Toronto’s Sophie Jaques has won the Patty Kazmaier Award that goes to the top player in women’s NCAA Division 1 hockey.
Jaques is the first Ohio State player to earn the honour and just the second defender since it was established in 1998.
She helped the Buckeyes to a 33-5-2 record and a berth into Sunday’s NCAA national championship game against Wisconsin.
Jaques led all NCAA defenders in points (48), goals (24), power-play goals (9) and points per game (1.23) through 40 games.
Edmonton forward Danielle Serdachny from Colgate University and Swiss forward Alina Mueller at Northeastern were finalists for the award announced Saturday in Duluth, Minn., during the women’s Frozen Four.
Jaques, on the Buckeyes’ top defensive pairing, helped Ohio State hold opponents to 1.75 goals per game.
Jaques also blocked 55 shots this season.
The 22-year-old is pursuing a master’s degree in civil engineering at Ohio State.
The award is named in honour of the late Patty Kazmaier, who played for Princeton from 1981 to 1986.
She died at age 28 of a blood disease.
Jaques was among the three Kazmaier finalists last year.
“Receiving this award is something I never even could have imagined was possible,” Jaques said in a statement from Ohio State.
“I am grateful to be a recipient of an award named after the incredible athlete, scholar and human being, Patty Kazmaier.
“While this is an individual award, I have been supported by a whole team of people throughout this season and my career at Ohio State, and I owe this all to my coaches and teammates over the last five years.”
Previous Canadian winners of the 25-year-old award were Jennifer Botterill (2001, 2003), Sara Bauer (2006), Sarah Vaillancourt (2008), Vicky Bendus (2010), Jamie Lee Rattray (2014), Ann-Renee Desbiens (2017), Daryl Watts (2018), Loren Gabel (2019), and Elizabeth Giguere (2020).
The award winner is chosen by a 13-member panel of Division 1 women’s hockey coaches, media, and a member of USA Hockey.