Harvard's Vaillancourt wins Patty Kazmaier Award

Mar 22, 2008 - 2:48 AM DULUTH, Minnesota (Ticker) - One day after a disappointing loss, Harvard received some good news Friday as Sarah Vaillancourt was named the winner of the 2008 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award during a ceremony at the Radisson Hotel Duluth Harborview.

Vaillancourt edged Mercyhurst forward Meghan Agosta and goaltender Kim Martin of Minnesota-Duluth for the honor.

Harvard, which as the No. 1 seed was upset by Wisconsin in the semifinals of the women's Frozen Four tournament Thursday, is no stranger to the award, as it has produced six winners since it was introduced in 1998.

Vaillancourt is the fifth different member of the Crimson to claim the Kazmaier Award, which recognizes the accomplishments of the most outstanding player in NCAA Division I women's ice hockey each season.

"Sarah is the most significant reason our team had the success that it did this season," Harvard coach Katey Stone said. "I have never had a harder-working player since I've been at Harvard. Her vision of the game far exceeds that of her peers."

Other Harvard recipients of the award named for the late Patty Kazmaier, who was an All-Ivy League defenseman at Princeton from 1981-86 before passing away in 1990 following a long struggle with a rare blood disease, are Jennifer Botterill (2001, 2003), A.J. Mleczko (1999), Angela Ruggiero (2004) and Julie Chu, last year's winner.

Vaillancourt was a major contributor this season for Harvard (32-2-0), recording 26 goals and 36 assists. The junior forward led all players in Eastern College Athletic Conference play with 18 tallies and 40 points and was named Player of the Year by both the ECAC and Ivy League.

Vaillancourt currently ranks eighth on Harvard's all-time list for goals (81), assists (104) and points (185). A native of Sherbrooke, Quebec, she helped Canada to the gold medal at the 2006 Winter Olympics.

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