Senior captain is first Buckeye to be a two-time finalist for award given to the top Division I women’s hockey player
COLUMBUS, Ohio Senior defenseman Tessa Bonhomme of the Ohio State women’s hockey team has been named a Top 10 finalist for the 2008 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, USA Hockey announced Wednesday. Bonhomme is the first Buckeye to be a two-time finalist for the award recognizing the top Division I women’s hockey player after being named to the Top 10 in 2007.

“It’s exciting to be a finalist again,” Bonhomme said. “It’s an honor to be up for a national award and great to be recognized among such elite athletes.”

Bonhomme, a native of Sudbury, Ontario, has followed up an outstanding junior year with a stellar senior season. She has led the NCAA in defensemen points per game throughout the season, currently atop the category with 1.28. Bonhomme is the only defenseman to rank in the top 34 in the NCAA in overall points per game and has a 12-point margin over the rest of the defensemen in the nation. She leads all defensemen with 27 assists and is ranked 10th in the NCAA with 0.84 assists per game.

In the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, Bonhomme is tied for fourth in overall points (41), first in assists (27), 12th in goals (14) and tied for eighth in power-play points (13). She ranks in the Top 8 in seven categories, including leading all defensemen in scoring by 14 points. She is the only defenseman with over 20 assists and leads all blueliners with 14 goals. Her 41 points are an Ohio State single-season record for points by a defenseman and she is tied for second all-time in defenseman scoring in the WCHA. She has been named WCHA Defensive Player of the Week three times (Nov. 6, Nov. 13, Jan. 8) and captains the Buckeyes this season after being a co-captain as a junior.

“Tessa is a passionate, tenacious defenseman and a difference-maker on the ice,” Jackie Barto, Ohio State head coach, said. “She is an outstanding skater and possesses incredible offensive skills as a defenseman. As the team captain, she is a strong leader on and off the ice. Her skills and vision on the ice set her apart from others.”

Along with her outstanding performances on the ice, Bonhomme volunteers at community events to promote hockey, reads to local schools with the 2nd and 7 reading program and makes visits to children’s hospitals.

Three other Buckeyes have been named Top 10 finalists for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award: Jana Harrigan (2006), Emma Laaksonen (2002) and Jeni Creary (2002).

The award selection process began at the end of January, when NCAA Division I women’s ice hockey coaches were asked to nominate players for the award. Nominated players were then placed on an official ballot, which was sent back to the coaches to vote for the Top 10 finalists. The independent accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP tabulated the ballots.

The Top 3 finalists, including the recipient of the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, are chosen by a 13-member selection committee comprised of NCAA Division I women’s ice hockey coaches, representatives of the print and broadcast media and a representative of USA Hockey, the national governing body for the sport of ice hockey in the United States.

The three finalists for the 2008 award will be announced March 12. The 11th-annual Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award will be presented March 21 in Duluth, Minn., as part of the NCAA Women’s Frozen Four.

2008 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award Top 10 Finalists

 Name  Hometown  School (Conference)
 Meghan Agosta  Ruthven, Ontario   Mercyhurst (CHA)
 Melissa Boal  Pakenham, Ontario  Wayne State (CHA)
 Tessa Bonhomme  Sudbury, Ontario  Ohio State (WCHA)
 Caitlin Cahow  Branford, Conn.  Harvard (ECACHL)
 Sam Faber  Mount Sinai, N.Y.  New Hampshire (Hockey East)
 Martine Garland  Toronto, Ontario   New Hampshire (Hockey East)
 Sabrina Harbec  St. Hubert, Quebec  St. Lawrence (ECACHL)
 Kim Martin  Stockholm, Sweden  Minnesota Duluth (WCHA)
 Gigi Marvin  Warroad, Minn.  Minnesota (WCHA)
 Sarah Vaillancourt  Sherbrooke, Quebec  Harvard (ECACHL)