WCHA Has Two Of Top-Three Finalists For 2017 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award
Wisconsin goaltender Ann-Renée Desbiens and Minnesota Duluth forward Lara Stalder in the running for college hockey's top individual honor
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Wisconsin goaltender Ann-Renée Desbiens and Minnesota Duluth forward Lara Stalder in the running for college hockey's top individual honor

EDINA, Minn. – March 2, 2017 – The women's Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) is honored to have two of the top-three finalists for the 2017 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, as Wisconsin senior goaltender Ann-Renée Desbiens and Minnesota Duluth senior forward Lara Stalder were among those named today by the USA Hockey Foundation.

Desbiens is a top-three finalist for the second-consecutive year, the last two seasons of her remarkable and record-setting career in the Wisconsin net. Stalder, who has helped the Bulldogs climb to No. 2 in the national polls, is Minnesota Duluth's first top-three finalist since the 2007-08 season


Ann-Renée Desbiens, Senior, Goaltender, Wisconsin (La Malbaie, Québec)

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..


Lara Stalder, Senior, Forward, Minnesota Duluth (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.


The 2017 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award will be presented at a brunch ceremony at the Foundry Arts Centre in St. Charles, Missouri, on Sat., March 18, as part of the NCAA Women's Frozen Four weekend hosted by Lindenwood University. The award, which is in its 20th year, is presented annually to the top player in NCAA Division I women's ice hockey.

The selection process commenced in early February 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 three finalists, including the recipient of the 2017 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, were then 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 a representative of USA Hockey, the national governing body for the sport of ice hockey in the United States. The independent accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP, tabulated the ballots.

The WCHA has been honored with six recipients of the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award: Minnesota's Krissy Wendell in 2005, Wisconsin's Sara Bauer in 2006, Wisconsin's Jessie Vetter in 2009, Wisconsin's Meghan Duggan in 2011, Brianna Decker in 2012 and Minnesota's Amanda Kessel in 2013.

For more information, including how to buy tickets to the March 18 brunch and award ceremony, visit PattyKaz.com.


About the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award

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.


About Patty Kazmaier

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.


About the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA)

The women's Western Collegiate Hockey Association has won a record 16 national championships in 17 years since its inception in 1999, while producing six Patty Kazmaier Award winners, 86 All-Americans and numerous Olympic and international team members. The eight-team Division 1 conference consists of: Bemidji State University (Beavers), the University of Minnesota (Golden Gophers), the University of Minnesota Duluth (Bulldogs), Minnesota State University (Mavericks), the University of North Dakota, Ohio State University (Buckeyes), St. Cloud State University (Huskies) and the University of Wisconsin (Badgers). For more information, visit www.wcha.com.