College women's hockey: Madison native Amanda Kessel wins Patty Kazmaier Award

2013-03-24T09:56:00Z College women's hockey: Madison native Amanda Kessel wins Patty Kazmaier AwardMadison.com Sports madison.com
March 24, 2013 9:56 am  • 

University of Minnesota junior Amanda Kessel was awarded the 2013 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award today by The USA Hockey Foundation.

Kessel is the 16th recipient on the prestigious award and the second Golden Gopher to receive the accolade.

Kessel, a forward from Madison, leads the nation in all major offensive categories, including points (97), goals (44), assists (53) and short-handed goals (5). This season, Kessel became the 24th player in NCAA history to reach 200-career points and only the ninth player to do so in three seasons. She is three points away from becoming only the fourth player in NCAA history to reach 100 points in a single season.

The Gophers (40-0) have a 48-game winning streak entering today's 3 p.m. NCAA Championship game against Boston University at Ridder Arena.

“Amanda is having an historic season, and her domination on the ice this year has been nothing short of phenomenal,” Minnesota coach Brad Frost. “The number of points that she has compiled is just one indication of her impact on our team. She is proving to be the most dynamic offensive threat in all of NCAA women's hockey, but her contribution goes much farther than that.

"She has grown into a complete two-way player, playing at an elite level in the defensive zone, on the penalty kill and certainly in the offensive zone. Her domination of most offensive statistical categories speaks for itself.”

The former Shattuck-St. Mary’s prep star put together a 40-game point streak, which dated back to last season. She has scored in 33 of the 36 games she has played in. This season she has posted 11 games with at least four points and 20 contests with at least three.

Earlier this week, Kessel was tagged a First Team All-American by the American Hockey Coaches Association. The junior was also named the WCHA Player of the Year and an All-WCHA First Team honoree.

Off the ice, Kessel is active in the local community and volunteers her time at places such as HopeKids, Feed My Starving Children, Amplatz Children's Hospital and several local elementary schools.

Kessel joins former Gopher Krissy Wendell as the only Minnesota players to hoist the Patty Kazmaier Award. Wendell won the honor in 2005; the same year she helped guide the Maroon & Gold to their second NCAA National Championship.

Seniors Megan Bozek and Noora Raty were alongside Kessel for the award announcement, as they were voted as Top-3 Finalists for the award. It was the first time in Patty Kazmaier history that the finalists were all from the same school.

Bozek, Kessel and Räty lead the Gophers into their second NCAA National Championship game in as many years tomorrow afternoon at 3 p.m. versus Boston University. Minnesota, who is 40-0-0 on the year and on an NCAA record 48-game winning streak, advanced to the final game by defeating Boston College, 3-2, in overtime. BU beat Mercyhurst, 4-1, to advance to the national championship.

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