Finalists Named for Best Defensive Defenseman Award

Carlee Eusepi, Clarkson (l); Lauriane Rougeau, Cornell (c); and Britni Smith, St. Lawrence
Carlee Eusepi, Clarkson (l); Lauriane Rougeau, Cornell (c); and Britni Smith, St. Lawrence

ALBANY, N.Y. -- ECAC Hockey today announced the finalist for the 2009-10 Women's Best Defensive Defenseman Award.  Carlee Eusepi from Clarkson, Lauriane Rougeau of Cornell, and St. Lawrence's Britni Smith have each been nominated for the honor by the League's coaches.  These three defenders were instrumental in leading their teams to top-five scoring defenses in conference action this season. 

A four-year letterwinner at Clarkson, senior defenseman Carlee Eusepi has earned the reputation of begin very focused, motivated, and hard working both on and off the ice.  Often noted by her coaches as the best conditioned athlete on the team, Eusepi has aided in back boning the Golden Knights' defense to a second best finish in conference play this season, only surrendering 1.27 goals-per-game.  Having played in over 140 career games Eusepi was recently named to one of the All-League Teams for the fourth consecutive year.  The senior captain played in all key situations for the Green and Gold and has developed one of the hardest shots in the country.  She notched four goals on the season and added six helpers, ranking 11th among her counterparts in League action. 

Making an immediate impact for regular-season champion Cornell, Lauriane Rougeau helped anchor a Big Red defense that has allowed just 10 goals at Lynah Rink this season in League play, outscoring its opposition, 38-10.  Rougeau was recently tabbed as a First Team All-League selection and member of the League's All-Rookie Team.  She has helped Cornell successfully stop an incredible 72 of 75 penalty kill situations (96.0%) in conference play.  The Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award Nominee was also a pivotal factor in helping Cornell to a conference-best scoring defense (1.18 G/GM).  The Beaconsfield, Quebec native also has been a great two-way player for the Big Red, tying for fourth in the League scoring among all rookies (7g-11a-18pts). 

St. Lawrence University senior assistant captain Britni Smith rounds out the three finalists for the top League defenseman award.  Smith is also one of 45 student-athletes nominated for the 2010 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, presented annually to the top player in women's college hockey, by The USA Hockey Foundation.  The Saints' most reliable defender the past two season, has earned ECAC Hockey Second Team honors in back-to-back years.  The Perry, Ontario native has piloted the St. Lawrence defense this season, which has only given 1.86 goals-per-game and forfeited only four power-play goals in League games.   The Saints' blue liner has also demonstrated her productivity on the other end of the ice recording eight multi-point games this season. 

ECAC Hockey boasts elite student-athletes and teams from 12 of the nation's most prestigious institutions - Brown University, Clarkson University, Colgate University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Princeton University, Quinnipiac University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, St. Lawrence University, Union College and Yale University.

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