We’ve reached the holiday break and though there is plenty of time left in the NCAA Division I women’s hockey season, a good chunk of games has been played so far and the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award race is in full swing. Here’s a list of 13 players who are making big impacts this season and are in the running for the prestigious award.
Erin Ambrose, Sophomore, Defenseman, Clarkson: Ambrose is 13th in the country in scoring and first among defensemen with nine goals, 15 assists, and 24 points. She has only built on a fantastic rookie year and is on pace to surpass her point totals from last season. She was a huge help to the Golden Knights last year, but she’s been invaluable to the team this year. Her ability to make things happen offensively from the back-end is second to none.
Kelly Babstock, Senior, Forward, Quinnipiac: First in the nation in scoring heading into the holiday break, Babstock has been nothing short of outstanding for the Bobcats. She currently has 12 goals and 22 assists for 34 points in 21 games. She creates chances for both herself and her teammates every single shift. Despite playing huge minutes in all situations, Babstock has been the country’s most dominant forward so far this year.
Christine Bestland, Senior, Forward, Mercyhurst: The Lakers have had some struggles this season, but it’s hard to ignore what Bestland herself has done. She’s tied for second in the nation in scoring with 33 points, coming off of 13 goals and 20 assists in 21 games. She’s brought consistency and focus as a senior leader, and the production speaks for itself.
Rachael Bona, Junior, Forward, Minnesota: She’s developed into a force up front thanks to her blend of speed and skill. She’s tied with Bestland and teammate Hannah Brandt for second in the national scoring race, having posted 11 goals, 22 assists, and 33 points. The Gophers are a balanced team, but Bona in particular has stepped up for them when they’ve needed an answer from someone.
Hannah Brandt, Sophomore, Forward, Minnesota: She got off to a bit of a slow start scoring-wise, but with Amanda Kessel out of the picture, much of the focus of opposing teams has been on her. Brandt has steadily risen to the challenge, posting 10 goals and 23 assists for 33 points, good enough to tie her for second in the country despite always facing tough competition.
Brittany Howard, Freshman, Forward, Robert Morris: Howard’s play has been integral to the Colonials’ success this year. Although she’s just a rookie, she’s stepped in and become a key factor for Robert Morris up front. She has 12 goals, 17 assists, and 29 points in 19 games so far. She’s made an impact right away and has helped lift her squad into the national spotlight.
Sarah Lefort, Sophomore, Forward, Boston University: Lefort only has one year of experience but she’s already being counted on as a leader for the Terriers, who lost three of their top scorers from last season. She’s easily one of the most talented players in Hockey East and she’s had no problems showing it. She’s tied for the national lead in goals with 15 and is tied for ninth in scoring with 25 points in 18 games.
Emerance Maschmeyer, Sophomore, Goaltender, Harvard: She is by far the biggest reason for Harvard’s success this year, and it shows in her numbers. She is 7-1-2 with a 1.08 goals against average and the highest save percentage in the country at .964 percent. She’s been incredibly solid despite playing behind a young, shaky defense.
Rachel Ramsey, Junior, Defenseman, Minnesota: Ramsey has grown into a very dependable top-pairing defenseman at both ends of the rink. She’s had to step up as the leader on the blue line for the Gophers and is doing a great job of it. She’s tallied seven goals, 11 assists, and 18 points in 20 games this season.
Jamie Lee Rattray, Senior, Forward, Clarkson: Rattray is doing it all for the Golden Knights this year, headlined by some potent production. She currently has 15 goals and 15 assists in 20 games this season, which puts her fifth nationally with 30 points. She’s been lights out since November 1st, scoring 19 points in 11 games since then.
Alex Rigsby, Senior, Goaltender, Wisconsin: Rigsby has helped Wisconsin’s defense establish itself as one of the nation’s best. She has an 8-2-2 record, a .958 save percentage, and a 1.03 goals against average. No matter the quality or quantity of chances she faces, she is always up to task and her presence in net is a huge confidence boost for the Badgers.
Cydney Roesler, Sophomore, Defenseman, Quinnipiac: Roesler has quietly been one of the best overall defensemen in the country, and perhaps the best from a defensive standpoint. She has excelled in a shutdown role this year, regularly containing the opponent’s top players. She’s also taken a step forward offensively, posting one goal and nine assists so far in 21 games.
Haley Skarupa, Sophomore, Forward, Boston College: She’s done a great job so far of stepping up in Alex Carpenter’s absence and taking control of the Eagles’ offense. She’s gone a bit quiet in her last five games but she was electric for a considerable part of the season and is tied for ninth nationally in scoring with 25 points, coming off of her 13 goals and 12 assists.