February 27, 2014

Mercyhurst's Bestland Selected as Kazmaier Award Top-Ten Finalist

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The USA Hockey Foundation today announced the top-10 finalists for the 2014 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award. The honor is bestowed annually upon the top player in NCAA Division I women's ice hockey and this year will be unveiled at a brunch ceremony at Oakdale Theater in Wallingford, Conn., on Sat., March 22, as part of the NCAA Women's Frozen Four weekend hosted by Quinnipiac University.

The top-10 finalists include: sophomore defenseman Erin Ambrose (Keswick, Ont./Clarkson University); senior forward Brittany Ammerman (River Vale, N.J./University of Wisconsin); senior forward Kelly Babstock (Mississauga, Ont./Quinnipiac University); senior forward Christine Bestland (Brunkild, Man./Mercyhurst University); junior forward Rachael Bona (Coon Rapids, Minn./University of Minnesota); sophomore forward Hannah Brandt (Vadnais Heights, Minn./University of Minnesota); sophomore forward Sarah Lefort (Ormstown, Que./Boston University); sophomore goaltender Emerance Maschmeyer (Bruderheim, Alta./Harvard University); senior forward Jamie Lee Rattray (Kanata, Ont./Clarkson University) and junior forward Jillian Saulnier (Halifax, N.S./Cornell University).

The selection process commenced earlier this month when NCAA Division I women's ice hockey coaches were asked to nominate players for the award. Players who were nominated by two or more coaches were then placed on an official ballot, which was sent back to the coaches to vote for the top-10 finalists. The independent accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP, tabulated the ballots.

The three finalists, including the recipient of the 2014 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, will be chosen by a 13-person selection committee made up of NCAA Division I women's ice hockey coaches, representatives of print and broadcast media, an at-large member and a representative of USA Hockey, the national governing body for the sport of ice hockey in the United States. The top-3 finalists will be announced on Thurs., March 6.

Tickets to the 2014 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award Ceremony and Brunch can be purchased at PattyKaz.com. Individual seats to the event are $65, while tables of 10 are available for $600. A select number of sponsorships and program advertisements are also available.

Notes: Eight schools are represented in the top-10, including two finalists from both Clarkson University and the University of Minnesota ... Among the top-10 finalists are eight forwards, one defenseman and one goaltender, including four seniors, two juniors and four sophomores ... Hannah Brandt was also a 2013 top-10 finalist ... ECAC Hockey leads all conferences with five finalists, while the Western Collegiate Hockey Association boast three finalists, and College Hockey American and the Hockey East Association both are represented with one finalist ... For more information and to signed up for the Kaz Connection, a free monthly e-newsletter dedicated solely to the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, please visit PattyKaz.com.

ABOUT THE PATTY KAZMAIER MEMORIAL AWARD
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.

ABOUT PATTY KAZMAIER
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 Feb. 15, 1990, at the age of 28 following a long struggle with a rare blood disease.