Loren Gabel (senior forward from Clarkson), Megan Keller (senior defender from Boston College), and Annie Pankowski (senior forward from Wisconsin) have been named as the top-three finalists for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award. The winner will be announced on March 23 during the Frozen Four weekend at Quinnipiac University.
Gabel was a top-three finalist last season. Keller and Pankowski were top-10 finalists in 2016 and 2017. Neither played in the NCAA last season because of the Olympic cycle. Keller was the only defender to make the top-10 this season.
Gabel is currently second in the nation in points with 61, giving her an average of 1.91 points per game. She’s had 17 multi-point games and hit the scoresheet 27 of the 32 games she’s played in this season. The Canadian is Clarkson’s all-time leading scorer (205).
Keller is the best defender in the nation, and has the stats to prove it. With 41 points (18 goals, 23 assists), she’s tied for 15th in the nation among all skaters. The gold medalist set the Hockey East single season record for points and goals by a defender this season.
In addition to this nod as a top-3 finalist for the Patty Kaz, Pankowski is also a Hockey Humanitarian Award finalist. The senior Badger has 37 points in 32 games this season. She scored a goal in seven straight games this year, which is the third-longest scoring streak in Badgers history.
The three finalists were voted on by a 13-person selection committee from a group of 10 finalists. The list was 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.
Only one defender (Angela Ruggiero) has ever won the award.