Minnesota Women's Hockey: Hannah Brandt A Patty Kaz Finalist

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The sophomore forward has a chance to be Minnesota's third Patty Kaz Award winner.

HATS OFF to Hannah Brandt for being named to the list of 3 finalists who are vying for this year's Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award!

Sophomore forward Hannah Brandt (Vadnais Heights, Minn./University of Minnesota), senior forward Jamie Lee Rattray (Kanata, Ontario/Clarkson University) and junior forward Jillian Saulnier (Halifax, Nova Scotia/Cornell University) have been named top-three finalists for the 2014 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, it was announced today by USA Hockey.

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The three finalists, including the recipient of the 2014 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, were then chosen by a 13-person selection committee made up of NCAA Division I women's ice hockey coaches, representatives of print and broadcast media, an at-large member and a representative of USA Hockey, the national governing body for the sport of ice hockey in the United States. The independent accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP, tabulated the ballots.

As you may recall, Hannah was named to the Patty Kaz Top-10 Finalists last week along with fellow Gopher Rachel Bona. While Bona sadly did not make the final 3, the Gophers will be well represented by Brandt. Hannah continues to lead the nation in points (61), assists (40), and assists per game (1.11) while also being tied for ninth in goals (21). In conference play, she leads the WCHA in points (46) and assists (30) and is tied for second in goals (16). Will those numbers be enough to win her the Patty Kaz? She'll find out during the weekend of the Frozen Four at Quinnipiac University. She has some tough competition in Jamie Lee Rattray and Jillian Saulneir:

Rattray ranks second in the NCAA in points (57) and goals (28), and is tied for seventh in assists (29). She leads the NCAA in power-play tallies (9) and is tied for sixth nationally in game-winning markers (5). The senior forward ranks first in the ECAC in points (44), and second in the league in both goals (21) and assists (23) during league play. A three-time ECAC Player of the Month (November, December, January) and three-time ECAC Player of the Week, she has also been honored as a five-time member of the ECAC Weekly Honor Roll

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Saulnier is fifth in the NCAA in points (52), second nationally in goals-per-game (0.84), tied for third in goals (26) and 12th in assists (26). The Cornell junior leads the ECAC in goals (22) and ranks second in points (43) during conference outings while sitting in a third-place tie among ECAC skaters with 21 assists. She was named ECAC Player of the Week on Feb. 11.

If she wins, Brandt would join Amanda Kessel (2013) and Krissy Wendell (2005) as the third Gopher to be named the national player of the year for women's hockey. Whatever happens, it's a great honor to make the Top 3. Here's hoping the Gophers are able to finish the season strong and advance to the Frozen Four to (hopefully) celebrate another Minnesota Patty Kaz winner in person! The next step in that journey happens tomorrow at 7:07pm, as the Gophers take on the UMD Bulldogs in the semi-finals of the WCHA Final Face-Off in Bemidji.

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