White, Mazzotta Share MVP Honors for Cornell's Historic Season

Photo by Jim Rosvold
Photo by Jim Rosvold

ITHACA, N.Y. -- Sophomores Catherine White and Amanda Mazzotta shared the team most valuable player honors in the Cornell women's hockey team's end-of-season awards, which were presented at the team's annual post-season banquet.

Senior Kelly McGinty picked up the most hardware on the afternoon, winning the team's annual Cub Club Mentor Award and the Most Improved Player Award. She also won the Wendell and Francelia Earle Award for Academic Achievement for the highest grade-point average among the four seniors on the roster.

Other recipients of the Earle Award included Hayley Hughes for the junior class and Mazzotta for the sophomores. The freshman award will be presented after the conclusion of the spring semester.

Additional winners on the afternoon included Laura Danforth winning the Unsung Hero Award and Liz Zorn claiming the Player of the Year award. The team's Rookie of the Year award was shared by freshmen Laura Fortino and Lauriane Rougeau.

White recorded second-team All-America honors for her play during the season that saw her also pick up the ECAC Hockey Player of the Year award. She finished the season ranked 16th in the nation in points per game and sixth in the country in assists per contest.

Mazzotta, meanwhile, led the nation with 11 shutouts on the season, including recording four straight shutouts from Feb. 5 to Feb. 13, recording the fourth-longest shutout streak in NCAA history in the process. She finished sixth in the country in goals-against average at 1.53 per contest, and was 11th in the nation in save percentage at .927.

McGinty was a key contributor on the blue line for the Big Red in her final season, a year that saw her step into a key leadership role. McGinty, who served as team co-captain along with Liz Zorn, helped to anchor the Cornell penalty-killing unit that allowed just 10 power-play goals in finishing first in the nation in power-play percentage. She also came up huge in the first overtime of the national semifinal contest against Minnesota-Duluth, sweeping the puck out of the crease before it could go into the net to keep the Big Red alive in the game.

Danforth claimed the Unsung Hero Award for her work, finishing the season with five goals and six assists for 11 points. She was also a key part of the penalty-killing unit that nearly set an NCAA record for highest percentage. She was one of just six players who appeared in all 36 of the Big Red's games on the season.

Zorn also was an outstanding player on both offense and defense, taking home the Player of the Year award for her efforts. She finished the season with five goals and 11 assists for 16 points while also being among the six players to appear in all 36 games.

Hughes, who received the Earle Award for her prowess in the classroom, was a key member of the team throughout the season, appearing in 31 games and scoring six goals and adding in three assists.

The Rookie of the Year Award was shared by Fortino and Rougeau, as both players were among the nation's elite players in their first season with the Big Red. Fortino became the first Cornell women's hockey player to be named a first-team All-American, while Rougeau was the Ivy League Rookie of the Year and garnered a spot as a second-team All-American. Fortino finished the year with 13 goals and 21 assists for 34 points in 33 games, while Rougeau was third on the team in scoring with 10 goals and 22 assists for 32 points in 33 games. The pair finished second and third in the country in scoring by defensemen, and were fourth and sixth in the nation in scoring by all rookies.

The Big Red set countless program firsts during the season, including winning the program's first ECAC Hockey regular-season and tournament championships, making the first-ever appearance in the NCAA tournament, and advancing to the national title game before falling, 3-2, in triple overtime. The Big Red also had the program's first ECAC Hockey Player of the Year in White and first first-team All-American in Fortino, along with winning a playoff game and series for the first time in program history.

Cornell returns 14 of the 18 players from the 2009-10 roster and will also be joined by 2010 Olympic gold medalist Rebecca Johnston, who returns after taking last season off to play with Team Canada.