MINNEAPOLIS – Amanda Kessel (Madison, Wis.), a junior forward from the University of Minnesota, was awarded the 2013 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award today at the McNamara Alumni Center on the campus of the University of Minnesota. The award, in its 16th year, is presented annually to the top player in NCAA Division I women's ice hockey by The USA Hockey Foundation.
Kessel was named the winner of the award during a sold-out brunch ceremony at the McNamara Alumni Center on the campus of the University of Minnesota. She was chosen for the honor from a group of Top-3 Finalists that included two of her Gopher teammates - senior defenseman Megan Bozek (Buffalo Grove, Ill.) and senior goaltender Nora Räty (Espoo, Finland.)
"Amanda has had a historic season. Her domination on the ice this year has been nothing short of phenomenal. The number of points that she compiled is just one indication of her impact on our team," said Brad Frost, head coach at the University of Minnesota. "She has proved to be the most dynamic offensive threat in all of NCAA women's hockey, but her contribution goes much farther. She has grown into a complete two-way player, playing at an elite level in the defensive zone, on the penalty kill, and certainly in the offensive zone. Her domination of the statistical categories speaks for itself."
During her breakout junior campaign, Kessel has helped the Gophers to an unblemished 40-0-0 record, giving the team a unanimous No. 1 ranking in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Women's College Hockey Poll each of the 21 weeks it has been released this season.
Kessel also helped the Gophers capture the Western Collegiate Hockey Association regular-season and postseason titles en route to reaching the NCAA Women's Frozen Four championship game.
Kessel leads the NCAA in goals (44), assists (53), points (97), points per game (2.69), goals per game (1.22), assists per game (1.47), short-handed goals (5), and is third in game-winning goals (8). She has recorded a point in 33 of the 36 games she has played this season and has 29 multiple-point games, including 11 contests with at least four points and 20 games with at least three points.
This season, Kessel became the just 24th player in NCAA history to reach 200-career points and only the ninth player to do so in three seasons. She is three points away from becoming the fourth player in NCAA history to reach 100 points in a single season.
In WCHA play, Kessel notched 75 points (34G, 41A) in 25 games, leading each offensive scoring category. She also led the league with 23 power-play points (6G, 17A) and earned WCHA Player of the Year accolades. Her 3.00 points per game led the WCHA and she ranked second in short-handed points (2G, 2A) and game-winning goals (6).
Off the ice, Kessel is active in the local community and volunteers her time at places such as HopeKids, Feed My Starving Children, Amplatz Children's Hospital and several local elementary schools.
An award of The USA Hockey Foundation, the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award is annually presented to the top player in NCAA Division I women's ice hockey. 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.
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 at 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.
NOTES: Amanda Kessel is the second Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award winner from the University of Minnesota, following Krissy Wendell in 2005 ... Kessel is the sixth WCHA player to earn the award ... This year marked the first time the Top-3 Finalists represented the same school - senior defenseman Megan Bozek (Buffalo Grove, Ill.), Kessel, and senior goaltender Noora Räty all play for the University of Minnesota ... The 2013 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award Ceremony and Brunch was presented on the campus of the University of Minnesota at the McNamara Alumni Center and was part of the festivities associated with the NCAA Women's Frozen Four ... Jim Rich, sports director and host of FOX 9 Sports Primetime on KMSP-TV in Minneapolis-Saint Paul, served as master of ceremonies for the event, while Laura Halldorson, former University of Minnesota women's ice hockey head coach (1997-2007) and teammate of Patty Kazmaier, was the keynote speaker ... The ceremony can be watched on demand at USAHockey.FASTHockey.com and PattKaz.com ...
FROM USA HOCKEY