NEW CASTLE, N.H. — Amid the overtime games and the upcoming NCAA Tournament Finals, Boston College women’s hockey took a short break Saturday morning in Newcastle for the 19th Annual Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award banquet. The award is given to the player who best exhibits the qualities of Kazmaier, one of the first collegiate women’s hockey players, who died of a rare blood cancer at age 28.
When the top 10 finalists were announced, the list featured three Eagles—Megan Keller, Haley Skarupa, and 2015 Patty Kaz Award winner Alex Carpenter.
The final three came down to Carpenter, Northeastern’s Kendall Coyne, and Wisconsin’s Ann-Renee Desbiens. Their talents were highlighted at the banquet following speeches from Kazmaier’s husband and sister, and former Kazmaier award winners AJ Mleczko and Angela Ruggiero. At the end of the banquet, Ruggiero announced that Coyne was voted the winner of the prestigious award.
Voting for the Kazmaier Award is based on regular-season play, academic achievement, and service to the community. Coyne excelled in each of those areas this year, notching 84 points total this season while maintaining a 3.8 GPA. She also volunteered at various charities and organizations, including the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Coyne expressed her gratitude to her teammates and coaches, but also noted that she wished the team’s departure in the NCAA Tournament wasn’t so early.
After her speech, she took photos with youth hockey players and fans who attended the banquet, as well as with her parents and three of her fellow teammates, who surprised her in a Northeastern shuttle shortly before the ceremony.
Though Coyne’s season is over, her hockey career is not. Next week she will join teammates and rivals across the country to prepare for the IIHF Women’s World Championships in Kamloops, B.C., Canada. She also was taken by the Boston Pride as the third pick in the first round in the National Women’s Hockey League’s (NWHL) inaugural draft.
“It’s hard to accept an individual award because there is so much of a support staff behind the award,” Coyne said after her speech.
Had Coyne not won the trophy and the honor had instead gone to Carpenter, it would have been the first time in the award’s history that it would be given to the same player in back-to-back years.
Though BC head coach Katie Crowley did not have the winning player on her team, she delivered praise to the crosstown rival.
“It’s great to have another Patty Kazmaier in Hockey East,” Crowley said. “She’s had a tremendous year this year.”
Featured Image by Julia Hopkins / Heights Editor