Staffa’s Lexi Templeman is ready to put her own spin on March Madness.
After being added to the ballot for the prestigious Patty Kazmaier Award, which is presented during the Frozen Four next month, Templeman and her Robert Morris University teammates hope to be in Erie, Pa., playing in the tournament to crown the NCAA Division 1 women’s hockey champion.
“It’s definitely a huge honour to be on the ballot,” she said. “Even to be thought about for the award is pretty amazing.”
The award, named in honor of the late Princeton University star who passed away in 1990 from a rare blood disease at the age of 28, is given annually to a D1 female hockey athlete for achievements in athletics, academics and community service.
Templeman, who was named RMU’s captain in her senior season, has a chance to become just the second finalist in program history once the selection committee trims the group to 10 later this month.
“It is such an honor to be nominated for an award of this magnitude, and I can’t think of anyone more deserving,” RMU head coach Paul Colontino said in a release. “Lexi is a tremendous leader, athlete and person. She has been the rock for our team both on and off the ice this year, and has handled all of this year’s challenges like a true champion. She is a tremendous role model for everyone around her.”
The former CHA best defensive forward currently leads the Colonials in scoring with 18 points in 17 games, tied for third overall in the conference, and recently scored her first career hat trick against RIT Jan. 30.
Off the ice, the three-time CHA Student Athlete of the Year and St. Mike’s alumna has maintained a 4.0 grade point average as an accounting major while dedicating her time in a number of service and student-led organizations, including the Colonial Leadership Academy, Little Sisters, Big Sisters program, and Skate for the Cure.
“It’s something that comes when you work so hard and have done good things over the years,” Templeman said. “To be competing against some of those players for this award is pretty awesome.”
It’s been an unprecedented season for Templeman and the Colonials as they navigate COVID-19 complications. The team found out Feb. 16 it would be playing two days later at RIT, then practised last Tuesday morning before making the five-hour trek to Rochester in the afternoon. Templeman was able to attend class virtually while on the bus, but tests had to be rescheduled.
“It’s been a crazy year, but I’ve been trying my best to have a positive mindset and continue to look forward to the next game,” she said. “You never know when it’s going to be your last.”
Templeman, the daughter of Richard and Margaret Templeman, hopes her collegiate career ends with a victory March 21 at Erie Insurance Arena. The Colonials are 11-5-1 and have four games remaining before the College Hockey America Tournament March 4-6. The Frozen Four is scheduled to begin March 19, with the championship two days later.
“Everyone has been managing (the season) really well, and we’ve been playing really well as a group and having success,” Templeman said. “I think our team has a good shot at making the Frozen Four if we keep playing the way we can and do the small things right.”