This year the Patty Kazmaier Finalists are reining winner forward Alex Carpenter of Boston College, Wisconsin’s goalie Ann-Renee Desbiens, and Northeastern’s star forward Kendall Coyne.
Carpenter won this award last year after having a very similar campaign to her efforts this year. No player has won the award in concurrent seasons, but Jennifer Botterill did win it twice. She currently has 85 points, for an average of 2.18 per game, good for second in the country. She is second in both goals and assists.
The best thing going for her is also her biggest detraction. Her team is incredibly deep. This has taken away some of her opportunity to score but has mostly helped keeping her fresher longer and preventing teams from completely focusing on her. However some can argue that she receives some of her points as a result of her talented teammates. This argument is bolstered by the fact that her sometimes line mate Haley Skarupa leads the nation in assists and is third in goals. This argument can be mostly thrown out the window if you just see her play, however. Her electric play and filthy moves have been a constant problem for opponents over her four years.
Odds of Winning: 5%
She clearly deserved this award last year but has been slightly upstaged by both Desbiens and Coyne on the season.
Before delving into Desbiens’ stats, the last time a goalie won this award was 2009 when another Badger goalie won, Jesse Vetter. The only other goalie to win was Brown’s Ali Brewer in 2000, who also happened to be a Wisconsin native. In the meantime, there have been a number of qualified goalies nominated who haven’t won, such as Noora Raty, Molly Schaus, and Florence Schelling
Desbiens’ season has been record setting with 21 shutouts on the season in 36 games. She has only allowed 26 goals, only three times has the goal total reached three or more, which happen to be her only three losses on the season. Again some of these numbers can be attributed to the amazing talent in front of her. The low goals allowed can be more so, but the number of shutouts is flat out impressive. Even great goalies with good defenses typically have those goals they want back. Desbiens has found a way to keep those goals away and has given her a great chance for this award.
Odds of Winning: 10%
Unfortunately for her, this award was voted on after the conference quarterfinals. She recorded a pair of shutouts that weekend against Minnesota State but then went on to record shutouts in the conference semifinals and finals along with her NCAA quarterfinal match up. If those results had been factored in, like many argue she would most likely be the favorite.
Most of the season, Coyne has been viewed as the front-runner for this award, and for good reason. She is the clear MVP for Northeastern, while there is plenty of talent on the team she shines very brightly. Her ability to take over a game has brought the Huskies back to relevancy in a national sense after the program struggled for a long time, while the rebuilding had clearly started before her arrival her presence was the cap stone.
This season her numbers have been phenomenal. Both her and Carpenter have been going back and forth all season for the points lead. Coyne finished her season atop the goals leaderboard with 50 and edged out Carpenter in points per game having played in one less game when she left for 4 Nations and Northeastern’s loss in the WHEA semifinals. Coyne had four hat tricks, including one in the playoffs against Providence, and nine games of at least four points. She also led the nation in short handed goals with five.
Odds to Win: 85%
Her numbers have been phenomenal. She is a clear MVP for her team. And she fulfills all the other criteria for the award. The percentage would be a lot lower if the voting had happened later with Desbiens phenomenal performance in the post season, but it didn’t and this award should be Coyne’s to lose.
The award will be awarded on Saturday morning at 9:30 at Wentworth By The Sea in New Castle, New Hampshire.