skip navigation

Top-10 Finalists Named for 2017 Patty Kazmaier Award

By, 02/23/17, 10:45AM MST


20th Annual Award to be Presented March 18 in St. Charles, Missouri

An award of The USA Hockey Foundation, the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award is presented annually to the top player in NCAA Division I women’s ice hockey.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The USA Hockey Foundation today announced the top-10 finalists for the 2017 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 Foundry Arts Centre in St. Charles, Missouri, on Saturday, March 18, as part of the NCAA Women's Frozen Four weekend hosted by Lindenwood University.

The top-10 finalists include: senior goaltender Ann-Renee Desbiens (La Malbaie, Que./University of Wisconsin), junior defenseman Megan Keller (Farmington Hills, Mich./Boston College), senior defenseman Kelsey Koelzer (Horsham, Pa./Princeton University), junior forward Kennedy Marchment (Courtice, Ont./St. Lawrence University), senior forward Cayley Mercer (Exeter, Ont./Clarkson University), junior forward Annie Pankowski (Laguna Hills, Calif./University of Wisconsin), junior forward Kelly Pannek (Plymouth, Minn./University of Minnesota), sophomore forward Sarah Potomak (Aldergrove, B.C./University of Minnesota), senior forward Lara Stalder (Luzern, Switzerland/University of Minnesota Duluth) and senior forward Brooke Webster (Aurora, Ont./St. Lawrence 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 multiple 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 2017 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 representative of USA Hockey, the national governing body for the sport of ice hockey in the United States. The top-three finalists will be announced on Thursday, March 2.

Tickets to the 2017 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award Ceremony and Brunch can be purchased at 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: Seven schools are represented in the top-10, including two finalists each for St. Lawrence University, University of Minnesota and the University of Wisconsin ... Among the top-10 finalists are seven forwards, two defensemen and one goaltender, including five seniors, four juniors and one sophomore ... The Western Collegiate Hockey Association leads all conferences with five finalists, while ECAC Hockey boasts four finalists and the Hockey East Association has one finalist.

2017 Patty Kazmaier Award Top-10 Finalists

Name School Pos. Year
Ann-Renee Desbiens University of Wisconsin G Senior
Megan Keller Boston College D Junior
Kelsey Koelzer Princeton University D Senior
Kennedy Marchment St. Lawrence University F Junior
Cayley Mercer Clarkson University F Senior
Annie Pankowski University of Wisconsin F Junior
Kelly Pannek University of Minnesota F Junior
Sarah Potomak University of Minnesota F Sophomore
Lara Stalder University of Minnesota Duluth F Senior
Brooke Webster St. Lawrence University F Senior

Ann-Renee Desbiens

Goaltender • University of Wisconsin • Senior • La Malbaie, Que.

Leads the NCAA in save percentage (.961), goals-against average (0.74), wins (23) and shutouts (13) ... Has a 23-1-4 record in net for UW this season, which includes a 6-1-3 record against ranked teams ... Winning percentage of .893 paces the country ... Named WCHA Defensive Player of the Month for January ... Named American Sports Network Player of the Week on Nov. 8 after breaking the NCAA career shutout record ... Named WCHA Defensive Player of the Week on Nov. 8, Jan. 17 and Feb. 21 ... Accepted in the Wisconsin School of Business to begin her Integrated Master of Accountancy degree ... Volunteers with the Badger Life program and at the Veterans hospital.

Megan Keller

Defense • Boston College • Junior • Farmington Hills, Mich.

Leads all NCAA defenseman in points (31), points per game (1.07) and assists (24) in 29 games ... Tied for 11th among all skaters in assists ... Sixth in Hockey East scoring with 27 points, holds the conference lead in assists (21 in 20 games) and is tops in plus-minus (+25) ... Part to the Eagles defense that ranks fifth nationally and leads Hockey East with 1.67 goals allowed per game, 22.78 shots allowed per game and leads the nation in penalty kill (92.5 percent) ... Has two Hockey East weekly awards this season: Defensive Player of the Week on Jan. 23 and Player of the Week on Feb. 13 ... Holds the Boston College (107 points) and Hockey East (74 points) career scoring marks for a defenseman ... Has volunteered with Newton Special Athletes, Perkins School for the Blind, Campus School, East Coast Jumbos (American Special Hockey) and Food for Families.

