(photo: www.pattykaz.com)

The 17th annual Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award Ceremony and Brunch takes place tomorrow, March 22, and former winner Meghan Duggan will give the keynote speech at the event. Duggan, who captained the 2014 U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Team, won the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award herself in 2011. She helped the U.S. Women bring home silver medals in the last two Winter Olympics and has represented Team USA in five International Ice Hockey Federation Women’s World Championships, winning gold four times.

The USA Hockey Foundation grants the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award every year to the top NCAA Division I women’s ice hockey player; who joins a list of names studded with Olympic athletes and advocates for the growth of women’s hockey. The three finalists for this year’s award include sophomore forward Hannah Brandt (Vadnais Heights, Minn./University of Minnesota), senior forward Jamie Lee Rattray (Kanata, Ontario/Clarkson University) and junior forward Jillian Saulnier (Halifax, Nova Scotia/Cornell University)

More info from www.pattykaz.com:

HANNAH BRANDT

Brandt leads the nation in points (61), assists (40) and assists per game (1.11). She is tied for ninth in the NCAA in goals (21) and tied for 14th in game-winning goals (4). The sophomore leads the WCHA in points (46) and assists (30) in conference play and is tied for second in goals (16). The Vadnais Heights, Minn., native has been named WCHA Offensive Player of the Week once this season and was selected as a WCHA Scholar Athlete. Off the ice, she volunteered with the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital, Special Olympics of Minnesota, Roseville Youth Hockey Association, Minneapolis Youth Hockey Association, University of Minnesota Medical Center Fairview Hospital, Hope Kids and the Maplewood Care Center.

JAMIE LEE RATTRAY

Rattray ranks second in the NCAA in points (57) and goals (28), and is tied for seventh in assists (29). She leads the NCAA in power-play tallies (9) and is tied for sixth nationally in game-winning markers (5). The senior forward ranks first in the ECAC in points (44), and second in the league in both goals (21) and assists (23) during league play. A three-time ECAC Player of the Month (November, December, January) and three-time ECAC Player of the Week, she has also been honored as a five-time member of the ECAC Weekly Honor Roll. Rattray is an active member in the Clarkson women’s hockey team’s participation with the Lil’ Knight Club, which volunteers with youth hockey players in the area. She also helped paint the Helping Hands building in Potsdam, N.Y., and assisted in fundraising for the Dalton Guyette Memorial Award, given annually to provide opportunities to less fortunate children in the area.

JILLIAN SAULNIER

Saulnier is fifth in the NCAA in points (52), second nationally in goals-per-game (0.84), tied for third in goals (26) and 12th in assists (26). The Cornell junior leads the ECAC in goals (22) and ranks second in points (43) during conference outings while sitting in a third-place tie among ECAC skaters with 21 assists. She was named ECAC Player of the Week on Feb. 11. Away from the rink, Saulnier participated in the Do it for Daron game on Jan. 31 to raise awareness for mental health issues, as well as the Athlete Ally game to show support for LGBT inclusion within sports. Additionally, she registered to donate bone marrow through Be The Match registry, helped raise money for the Cancer Resource Center of the Finger Lakes region and actively served in the Cub Club Little Sister Organization.

ABOUT THE PATTY KAZMAIER MEMORIAL AWARD

An award of The USA Hockey Foundation, the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award is annually awarded 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 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.

PAST RECIEPIENTS

Year

Name

School

Position

Hometown

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.

Born in the “non-traditional” hockey market of South Florida, Elizabeth (Beth) quickly grew to love the sport at a very young age after her Buffalo-bred family introduced her to the Sabres. High school friends who didn’t care about hockey couldn't understand her withdrawals during the 2004-05 lockout, but college would bring a hockey loving boyfriend (and best friend) to whom she could finally relate. A South Florida native himself, and an avid Florida Panthers fan, he got her into the home team. Together they work for their college hockey club (the FAU Owls), broadcasting games. Beth is a huge USA Hockey fan and hopes to see them win Olympic gold in her lifetime. Between her 2 favorite NHL teams, her college squad, and USA Hockey, it's hard to tell which team she loves most, but she is passionate about them all.

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