, Wis.
2012 Brianna Decker University of Wisconsin Forward Dousman, Wis.
2011 Meghan Duggan University of Wisconsin Forward Danvers, Mass.
2010 Vicki Bendus Mercyhurst College Forward Wasaga Beach, Ont.
2009 Jessie Vetter University of Wisconsin Goaltender Cottage Grove, Wis.
2008 Sarah Vaillancourt Harvard University Forward Sherbrooke, Que.
2007 Julie Chu Harvard University Forward Fairfield, Conn.
2006 Sara Bauer University of Wisconsin Forward St. Catharines, Ont.
2005 Krissy Wendell University of Minnesota Forward Brooklyn Park, Minn.
2004 Angela Ruggiero Harvard University Defenseman Harper Woods, Mich.
2003 Jennifer Botterill Harvard University Forward Winnipeg, Man.
2002 Brooke Whitney Northeastern University Forward Snohomish, Wash.
2001 Jennifer Botterill Harvard University Forward Winnipeg, Man.
2000 Ali Brewer Brown University Goaltender Racine, Wis.
1999 A.J. Mleczko Harvard University Forward Nantucket, Mass.
1998 Brandy Fisher University of New Hampshire Forward Potsdam, N.Y.

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