Four finalists for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, which recognizes the accomplishments of the most outstanding player in women’s intercollegiate varsity ice hockey, were named Tuesday by the USA Hockey Foundation.
The finalists are goaltender Ali Brewer (Racine, Wis.), a senior from Brown University; goaltender Sara DeCosta (Warwick, R.I.), a junior from Providence College; defenseman Tara Mounsey (Concord, N.H.), a junior from Brown University; and forward Carisa Zaban (Glenview, Ill.), a senior from the University of New Hampshire.
Three finalists are ordinarily selected, but due to a tie for third place in the voting, four finalists were named.
The announcement was made by USA Hockey Foundation President Walter L. Bush, Jr., and the award’s executive committee, which, in addition to Bush, includes Jim Erickson, Bob Fallen, Cammi Granato, Laura Halldorson, Robert Ridder, Sr., Julie Sasner and Ben Smith.
The finalists and recipient are chosen by an 11-member selection committee comprised of women’s intercollegiate varsity ice hockey coaches, representatives of the print and broadcast media, and a representative of USA Hockey. Criteria include outstanding individual and team skills, sportsmanship, performance in the clutch, personal character, competitiveness and a love of hockey, with consideration also given to academic achievement and civic involvement.
The inaugural Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award was presented to University of New Hampshire forward Brandy Fisher (Potsdam, N.Y.) in 1998. Harvard University forward A.J. Mleczko received the honor last year.
The Kazmaier Award, in its third year of existence, is named in honor of the late Patty Kazmaier, a four-year letter-winner and All-Ivy League defenseman from Princeton University from 1981-82 through 1985-86. An accomplished athlete who helped lead the Tigers to the Ivy League championship in three consecutive seasons, Patty Kazmaier-Sandt died in 1990, at the age of 28, following a long struggle with a rare blood disease.
Profiles of the finalists are as follows:
Ali Brewer, senior goaltender, Brown University (Racine, Wis.)
One of the most accomplished goaltenders in the history of the Eastern College Athletic Conference, Brewer closed out her career in impressive fashion. She posted a 1.33 goals-against average during the regular season, tops in the ECAC and third-best in the nation. Boasting a .942 save percentage, second-best in the country, Brewer registered 551 saves while allowing only 34 goals.
The three-time ECAC/Heaton Goaltender of the Week posted an impressive 21-3-3 record, earning as many victories as any other goaltender in women’s college hockey. Her .833 overall winning percentage led the league.
Sara DeCosta, junior goaltender, Providence College (Warwick, R.I.)
After shutting down opposing scorers all season, Providence College goaltender DeCosta closed out the 1999-2000 campaign with an outstanding .943 save percentage, good for first in the nation. In the Eastern College Athletic Conference, DeCosta posted a 1.54 goals-against average, ranking her second overall in the ECAC and fifth among all netminders in the country. Her 17 victories (17-9-3) included seven shutouts and she allowed Friar opponents only 51 goals in 32 games.
A four-time ECAC/Heaton Goaltender of the Week honoree this season, DeCosta is a 1998 U.S. Olympic team member.
Tara Mounsey, junior defenseman, Brown University (Concord, N.H.)
Mounsey, although injured in the second half of the 1999-2000 season, put up such spectacular numbers that when the regular season finally ended, her name was still among the nation’s leaders in many offensive categories. Mounsey, a Brown University co-captain, registered 24 points (14-10) in 18 games of Eastern College Athletic Conference action, third among defensemen. She gathered a 1.33 points per-game average and notched five power-play goals, tying for fifth in league play.
Mounsey’s defensive skills were just as impressive, as the Bears successfully killed over 90 percent of their penalties, fourth-best in the nation. A member of the 1998 U.S. Olympic team, she received All-Ivy League First Team honors for the third time in her career.
Carisa Zaban, senior forward, University of New Hampshire (Glenview, Ill.)
Zaban is one of the most prolific scorers in women’s college hockey today. By finishing third in the nation and first overall in the Eastern College Athletic Conference with 72 points (35 goals, 37 assists) in just 33 games, she made her final collegiate season one to remember.
On February 20, Zaban scored her 256th career point, breaking New Hampshire’s all-time mark set by Kathy Bryant in 1981. The Wildcats’ leading scorer for all four seasons of her career, she is also closing in on New Hampshire’s all-time record for goals (129) and entered the ECAC playoffs 11 goals shy of the record, held by Brandy Fisher, the inaugural Kazmaier Award recipient in 1998.
The award, supported in part by a grant from the NHL Foundation and sponsored by Texaco, will be presented at a dinner on the evening of Thursday, March 23, at the Boston Marriott Copley Place.
Individual dinner tickets, priced at $100.00, and table sponsorships may be purchased by calling the USA Hockey Foundation at (800) 566-3288, ext. 165; or Steve Burke at (781) 686-1105. Individual tickets and sponsorship packages are tax-deductible.