BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – March 18, 2021 – Two of the top players in the Women's League of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association are among the Top-Three finalists for the 2021 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award announced today by the USA Hockey Foundation.
Seniors Daryl Watts of Wisconsin and Grace Zumwinkle of Minnesota are two of the three candidates for the top honor in women's collegiate hockey.
With this year's selections, the WCHA has had at least one top-three finalist in 20 of the last 21 seasons at has had at least two players named six times, including 2005 and 2013 when all three finalists hailed from the WCHA.
Watts, the 2020-21 WCHA Player of the Year, has potted 17 goals and 17 assists for 34 points to lead the WCHA and rank second nationally in point scoring. She is one of only 16 skaters to record a hat trick in 2020-21. The Toronto, Ont., native boasts the best points per game (1.79) and goals per game average (0.89) of any player who has played more than two games. She headlines a Badgers offense that ranks fourth in the nation and has tallied two crucial game-winning overtime goals for Wisconsin, including the Julianne Bye Cup clincher against Minnesota Duluth in the final game of the regular season. She saw herself named the WCHA Forward of the Week three times this season as well as the WCHA Forward of the Month in January. Watts was the 2018 Patty Kazmaier winner as a freshman at Boston College and was a Top-10 finalist a year ago.
Zumwinkle, a first-team All-WCHA selection this season, registered 24 points on 17 goals and seven assists this season to share the WCHA and national goal-scoring lead with Watts and rank No. 2 in the league and eighth nationally in scoring. The Excelsior, Minn., native also shares the WCHA lead in in game-winning goals with four and finished second in the league with 108 shots on goal, which is currently tied for fourth nationally. Her 0.85 goals per game average ranks second nationally among players who played in more than two games this season. She is also one of 16 skaters to record a hat trick this season. Zumwinkle was tabbed the WCHA Forward of the Week twice this season and was the league's Forward of the Month in November.
Aerin Frankel of Northeastern is the third finalist for the award this season. The winner of the 2021 Patty Kazmaier Award will be revealed on March 27.
About the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Women's League
The Women's League of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association is marking its 22nd season in 2020-21. The nation's premier women's hockey conference, WCHA member institutions have won a record 17 national championships since the league's inception in 1999 (including 16 of a possible 19 NCAA titles), while producing seven Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award winners, 105 All-Americans and numerous Olympic and national team members. The seven-team, NCAA Division I conference consists of: Bemidji State University (Beavers), the University of Minnesota (Golden Gophers), the University of Minnesota Duluth (Bulldogs), Minnesota State University (Mavericks), The Ohio State University (Buckeyes), St. Cloud State University (Huskies) and the University of Wisconsin (Badgers). The WCHA will grow to eight members with the addition of the University of St. Thomas (Tommies) beginning with the 2021-22 season. For more information, visit wcha.com.