St. Charles, MO. – Ann-Renee Desbiens (La Malbaie, Que.), a senior goaltender from the University of Wisconsin, was awarded the 2017 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award here today at the Foundry Art Centre as part of the NCAA Women’s Frozen Four weekend hosted by Lindenwood University. The award, which is in its 20th year, is presented annually to the top player in NCAA Division I women’s ice hockey by The USA Hockey Foundation.
Desbiens was selected from a group of top-three finalists that included senior forwards Cayley Mercer (Exeter, Ont./Clarkson University) and Lara Stalder (Luzern, Switzerland/University of Minnesota Duluth).
“Coming off last season with a streak of shutouts I’ve never seen before, Ann-Renee has backed it up this year with another outstanding, record-breaking year,” said University of Wisconsin head coach Mark Johnson. “She has given us an opportunity to win every night and is one of the key reasons for our success.”
Desbiens, who was a top-three Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award finalist for the second-straight year, leads the nation in save percentage (.965), goals-against average (.67), shutouts (17) and wins (29) entering tomorrow's national championship game.
Named to the All-WCHA First Team for the second-consecutive season, Desbiens set the NCAA record for most career shutouts in both men’s and women’s college hockey with 44 on Nov. 6, 2016, and currently has 57 career blank slates.
She was named WCHA Defensive Player of the Month for both January and February, and topped conference goaltenders with a .963 save percentage, 21 wins and 13 shutouts in 26 WCHA contests. In total, Desbiens has allowed one goal or less in 28 of her 34 games this season heading into the national semifinals.
A complete listing of past winners is available here.
NOTES: Ann-Renee Desbiens is just the third goaltender to win the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, joining Jessie Vetter who captured the award in 2009 and Ali Brewer in 2000. She is also the fifth player from the University of Wisconsin to win the award (Brianna Decker - 2012; Meghan Duggan - 2011; Vetter - 2009; and Sara Bauer - 2006) … Laura Halldorson gave the keynote address at the 2017 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award Ceremony, and award-winning broadcaster Andy Strickland served as the master of ceremonies … The 2017 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award winner and the top-three finalists were chosen by a 13-person selection committee made up 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 independent accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP, tabulated the ballots.
About the Patty Kazmaier 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 Feb. 15, 1990, at the age of 28 following a long struggle with a rare blood disease.