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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State women’s hockey graduate defenseman Sophie Jaques has been named the 2023 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award winner, the USA Hockey Foundation announced Saturday at a live ceremony from the Frozen Four in Duluth, Minn. at AMSOIL Arena.
Jaques is the first Ohio State player to earn the award, which is presented annually to the top player in Division I hockey. Jaques is just the second defenseman to win the award, joining former Harvard defender and four-time Olympian Angela Ruggiero who won the award in 2004.
Jaques will go down as one of the greatest defensemen in NCAA history. Over the last two seasons, her point production has been among the best of the forwards in the country while leading Ohio State on the defensive end to back-to-back national championship game appearances.
“I am extremely honored and humbled to receive the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award,” Jaques said. “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. Receiving this award is something I never even could have imagined was possible.”
As a member of the team’s top line pair of defenders, Jaques has helped the Buckeyes hold opponents to just 1.75 goals per game. She has blocked 55 shots this season as the team has allowed its opponents to an average of just 20.75 shots per game.
In the offensive zone, Jaques has recorded 48 points on the year on 24 assists and a career and team-high 24 goals. She leads defensemen nationally in points and goals for the second consecutive season.
Jaques leads the team, and country, with nine power play goals this season for the Buckeyes’ top-ranked power play. She is second among active NCAA players with 26 career power play goals.
The WCHA record holder in career goals by a defenseman, Jaques has recorded 61 goals and 95 assists for her career. She holds the Ohio State record for career points by a defenseman (156) and ranks fifth among all-time Buckeyes in the category.
The Toronto, Ont. native was named the WCHA Player of the Year and Defender of the Year earlier this month. She won three of five WCHA Defender of the Month awards in the 2022-23 season and picked up six of the conference’s weekly awards for defensemen.
While her on-ice performance is exceptional, Jaques is an equally accomplished scholar. After graduating magna cum laude last May with a degree in civil engineering, she accepted a fellowship to earn her master’s degree in civil engineering at Ohio State. She is interested in pursuing opportunities in the transportation field.
Away from the rink, Jaques has been an active member of the Ohio State, Columbus and hockey communities throughout her career at Ohio State. She currently serves as the vice president of SHEROs, an organization that provides a safe space for minority female student-athletes to have open discussions and promote diversity in sport. She is also a volunteer with the 2nd & 7 Foundation in Columbus.
Jaques and the Buckeyes will play Wisconsin in Sunday’s national championship game in Duluth, Minn. Puck drop is set for 4 p.m. ET from AMSOIL Arena and the game will be televised on ESPNU.
Sophie’s Ohio State Career At-a-Glance
About the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award
An award of The USA Hockey Foundation, the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award is annually presented to the top player in NCAA Division I women’s ice hockey. Selection criteria includes outstanding individual and team skills, sportsmanship, performance in the clutch, personal character, competitiveness and a love of hockey. Consideration is also given to academic achievement and civic involvement.