Duggan named top female NCAA Division I hockey player

University of Wisconsin forward Meghan Duggan is the winner of the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, which goes to the top female hockey player in NCAA Division I hockey.

Canada's Meghan Agosta finalist for 4th straight year

Canada's Meghan Agosta will have to settle for being a finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award for the fourth straight year.

American forward Meghan Duggan of the University of Wisconsin beat out Agosta and American forward Kelli Stack of Boston College for the honour Saturday, which goes to the top female hockey player in NCAA Division I hockey.

Duggan was near the top of the NCAA leaderboard in all offensive categories and has guided her team to the final of the Women's Frozen Four.

"Meghan is probably the best two-way player, not only in the country, but in the world," Wisconsin head coach Mark Johnson said in a release. "One of the reasons we're in the position we're in right now is because of her leadership and what she does on the ice, and probably more importantly, what she does off the ice."

Agosta, a 24-year-old forward from Ruthven, Ont., had another strong season at Mercyhurst College. Earlier this month, she became the first woman in the NCAA to reach 300 career points. However, the Lakers were eliminated from Frozen Four contention after a quarter-final loss to Boston University.

Duggan, meanwhile, will lead Wisconsin into Sunday's national championship game against Boston University at Tullio Arena.

Mercyhurst reached the Frozen Four without Agosta last year, but was upset 3-2 in overtime by Cornell in a semifinal. Agosta's teammate Vicki Bendus of Wasaga Beach, Ont., became the first Laker to win the Kazmaier.

Agosta led the NCAA in points upon her return with 84, including 36 goals in 33 games. She spent last season away from school with the Canadian Olympic team. Agosta won the second gold medal of her career and was also named the Olympic tournament's most valuable player.

Julie Chu, Sarah Vaillancourt and Jessie Vetter were chosen for the award ahead of Agosta the last three years. The Kazmaier Award recipient is 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 award is named in honour of the late Patty Kazmaier, who was an All-Ivy League defenceman at Princeton University from 1981-86. She died Feb. 15, 1990, at age 28 following a long struggle with a rare blood disease.