BOSTON – Team USA goalkeeper Jessie Vetter from the University of Wisconsin is the 2009 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award winner. In its 12th year, the award is presented annually by the USA Hockey Foundation to the top player in NCAA Division I women’s ice hockey.
Vetter received the award on Saturday at a brunch ceremony at the Royal Sonesta Hotel Boston. She was chosen from a group of three finalists that also included Meghan Agosta, a junior forward from Mercyhurst College, and Sarah Vaillancourt, a senior forward from Harvard University.
"Jessie is the backbone of our team and without her, similar to our last three seasons, we wouldn't be where we are today," said Wisconsin head coach Mark Johnson. "She has certainly proven that she is not only the best goaltender at the collegiate level but internationally as well."
Vetter has backstopped the Badgers to unprecedented success throughout her career. She has been between the pipes for all but one game this season and has posted 31 wins, including last night's 5-1 victory over the University of Minnesota Duluth to send Wisconsin to the NCAA championship game for a fourth straight year. Her efforts helped the Badgers garner a No. 1 ranking for 13 weeks of the regular season.
Vetter’s 13 shutouts in 2008-09 set a new NCAA record, while her 38 career shutouts and 89 wins also both rank tops in the NCAA. She has started the last three NCAA championship games and is 9-1-0 in NCAA tournament action going into Sunday's game.
The Badger alternate captain holds a 31-2-5 record and leads the nation with a 94.0 save percentage and 2281:55 minutes played. She ranks second overall with a 1.29 goals-against average and her 88.5 winning percentage is fourth in the NCAA.
The Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award is named in honour of the late Patty Kazmaier, who was a four-year varsity letter-winner and All-Ivy League defender for Princeton University from 1981-86. An accomplished athlete who helped lead the Tigers to the Ivy League Championship in three consecutive seasons (1981-84), Patty Kazmaier-Sandt died on Feb. 15, 1990, at the age of 28 following a long struggle with a rare blood disease.