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Kaz Watch: Northeastern’s Aerin Frankel Builds Off Breakout Freshman Season

01/22/2019, 12:01pm MST
By Dan Scifo

Consistency is key for sophomore netminder

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. The 2019 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award winner will be announced on March 23 in conjunction with the NCAA Women's Frozen Four in Hamden, Conn.

Northeastern standout goaltender Aerin Frankel views candidates for the Patty Kazmaier Award as players who are consistent on and off the ice, known for their passion for the game and looked at as leaders on their respective teams.

Frankel certainly fits the bill as she too is in the discussion for the prestigious Patty Kazmaier Award, presented annually to the top women’s college hockey player in the nation.

About The Award

“It’s just all about consistency and someone who really sets themselves apart from others,” Frankel said. “I think it’s really cool and honestly an honor to be in the discussion at all.”

Frankel burst onto the scene as a freshman and has enjoyed continued success as a sophomore, helping Northeastern to the No. 3 spot in the country. Frankel recorded nine wins and five shutouts in her first 11 games of the season. During that time, she also carried a 1.17 goals-against average, second in the NCAA, and led the nation with a .957 save percentage.

“I think my success this year has been a lot from my teammates pushing me to be really good in practice every day, and competing with my goalie partner,” Frankel said. “The intensity we both have in practice is something that has kept me sharp and ultimately prepared for the games I’ve been playing.”

In October, Frankel, a native of Briarcliff Manor, New York, was named National Goaltender of the Month by the Women’s Hockey Commissioners Association. She won four of five October starts, allowing just four goals total, while posting a 0.80 goals-against average, a .968 save percentage and three shutouts.

“I was feeling really good,” Frankel said. “I knew I could trust my team and our defense was playing really well. I was practicing well and that was [translating] to games for me.”

Frankel, who has been named Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week three times this season, recorded four shutouts in six starts and five in her first nine games. She became the first Northeastern goaltender since 2011 to shutout Boston University during a season-opening victory.

“I felt pretty locked in,” Frankel said. “I felt like I was seeing the puck really well and doing all the little things right. I think that’s when I’m at my best, when I’m confident and doing the little things right.”

Last season, Frankel led all NCAA freshmen goaltenders with a .934 save percentage, while posting a 10-8-2 record with a 1.92 goals-against average in 22 games. She enjoyed a strong finish to the season, winning six of her last nine games.

“I was definitely playing some of my best hockey at the time and it was all because of the support I was getting from my teammates,” Frankel said. “Early in the year, I was getting used to the pace of college hockey. At that point, I had enough games, felt comfortable, trusted my team and that’s what put me at my best.”

Frankel, a former Shattuck-St. Mary’s School standout, was at her best during the Hockey East Tournament when she allowed five goals in four games. That included 30 saves against UConn, as Frankel backstopped Northeastern to its first Hockey East championship in program history. The Huskies advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in program history.

“That was an awesome experience, especially for our program to do it for the first time,” Frankel said. “It was just an awesome feeling and something our group will have in common for the rest of our lives. It was an overwhelming experience of emotions and happiness and a great reward for our season, to be able to go to the NCAA Tournament and to show how hard we worked for that.”

Frankel and the Huskies, ranked among the top programs in the nation, seek continued success among the national leaders this season.

“I think we’re definitely looking to win the Beanpot this year,” Frankel said. “It’s something we haven’t done in a while. I think we’re looking to return to the NCAA Tournament and hopefully make a statement that we can play with anyone in the country. We want to prove that we’re one of the top teams now.”

Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc. Photo courtesy of Jim Pierce/Northeastern Athletics. 

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