USA Hockey released the list of the top 10 finalists for the Patty Kazmaier list today. And wow, is it interesting.
As a reminder, the finalist list is built through a nomination and voting process by Division I coaches. The coaches nominate players and any player with multiple nominations is placed on a ballot for the coaches to vote for top 10.
From there, the top three finalists, which includes the winner, is voted on by a 13-person selection committee. The top three finalists will be announced on Feb. 28 with the winner announced on March 23 during the Frozen Four weekend at Quinnipiac University.
2019 Patty Kazmaier Top 10 finalists
|Loren Gabel||Senior||Forward||Clarkson||Top three 2018|
|Megan Keller||Senior||Defense||BC||Top 10 2016 & 2017 // did not play in 2018 due to Olympics|
|Annie Pankowski||Senior||Forward||Wisconsin||Top 10 2016 & 2017 // did not play in 2018 due to centralization|
Nine schools are on the list, with Clarkson being the only school with two. The list is made up of eight forwards, one defender, and one goaltender. Looking at it by year, there are six seniors, two sophomores, and two freshman.
The 2019 finalists list is fascinating.
Of the four players who returned to the NCAA from last season’s Top 10 finalists, only one has been nominated again - Loren Gabel. Notably missing is last year’s winner Daryl Watts, the first freshman to ever win the award. Watts is currently far off last season’s pace with 38 points in 33 games (last season she had 82 points in 38 games). Caitrin Lonergan (a junior forward at Boston College) and Kristen Campbell (redshirt junior goaltender at Wisconsin) also were not renominated.
Gabel and Giguère have had Patty Kaz worthy seasons for sure as they share the lead in points in the nation at 59 each in 30 and 32 games respectively. Compher - one of the brightest spots for Boston University this season - is close behind them with 55 points in 32 games. Fillier’s points per game is off the charts at 2.04 (47 points in 23 games). Keller, the only defender on this list, holds the Hockey East single-season points and goals records for a blueliner at 37 and 16. Müller has stood out as a freshman after having an incredible 2018 Olympics showing, with 43 points. Pankowski returned to Wisconsin after being cut from Team USA and has 37 points this season. Eldridge is second in the nation in goals with 25. Schammel is having her best college season with 41 points, nine more than she had last season with six less games played so far. Selander - the lone goalie - recently set the NCAA record in all-time saves at 3,947, and the season isn’t even over yet.
Only three goaltenders (Ann-Renee Desbiens, Jessie Better, and Ali Brewer) have ever won the award and only one defender (Angela Ruggiero) has ever won.