COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Jenn Wakefield (Pickering, Ontario), a sophomore forward on the fifth-ranked University of New Hampshire women’s ice hockey team, was announced as a 2009 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award Top 10 Finalist by USA Hockey on Monday. Wakefield was selected from a ballot of 43 student-athletes that included teammate Kacey Bellamy (Westfield, Mass.), a senior defenseman and captain of the Wildcats.
The award, initiated in 1998, is presented annually to the most outstanding collegiate women’s ice hockey player. Selection criteria includes outstanding individual and team skills, sportsmanship, performance in the clutch, personal character, competitiveness and a love of hockey. Consideration is also given to academic achievement and civic involvement.
A UNH student-athlete has been named a Top 10 Finalist 11 times and three have advanced as a Top 3 Finalist, including the inaugural recipient of the award, Brandy Fisher.
Wakefield has recorded 32 goals and 17 assists for 49 points in 30 regular-season games to rank third in the nation in goals per game and 11th in points per game. She is the national leader in power-play goals (13) and game-winning goals (nine), and is third in shorthanded goals (four).
She leads UNH in goals, power-play goals, shorthanded goals, game-winning goals, points and shots. She ranks second on the team in shooting percentage (.179) and is fourth in plus/minus (+17) as well as fifth in assists.
Wakefield tallied 21 goals and nine assists for 30 points in 19 Hockey East league games. She also totaled 21 points (13 goals, 8 assists) in 14 games vs. nationally-ranked teams, and that included a two-goal, three-assist effort vs. Dartmouth College on Jan. 16.
Wakefield has recorded a point in 26 of 30 games with 15 multiple-point efforts, including four straight and eight of the last 10. She also has nine multiple-goal games to her credit. Wakefield opened the ’09 season with nine-game point-scoring streak, which included an eight-game goal-scoring streak, and ended the regular season with a seven-game point-scoring streak (active four-game goal-scoring streak).
Wakefield’s other ’09 accolades include Hockey East Player of the Month (December) and three-time Hockey East Player of the Week.
The three finalists for this year’s award will be announced March 10 and the 2009 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award will be presented at a brunch ceremony at the Royal Sonesta Hotel Boston on March 21, in conjunction with the NCAA Women’s Frozen Four, in Boston. Tickets to the event may be purchased at PattyKaz.com or by calling 800-566-3288, ext. 184 ($85/individual seats, $800/table of 10). Kathryn Tappen, who currently serves as New England Sports Network's Boston Bruins studio host and as a "SportsDesk" anchor and reporter, will serve as the master of ceremonies for the ceremony.
The other 10 Finalists, in alphabetical order, are Meghan Agosta (Mercyhurst College),Rebecca Johnston (Cornell University), Hilary Knight (University of Wisconsin), Monique Lamoureux (University of Minnesota), Erika Lawler (University of Wisconsin), Gigi Marvin (University of Minnesota), Molly Schaus (Boston College), Sarah Vaillancourt (Harvard University) and Jessie Vetter (University of Wisconsin).
The Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award is named in honor of the late Patty Kazmaier, who was a four-year varsity letter-winner and All-Ivy League defenseman for Princeton University from 1981-86. An accomplished athlete who helped lead the Tigers to the Ivy League Championship in three consecutive seasons (1981-84), Patty Kazmaier-Sandt died on Feb. 15, 1990, at the age of 28 following a long struggle with a rare blood disease.
New Hampshire (22-5-5 overall, 16-2-3 Hockey East) won its sixth consecutive Hockey East regular-season title this year to secure the top seed and play host to the 2009 WHEA Championship Tournament. The Wildcats face off against fourth-seeded Providence College in a March 7 semifinal at 12 p.m. Tickets for the tourney are available at the Whittemore Center Box Office, by calling 603-868-7300 or by clicking here.