Frankel, who is a native of Briarcliff Manor, N.Y., became the 24th recipient of the prestigious award and just the fourth goaltender to receive the honor.
“Aerin is the recipient of the award this year because she is the embodiment of the idea that individual accomplishments need to be secondary to team accomplishments,” stated SSM’s Director of Girls Hockey Gordie Stafford. “And if you truly give yourself over to the good of the team, you will benefit personally in the long run, and she is the perfect example of that.”
As stated on pattykaz.com, “the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award was established in 1998 and is presented annually to the top player in NCAA Division I women’s ice hockey. Other selection criteria include outstanding individual and team skills, sportsmanship, performance in the clutch, personal character, competitiveness, and a love of hockey.” With that criteria, Frankel receiving this award comes as no surprise to her former coaches.
“From the first day Aerin stepped on campus, she was focused and driven to be the best every day. She was receptive to our approach to championship goaltending - sound fundamentals, ability to read plays, and outcompete the goalie on the other end of the rink,” said SSM goaltending coach Des Christopher.
And outcompete other goalies is just what Frankel did in her senior season. She led all league goaltenders in goals against average (GAA), save percentage, wins, winning percentage, and shutouts. In addition, she also now holds Northeastern program records for games played, minutes played, GAA, save percentage, shutouts, and wins. And to top it all off, she helped the Huskies capture their fourth straight Hockey East championship, their first-ever No. 1 national ranking, and earn the opportunity to play in the National Collegiate Women’s Ice Hockey Championship game.
“There are many great players in NCAA college hockey,” said Christopher. “When you get recognized as the best, you are the entire package. Aerin is not an overnight success - she was building this foundation many years ago.”
Frankel is now the third female athlete in SSM history to receive the Patty Kazmaier award, proceeded by Brianna Decker ’09 and Amanda Kessel ’10. Frankel will also join these two Patty Kazmaier alumni on the U.S. National Team that will compete in the 2021 International Ice Hockey Federation Women’s World Championship.