FINALISTS ANNOUNCED FOR 2024 MS. HOCKEY AWARD

Let’s Play Hockey announced the five finalists for the annual Ms. Hockey Award.

This year’s finalists are are Lindzi Avar (Minnetonka), Kate Kosobud (Moorhead), Ilsa Lindaman (Duluth Marshall), Ayla Puppe (Northfield), and Josie St. Martin (Stillwater).

Collectively these players have scored 186 goals and added 174 assists for 360 points, average of 72 points per player and an average of more than 2.71 points per game.

The winner will be announced at the Ms. Hockey Banquet on Feb. 25 at the Saint Paul Rivercentre along with the Jori Jones Award , given to the state’s top senior goaltender. Tickets to the banquet can be ordered here.

The banquet includes a meal and program and also includes celebrating all-state and all-state honorable mention awarded players as well as coaches of the year and the Brano Stankovsky Award.

In 1997, Let’s Play Hockey held the inaugural Ms. Hockey Award banquet, honoring the second-ever Ms. Hockey, Annamarie Holmes of Apple Valley. The inaugural award went to Roseville’s Winny Brodt as part of the Mr. Hockey banquet in 1996.

Ms. Hockey is presented to the top senior girls’ high school hockey player in the state, based on the following criteria: academics, community/extra-curricular activities, citizenship, coachability and, of course, on-ice performance.

The Ms. Hockey candidates are identified based on nominations by their coaches. The selection of the top 10 candidates, then the five finalists, and ultimately the winner, is based on consultations with a panel of college women’s coaches from the state of Minnesota, as well as a panel of high school coaches.

Past winners of the Ms. Hockey Award include: Ella Boerger of Andover (2023), Vivian Jungels of Edina (2022) Peyton Hemp of Andover (2021) Olivia Mobley of Breck (2020), Madeline Wethington of Blake (2019), Taylor Heise of Red Wing (2018), Grace Zumwinkle of Breck (2017), Presley Norby of Minnetonka (2016), Taylor Williamson of Edina (2015), Sydney Baldwin of Minnetonka (2014), Dani Cameranesi of Blake (2013), Hannah Brandt of Hill-Murray (2012), Karley Sylvester of Warroad (2011), Bethany Brausen of Roseville (2010) Becky Kortum of Hopkins (2009), Sarah Erickson of Bemidji (2008), Katharine Chute of Blake (2007), Allie Thunstrom of North St. Paul (2006), Gigi Marvin of Warroad (2005), Erica McKenzie of Hastings (2004), Andrea Nichols of Hibbing/Chisholm (2003), Ashley Albrecht of South St. Paul (2002), Renee Curtin of Roseville (2001), Krissy Wendell of Park Center (2000), Ronda Curtin of Roseville (1999), Laura Slominski of Burnsville (1998), Annamarie Holmes of Apple Valley (1997) and Winny Brodt of Roseville (1996).

HERE IS A CLOSER LOOK AT THIS YEAR’S MS. HOCKEY SEMIFINALISTS:

PlayerTeamPositionGM-G-A-PTSCollege
Lindzi AvarMinnetonkaF27-22-30-52Cornell
Kate KosobudMoorheadD28-10-27-37Minnesota
Ilsa LindamanDuluth MarshallF27-57-29-86St. Thomas
Ayla PuppeNorthfieldF28-61-39-110Minnesota
Josie St. MartinStillwaterF23-26-39-65Ohio State

LINDZI AVAR – MINNETONKA

Lindzi Avar Minnetonka

Pos: F

GP: 27

G: 22

A: 30

PTS: 52

College: Cornell

Avar has played an integral role in leading the Skippers to the No. 1 ranking in Class AA heading into the playoffs. She has 52 points so far this season and has scored 53 goals, and 69 assists for 122 points in her 103 career games. She has had incredible success in her high school career, including her participation in the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championships where Team USA won gold. She was named to the All-Tournament team in 2023, All-State honorable mention in 2023, and was awarded Minnetonka’s 2022 Unsung Hero award winner. She has participated in the National Festival and the U18 Selects Camp in 2021 and 2022. Avar is continuing her academic and hockey career at Cornell University.

“Lindzi is a team Captain for the Skippers. She is the true definition of a competitor. She is a warrior in the truest sense of the word and her teammates would gladly follow her into any battle. She leads by example every day through her incredible passion for the game and her fierce intensity. In my 21 seasons of coaching, Lindzi’s work ethic is simply unmatched. She is a player who consistently performs all of the little nuances of the game and focuses on improving the important details that sets her apart. She epitomizes what it means and what it looks like to play Skipper hockey each day. She uses her size and strength to her advantage in all facets of the game. She is one of the best around at positioning her body before gaining possession of the puck. Once she has the puck, her hands, puck protection, and puck poise are top notch. She is a dominant two-way center, phenomenal penalty killer, and a tremendous asset on the power play. Lindzi is the full package hockey player, leader, and teammate.” – Head Coach Tracy Cassano.

 

 

KATE KOSOBUD – MOORHEAD

Kate Kosobud Moorhead

Pos: D

GP: 28

G: 10

A: 27

PTS: 37

College: Minnesota

Kosobud is the lone defenseman amongst the five finalists. A skilled blue liner with strong defensive and offensive abilities, Kosobud has won the All-Section award twice in her career and participated in the past two USA Hockey National Camps. She’s a three-time member of Northern Elite of the Upper Midwest Girls High School Elite League. Kosobud has played 106 career games scoring 32 goals 74 assists for 106 points and is +121 as a defender. She is committed to continuing her hockey career at the University of Minnesota.

