Patty Kaz Watch

Kelly Paton (Woodstock, Ontario), a senior forward and captain of the fifth-ranked University of New Hampshire women’s ice hockey team, has been named a 2010 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award Top 10 Candidate. The announcement was made Tuesday by USA Hockey, the governing body of the award.

The Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award has been presented annually since 1998, when UNH’s Brandy Fisher won the inaugural award, to the most outstanding women’s ice hockey player in the nation. The Top 10 Candidates were selected by Division I coaches from the initial pool of 45 candidates. A 13-member committee will now select the Top 3 Finalists, which will be announced March 9.

Paton, a senior forward and captain of the Wildcats, is ranked fifth in the nation in points per game (1.65) as well as fourth in assists per game (1.03) and 17th in goals per game (0.61); in other statistics, she is 15th in game-winning goals and 16th in power-play goals. In 10 games vs. nationally-ranked teams, Paton has tallied 14 points (6g, 8a).

Paton completed Hockey East league play ranked second in points (32), assists (20) and power-play points (13) as well as third in goals (12).

Paton leads the team in points (51), goals (19) and plus/minus (+19) and is tied for the lead in game-winning goals with four. She is also second in assists (32) and tied for second in power-play goals (6). Furthermore, she is second in shots (118) and fourth in shooting percentage (.182).

She ended the regular season with a nine-game point-scoring streak in which she recorded 16 points (six goals, 10 assists). Paton opened the 2010 season with a 12-game point-scoring streak that included a stretch of seven consecutive games with an assist. She has tallied a point in 27 of 31 games with 12 multiple-point efforts.

Paton, an exercise science major, is a 2009 Hockey East All-Academic Team selection who has made Dean’s List three semesters. Her 2010 accolades include three Hockey East Player of the Month awards and three Hockey East Pure Hockey Player of the Week honors.

The 2010 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award will be presented March 20 at the University of Minnesota's McNamara Alumni Center in conjunction with the Frozen Four.

Tickets to the 2010 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award ceremony may be purchased by calling 719-538-1184, or by e-mailing or faxing a completed ticket form, which can be found at Individual seats are $75, while tables of 10 are available for $700.

Including Fisher, the 1998 Award winner, UNH has had a total of 12 Top 10 Candidates. Nicki Luongo (1999), Carisa Zaban (‘99 and 2000), Michelle Thornton (‘01), Kira Misikowetz (‘02), Nicole Hekle (‘06), Martine Garland (‘07 and ’08), Sam Faber (‘08), Jenn Wakefield (‘09)  and Paton ('10) have been UNH’s other honorees. Luongo and Zaban (’00) were further honored as Top 3 finalists.

New Hampshire (19-7-5 overall, 13-6-2-0 Hockey East) begins play in the 8th Annual Women's Hockey East Championship tournament March 6 with a semifinal game against Boston University. Game time at Providence College's Schneider Arena is 3 p.m.

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