Gophers forward Taylor Heise, Minnesota Duluth forward Gabbie Hughes and Ohio State defenseman Sophie Jaques were named the three finalists for the Patty Kazmaier Award, given annually to the top player in women's college hockey, the USA Hockey Foundation announced Thursday.
Heise, a senior from Lake City, leads the nation with 66 points and ranks second with 29 goals. She helped the Gophers win the WCHA regular-season championship and finish with a 29-9-1 record. The WCHA Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year, Heise had six game-winning goals, which is tied for third nationally.
Hughes, a senior from Lino Lakes, helped the Bulldogs reach their second consecutive Frozen Four by collecting 59 points (tied for third nationally) on 22 goals and 37 assists. She ranks second in the country with seven game-winning goals and is a finalist for the Hockey Humanitarian Award. Hughes had a hat trick in the Minneapolis Regional semifinal against Harvard and scored the winner in UMD's 2-1 victory over the Gophers in the regional final. The Bulldogs face Northeastern on Friday in the NCAA Frozen Four in State College, Pa.
Jaques, a senior from Toronto, leads all defensemen and ranks third nationally with 59 points on 51 goals and 38 assists for the top-ranked Buckeyes. The WCHA Defensive Player of the Year is second in the nation with 11 power-play goals.
The award winner will be announced March 26 on NHL Network on a show that begins at 10:30 a.m.
Heise, Hughes and Jaques were named to the American Hockey Coaches Association All-America first team, along with defenseman Skylar Fontaine and goalie Aerin Frankel of Northeastern and forward Theresa Schafzahl of Vermont. Minnesota Duluth forward Elizabeth Giguere made the second team.