“Kate is the kind of player that every coach wants and needs. In addition to being an outstanding defender, she can quarterback a power play, kill penalties, and make an impact on the game offensively every night. She is an excellent skater who sees the ice well, makes great decisions with the puck, and can shoot it a ton. She does everything in her life at a high level and competes like no other at everything she does. We are going to miss her dearly next year.” – Head Coach Ryan Kraft.

ILSA LINDAMAN – DULUTH MARSHALL

Ilsa Lindaman Duluth Marshall

Pos: F

GP: 27

G: 57

A: 29

PTS: 86

College: St. Thomas

Lindaman has been honored with numerous awards in her high school career, being named All-State First team, Lake Superior Conference First team, and Duluth Marshall Girls hockey MVP in 2021-22 and 2022-23. She was also named to the 2023 USA Hockey Biosteel Girls Under-18 Select Player Development Camp. She has put together a memorable senior campaign with 57 goals for the Hilltoppers. Through 98 games Lindaman has scored 147 goals and 95 assists for 242 points in her career. Lindaman is continuing her hockey and academic career with the University of St. Thomas.

“Ilsa is the ultimate hockey player and student. She gives 110% in everything she does, whether it’s school, practice, a game, work, or helping younger kids on the ice. She is well known in the area not only for her hockey abilities but for the work she has done with our youth programs. Ilsa works with our Duluth Icebreakers girls hockey association and attends practices and games, supporting them and cheering them on. She is a great role model for those young girls. She pushes her teammates every day to be the best they can be on and off the ice. You can often find her with a group of players in the weight room or shooting area, offering advice and tips & motivating them on the benefits of off ice training to get better. They look up to her for instruction and know how skilled and knowledgeable she is. On the ice, she wears a “C” on her jersey and takes that role seriously. With a team of 14 players and a wide variety of skill levels, it would be easy for a talented player like her to get frustrated, but she doesn’t. She knows that whoever she is on the ice with is valuable and needs to win. She encourages them and motivates them, even when things get hard. She truly is a “team first” player and is more thrilled with the success of her teammates than her successes. On top of being a great teammate, she is strong, fast, has skilled hands, and has a great hockey sense. Ilsa is very coachable and always asks what she can do better. Because of her high skill level, she gets a lot of attention on the ice from her opponents and takes a lot of hits and hooks yet continues to compete and battle in a classy way even when she is frustrated. She has an elite level of self-motivation and drive to get better every day, she will make an immediate impact in the college game! She is always the first one on the ice and the last one off, or asking to do extra skill work before school. Ilsa’s love for hockey helped her grow personally, emotionally, and mentally – she respects the game and her opponents and is so humble and classy on & off the ice. When Ilsa isn’t playing hockey she is working on her school work to get good grades or working 2 jobs…both hockey-related of course!” – Head Coach Callie Hoff.

AYLA PUPPE – NORTHFIELD

Ayla Puppe Northfield

Pos: F

GP: 26

G: 61

A: 49

PTS: 107

College: Minnesota

Puppe is the state’s leader in every scoring category with 61 goals, 49 assists and 110 points.  She was named All-Conference in every year since she was a freshman. She also is the all-time points, goals, and assist record holder in Northfield girls hockey program history. Last season she was named All-State after netting 53 goals and adding 35 assists for 88 points. . Her career stats show how dominant she has been, scoring 185 goals, 139 assists for 324 total points. Puppe is committed to play hockey for the University of Minnesota.

“Ayla is an exceptional hockey player. She is dominant on the ice. She is the best goal scorer in the state. Ayla can take control of games. Her ability to include her teammates around her in plays this year has contributed to our team’s success. There is not an athlete who works harder and wants it more than Ayla Puppe.” – Head Coach Paige Haley

JOSIE ST. MARTIN – STILLWATER

Josie St. Martin Stillwater

Pos: F

GP: 23

G: 26

A: 39

PTS: 65

St. Martin has had an accomplished high school hockey career, being a four-time All-Suburban East Conference member. She has also repped her country with the U18 National team where she led the team in scoring with six goals and three assists in their six games leading to a gold medal run. She has also participated in various select camps. She received All-State Honorable Mention honors last season. Through four seasons, St. Martin has scored 242 points with 112 goals and 130 assists. She is also second all-time in points at Stillwater High School. She is committed to playing hockey for Ohio State University.

“Josie is a proud Stillwater Pony. In an era of players moving all over to play on super teams or getting pressured to leave their hometowns to play Tier One, Josie has never wavered in her dreams to be a Stillwater Pony and represent her school and community. She lives and breathes our school and team values. She has taken on a coaching role for our U12 A team in her free time. She also started her shooting school to help future Ponies shoot and stickhandle like Josie. She has dozens of students she teaches. After every one of our home games, she has a line of future Ponies lined up for her autograph or picture. Win or lose, she has time for all the kids. It’s an incredible sight and one that makes her coaches proud. She is one of our team captains and among the hardest-working, most committed players I have ever coached. We play a top 10 strength of schedule, and I believe she has been the best player on the ice in every game she has played. Against the Suburban East conference, we have held her off the ice for much of  the 3rd period; otherwise her stat total would be much higher. Josie is the only three time USA Hockey U18 participant in her senior class.  – Head Coach Annie Cashman.