On Thursday Minnesota Golden Gophers senior forward Grace Zumwinkle was named one of ten finalists for the Patty Kazmaier Award given to the top women’s hockey player in the country. She becomes the 34th finalist in Gopher history since the award began to be given out in 1998. A pair of Gophers, Krissy Wendel in 2005 and Amanda Kessel in 2013 have won the award.
Zumwinkle has been the standout scoring star for the Gophers in what has been a very balanced scoring roster this season. Zumwinkle leads Minnesota in points with 23 and in goals with 16. Her 16 goals lead the nation and she leads the WCHA and is sixth nationally in goals per game with 0.84. Her 23 points are good enough for second place in the conference. She has four game winning goals this season which leads the WCHA and has her tied for second in the country.
She is making a case for the award late in the season as she was named the WCHA Forward of the Week last week after recording eight points and four goals in a sweep of Bemidji State to end the regular season.
She is one of the four WCHA finalists of the top ten that also include Ohio State’s Emma Maltais and Wisconsin’s Sophie Shirley and Daryl Watts. Watts won the 2019 Patty Kaz award with Boston College before transferring to Wisconsin. The 2020 winner Elizabeth Giguere of Clarkson is also up for this season’s award as well.
A 13-person selection committee will pare the list of the 10 finalists to a Top 3 on March 18th. The winner will be named from that final three on March 27th.