UMD Women’s Hockey: Bulldogs’ Hughes Named Top 3 Finalist for Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award – Duluth News Tribune

UNIVERSITY PARK, Penn. – Minnesota Duluth senior center Gabbie Hughes was named

a top 3 finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award

on Thursday before the 2022 Frozen Four at the Pegula Ice Arena at Penn State University.

Joining Hughes in the top three are senior Ohio State defenseman Sophie Jacques and senior Minnesota forward Taylor Hiese.

Hughes, who is also a finalist for the Hockey Humanitarian Award, had a sensational opening weekend of the NCAA tournament in Minneapolis, during which she had a natural hat-trick in a first-round win over Harvard and the deciding goal in a 2-1 – Defeated rival Minnesota in quarterfinals.

On the ice, Hughes enters Friday’s NCAA Frozen Four semifinals against Northeastern – puck drop scheduled for 2:30 p.m. – with 59 points in 39 games, tying third in the nation. Her 22 goals rank in the top 10 in the country, and her 37 assists rank in the top 5.

Off the ice, Hughes has been a strong advocate for mental health issues affecting college, high school and youth athletes, worked with UMD’s Green Bandana Project and helped found Sophie’s Squad.

The Green Bandana Project is a mental health awareness campaign on the UMD campus where student athletes tie a green bandana to their backpacks to show their support for mental health and to signal solidarity with people struggling with mental illness . They also carry a resource map with local and national information for organizations like the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the UMD Counseling Center.

Sophie’s Squad is in honor of 14-year-old Sophie Wieland, who died by suicide in the summer. Wieland was a friend and player whom Hughes and her family had coached. Sophie’s Squad to raise awareness of mental health issues faced by youth and collegiate level athletes and the organization hosted a Hockey Hits Back event at Amsoil Arena this season to raise funds and raise awareness to improve mental health.

Hughes’ endorsement set her apart from the other Patty Kaz finalists from the start, said linemate Elizabeth Giguere, the 2020 Patty Kaz winner and a top 10 finalist along with Hughes himself for this year’s award.

“Gabbie is an amazing player and person. So many people don’t know what she’s doing outside of the rink and I think that’s a big thing that should go with the award,” Giguere said. “She manages her time so well. What she did this year with the Green Bandana Project and Sophie’s Squad was just overwhelming to me because I had never been a part of it before.”

This is an evolving story. Check for updates again.

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