So why did the ESPY Awards choose Nicole Corriero to represent women’s hockey in the category of Best College Female Athlete?
“I wonder that myself!” exclaims Corriero. “I mean, I can think of a bunch of other top hockey players, or top collegiate athletes who could have been there instead of me. I guess, in the end, it came down to bra size, and as we know, I pretty much have them all beat.”
The forward nicknamed “Cleave” by her teammates will have the opportunity to test out that theory when she heads to the Playboy Mansion in L.A. for a pre-award show party the night before the show for celebrities and ESPY nominees.
Although the venue will offer a host of potential clientele for the aspiring lawyer, there’s one celebrity in particular whom Corriero’s hoping to meet—Kiefer Sutherland, who plays Agent Jack Bauer on her favorite TV show, “24.”
“All I want him to say is ‘the following award presentation takes place between 9:30 and 9:31 p.m.,’” Corriero says. “It actually doesn’t even have to be for my award.”
Sutherland has presented in the past, however, so the possibility remains. For extra luck—both to receive the award and meet Sutherland—Corriero has turned to long-time friend and teammate Ashley Banfield, just as she has throughout her career.
“When we were 13 years old, whenever I got a new stick or a new blade, or was in a scoring rut, I’d give my stick to her, and she’d give it a little ‘magic,’” Corriero says. “It sounds corny, but we’ve done it ever since. Anyways, I think its only fair to say that that played a huge part in my success this year.”
”For good luck in the ESPYs, I mailed Ash a Ray Bourque bobblehead. Why? No idea. It just felt like the right thing to do,” she says.
While she has to leave such matters to fate and lady luck (and as many fan votes as she can get), some things will take care of themselves. The ESPY’s, for instance, will provide Corriero’s outfit for the award show.
“I can walk down the red carpet and tell reporters, ‘I’m wearing Calvin Klein,’ and they can turn to the cameramen and say, ‘Who the hell was she?’”
In case they don’t know, here’s the case for Corriero—one final time.
MAGIC STICK, MAGIC MIC
The ESPY Awards, created in 1993, “commemorate the past year in sports by recognizing major sports achievements, reliving unforgettable moments and saluting the leading performers and performances.”
No one put on a performance quite like Nicole Corriero during the 2004-2005 season.
Minnesota line-mates Krissy Wendell—the Kazmaier winner—and Natalie Darwitz—the Frozen Four MVP—finished ahead of Corriero in total points scored, but the Crimson captain grabbed the headlines by breaking the single-season record for goals scored, hitting the back of the net 59 times.