Desbiens wins 2017 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award
Senior becomes fifth in program history to win
After putting up historic numbers in the crease for the No. 1 Wisconsin women’s hockey team, senior Ann-Renee Desbiens was honored with the highest individual award in women’s college hockey as she was named the 20th recipient of the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award on Saturday.
Desbiens is the fifth Badger to receive the prestigious honor, joining the likes of UW legends Sara Bauer (2006), Jessie Vetter (2009), Meghan Duggan (2011) and Hilary Knight (2012).
“It means a lot,” Desbiens said. “If you look at Patty (Kazmaier) and everything she did, she’s really the spirit, the definition of what hockey means: being passionate, hardworking. If you look at the past winners, everything they’ve accomplished in the NCAA but also after, it’s just awesome to be put in the same class as them.”
A native of La Malbaie, Quebec, Desbiens is only the third goaltender to ever win the award, joining Brown’s Ali Brewer (2000) and Vetter.
“I thought she was deserving last year, and I’m just glad she was able to win it this year because going off last year she did some remarkable things with the NCAA record,” UW head coach Mark Johnson said. “So you look at the history of women’s hockey, her numbers got her to where she won the award. She was number one in I think all the categories the goaltenders have, and it’s nice that people recognized her. In the big picture if you look at her whole body of work, with the shutouts and win resume, you don’t know if you’ll ever see it again.”
After setting NCAA single-season records in goals-against average, save percentage and shutouts a year ago, Desbiens has exceeded her save percentage and goals-against average records this year. She has a 0.67 goals-against average and a .965 save percentage to go along with a 29-1-4 record and 17 shutouts in only 34 starts.
In her career, Desbiens holds a 0.89 goals-against average and a .955 save percentage. Both marks would be NCAA records if her season ended today. An alternate captain for UW, Desbiens has a 99-13-9 record in net.
Desbiens shattered the NCAA shutout record with 55 career blank slates, 12 more than the previous NCAA record.
An accounting major, Desbiens has excelled off the ice, earning a 3.367 cumulative grade-point average, despite not learning English until high school.
A three-time WCHA All-Academic honoree, Desbiens has been accepted in the Wisconsin School of Business to begin her Integrated Master of Accountancy degree and has secured a top-tier accounting internship in Chicago this summer.
Desbiens also spends time before and after games meeting and chatting with young fans that look up to her as a role model and has volunteered with the Badger Life program and at the Veterans hospital.
MADISON, Wis. — “She’s a special kid, very intelligent, and we’re very happy not only for her but certainly for her family because she had a leap of faith to come down a long distance from home, not speaking a lot of English. You and I might look at it as a good choice, but for an individual coming out of that area where the culture is totally different than ours, it was a hard choice for her. So, give her a lot of credit and a lot of faith in what
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