Kazmaier winner Rattray gives thanks, reflects on past four years

WALLINGFORD, Conn. — When Clarkson’s Jamie Lee Rattray was announced as the 2014 Patty Kazmaier Award winner, smiles were all around, as were thankful sentiments.

But as the senior deflected attention to others in attendance at the award ceremony Saturday morning, her true character was revealed.

“It’s a great honor to accept this award,” Rattray said. “I thank my coaches. Thanks so much for helping me develop over the four years.”

Clarkson co-head coach Matt Desrosiers was elated to see Rattray win the Kazmaier Award.

“The work ethic that she brings to everything she does on and off the ice is unmatched,” Desrosiers said. “I’m really excited for Jamie Lee. It’s exciting for her, the program, the team. She’s a student of the game. You could see this potential in her even before she got to the college level. There were certain areas in her game that she needed to improve on and she knew that. I think that’s one of the reasons she chose Clarkson because [co-coach] Shannon [Desrosiers] and I would push her to get better in these areas.”

“I’ve been blessed to have great teammates over four years,” Rattray added. “Thank you very much. We really did start from the bottom and look at us now.”

Rattray was referring to how she was a member of a large freshmen class tasked to bringing the Golden Knights to the upper echelons of women’s college hockey. In her senior year, they are now at that level.

“We had a rough start as freshmen,” Rattray reflected. “It didn’t work out the way we wanted. We’ve grown every year. We got home ice in the ECACs, then got into the NCAA tournament and then the Frozen Four. It’s crazy how we’ve grown.”

“I think she wanted to be part of a growing program,” her father, David Rattray, said.

“Thank you to my parents and your support,” Jamie Lee Rattray said. “Being the only child, they had no choice. I truly believe they are the most dedicated parents. Thank you for all the early mornings, all the road trips.”

Her parents responded.

“Very proud,” her father said. “She’s always played with the boys and managed to bubble to the top in every division she played. She trained harder and put on that extra effort to be very, very good.”

Back during her high school years in Kanata, Ont., Rattray was recruited hard by several schools, but in the end, just one made sense.

“When she came down to the final choices, Minnesota and Clarkson, I never said anything to her all along,” her mom, Melodie Rattray, said. “But when it came down to the last few, I just said to her, ‘Now remember Jamie Lee, Daddy and I can go to many of your games if you go to Clarkson. If you go to Minnesota, we can’t go to as many.'”

Rattray is currently second in the nation in scoring (28 goals, 64 points), behind fellow finalists Hannah Brandt of Minnesota and ahead of Jillian Saulnier of Cornell. Rattray was named the ECAC player of the year and First Team All-ECAC.

Off the ice, Rattray participated in the Lil’ Knight Club, Helping Hands and fundraising for the Dalton Guyette Memorial Award.

This is the second Patty Kazmaier Award to be associated with the small town of Potsdam, N.Y. The first winner in 1998, Brandy Fisher at New Hampshire, was a Potsdam native.

“Hockey is the No. 1 thing there,” Rattray explained. “It’s a small town. The whole town rallies around hockey there, so I think that was one of the big reasons I went there.”

“It brings a lot of recognition to Clarkson University in general and to our hockey program,” Matt Desrosiers said.