USA Hockey announced on Thursday the three finalists for the Patty Kazmaier Award, and Boston College fans will once again notice a very familiar name.
BC Women’s Hockey freshman Daryl Watts was named as one of the finalists, joining Boston University senior Victoria Bach and Clarkson University junior Loren Gabel as the three players named. All three players hail from Ontario, Canada.
Daryl Watts leads the nation in most statistical categories, and is the only player in the country to have topped 80 points this season with a ridiculous 41-40—80 line. Bach and Gabel sit well below her at 39-28—67 and 33-36—39, respectively. Watts is the only player to have topped 40 goals, and is second in assists behind only her teammate, Caitrin Lonergan.
There is no re-vote between the announcement of the top three and the announcement of the winner, so there’s nothing any of the players can do to help their case to win the award.
A Daryl Watts win would be historical. No freshman or sophomore has ever won the award in its 21 year history, and a freshman has only made the final twice ever before this year — Mercyhurst’s Meghan Agosta in 2007 and Minnesota’s Noora Räty in 2010. Interestingly, neither of those players went on to win the award during their college careers.
But while a freshman winning the award would be unprecedented, it would be more accurate to say that a freshman has just never been the best player in the country before. That was the case this year, so we just may have our shot at witnessing history.
The Patty Kazmaier Award will be announced on Saturday, March 17th at the University of Minnesota as part of Women’s Frozen Four weekend. Congratulations to Daryl as she sets out to be the first freshman ever to be recognized for the award!