On Thursday, the USA Hockey Foundation revealed the top-10 finalists for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, given out for the past 25 years to the top player in NCAA Division 1 women’s hockey. There are two Wisconsin Badgers on that list this year: sophomore forward Casey O’Brien and fifth year senior forward Daryl Watts. It is worth noting that O’Brien is the only underclassman on the list.
This also marks the third-straight year UW has had multiple honorees in the top-10 and the seventh-straight year Wisconsin has had a top-10 finalist for the honor.
Two of the best in the country.— Wisconsin Hockey (@BadgerWHockey) March 3, 2022
Congrats to @casey_obrien5 and @DarylWatts19 on being named top-10 finalists for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award!
https://t.co/pvabIQuTMB#Badgers || #OnWisconsin pic.twitter.com/Ih7s9Mk36b
This is Watts’ fourth time making the top-10 for the Patty Kaz and she is looking for her second trophy, after winning the award as a freshman in 2018 at Boston College. Watts is only the seventh player, and first Badger, in the 25-year history of the award to be a four-time finalist.
Watts ranks second in the country in scoring with 56 points thanks to 27 goals and 29 assists. Her 27 goals rank third in the country while her 199 shots on target are also the second-best mark in the NCAA. She is also seven points away from matching Mercyhurst’s Meghan Agosta’s (one of the players who was a four-time top-10 finalist) NCAA record of 303 career points.
A first-time top-10 finalist for the #PattyKaz, @casey_obrien5 ranks fourth in the NCAA in goals with 26 while her nine game-winning goals pace the country!#OB4PK || #OnWisconsin pic.twitter.com/97ux9Y4T5B— Wisconsin Hockey (@BadgerWHockey) March 3, 2022
O’Brien ranks fourth in the country in goals this year with 26 while her 54 points are tied for the fifth-most in the country. When it comes to winning time, O’Brien is who you want on the ice as she has a nation-leading nine game-winning goals this season.
Wisconsin hasn’t won the award since 2017, but they have won it five times with Sara Bauer (2006), Jessie Vetter (2009), Meghan Duggan (2011), Brianna Decker (2012) and Ann-Renee Desbiens (2017) all taking home Patty Kaz. UW’s five winners are the second-most of any program in the country.
The top-three finalists are expected to be announced on Thursday, March 17 and the presentation of the 2022 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award is scheduled for Saturday, March 26.
The No. 4 Badgers head to Minneapolis for the 2022 WCHA Final Faceoff to take on No. 2 Ohio State in the semifinals. Puck drop on Saturday is set for 4 p.m. CT and fans that can’t make it to Ridder Arena can watch the game live on TVW in the Madison area.