An award of The USA Hockey Foundation, the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award is presented annually to the top player in NCAA Division I women’s ice hockey.
Boston College senior defenseman Toni Ann Miano is enjoying a season of redemption.
Miano missed the second half of her junior season, but has rebounded this year as one of the top defensemen in the league to put herself in the conversation for the 2018 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, given annually to the top Division I women’s college hockey player in the country.
“Obviously, missing the second half of last year is not one of my proudest moments,” Miano said. “Looking back on it, I came back to prove a point. I wanted to prove what I’m capable of doing, make the best of my last year and use it as motivation.”
Boston College has a storied history of Patty Kazmaier Award winners and finalists and Miano is well aware of her school’s history.
“It’s a huge honor and I’m extremely grateful to be mentioned,” Miano said. “It’s also a huge accomplishment for me. After missing part of the season last year, it has motivated me to be the best I could this season and make the most of my senior year.”
The 5-foot-4 Miano had 17 points in 17 games last season. This season, she is ranked with the nation’s scoring leaders among defensemen. Through her first 21 games of 2017-18, she has nearly surpassed her career high in points set during her sophomore season in which she played 41 games.
Miano enjoyed an impressive early December with a goal and four assists in two wins, enough to lead defensemen nationally in scoring for the week.
It’s a small sample size of Miano’s season to this point.
“It’s a great feeling, but my teammates make it easy for me,” Miano said.
Miano has taken the initiative to step up after Boston College lost three standout defensemen.
Megan Keller and Kali Flanagan would’ve been seniors and Cayla Barnes a freshman, but all three were named to the U.S. Olympic Team, which will compete next month in PyeongChang, South Korea.
Miano said her team has adapted well to the situation, but she knew she had to take on more of a leadership role with the team.
“I knew we couldn’t look back and say, ‘What if they were here?’” Miano said. “I think accepting it from the beginning, knowing what we have to do to contribute to the team and making everyone else feel comfortable was a huge advantage. I wouldn’t say I put a lot of pressure on myself, but I knew what I had to do in order to produce. I had to mentally prepare myself as best I could to be the best for my team during my senior year.”
While Miano may someday join the ranks of Eagles to shine with Team USA — she was called into the U.S. Women’s National Team Festival in 2015 — a pro career awaits her next. In August, the Bronx, New York, native was selected by the Metropolitan Riveters in the annual National Women’s Hockey League draft.
It all started with an email Miano received asking if she would be interested in the NWHL. From there, she went into a pool of players to be drafted and was selected in the fourth round, 15th overall by the Riveters, who play in Newark, New Jersey.
Miano is anxious to play close to home in front of her friends and family on a regular basis.
“Being from New York City, I was extremely excited about that and my parents were super excited,” Miano said. “That’s another great honor, to continue to play the sport I love and basically to have an impact on the next generation of young athletes in the sport. It was a really cool feeling and accomplishment at the time. I’m honored to be drafted by the Riveters and to play at home.”
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.
Tag(s): Kaz Watch