Agosta, the nation’s leading scorer with 79 points, set NCAA career records for goals, power-play goals and points this season. Bendus, the reigning Kazmaier Award winner, ranks fifth nationally with 1.85 points per game (50 points in 27 games).
The other finalists are senior forward Meghan Duggan (Wisconsin), sophomore defenseman Laura Fortino (Cornell), junior forward Haley Irwin (Minnesota Duluth), junior forward Rebecca Johnston (Cornell), junior forward Hillary Knight (Wisconsin), sophomore goaltender Noora Raty (Minnesota), senior goaltender Molly Schaus (Boston College) and senior forward Kelli Stack (Boston College).
A 13-member selection committee comprised of NCAA Division I women’s hockey coaches, print and broadcast media representatives, a USA Hockey representative and an at-large member, will trim the list to three finalists. Those players will be announced March 10. The winner will be unveiled during the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award Ceremony and Brunch on March 19 at Bayfront Convention Center.
Check out USA Hockey’s news release by clicking here.
Starting with the sold-out Welcome Banquet March 17, the tournament features events that complement the semifinal doubleheader on March 18 and championship game on March 20 at Tullio Arena.
USA Hockey’s Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award Ceremony & Brunch is set for March 19 at 10 a.m. at the Erie Bayfront Convention Center. The award, named after the former standout at Princeton (1981-86) who lost her battle with a rare blood disease in 1990 at age 28, honors the nation’s top women’s player.
Last year, Vicki Bendus became the first Mercyhurst College player to capture the award. She joined an exclusive group that includes seven Olympians. This year’s nominees will be unveiled in February.
Tickets for the event can be purchased by contacting Yevet Anderson at (814) 450-7008. They cost $65 for individual seats, $300 for a half table (five seats) and $600 for a full table (10 seats).
Young girls can participate in one of two free hockey clinics on March 19 at Mercyhurst Ice Center.
Girls ages 4-10 currently playing hockey can enjoy instruction from members of USA Hockey’s American Development Model staff from 3-4 p.m. at the NCAA/USA Hockey Girls Clinic. Those interested can register by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Girls ages 4-12 can experience hockey from 4-5 p.m. in the Girls Try Hockey Free Program. No skating or hockey experience is necessary to participate. Equipment and skates will be provided for free. Visit www.usahockey.com/erietryhockeygirls to register or contact Anderson for more information.
On the same day, the Alumnae Hockey Game for former women’s college players will begin at 6 p.m. at Tullio Arena. Admission is free.
Meanwhile, coaches wishing to earn their next level of Coaching Education and Certification can attend the USA Hockey National High Performance Coaching Workshop on March 19 and 20 at Courtyard by Marriott’s Crystal Ballroom. Visit www.usahockey.com and click on Coaching Clinics to register.
All-session tickets to the tournament, which covers all three games, cost $50 for adults and $40 for students. They can be purchased at the Tullio Arena box office (814-425-4857), Mercyhurst Ice Center (814-824-2277) and through TicketMaster (www.ticketmaster.com).
Frozen Four schedule
7 p.m. – Welcome banquet (sold out)
5 p.m. – Semifinal No. 1, Tullio Arena
8 p.m. – Semifinal No. 2, Tullio Arena
8:30 a.m. – USA Hockey National High Performance Coaching Workshop, Courtyard by Marriott’s Crystal Ballroom
10 a.m. – Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award Ceremony & Brunch, Erie Bayfront Convention Center
* Tickets cost $65 for individual seats, $300 for a half table (five seats), $600 for a full table (10 seats)
3-4 p.m. – NCAA/USA Hockey Girls Clinic, Mercyhurst Ice Center (girls playing hockey ages 4-10)
4-5 p.m. – Girls Try Hockey Free Program, Mercyhurst Ice Center (girls ages 4-12)
6 p.m. – Alumnae Hockey Game, Tullio Arena
8:30 a.m. – USA Hockey National High Performance Coaching Workshop, Courtyard by Marriott’s Crystal Ballroom
2 p.m. – Championship game, Tullio Arena
Head coach Michael Sisti of the Mercyhurst College women’s hockey team announced Thursday that seniors Meghan Agosta, Vicki Bendus and Jesse Scanzano have been selected as captains for the 2010-11 season.
Agosta will serve as team captain, while Bendus and Scanzano will act as assistant captains.
Agosta, who returns after taking a year off to play with the Canadian National Women’s Hockey Team at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, wore the ‘C’ when she led the Lakers to the NCAA Women’s Frozen Four title game in 2009. During that run she scored 41 goals and added 37 assists for 78 points and was named a first team All-American as well as a Patty Kazmaier top-three finalist.
Bendus, a team captain last season, helped the Lakers to a 30-3-3 record and their second consecutive trip to the NCAA Women’s Frozen Four. She scored 28 goals and tallied 37 assists for 65 points, earning first team All-America honors and the 2010 Patty Kazmaier Award.
Scanzano recorded 20 goals and a team-high 45 assists while serving as a captain last season. For her efforts following the regular season she was named a second team All-American and a Patty Kazmaier top-10 finalist. Mercyhurst opens its season on Sept. 25, when the Lakers host Wilfred Laurier in an exhibition contest at the Mercyhurst Ice Center.
