Senior Christine Bestland of the eighth-ranked Mercyhurst University women’s hockey team was announced as a top-10 finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award announced today by The USA Hockey Foundation.
The honor is bestowed annually upon the top player in NCAA Division I women’s ice hockey and this year will be unveiled at a brunch ceremony at Oakdale Theater in Wallingford, Conn., on Saturday, March 22, as part of the NCAA Women’s Frozen Four weekend hosted by Quinnipiac University.
“I am very honored to be named a top-10 finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Award. The Patty Kazmaier Award is obviously an award that every Division I women’s hockey player strives for in their four years. Being named one of the top finalists is very rewarding for me,” Bestland said.
The Manitoba native has been a leader on and off the ice as a captain of the Mercyhurst Lakers the past two seasons.
Bestland leads the team in goals (20), and assists (30) and leads the conference in assists and points for the 2013-14 season.
Bestland was also named the College Hockey America Player of the Week announced Monday, Feb. 24.
“Being named the College American Hockey Player of the Week is a good feeling, especially after the past weekend being my last league games as a Mercyhurst Laker,” Bestland said.
Heading into the playoffs series, Bestland has combined for 222 career points on 90 goals and 132 assists in 139 games.
When asked what she will miss most playing for Mercyhurst Bestland said, “What I will miss the most playing for Mercyhurst would be the constant pressure of being a successful team. As a team we have extremely high standards and goals which we set for ourselves every year. These standards are ones we really respect and commit ourselves to over the entire season.
Each year as players leave and new ones come in, those same high standards still apply and I’m confident in my team that once the seniors leave, they will be able to continue set and achieve goals they make.”
The three finalists will be chosen by a 13-person selection committee made up of NCAA Division I women’s ice hockey coaches, representatives of print and broadcast media, an at-large member and a representative of USA Hockey. The top-three finalists will be announced on Thursday, March 6.
The Lakers will advance to the College Hockey America Championship-semifinals on Friday, March 7, against Syracuse University at the Mercyhurst Ice Center. The puck is set to drop at 4 p.m.
“As we prepare for the CHA semifinals, we need to work extremely hard during the practice week in order to be fully prepared to compete against whoever it may be. We need to push one another to our full potential and need everyone on our team to step up and fill their roles,” Bestland said.