The 2016 Patty Kazmaier Award will be presented on Saturday, 19 March to the top player in NCAA Division I women’s ice hockey as part of the Frozen Four tournament at the University of New Hampshire. Boston College superstar and team captain Alex Carpenter, MCAS '16, is in the final three this year, looking to win the award for her second consecutive year.
The Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award is the highest form of recognition a female hockey player can earn in the NCAA, as it recognizes the most accomplished player in the league. The award is named in honor of the late Patty Kazmaier, who helped lead the Princeton Tigers to the Ivy League Championship for three consecutive seasons in 1981-84. She unfortunately passed away following a commendable year-long battle with a rare blood disease at age 28.
According to the official website, the recipient of the award must have outstanding individual and team skills, sportsmanship, personal character, competitiveness, and a love of hockey, as well as academic achievement and civic involvement.
The other finalists present some pretty stiff competition for Carpenter. Her opposition includes senior forward Kendall Coyne from Northeastern and junior goaltender Ann-Reneé Desbiens of Wisconsin. It is the third time both Coyne and Carpenter have been nominated.
In 2015, Alex Carpenter was the first Eagle to receive the honor. If she wins the award this year, she would be the first athlete to win two years in a row and only the second to ever win twice. She is in the top two of nearly every NCAA statistical scoring category; she currently leads in assists, power-play assists, and power-play points. She ranks first in points with 85, one more than Coyne. She has a nation best face-off percentage (.703) and, as captain, has played a crucial role in leading the Eagles to only the second undefeated regular season in NCAA history with a perfect 34-0-0 record.
Carpenter has shattered many records, including the Hockey East career assists record. She also holds the Boston College career record in points, goals, assists, game-winning goals, power-play goals, and shots on goal. She broke her own program record for most single season points and was named Hockey East Player of the Week eight times and Hockey East Player of the Month twice. On top of these impressive honors, she volunteers with the Campus school, the HEAR program, the Connell School of Nursing, and the IMPACT program.
Meanwhile, Kendall Coyne leads the nation with 50 goals and is second place for points. She has the most goals per game (2.34), points per game (2.34), shorthanded goals, hat tricks, and the highest plus/minus (+64) in the country. She is the all-time Hockey East career point leader and all-time leader in career goals. She has shattered records at Northeastern for all-time career points and goals, as well as single-season points, goals, points per game, and goals per game.
Coyne has been named Hockey East Player of the Week seven times and Hockey East Player of the Month three times. In addition, she earned Northeastern’s “Top Dog” award during the fall semester for having a GPA of 3.8 or higher. Off the ice, she volunteers at the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Ronald McDonald House, Cradles to Crayons, Bonnie’s Foundation, Julie Foundation, YMCA, Chicago Blackhawks Youth Hockey camps, and Chicago area schools.
Ann-Reneé Desbiens is the current national leader in goals against average (0.77), save percentage (.958), and shutouts (18). She is ranked second in NCAA with 20 wins and possesses a win percentage of .897. She set multiple NCAA records with 18 shutouts this season and a scoreless streak of 543:33 over a span of 10 games, where she has eight of her shutouts. She has 35 career shutouts, ranking as the third most in NCAA history. Her 10 shutouts in conference play are a University of Wisconsin single-season record.
She set a school record with a .945 career save percentage and has eight wins against ranked teams this season. Her .077 goals against average is over half a percentage point less than the next leading WCHA goaltender. She opened the season with a 16 game win streak and posted a 12 game win streak from Jan. 8 to Feb. 14. She allowed one goal or less in 29 of her 34 games. Desbiens has been named WCHA Defensive Player of the Week five times, WCHA Defensive Player of the Month twice, and American Sports Network National Player of the Week twice. She volunteers with Make Bo Pay and the American Family Children’s Hospital.
While Carpenter has stated that her main focus is the team winning the Frozen Four, it would be a huge honor to win. Furthermore, it would serve as another acknowledgement of how incredible this team truly is. The awards are starting to pile up; with a 38-0-0 record, they have already won the Beanpot, the Hockey East title, and will be competing in the Frozen Four against Clarkson on Friday. Carpenter has been a crucial component in all of these wins. She has certainly worked hard enough to deserve the Patty Kazmaier nomination, if not the award.
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