Of all the hockey-related things that Meghan Duggan has been able to accomplish during her remarkable young career, she did something late Saturday morning that she never had before.
She instantaneously burst into tears of joy.
Duggan, the 23-year-old captain for the University of Wisconsin women's hockey team, was officially honored by the title that many back in her hometown of Danvers have felt for a long time now: she was the best player in all of women's college hockey. That honor was officially bestowed upon her on this day when she was awarded the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, given annually to the NCAA's best female hockey player, at a ceremony in Erie, Pa.
But that was only the beginning of a huge weekend for Duggan. Sunday afternoon, she helped guide the Badgers to their third NCAA Frozen Four championship in her four seasons by skating past Boston University, 4-1, at Tullio Arena in Erie. She was named co-MVP of the Frozen Four along with teammate Hilary Knight.
"My brother (Bryan) got a photo of me crying right after the (Kazmaier) Award was announced, and it sums up exactly how I felt. It swept me off my feet a bit," said Duggan while going out to grab some coffee with some of her Badger teammates yesterday afternoon.
"I've never before burst into tears in a matter of seconds like that in my life; I guess it was just a culmination of so much that's happened this season, everything I've worked for and everything we've accomplished as a team. Just to be chosen as a top 10 Kazmaier finalist, then a top 3, I was so honored. I think that's why the tears came from me like that; I was honestly shocked when they called my name as the winner."