Four-time nominee Angela Ruggiero of Harvard, Division I scoring leader Caroline Ouellette of Minnesota-Duluth, and the nation’s leader in save percentage, Northeastern goaltender Chanda Gunn, are among 10 nominees announced Monday for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, given annually to the most outstanding player in women’s college hockey.
Three finalists, as well as the recipient, will be 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. 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.
Finalists will be announced March 15, and the award dinner, set for the evening of Saturday, March 27 at the Westin Providence Hotel, will again be held in conjunction with the women’s Frozen Four, March 26 and 28 at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
The announcement was made by USA Hockey Foundation President Ron DeGregorio (Salem, N.H.) and the executive committee which, in addition to DeGregorio, includes: Jim Erickson (Bloomington, Minn.), Bob Fallen (Minneapolis, Minn.), Cammi Granato (Downers Grove, Ill.), Laura Halldorson (Minneapolis, Minn.), Julie Sasner (Durham, N.H.) and Ben Smith (Gloucester, Mass.).
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. 165. 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 letterwinner and All-Ivy League defenseman for Princeton 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 on Feb. 15, 1990, at the age of 28 following a long struggle with a rare blood disease.
Now in its seventh year, the award was first presented to forward Brandy Fisher (New Hampshire) in 1998. Other recipients include two-time U.S. Olympian A.J. Mleczko (Harvard) in 1999, goaltender Ali Brewer (Brown) in 2000, and forward Brooke Whitney (Northeastern) in 2002. Last year, two-time Canadian Olympian Jennifer Botterill (Harvard) became the first recipient to be honored twice, after also winning the award in 2001.
Biographies of the 10 nominees follow:
Gretchen Anderson, Senior, Forward, Princeton
Ranks sixth in the nation in points per game (1.80) and is tied for seventh in scoring with 36 points (24-12) in 20 games. Is second in the nation in goals scored (24) and goals per game (1.20), and tied for third in the nation in game-winning goals (five). Ranks first on Princeton in overall scoring and conference scoring.
Nicole Corriero, Junior, Forward, Harvard
First in the nation in points per game (2.30), and fourth in the nation in scoring with 46 points (27-19) in 20 games. Also ranks first in the nation in goals per game (1.35), and overall goals (27). Second in the nation in game-winning goals (six), and tied for second in shorthanded goals (three). A grade-school tutor, she volunteers at Massachusetts General Hospital and at the Harvard Homeless Shelter. Is a lector at St. Paul’s Church, and a member of the Harvard-Radcliffe Foundation for Women’s Athletics.
Natalie Darwitz, Sophomore, Forward, Minnesota
Has not played in a game since Jan. 10, but has remained one of the top 10 scorers in the nation, ranking sixth in scoring with 41 points (15-26) in 16 games. Is fourth in the nation in assists (26). Has recorded 2.56 points per game. Serves as a youth hockey coach. Participates in numerous charity events and autograph sessions. Was a top 10 finalist for the 2003 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award. Will likely miss the remainder of the 2003-04 season due to torn ligaments in her right elbow.
Chanda Gunn, Senior, Goaltender, Northeastern
First in the nation in save percentage (.952), and fourth in the nation in goals-against average (1.48). Ranks first in Hockey East in goals-against average (1.52), and in save percentage (.949), and third in saves (222). A finalist for the 2004 Humanitarian Award. Is the president of Northeastern’s Student-Athlete Advisory Board. Founder of Inner-City Youth Hockey Program. Coaches 10- and 12-year-old girls on the Massachusetts Spitfire Girls’ Team. Was a top-10 finalist for the 2003 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award.
Kelli Halcisak, Senior, Defenseman, Providence
Ranks first on the Friar squad in scoring, with 30 points (14-16) in 23 games played. Ranks second on team in conference points scored, with 14 (6-8) in 10 games. Ranks third in the nation in points per game by a defenseman. Second in Hockey East in scoring by a defenseman; a top-10 finalist for the 2003 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award.
Caroline Ouellette, Junior, Forward, Minnesota-Duluth
Ranks first on the Bulldog squad and in the nation in scoring, with 49 points (19-30) in 22 games played, and second in the nation in points per game (2.23). First in the nation in assists per game (1.36) and second in overall assists (30). Participates in Skate with the Bulldogs, “Take Back the Night” and in the “Big Jig” fundraising ice-fishing contest.
Jenny Potter, Senior, Forward, Minnesota-Duluth
Tied for second in the nation in scoring, with 47 points (24-23) in 24 games, and is tied for third in points per game (1.96). Tied for second in the nation in goals scored (24), and ranks third in goals per game (1.00). Ranks first in the WCHA in scoring, with 32 points (17-15) in 16 games played. Also ranks first in goals (17), game-winning goals (5), and is tied for first in power-play goals (6). Participates in Skate with the Bulldogs, Duluth Amateur Hockey clinics and in the “Big Jig” fundraising ice-fishing contest. Was a top-three finalist for the 2003 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award.
Angela Ruggiero, Senior, Defenseman, Harvard
Ranks first in the nation in points per game by a defenseman (1.78), and eighth in points per game overall. Tenth in scoring with 32 points (16-16) in 18 games played. Ranks fifth in the nation in goals per game (0.89). Co-chair of the Harvard-Radcliffe Foundation for Women’s Athletics. Volunteers at King Elementary School and an active member of Women’s Leadership Project. Was a top three finalist for the 2003 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, and a top 10 finalist in 1999, 2000, and 2003.
Shari Vogt, Senior, Goaltender, Minnesota State
Ranks third in the nation in save percentage (.937), and fourth in the nation in minutes played (1,395:13). Ranks first in the WCHA in save percentage (.934), and minutes played (976:26). Participates in MSU Athletics reading program, and Adopt-A-Highway. Member of MSU’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Paints houses and rakes leaves for the elderly. Helps tutor Mankato Area Hockey Association (MAHA) and Mankato West High School goaltenders. Participates annually in Skate with the Mavericks. Speaker at MSU’s Women in Sports Day festivities.
Krissy Wendell, Sophomore, Forward, Minnesota
Tied for second in the nation in scoring, with 47 points (20-27) in 24 games played. Is tied for third in points per game (1.96). Ranks third in the nation in assists (27), and fourth in assists per game (1.12). Is tied for fifth in goals (20), and first in shorthanded goals (four). Participates in hockey ministries and serves as a youth hockey coach. Participates in numerous charity events and autograph sessions. Was a top-10 finalist for the 2003 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award.