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2022 Top 25 Under 25 | 5: Aerin Frankel

She’ll go down as one of the best goaltenders women’s college hockey has ever seen.

2021 NCAA Division I Women’s Ice Hockey Championship Photo by Justin Berl/NCAA Photos/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Last Season

It was one more go around for the reigning Patty Kazmaier Award Winner as the 2021-22 season was her fifth and final of her NCAA eligibility. And wow did she make the most of it. She had one of her best seasons posting a 1.07 goals against average and .956 save percentage. Among goaltenders who appeared in at least 20 games for their team, she lead the nation

Frankel was absolutely outstanding for Northeastern with an NCAA-leading 25 wins and a career-best 11 shutouts on the season. While the Patty Kazmaier voters (surprisingly) didn’t seem to think her performance was worthy of at least a Top 3 Finalist position, she did win the Goaltender of the Year award, making her the back-to-back winner of the award and the only player to receive it as the award is in its second year of existence.

She was a key piece for Northeastern’s second consecutive trip to the National Championship tournament, including an absolutely bonkers 48-save, double-overtime win in the semifinals against Duluth. Her best save of the season might have come as the clock ticked down in first overtime as she robbed Gabbie Hughes who tried to go glove side.

The 25-win season vaulted her into top spot of the NCAA record book for career wins in women’s hockey with 103.

Major Accomplishments

  • 2022 Goaltender of the Year
  • 2021 Patty Kazmaier Award Winner
  • 2021 Goaltender of the Year (first winner of the award)
  • 2020 Patty Kazmaier Top 10 Finalist
  • NCAA leader in career wins (103)

What Comes Next

Frankel finished her NCAA eligibility this season so Frankel Watch is on to see where she decides to play after graduating. No matter where she ends up, if she chooses to continue to play, the team will gain a solid, proven goaltender.

She was just at USA Hockey’s Goaltending Camp as well after making the initial 2021 World Championship roster since Maddie Rooney was injured. Interestingly, Frankel wasn’t named to the rescheduled roster nor invited to the Olympics Residency as USA Hockey had seemingly set their goaltending roster for the tournaments much earlier.

Her future with USA Hockey obviously depends on what directly they choose to go with goaltending and how much longer Alex Cavallini, the oldest of USAH’s goaltending trio by far, decides to play. Cavallini being Team USA’s work horse in the Olympics despite coming off major surgery just before the tournament says a lot about the federations thoughts on their options. The roster for the upcoming World Championship tournament in August will say a lot about Frankel’s future with Team USA I think.

Too High or Too Low?

Goaltenders are notoriously hard to compare to others. Given that though, I’d probably have preferred to see her at the number 4 spot. I know the rest of the list and I think cracking the top 3 would have been tough. But top 5 feels right for her season.