March 1, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio State women's hockey senior forward Natalie Spooner is a Top 10 finalist for the 2012 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, USA Hockey announced Thursday. Spooner is the fifth Buckeye to be named a finalist to the award that honors the top NCAA Division I women's college hockey student-athlete.
“I’m humbled to be among a group of such talented and strong women,” Spooner said. “My accomplishments would not have been possible if not for great teammates who support me on the ice and coaches who have helped guide me along the way. The depth and ability of the players on the list is a testament to how great women’s college hockey is today and I’m proud to have been a part of it as a Buckeye.”
Ohio State has had a finalist for the award now six times, including defenseman Tessa Bonhomme twice in 2007 and 2008, Jana Harrigan in 2006 and both Jeni Creary and Emma Laaksonen in 2002.
“Natalie is, without question, the most dominant player in our game,” Nate Handrahan, head women’s hockey coach, said. “She contributed to over 30 percent of our total goals and missed games. She is a fantastic citizen and student along with having a great team personality. Natalie is very deserving of being on this list of top ten players in the country and being in the discussion as the best.”
The 10 finalists for the award will be reduced to three finalists to be announced March 8. The three are chosen by a 13-member selection committee comprised of NCAA Division I women's ice hockey coaches, representatives of print and broadcast media and a representative of USA Hockey. The winner of the 2012 Patty Kazmeier Memorial Award will be announced March 17 in conjunction with the NCAA Women's Frozen Four in Duluth, Minn
Spooner, a native of Scarborough, Ontario, was named an assistant captain for Ohio State this season and finished her final year with a career-best 50 points to lead the team. She totaled 31 goals over 34 games played and set a new Ohio State record for most goals in a season by any Buckeye. In WCHA play, Spooner tallied 39 points on 25 goals and 14 assists. Her 25 goals finished second in the league.
Nationally, Spooner ranks among the top-5 with a 0.91 goals per game average and is tied for first nationally with 12 power play goals this season. She totaled 20 power play points on 12 goals and eight assists to rank tied for fifth in the WCHA and lead the team. Spooner finished with eight power play goals during the WCHA season to finish third in the league.
She concluded her career at Ohio State on top of four program record lists. Along with her season goals record, she set the Ohio State career record in goals scored on Jan. 7, 2012 and finished her four years with 100. Spooner broke the program record in career goals vs. WCHA opponents on Oct. 14, 2011 and has 75 in her career. Her 163 career points ranks second all time in the program's history and her 16 game-winning goals over four years is a program best.
Spooner was named WCHA Offensive Player of the week three times this season. She had a team-best 16 multiple-point games this year and finished with three hat tricks on the season, including two four-goal games. She totaled nine multiple-goal games and four multiple-assist games this year.
2012 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award Top 10 Finalists
Bailey Bram, Sr., F, Mercyhurst College
Brianna Decker, Jr., F, University of Wisconsin
Laura Fontino, Jr., D, Cornell University
Rebecca Johnston, Sr., F, Cornell University
Amanda Kessel, So., F, University of Minnesota
Hilary Knight, Sr., F, University of Wisconsin
Jocelyne Lamoureaux, Jr., F, University of North Dakota
Monique Lamoureaux-Kolls, Jr., F/D, University of North Dakota
Florence Schelling, Sr., G, Northeastern University
Natalie Spooner, Sr., F, Ohio State University
ABOUT THE PATTY KAZMAIER MEMORIAL AWARD
An award of The USA Hockey Foundation, the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award recognizes the accomplishments of the most outstanding player in NCAA Division I women's ice hockey each season. Other selection criteria include outstanding individual and team skills, sportsmanship, performance in the clutch, personal character, competitiveness and a love of hockey. Consideration is also given for 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 letterwinner and All-Ivy League defenseman for 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.