Four Women's Hockey Players Nominated for Kazmaier Award

Published by Kate Leist on February 18, 2010 at 10:10PM

Continuing a storied Harvard tradition, four women’s hockey players have been nominated for the 2010 Patty Kazmaier Award, given annually to the best player in collegiate women’s hockey.

Senior Christina Kessler and juniors Kate Buesser, Liza Ryabkina, and Leanna Coskren are among 45 nominees for the award. The list of nominees was released by USA Hockey today.

Kessler, a goaltender, finished her career with the Crimson career wins and shutouts records, as well as the NCAA career save percentage record. The senior held a 9-3-3 record this season before her year was ended with an ACL injury in January, but she still ranks fifth nationally in save percentage (.944) and sixth in goals-against average (1.39).

Buesser, a forward, is Harvard’s leading scorer this season, tallying 33 points on 13 goals and 20 assists. She ranks second among ECAC players with 30 conference points, and stands 19th nationally with 1.22 points per game.

Ryabkina has been an offensive force since returning from a dislocated knee in late November, scoring 11 goals in 18 games. Five of those goals came in the Beanpot, and the winger was named tournament MVP for her efforts. Ryabkina’s four game-winning goals are good for eighth in the country.

Coskren’s 16 points are tops among Crimson defenders, and her 15 conference points are third-best among ECAC blueliners. The majority of Coskren’s offensive production has come on the power play, and she is tied for first in conference play with 10 power-play points. The junior also anchors Harvard’s defense, which ranks second nationally with 1.44 goals allowed per game.

The Kazmaier Award has gone to a Crimson player six times in its 12-year history. A.J. Mleczko ’97-’99, Jennifer Botterill ’02-’03, Angela Ruggiero ’02-’04, Julie Chu ’06-’07, and Sarah Vaillancourt ’08-’09 are Harvard’s previous winners, with Botterill taking the trophy twice.

The top 10 finalists for the award will be announced on March 2. The Kazmaier trophy will be presented on March 20 in Minneapolis, Minn. in conjunction with the 2010 NCAA Frozen Four.