Kelsey Koelzer

Defense • Princeton University • Senior • Horsham, Pa.

Team captain ... Second nationally in points per game for defenders averaging 0.97 ppg with 28 points in 29 games ... Tied for first among all ECAC defenders in conference games with 22 points in 22 games ... Tied for the most assists in conference play as a defender (17) ... Three points away from tallying her 100th career point ... Has had a point in 19 of Princeton’s 29 games and the team is 5-0 when she scores a goal ... Tallied a hat trick and one assist in a 4-0 shutout at Rensselaer ... Had three assists in a 4-2 win at No. 3 St. Lawrence ... Helped Princeton to its second longest unbeaten streak in school history (11 games) – and helped the Tigers set the record last year (12) ... Volunteer efforts include: Denna Laing Fund, Do It For Darin, Colon Cancer, Weapons of Mass Construction, Reading with Tigers and Team Impact.

Kennedy Marchment

Forward • St. Lawrence University • Junior • Courtice, Ont.

Ranks third nationally and second in ECAC Hockey in points (52) ... Is second in the nation and leads the ECAC in assists (34) ... Tied for third nationally and tied for first in ECAC Hockey with six game-winning goals ... Shares fifth in the nation with two shorthanded goals ... Tied for 14th nationally in goals scored (18) ... Named ECAC Hockey Player of the Week twice (Nov. 1, Jan. 24), ECAC Hockey Player of the Month for Oct. 2016, and ASN Player of the Week on Nov. 2 ... Tallied her 100th career point in her 97th game to become the eighth-fastest player to reach the century mark in program history ... Registered a point in 27 of 32 games this season ... Recorded 17 multi-point games this season, including six games with three or more points ... Has four goals and 15 assists for 19 points in 12 games against nationally-ranked opponents ... Designed and facilitated skills clinics for the canton Minor Hockey Blades Girls Hockey Program and serves within St. Lawrence’s student-run Campus Kitchens Program.

Cayley Mercer

Forward • Clarkson University • Senior • Exeter, Ont. 

Second nationally in points (53) and sixth in points per game (1.56) ... First nationally in goals with 25, tied for fourth in power-play goals with six, and tied for seventh with five game-winning goals ... Leads ECAC Hockey with 42 points and 20 goals in conference play ... Leads the conference with six power-play goals and is tied for third with 22 assists in league games ... Also leads the ECAC in shots on goal (189) ... Has 18 multi-point games this season ... Has registered a point in 29 of 34 games this season for Clarkson ... Has been named ECAC Hockey Player of the Week three times (Dec. 6, Jan. 31 and Feb. 21) and to the ECAC Hockey Weekly Honor Roll twice ... Is a co-captain at Clarkson ... Graduated as a distinct member of the Honors Society Beta Alpha Psi and is currently working towards her MBA ... . Involved with community service efforts with Potsdam Elementary School, community clean up, and helped organized the National Girls and Women's in Sport Day clinic.

Annie Pankowski

Forward • University of Wisconsin • Junior • Laguna Hills, Calif. 

Ranks third in the WCHA with 1.45 points per game, which is tied for eighth in the NCAA ...  Leads the WCHA with 20 goals and ranks fifth in the conference with 22 assists ... Her 42 points rank fourth in the WCHA ... Has 30 points (14 goals and 16 assists) in her last 16 games, helping UW to a 13-0-3 record during the span ... Has team best 14 multi-point games and six multi-goal games ... Named American Sports Network Player of the Week on Jan. 17 ... Named WCHA Offensive Player of the Week on Nov. 22 ... 2016-17 WCHA Scholar Athlete ... Has volunteered over 300 hours this year with OccuPaws, an organization that helps raise guide dogs ... Also volunteered this year at the UW Children’s Hospital, Caleb’s Pitch and the Goodman Center Community Food Pantry.

