Irwin is Kazmaier finalist; Larocque All-Defensive

By KBJR News 1

March 4, 2011 Updated Mar 4, 2011 at 12:18 AM CDT

Haley Irwin has joined some pretty select company. The junior forward from Thunder Bay, Ontario has been selected one of the 10 finalist for the 2011 Patty Kazmaier Memorial presented by Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. The award, annually bestowed upon the top player in NCAA Division I women's ice hockey, will be presented at a brunch ceremony on March 19 at the Bayfront Convention Center in Erie, Pa., in conjunction with the NCAA Women's Frozen Four (March 18 & 20).

Irwin becomes the 13th University of Minnesota Duluth top-10 selection in Bulldog program history.

Three other Western Collegiate Hockey Association players were selected in the top-10, including Meghan Duggan and Hilary Knight of Wisconsin, and goaltender Noora Raty of Minnesota.

The award selection process began in late February, when NCAA Division I women's ice hockey coaches were asked to nominate players for the award. Players who were nominated by two or more coaches were then placed on an official ballot, which was sent back to the coaches to vote for the top 10 finalists. The independent accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP, tabulated the ballots.

The three finalists, including the recipient of the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, will be chosen by a 13-member selection committee comprised of NCAA Division I women's ice hockey coaches, representatives of the 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 three finalists for this year's award will be announced on March 10.

In other Bulldog news, it took 12 seasons, but UMD has the Western Collegiate Hockey Assocation's Defensive Player of the Year in the form of Jocelyne Larocque.

The senior blueliner from Ste Anne, Manitoba, who currently leads the league in scoring with 29 points (8g, 21a), was also named to the All-WCHA's First Team and took home the WCHA's Outstanding Student-Athlete of the Year for 2010-11.

Larocque's fellow senior goaltender, Kim Martin, was crowned the WCHA's Goaltending Champion with a 1.51 goals against average in league play, and also picked up All-WCHA Second Team honors.

Junior forward Haley Irwin and sophomore defensive convert Jessica Wong both earned All-WCHA Second Team nods, while senior forward Elin Holmlov joined Martin on the All-WCHA's Third Team.

Also announced by the league Thursday night was the 2010-11 All-WCHA Academic Team, which included 12 current Bulldog players, tying the most UMD players on the squad since the 2000-01 season. The Bulldog members of the 2010-11 All-WCHA Academic Team included: Kacy Ambroz (Jr., New Prague, MN), Audrey Cournoyer (So., Montreal, QC), Gina Dodge (So.,Duluth, MN), Laura Fridfinnson (Sr., Arborg, MB), Jennifer Harss (So., Rieden, Germany), Irwin (Jr., Thunder Bay, ON), Larocque (Sr., Ste Anne, MB), Mariia Posa (So., Helsinki, Finland), Lana Steck (Jr., Winnipeg, MB), Vanessa Thibault (So., Lachine, QC), Katie Wilson (So., Winnipeg, MB), Pernilla Winberg (So., Malmo, Sweden).

Courtesy: UMD Athletics