Bendus wins Patty Kazmaier

by John Hageman

A day after her season ended, Minnesota women’s hockey goalie Noora Raty fell short of winning collegiate women’s hockey’s top honor.

Mercyhurst junior captain Vicki Bendus won the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award at a brunch at the McNamara Alumni Center Saturday. Her squad also fell Friday to Cornell  in the NCAA semifinal game at Ridder Arena 3-2 in overtime.

Bendus led the Lakers to a 30-3-3 record and the No. 1 overall seed in the Frozen Four with her 28 goals and 37 assists. She becomes Mercyhurst’s first Kazmaier award winner.

Raty became just the second freshman ever to be a top-three finalist for the award, and ended the season fourth in the nation in save percentage and third in goals against average.

Raty missed a significant amount of time in order to play for Team Finland in the 2010 Olympics, where she won a bronze medal. Raty only had a 65 percent share of minutes in between the pipes for the Gophers this season, which might have worked against her. 

But Raty will have plenty of opportunities to win the award after a stellar freshman campaign, and will be back in front of the net for the Gophers for a few years to come.