Women’s Hockey Commissioners Association announces new Goalie of the Year Award

The Women’s Hockey Commissioners Association (HCA) has created a Goalie of the Year Award, to be given to the top female goalie in DI NCAA hockey each year. They will announce an inaugural Watch List on February 5.

The Women’s HCA currently awards a National Rookie of the Year award, given since 2014 and is adding this new accolade for this season. The HCA also gives out the award for Men’s DI Goalie of the Year, the Mike Richter Award, which was also introduced in 2014.

“I think this is overdue. The reason we are doing this now is that the Commissioners assumed responsibility for the Richter Award this fall. Once that became a reality, it seemed just natural that we launched a women’s award. Looking at early season performances, this will be a tight competition,” said Joe Bertagna, Secretary-Treasurer for the Women’s HCA.

Women’s hockey has had the Patty Kazmaier Award, given annually by the USA Hockey Foundation to the top collegiate player, since 1998. Just three goaltenders have won the award in its 23-year history – Wisconsin’s Ann-Renee Desbiens in 2017 and Jessie Vetter in 2009, and Brown’s Ali Brewer in 2000.

The Goalie of the Year Award winner will be announced during the Women’s Frozen Four in March.

The Watch List is created based on nominations from individual conferences and comments from the award committee, which is made up of a cross section of coaches, administrators and media.

It is expected that the award will be given a namesake – likely by next season – but Bertagna said the Women’s HCA did not want to rush that process.