March 2, 2010


Courtesy of USA Hockey

The USA Hockey Foundation today announced the 10 finalists for the 2010 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, presented annually to the top player in NCAA Division I women's ice hockey.

The 10 finalists are (in alphabetical order): junior forward Vicki Bendus (Wasaga Beach, Ont./Mercyhurst College), senior forward Emmanuelle Blais (Lasalle, Que./Univ. of Minnesota Duluth); sophomore forward Bailey Bram (Ste. Anne, Man./Mercyhurst College); senior forwards Felicia Nelson (St. Paul, Minn./St. Cloud State Univ.), Sarah Parsons (Dover, Mass./Dartmouth College), and Kelly Paton (Woodstock, Ont./Univ. of New Hampshire); freshman goaltender Noora Räty (Espoo, Finland/Univ. of Minnesota); junior forward Jesse Scanzano (Montreal, Que./Mercyhurst College); sophomore goaltender Florence Schelling (Oberengstringen, Switzerland/Northeastern Univ.) and senior defenseman Britni Smith (Port Perry, Ont./St. Lawrence Univ.).

The top-10 class of candidates for the 13th annual Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award represents all four women’s college conferences: College Hockey America, ECAC Hockey, the Hockey East Association and the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.

The award selection process began in early February, when NCAA Division I women’s ice hockey coaches were asked to nominate players for the award. Nominated players 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 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, are chosen by a 13-member selection committee comprised of NCAA Division I women’s ice hockey coaches, representatives of the print and broadcast media, and a representative of USA Hockey, the National Governing Body for the sport of ice hockey in the United States.

The three finalists for this year’s award will be announced March 9.

NOTES: Felicia Nelson is the first-ever top-10 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award finalist from St. Cloud State University ... Three of the this year's finalists are from Mercyhurst College. The University of Wisconsin (2009) and Harvard University (1999) are the only other schools to have three top-10 finalists in a single year ... The 10 finalists include seven forwards, two goaltenders and one defenseman. Five seniors, two juniors, two sophomores and one freshman are included ... The 2010 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award will be presented at a brunch ceremony at the University of Minnesota's McNamara Alumni Center on March 20 in Minneapolis. The event is held is conjunction with the NCAA Women's Frozen Four ... Tickets to the 2010 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award ceremony may be purchased by calling 719-538-1184, or by e-mailing or faxing a completed ticket form, which can be found at Individual seats are $75, while tables of 10 are available for $700.

An award of The USA Hockey Foundation, the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award recognizes the accomplishments of the most outstanding player in NCAA Division I women’s ice hockey each season. 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.

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 for 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.