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Sophie Jaques is the highest scoring defender in college hockey. Will she win the Patty Kazmaier award?

Jaques is a top three finalist for the prestigious award for the second consecutive year in a row. With 48 points, she is the highest scoring defender in college hockey.

Ohio State defeats Yale 2-1 in Frozen Four semifinal game at Pegula Ice Arena
Ohio State defenseman Sophie Jaques (18) skates with the puck against Yale during the Women’s Frozen Four semifinal on Friday, March 18, 2022, at Pegula Ice Arena in University Park, Pennsylvania.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune

DULUTH — When you talk to the coaches and teammates of Sophie Jaques, their words describe her as a once in a lifetime player.

"We would do anything for her to win the [Patty Kazmaier] award this weekend, she totally deserves to," said teammate Jennifer Gardiner, who was a top-10 finalist for the same award. "Based off the last two seasons, she has shown that she's the best player in the country."

"She's Cale Makar, she's the full package," said Buckeyes associate head coach Peter Elander. "She's strong, she's really strong. She can defend well, she has a strong stick, she has a bomb for a shot and can block shots. I think she averages like six shots a game on net — as a defender."

Elander even compared Jaques to the great Monique Lamoureux when she played on defense.

It's clear that everyone has a lot of respect for the Ohio State graduate defender.


college women's ice hockey practice
Ohio State defenseman Sophie Jaques (18) skates with the puck during practice for the Frozen Four at Amsoil Arena on Thursday, March 16, 2023, in Duluth.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune

Jaques, originally from Toronto, has always put up great numbers for the Buckeyes over her five-year collegiate career, but she really took off in 2021-22 where she posted a team high of 59 points, which included 21 goals and a massive 38 assists. That point production and sound defensive game propelled Ohio State to their first-ever national title. That season as a senior, Jaques was a Patty Kazmaier top-three finalist - but ended up losing to Minnesota's Taylor Heise .

But now in 2022-23, Jaques has put up incredible numbers once again. She has 24 goals, the most out of anyone on her team and the most by a defender in the entire NCAA, alongside 24 assists.

And not only is the 5-foot-8 forward talented on the ice, she's also an incredibly well-rounded student athlete that studies civil engineering. She is a WCHA Scholar Athlete and made the WCHA All-Academic Team this season.

"She's involved in building a new hospital wing in Columbus, she's a traffic planner and engineer, so she's very, very intelligent," said Elander.

The graduate student is also listed as the treasurer leader for the SHERO's organization at Ohio State, which is a group that helps connect and empower female student athletes at the university. The club focuses on unity, networking, philanthropy, and growth in both professional and personal development.

To add on to her previous accolades, Jaques was named the WCHA Player of the Year and Defender of the Year in 2022-23. She was also recently announced as a First-Team All-American in the week leading up to the Frozen Four.

Although the focus for the Buckeyes this week will be winning back-to-back national championships, head coach Nadine Muzerall said it will be great for the whole team to get out and support Sophie on Saturday when the Patty Kazmaier award gets announced. The ceremony last year, when Jaques was a top-three finalist, was very different compared to years prior since the pandemic was still factoring in to everyday life.

"To me, that is special for our team to support Sophie because it was an odd situation doing it via Zoom because of the COVID crisis still lingering last year at this time," she said. "Having a screen shoved in your face and talking to a camera is odd versus embracing it with your entire team and on the stage, and that person is deserving to have that platform for over three minutes."


Jaques and the No. 1 Ohio State Buckeyes will face off against Northeastern at 2:30 p.m. CT Friday, March 17 at Amsoil Arena in Duluth for the Frozen Four semifinals. The game will be streamed live on ESPN+. The Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award will be given out on Saturday, March 18 at 11:30 a.m. and can be streamed live on the NHL Network.

Sydney Wolf is a reporter for The Rink Live, primarily covering youth and high school hockey. She joined the team in November of 2021 and graduated from St. Cloud State University with a degree in Mass Communications and a minor in Writing and Rhetoric Studies.
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