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.
Maureen Murphy’s time with the U.S. Women’s National Team program has helped in her second season at Providence.
“I think playing with people that I had always looked up to for so long, it was kind of surreal,” Murphy said. “I just tried to take in every moment, learn and have fun because you don’t know if or when you’re going to get another chance like that.”
Murphy has taken full advantage throughout the first half of her sophomore season at Providence and is in the discussion for the prestigious Patty Kazmaier Award, presented annually to the top women’s college hockey player in the nation.
“Honestly, it’s a huge honor and it’s something a lot of people aspire to achieve,” Murphy said. “But I think I wouldn’t be able to do it without the success of my team or other teammates or even the support I get from people and family back home.”
Murphy, a native of Buffalo, New York, appreciates the award because she feels it puts women’s hockey in the spotlight. It also shows how far the sport has come since the award’s inception in 1998.
“Just by continuing to present it and give something for girls and women to look up to, it helps grow the game and that’s ultimately the reason a lot of my teammates and I all play,” Murphy said.
Murphy ranks second in the nation with 20 goals through 24 games, including a NCAA-best seven game-winners, and also ranks among the top-10 in scoring with 34 points. Murphy has at least two points in 12 of 24 games this season.
Murphy was named Player of the Month by Hockey East and WHCA in November.
“I think the big thing for me was the confidence piece,” Murphy said. “The beginning of last year, like most freshmen, I kind of lacked that. You know it’s going to be a huge adjustment to the NCAA, and it’s one thing to say, but it’s another to have to go through it, so having that under my belt has helped.”
Competing with the U.S. Women’s National Team has helped, too.
In September, Murphy participated in practices and scrimmages with the top players in the country during the U.S. Women’s National Team Evaluation Camp. The group included 17 players who captured gold at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.
“I appreciated it, I had fun and learned as much as I could,” Murphy said. “I just watched anyone on the national team, the Olympians, players at Four Nations, and watched how I could get better, or things I could take back to my team.”
Murphy, a former standout at the Minnesota prep powerhouse Shattuck-St. Mary’s, was one of 44 players invited to participate in December’s USA Hockey Winter Training Camp. In August, she also competed for the U.S. Under-22 Women’s Select Team during a three-game series against Canada, scoring two goals in three games.
Maureen Murphy battles for a loose puck during the 2018 Under-22 Series against Canada.
“We went as a team to Calgary, got some practice in and played Canada, which is always fun,” Murphy said. “Everyone’s nervous, but they’re nervous, too. I just tried to put things in perspective and how lucky we were to be there.”
In 2017, Murphy was also a member of the U.S. Under-18 Women’s National Team, which won a gold medal during the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Under-18 Women’s World Championship in the Czech Republic.
“Just being there and being with everyone, it was something I’ll always be grateful for."
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc. Photo courtesy of DSPics.com.
Tag(s): Kaz Watch