Pair of Gophers nominated for top NCAA honor

Minnesota womenâÄôs hockey players Gigi Marvin and Monique Lamoureux are top-10 finalists for the 2009 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award. The senior captain and first-year were nominated along with senior captain Melanie Gagnon and first-year Jocelyne Lamoureux as part of the top-43 list for the award given to the top player in womenâÄôs college hockey. Wisconsin has three players on the top-10 list that will be narrowed down to three finalists on March 10. Coach Brad Frost said the nominations are nods to the work each has done over the year. âÄúThey are two of our stronger players,âÄù Frost said. âÄúThis speaks to the year Monique is having and [Marvin] has been that leader for us up front.âÄô But the nominations havenâÄôt taken either playerâÄôs focus off the teamâÄôs success. âÄúIâÄôd rather have a team award than an individual award any day,âÄù Marvin said. This is the second straight year Marvin has been a top-10 finalist. Marvin said it is an honor both years. Coach Brad Frost said Marvin has been a leader since she stepped foot on campus. âÄúSheâÄôs incredibly creative and has great size, strength and skating ability,âÄù he said. This year, the forward has 25 goals and 24 assists for 49 points in 34 games played. The Warroad-native was a three-time Western Collegiate Hockey Association Offensive Player of the Week as well as a three-time WCHA Scholar Athlete but said her individual goals are part of the collective team goals. âÄúUltimately, what you do as an individual affects the team,âÄù she said. âÄúAll the individual goals I set are part of the team goals and that is to win a championship.âÄù While Marvin is one of four seniors up for the award, Lamoureux is the only first-year. She is the 2008-09 WCHA scoring champion with 71 points in 36 games played. After playing as Shattuck-St. MaryâÄôs and winning three Under-19 championships, Lamoureux said the transition to college hockey was made easier because of her high school experiences. âÄúItâÄôs a big jump up with the speed and everybody is a lot better,âÄù she said. âÄúI feel like I was prepared, I wasnâÄôt overwhelmed.âÄù After a congratulatory text from her mom, Lamoureux said she was surprised to get the honor, but she wouldnâÄôt be in this position if it wasnâÄôt for the support from the rest of her team. âÄúI would attribute it to our team,âÄù she said. âÄúIf it wasnâÄôt for our team and how they are playing, I wouldnâÄôt be as successful.âÄù She leads the Gophers in points and goals and led the league in all three scoring categories. Despite her size, Frost said Monique is very strong with the puck. âÄúShe can see the ice and, obviously, has the ability to put the puck in the net as well,âÄù he said. The forward from Grand Forks, N.D. is the first Minnesota player since 2005 to have over 60 points in a single season. Lamoureux said itâÄôs humbling to be put on this list, but it doesnâÄôt matter how she does in the award race. âÄúHow we finish as a team is whatâÄôs important,âÄù she said.