The USA Hockey Foundation Friday announced 10 candidates for the 2006 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, presented annually to the most outstanding player in women’s college hockey.
The 10 candidates represent seven different schools, as St. Lawrence, Minnesota-Duluth and Wisconsin each boast two candidates. For the first time since the inaugural award in 1998, each of this year’s nominees is making her debut on the top 10 list.
For the second year in a row, the WCHA led all D-I conferences with five of the 10 finalists. This year the ECACHL has three and Hockey East has two.
Earlier this year, each Division I women’s coach nominated up to two players from his or her team for the Kazmaier Award, and the coaches then voted for the top 10 candidates.
According to USA Hockey, three finalists, and finally the recipient, will be chosen by a 13-member selection committee. The committee is comprised of women’s ice hockey coaches, representatives of the print and broadcast media, and a representative of USA Hockey. USA Hockey has yet to describe the role of the fan voting in the selection process. The final three will be announced March 13.
Selection criteria include outstanding individual and team skills, sportsmanship, performance in the clutch, personal character, competitiveness and a love of hockey. Consideration will also be given to academic achievement and civic involvement.
This year’s award dinner, set for the evening of Saturday, March 25 at the Radisson University Hotel in Minneapolis, will again be held in conjunction with the 2006 NCAA Women’s Frozen Four, to take place on March 24 and 26 at Minnesota’s Mariucci Arena.
Individual dinner tickets are priced at $100.00 for adults and $50.00 for children under 18. Tickets, in addition to incremental levels of dinner sponsorship, may be purchased by calling The USA Hockey Foundation at (800) 566-3288, ext. 184, or visiting www.PattyKaz.com. Individual tickets and sponsorship packages are tax-deductible.
The 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 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.