The Wisconsin Badgers are having a bit of a moment on the ice. The men’s team won the Big Ten regular season title and will hear where they are seeded in the NCAA Tournament on Sunday. The women’s team won the WCHA regular season title, the WCHA Final Five tournament and are now preparing to play in their seventh consecutive Frozen Four.
The individual awards have also been coming fast and furiously. Cole Caufield was named Big Ten Player of the Year, Daryl Watts was named WCHA Player and Forward of the Year, and both Caufield and Dylan Holloway were named first team All-Big Ten. The biggest individual prizes are still out there though.
Hobey Baker for the men and Patty Kazmaier for the women. The Badgers have two of the 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Award, in Caufield and Holloway, while Watts is one of three finalists for the Patty Kaz, as it is known. It should be noted that no school has ever won both awards in the same season.
It's the biggest individual trophy in college hockey.— Wisconsin Hockey (@BadgerMHockey) March 17, 2021
Cole Caufield and Dylan Holloway
are top-10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award#OnWisconsin || #SkatingintoSpringhttps://t.co/dlZ5GpQB8T pic.twitter.com/yyjmuLrG2g
Caufield leads the NCAA with 28 goals and 49 points in 30 games and paces the country at 1.63 points and 0.93 goals per game, the highest goal-scoring average in the country since the 2005-06 season. He also leads the nation with 10 power-play goals (for the nation’s top power play unit), ranks second with five game-winning goals and sits seventh with 21 assists. He, obviously, won the Big Ten scoring title (for the second straight year) and was named first team All-Big Ten.
Holloway is tied for fourth in the nation with 34 points on 11 goals and 23 assists, Holloway ranks third in the nation with a 1.55 points-per-game scoring average. He had a strange season, as he missed eight games near the beginning of the year so that he could join Team Canada’s World Juniors camp, but he didn’t seem to miss a beat once he returned to Madison, winning the Hockey Commissioners’ Association National Player of the Month for February.
Caufield and Holloway become the 13th and 14th top-10 Hobey finalists for Wisconsin and first since goaltender Joel Rumpel in 2014. They’ll be looking to win the second award for the Badgers and first since forward Blake Geoffrion did in 2010. The award candidates will be cut down to the “Hobey Hat Trick” on April 1, with the winner announced on April 9.
Watts is looking to become the second player in the history of the award to win it multiple times, as she won the 2018 award during her freshman year at Boston College. Jennifer Botterill won the Patty Kaz in 2001 and 2003 while playing for Harvard.
She has been dominant this season for the Badgers leading the WCHA in points with 34 and scoring 1.79 points-per-game which leads all NCAA skaters while her 17 goals are tied for the most in the country. She also has scored four game-winning goals which is second in the nation.
Watts is the eighth Badger to be named a top-three finalist, joining the likes of Sara Bauer (2006*, 2007), Jessie Vetter (2009*), Meghan Duggan (2011*), Brianna Decker (2012*), Ann-Renee Desbiens (2016, 2017*), Annie Pankowski (2019) and Abby Roque (2020) and she hopes to be the sixth Badger to win.
We’ll find out if she wins on Saturday, March 27, when USA Hockey announces the Patty Kaz winner. The ceremony will be shown live on NHL Network.