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Tuesday, December 07, 2021
Brianna Decker Patty Kazmaier

Wisconsin women's hockey forward Brianna Decker was named the 2012 recipient of the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, given to the top player in women's college hockey.

Women's hockey: Decker named college hockey's top player

Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award

DULUTH, Minn.–For the second straight year and fourth time in program history, Wisconsin players erupted in cheers at the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award Banquet Saturday as one of their players received the highest individual honor in women's hockey. This time it was junior forward Brianna Decker receiving the coveted award, joining Sara Bauer (2006), Jessie Vetter (2009) and last year's winner, Meghan Duggan.

Decker made sure to thank Duggan in her speech accepting the award, and said her former teammate was instrumental in making her the player she is today.

“I saw the leader she was, and I wanted to be like that,” she said of the former team captain. “She's a phenomenal player and an unbelievable leader, and I strive to be that this year.”

Decker beat out North Dakota forward Jocelyne Lamoureaux and Northeastern goaltender Florence Schelling to win the Patty Kazmaier, named for a former Princeton player who helped pioneer women's hockey in its infancy.

Wisconsin head coach Mark Johnson led all four of the Badgers' winners, and said there are “a lot of similarities” Bauer, Vetter, Duggan and now Decker.

“Each one, if you look at all four, have earned it. Brianna's no different,” Johnson said. “She went out and continues to grow as a player, continues to develop as a leader off the ice.”

One similarity Wisconsin hopes will pan out: The day after they won the Patty Kazmaier, each of those three previous winners also went out and won the NCAA championship. Decker said she has no plans to break that tradition, and after the ceremony the Badgers were headed back to AMSOIL Arena to get ready for a national title game against rival Minnesota Sunday.

“We came here to win a national championship, not an individual award,” she said. “That's my goal for this season is to win a national championship with this team, so that's what we're going to plan on doing tomorrow.”

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