Botterill, Potter, Ruggiero Named Kazmaier Finalists

Harvard senior Jennifer Botterill, Minnesota-Duluth junior Jenny Potter, and Harvard defenseman Angela Ruggiero were named the three finalists for the 2003 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, announced today by the USA Hockey Foundation.

Botterill, a forward from Winnipeg, Manitoba, was a finalist and the eventual winner of the 2001 award, while both Potter and Ruggiero were among the Top 10 candidates in 2002.

This year’s award dinner will be held Saturday, March 22 in Duluth, Minn., at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center.

Earlier this year, The USA Hockey Foundation asked women’s Division I intercollegiate varsity ice hockey coaches to nominate up to two players from their team for The 2003 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award. Those players were placed on an official ballot and sent to the coaches who then voted for the top 10 finalists.

The finalists, as well as the recipient of The 2003 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, are chosen by a 13-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, the National Governing Body for the sport of hockey in the United States. Candidates for the award must compete for a women’s intercollegiate varsity ice hockey team at an NCAA-member institution. Other 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.

Now in its sixth year, The Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award was first presented to New Hampshire forward Brandy Fisher in 1998. Harvard forward and two-time U.S. Olympian A.J. Mleczko received the accolade in 1999, and Brown goaltender Ali Brewer was the 2000 recipient. In 2001 cam Botterill, followed by Brooke Whitney, a forward from Northeastern, in 2002.

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 the Princeton University women’s ice hockey team from 1981-82 through 1985-86. An accomplished athlete who helped lead the Tigers to the Ivy League Championship in three consecutive seasons (1981-82 through 1983-84), Patty Kazmaier-Sandt died on Feb. 15, 1990 at the age of 28 following a long struggle with a rare blood disease.

Individual dinner tickets are priced at $75.00 for adults and $50.00 for children under 12. Tickets, in addition to incremental levels of dinner sponsorship, may be purchased by calling The USA Hockey Foundation at (800) 566-3288, ext. 165. Individual tickets and sponsorship packages are tax-deductible.

Player Capsules

Jennifer Botterill
Position: Forward
Year: Senior
School: Harvard

This season Jennifer Botterill became Harvard’s all-time leading scorer after racking up 91 points (39 goals, 52 assists) in 26 regular-season games to lead the nation. She finished the regular season as the nation’s leader in goals and tied with 2003 Kazmaier Award Finalist Jenny Potter for first nationally in assists, while averaging 3.5 points per game.

Botterill co-captained the Crimson to an undefeated regular season, the ECAC regular-season title and the Ivy League title, and a berth in the ECAC playoffs with 47 points (21-26–47) in 14 conference contests, best in the league.

A five-time ECAC Player of the Week honoree in 2002-03, Botterill became the all-time leading scorer in women’s Division I hockey on Feb. 22 when she notched her 313th career point. As of March 6 with 319 career points, she is five points away from breaking the all-time collegiate scoring record (men’s or women’s).

Botterill was honored with the 2001 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, and was a member of the gold-medal winning 2002 Canadian Women’s Olympic Team.

The senior from Winnipeg, Man., carries a 3.00 grade-point average and is majoring in psychology. A Robert Stone Scholar at Harvard, she serves on the Faculty Advisory Board, is a participant in community skates and clinics, and serves as a motivational speaker in the community. Botterill’s brother, Jason, played college hockey at Michigan and currently plays with the Buffalo Sabres organization.

Jenny Potter
Position: Forward
Year: Junior
School: Minnesota-Duluth

Jenny Potter ranks second in the nation in overall scoring with 82 points (30-52–82) in 32 games at the conclusion of the regular season. She is tied with 2003 Kazmaier Award Finalist Jennifer Botterill for first in assists and is tied for third in goals scored. She leads the nation in shorthanded goals with four and ranks second in power-play goals with 10. Potter averaged 2.56 goals-per-game, third in the nation.

Potter, from Eagan, Minn., leads the WCHA in conference scoring with 65 points (22-43–65) in 24 games, helping the Bulldogs earn the regular-season title and a spot in the WCHA Final Five. She ranks first in the WCHA in conference assists, third in goals, and first in power-play goals with nine.

A three-time WCHA Offensive Player of the Week honoree, Potter was recently named the WCHA Player of the Year for 2002-03, and she also earned All-WCHA First Team and All-Academic Team accolades. Potter was a Top 10 Finalist for the 2000 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, and skated with the silver-medal winning Team USA at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games.

Potter carries a 2.96 grade-point average with a major in organizational behavior management. She participates in Duluth Amateur Hockey clinics and Skate With the Bulldogs.

Angela Ruggiero
Position: Defenseman
Year: Junior
School: Harvard

The nation’s top-scoring defenseman, Angela Ruggiero ranks fourth in the nation and third on the Crimson squad in overall scoring with 67 points (20-47–67) in 28 games. Her 20 goals tie her for 13th, and her 47 assists tie her for third-best in the country. A co-captain at Harvard, she averaged 2.39 points-per-game through the regular season and registered five game-winning goals to tie her for sixth in the nation.

Ruggiero, a native of Harper Woods, Mich., is tied for second in the ECAC in conference scoring and is the league’s highest-scoring defenseman with 36 points (9-27–36) in 16 contests. Her 27 assists are tops in the league. Her performance this year established a new Harvard single-season record for scoring by a defenseman when she passed the previous record of 62 points. Ruggiero earned ECAC Player of the Week honors after tying a Crimson record for most goals in a game with five against Wayne State University on Jan. 4.

A Top 10 Finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award in 2000, Ruggiero was a member of the silver-medal winning 2002 U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Team.

The junior government major carries a 3.10 grade-point average and is a member of the Women’s Sports Foundation and the Harvard Radcliffe Foundation for Women’s Athletics. She also serves as an Athlete Representative for Olympic Aid and is a member of House And Neighborhood Development.