DULUTH, Minn. -- Wisconsin junior forward Brianna Decker has been named the recipient of the 2012 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, USA Hockey announced on Saturday. The award is given annually to the top female hockey player in the nation.
Decker accepted the 15th annual award at a brunch ceremony at the Greysolon Ballroom in Duluth, Minn., in conjunction with the 2012 NCAA Women's Frozen Four.
The Dousman, Wis., native is the fourth Badger to win the award, joining Sara Bauer (2006), Jessie Vetter (2009) and Meghan Duggan (2011).
Along with Decker, fellow top-three finalists Jocelyne Lamoureux of North Dakota and Florence Schelling of Northeastern were honored at the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award ceremony. The top 10 finalists were also recognized, including fellow Badger Hilary Knight.
Selection criteria for the Patty Kazmaier Award includes outstanding individual and team skills, sportsmanship, performance in the clutch, personal character, competitiveness and a love of hockey. Consideration is also given to academic achievement and civic involvement.
Decker was also named a CCM Division I Women's Hockey All-American by the American Hockey Coaches Association earlier this week. Additionally, she was named the 2012 WCHA Player of the Year and is an All-WCHA First Team honoree.
Decker leads the nation in goals with 37 and is tied for the national lead in points with 82. Earlier this year, she set the program's record for longest scoring streak at 32 consecutive games, recording at least one point in every game between Feb. 11, 2011 and Jan. 6, 2012. She has also recorded 26 multi-point games, 13 multi-assist games and nine multi-goal games this season. Decker sits fourth all-time at UW with 189 career points.
The Badgers defeated Boston College, 6-2, in the 2012 NCAA Women's Frozen Four semifinal round Friday. Wisconsin will take on Minnesota in the national championship game at 3 p.m. (CT) Sunday.
About the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award An award of The USA Hockey Foundation, the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award recognizes the accomplishments of the most outstanding player in NCAA Division I women's ice hockey each season. Selection criteria includes outstanding individual and team skills, sportsmanship, performance in the clutch, personal character, competitiveness and a love of hockey. Consideration is also given to academic achievement and civic involvement.
About Patty Kazmaier The Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award is named in honor of the late Patty Kazmaier, who was a four-year varsity letter-winner and All-Ivy League defenseman 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.