Four Gophers Named Top-10 Finalists for Patty Kazmaier

Go Gophers! Krissy Wendell is the only Gopher to win the Patty Kazmaier Award (2005).
Go Gophers!
Krissy Wendell is the only Gopher to win the Patty Kazmaier Award (2005).
Go Gophers!

Feb. 28, 2013

USA Hockey Release | Former Gopher Finalists | Patty Kaz Banquet

The USA Hockey Foundation announced the Top-10 finalists for the 20123 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award on Thursday afternoon, and four University of Minnesota women’s hockey players were on the list. Megan Bozek, Hannah Brandt, Amanda Kessel and Noora Raty represent the Golden Gophers on the prestigious list.

The Patty Kaz award, presented annually to the top player in NCAA Division I women's ice hockey, will be presented at the University of Minnesota's McNamara Alumni Center Sat., March 23, in Minneapolis in conjunction with the NCAA Women's Frozen Four.

Bozek is a senior defenseman from Buffalo Grove, Ill. She currently ranks second among all defenseman in the nation with 47 points (15g-32a) and 16th among all positions. The 2012-13 team captain recently became the school record holder in points, goals and assists by a defenseman. Bozek, who has acquired two WCHA Player of the Week honors this season, was a first-team All-American last season and a Patty Kaz nominee.

Brandt, who is the long freshman on the list, is a forward from Hill-Murray High School. She sits second in the nation in scoring behind Kessel with 73 points (28g-45a). Brandt has netted seven game winners, which is tied for fourth in the country. She is 20 points away from tying the NCAA record for points by a freshman (93) and assists by a freshman (50), both are held by former Harvard grad Julie Chu.

Kessel, who is a junior forward from Madison, Wis., leads the nation in all major offensive categories, including points (93), goals (43), assists (50), short-handed goals (5) and game-winning goals (8). The winger is chasing the NCAA single season scoring record of 114 points set by former Gopher Natalie Darwitz. This season, Kessel became the 24th player in NCAA history to reach 200-career points and only the ninth player to do so in three seasons. She is seven points away from becoming only the fourth player in NCAA history to reach 100 points in a single season.

Räty, who is a four-time Patty Kaz nominee, is a goaltender from Espoo, Finland. The senior currently holds NCAA records for career wins (107) and career shutouts (39). She is one shutout away from having 14 shutouts this season, which would match an NCAA record. Räty, who is 31-0-0 this season, is currently first in the nation in save percentage (.953) and second in goals against average (0.99).

The selection process began in late February, when NCAA Division I women's ice hockey coaches were asked to nominate players for the award. Players who were nominated by two or more coaches were then placed on an official ballot, which was sent back to the coaches to vote for the Top-10 finalists. The independent accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP, tabulated the ballots.

The three finalists, including the recipient of the 2013 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, will be chosen by a 13-member selection committee comprised 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 Top-3 finalists for this year's award will be announced on Thurs., March 7.

Tickets to the 2013 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award Ceremony and Brunch can be purchased at PattyKaz.com. Individual seats to the event are $65, while tables of 10 are available for $600. A select number of sponsorships and program advertisements are also still available.

A total of 22 players have been Top-10 finalists for the Patty Kazmaier Award. This is the first time the Gophers have had more than two players on the list.

ABOUT THE PATTY KAZMAIER MEMORIAL 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 on Feb. 15, 1990, at the age of 28 following a long struggle with a rare blood disease.