Kazmaier finalists whittled down to three talented forwards

The three finalists for the 2014 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award were announced Thursday by USA Hockey.

Minnesota sophomore forward Hannah Brandt, Clarkson senior forward Jamie Lee Rattray and Cornell junior forward Jillian Saulnier are the final three players up for the top individual honor in women’s hockey.

Brandt leads the nation in points (61) and assists (40), is tied for ninth in the NCAA in goals (21) and leads the WCHA in points (46) and assists (30) in conference play and is tied for second in goals (16).

Off the ice, she has volunteered with the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital, Special Olympics of Minnesota, Roseville Youth Hockey Association, Minneapolis Youth Hockey Association, University of Minnesota Medical Center Fairview Hospital, Hope Kids and the Maplewood Care Center.

Rattray ranks second in the NCAA in points (57) and goals (28) and leads the NCAA in power-play tallies (9) and is tied for sixth nationally in game-winning markers (5). She is also first in the ECAC in points (44) and second in both goals (21) and assists (23) during league play.

Rattray is an active member with the Lil’ Knight Club, which volunteers with youth hockey players in the area, and also helped paint the Helping Hands building in Potsdam, N.Y., and assisted in fundraising for the Dalton Guyette Memorial Award, given annually to provide opportunities to less fortunate children in the area.

For Saulnier, she is fifth in the NCAA in points (52), second nationally in goals-per-game (0.84), tied for third in goals (26) and 12th in assists (26). She leads the ECAC in goals (22) and ranks second in points (43) during conference outings while sitting in a third-place tie among ECAC skaters with 21 assists.

Away from the rink, Saulnier participated in the Do it for Daron game on Jan. 31 to raise awareness for mental health issues, as well as the Athlete Ally game to show support for LGBT inclusion within sports. Additionally, she registered to donate bone marrow through Be The Match registry, helped raise money for the Cancer Resource Center of the Finger Lakes region and actively served in the Cub Club Little Sister Organization.

The award will be presented at a brunch ceremony at Oakdale Theatre in Wallingford, Conn., on Saturday, March 22, as part of the NCAA women’s Frozen Four weekend hosted by Quinnipiac.