- From Mercyhurst news release
Four Mercyhurst College women’s hockey players – two-time Olympic ice hockey gold medalist Meghan Agosta, 2010 Patty Kazmaier award winner Vicki Bendus, All-American Jesse Scanzano, College Hockey America all-star selection Bailey Bram and starting goaltender Hillary Pattenden – will be at Jerry Uht Park on Monday to sign autographs and greet fans from noon until 2 p.m. The Lakers will host the 2011 NCAA Division I Women’s Frozen Four next door at Tullio Arena on March 18-20, 2011.
- From Mercyhurst College news release
Mercyhurst College announced Thursday the formation of a local operating committee, led by veteran Erie sports executive Ron Sertz, to guide the efforts of the college in hosting the 2011 NCAA Division I Women’s Frozen Four.
“We are pleased to name Ron Sertz as executive director of the team coordinating the prestigious 2011 NCAA Women’s Frozen Four,” said Mercyhurst College President Dr. Thomas J. Gamble. “Ron brings with him a wealth of sports management experience and is just the leader we need to ensure the event is a great success.”
The NCAA Women’s Frozen Four consists of two semifinal games and a championship contest to determine a national champion. All three games will be played at Tullio Arena, with the semifinal games on March 18 and the championship game slated for March 20. In addition to the games, Mercyhurst will also host the 2011 Patty Kazmaier Award Banquet and the Women’s Frozen Four Alumni Game.
As executive director, Sertz will oversee an executive committee that includes tournament director and Mercyhurst associate director of athletics Aaron Kemp, women’s coach Mike Sisti and experienced sports marketing and event managers such as John Leisering, Mike Parry and Dr. Chris LaChappelle.
On being named to the executive director post, Sertz commented, “It is indeed a great honor and privilege to have the opportunity to lead this effort for Mercyhurst College and to work closely with Dr. Gamble, Dr. James Adovasio, director of athletics Joe Kimball and a host of talented individuals to make this national championship one of the premiere sporting events in Erie history. It will take a team of talented and enthusiastic individuals to reach the high goals we have set.”
Sertz and the local operating committee will address areas of event management, advertising and promotions and ticket and sponsorship programs. “We are extremely excited about having Ron Sertz on board to help us with the preparation and promotion for the NCAA Women’s Frozen Four,” Kimball said. “Ron has a very extensive background in the sports promotion industry which will help us raise awareness about this event.”
Sertz has been instrumental in the formation, direction and guidance of many of the major sporting organizations and events in the Erie region. For over four decades, Sertz has been involved in the Erie sport scene as an athlete, coach, author, athletic administrator and entrepreneur. Most recently, he served as the founding team president of the Erie BayHawks and as the President of EHC Ltd., the ownership group of the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League. He remains a minority owner in the Otters.
He is also nationally recognized as the founder and director of The McDonald’s Classic, which has been called “the best four-team tournament in the country” by HoopsUSA. Additionally, Sertz is known in Erie for his many years of achievement at Cathedral Preparatory School as a coach and athletic director.
This marks the first time the NCAA Women’s Frozen Four will take place in Pennsylvania. Further, it is the first time that Mercyhurst will host an NCAA Division I championship tournament and the first time that a team from College Hockey America will serve as host.
Sertz noted that “the opportunity for us to host a national championship in the Erie area and have Mercyhurst as a potential participant with the chance to garner an NCAA Division I title in our hometown is unbelievable. We need to raise the awareness of the entire region so that we can jam the Tullio Arena for the event and showcase our city to a national audience. Our goal is, quite simply, to pack the place and put on a great show for the NCAA, the nationwide hockey audience, and the residents of the tri-state area. Erie sports fans have always supported the major sporting events, and this NCAA Championship is a signature event for our town.”
The tournament is expected to draw over 10,000 attendees over the duration of the event and provide an impact of nearly $2 million to the Erie area.
- From Mercyhurst College news release, staff reports
TOWSON, Md. – Mercyhurst College women’s hockey forward Vicki Bendus has been named a First Team CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American, CoSIDA officials announced on Thursday. Bendus, the only junior on the Women’s At-Large University Division First Team, becomes the second Laker to earn Academic All-America honors this week, joining Kyle King of the men’s tennis team.
The Academic All-America team, sponsored by ESPN The Magazine and CoSIDA, honors student-athletes who have excelled in both the classroom and on the athletic field. In order to be considered for the honor, student-athletes must hold a cumulative grade point average of 3.3 or higher and be in at least their sophomore year of college.
Bendus, a native of Wasaga Beach, Ontario, ended the winter trimester with a 3.93 grade point average in pursuit of a degree in biology/pre-medicine. This past season, she led the women’s hockey team to a 30-3-3 record and a spot in the NCAA Women’s Frozen Four. The 2010 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award winner and AHCA/RBK First Team All-American accumulated 28 goals and 37 assists for 65 points to lead the Lakers and tie for first nationally in overall points.