Kelly Pannek

Forward • University of Minnesota • Junior • Plymouth, Minn.

NCAA leader with 57 points, 40 assists, 1.73 points per game and 1.21 assists per game ... Tied for third in NCAA with six game-winning goals ... Tied for third in NCAA with a +38 plus-minus rating  ... WCHA leader with 44 points, 30 assists, 1.57 points per game, 1.07 assists per game, four power-play goals (tied), eight power-play assists, 12 power-play points, and 403 faceoff wins in 28 league games ... Two-time WCHA Player of the Week ... WCHA Player of the Month for November ... Became the 32nd player in Gophers history to surpass 100 career points ...  Had 44 points during a 20-game point streak ... Has at least one point in 28 of 33 games with 15 multi-point games ... Volunteer experience includes University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital, HopeKids, White Dove Foundation, Playworks, Women’s Prison Book Project, and area youth hockey associations.

Sarah Potomak

Forward • University of Minnesota • Sophomore • Aldergrove, B.C.

Second in the NCAA with a +39 plus-minus rating ... Tied for sixth in assists (29), seventh in assists per game (0.91) and tied for third in game-winning goals (6), ranks eighth in points (46) and 10th in points per game (1.44) among NCAA players ... Ranks second in assists (24), third in points (38), tied for second in plus-minus (+34); tied for third in game-winning goals (5); tied for fifth in goals (14) and tied for sixth in power-play goals (3) among WCHA players in conference games ... WCHA Offensive Player of the Month for October ... WCHA Offensive Player of the Week ... Became 34th player in Gophers history to reach 100 career points ... Scored first career hat trick in 3-2 win at Ohio State ... Has 13 multi-point games including eight multi-assist games ... Volunteer experience includes University of Minnesota Thank-A-Thon and Gopher women’s hockey community appearances.

Lara Stalder

Forward • University of Minnesota Duluth • Senior • Luzern, Switzerland

Tied for fourth in the NCAA in points per game (1.57), tied for ninth in goals per game (0.63) in 30 games, and sixth in assists per game (0.93) ... Tied for the most game-winning goals (7) in the nation ... Ranks second in the WCHA in points (47), tied for second in goals (19) and third in the league with 28 assists ... Earned the first-ever Women’s Hockey Association Player of the Month for January 2017 ... Named the WCHA’s Offensive Player of the Month for January 2017 ... Four-time WCHA Offensive Player of the Week on Oct. 11, Jan. 17, Jan. 24 and Jan. 31 ... 2016-17 WCHA Scholar Athlete ... Participated and Volunteered in the Udac Inc. Walk-a-Mile In Our Shoes fundraiser that provides an exercise environment for people of all abilities, UMD Athletics skating party and Laura MacArthur Elementary School outreach program and Skate with the Bulldogs.

Brooke Webster

Forward • St. Lawrence University • Senior • Aurora, Ont. 

Ranks fourth nationally and third in ECAC Hockey in points (51) ... Is third nationally and second in ECAC Hockey in assists (31) ... Ranks third in ECAC Hockey and is tied for sixth nationally in goals scored (20) ... Tied for fifth in ECAC Hockey with four game-winning goals ... Named ECAC Hockey Player of the Week on Oct. 4 ... Leads the team with nine goals and 19 points in 12 games against nationally-ranked opponents ... Started the season with a 15-game point streak and has only been kept off the scoresheet in three of the Saints’ 32 games this season ... Recorded 17 multi-point games this season, including five games with three or more points ... Participates in St. Lawrence University’s Community Based Learning program ... Volunteers for the student-run Campus Kitchens Program ... Serves as a mentor with the Canton Minor Hockey Blades girls hockey program.

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.

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.

Kaz Watch Articles

Junior forward Abbey Murphy taps the gloves of her teammates after scoring in her white and maroon Minnesota jersey.
St. Lawrence junior Abby Hustler skates down the ice in her white, black, and red jersey