Boston College women’s hockey forward Alex Carpenter was named the winner of the 2015 Patty Kazmaier Award on Saturday. The honor is given to the best player in NCAA Division I women’s hockey.
Carpenter was one of three finalists for the Patty Kaz, alongside Minnesota junior Hannah Brandt and Boston University senior Marie-Philip Poulin. BC teammates Emily Pfalzer and Haley Skarupa made the 10-person watch list for the award as well.
Nominated for the second time in her career, Carpenter is the first BC player to win the award. The junior was the backbone of BC’s offense, pacing its dynamic attack to five goals per game, good for best in the NCAA. The Eagles have reached the Frozen Four semifinals in each of her three seasons on the Heights.
Upon being announced the winner of the award, Carpenter took the stage in McNamara Alumni Center at the University of Minnesota to thank her teammates, family, and coaches for all they have done. She was composed and lighthearted in her speech, just 12 hours after BC’s season ended with a loss to Harvard University across the street at Ridder Arena.
“It’s a great moment for Alex and a great moment for our program,” BC head coach Katie King Crowley said in an interview with BCEagles.com. “I’m really proud of who Alex is, the player that she is, and what she’s done for our program. It’s truly awesome moment for Alex and the Boston College hockey program.”
In 37 regular season games, Carpenter finished with 37 goals, 44 assists, and 81 points, all of which led the nation. Carpenter’s two linemates, Skarupa and freshman Kenzie Kent, also finished in the top 20 nationally in total points.
An alternate captain for BC, Carpenter was a member of Team USA during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, earning a silver medal with the team. She had four goals and an assist in five games during the Games.
As the 18th winner of the honor overall, Carpenter is the third winner from the Hockey East Conference and the first since Northeastern’s Brooke Whitney in 2002. In 12 of 18 years, the recipients of the award has come from either Wisconsin, Harvard, or Minnesota, three of the perennial powerhouses of women’s hockey.
Patty Kazmaier, the namesake of the award, was a defender for Princeton University during the early 1980s. She led the Tigers to three straight Ivy League titles from 1982 to 1984, earning multiple league honors along the way. Kazmaier died of a rare blood disease at the age of 28 in 1990.
Kazmaier’s spirit and determination on the ice was influential in growing the sport of women’s hockey from just a few thousand players across the country to over 65,000 in the present day. She played with a combination of size, speed, and strength that few possessed at the time.
Featured Image by Arthur Bailin / Heights Editor