LRHS senior Alexandra Devine is a devoted hockey fan. The enthusiasm of this Florida girl for a “northern” sport has led her to learn extensively about its ins and outs. She feels fans can learn much about the nature of sports, competition and entertainment from her research and insights. To recognize Women’s History Month she reviews the NCAA women’s hockey championship.
Alexandra Devine – Mustangs Ahead
(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – As the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) winter seasons ended, the Women’s NCAA Division I ice hockey national championship tournament had no shortage of talent and excitement.
The national championship tournament, more widely known in college hockey as the Women’s Frozen Four, was held in Minnesota this year.
The final four teams were the Ohio State Buckeyes, Northeastern Huskies, Wisconsin Badgers, and the Minnesota Golden Gophers.
The University of Wisconsin Badgers won the tournament against the Ohio State Buckeyes with a close score of 1-0.
The Badgers women’s hockey team has the most championships across women’s Division I hockey with seven national championships. The Badgers won the national championship in 2021 before winning again in 2023.
Goaltender and senior Cami Kronish stopped all 31 shots she faced for a shutout win. Forward and freshman Kirsten Simms scored the lone and game-winning goal in the first period to secure the championship for the Badgers.
While the Buckeyes lost their chance to repeat as Frozen Four champions in the tournament this year, there was a silver lining to their season.
The Patty Kazmaier award is given each season to the top female hockey player in NCAA Division I. Sophie Jaques, a defender for the Buckeyes, became the first Buckeye and first Black player to win the award.
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According to the award’s website, along with outstanding on-ice talent, “Other selection criteria include 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.”
During the season, Jaques had 48 points in 40 games and is the Buckeyes’ all-time leader in points for a defender with 156 points.