COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Olympians Haley Irwin and Rebecca Johnston have been nominated for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award as the player of the year in NCAA Division I women's hockey.
Johnston, from Sudbury, Ont., is a senior forward at Cornell University, while Irwin of Thunder Bay, Ont., is a senior forward at the University of Minnesota Duluth. They both won gold for Canada’s National Women’s Team at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, B.C.
Natalie Spooner of Toronto, Ont. (Ohio State University), and Jennifer Wakefield of Pickering, Ont. (Boston University), who have played for Canada’s National Women’s Team and remain some of the program’s top candidates, are also on the list of 30 nominated players announced Monday by USA Hockey.
The early list of 21 forwards, five defencemen and four goaltenders will be narrowed down to 10 players on March 1. A 13-member selection committee will choose the three finalists March 8 and the winner will be named March 17.
The other Canadian nominees include Christine Bestland of Brunkild, Man. (Mercyhurst College), Bailey Bram of Ste. Anne, Man. (Mercyhurst College), Laura Fortino of Hamilton, Ont. (Cornell University), Thea Imbrogno of Toronto, Ont. (Robert Morris University), Brianne Jenner of Oakville, Ont. (Cornell University), Jamie Lee Rattray of Ottawa, Ont. (Clarkson University), Lauriane Rougeau of Beaconsfield, Que. (Cornell University), Kelly Sabatine of Hamilton, Ont. (St. Lawrence University) and Rebecca Vint of Caledon, Ont. (Robert Morris University).
American forward Meghan Duggan of the University of Wisconsin took the honour last year. The award is named after the late Patty Kazmaier, who was an all-Ivy League defenceman at Princeton University from 19. She died in February 1990 at age 28 following a long struggle with a rare blood disease.