Vaughan Named USA Hockey's 2013-14 Adult Player of the Year

New Penn State graduate Katie Vaughan just completed arguably the most decorated career in the history of PSU women's hockey with, among other honors, three team MVP awards (spanning both the Lady Icers and Women's Ice Hockey Club eras) and two nods each to the ACHA All-American and All-Tournament teams.

Even with her days guarding the blue-and-white crease now behind her, Vaughan still picks up accolades, including one of her most impressive yet on Thursday, as USA Hockey named her the organization's Adult Player of the Year. The annual award is given "to an individual who performed exceptionally during the past year as a member of a U.S. adult hockey team or as a participant at an adult hockey event in the United States." Vaughan will be formally honored and presented with the award on June 4th, at USA Hockey's Congress in Colorado Springs, CO.

It's not hard to figure out how Vaughan caught the attention of USA Hockey.

She represented her country on the international stage at the World University Games twice as a collegian, including a bronze medal medal finish last December, the first medal for the U.S. men or women since USA Hockey re-entered the biennial competition in 2001. In the third-place game of the tournament, held in Trentino, Italy, she stopped 37 of the 38 shots she faced (including the last 31) to lift the Americans to a 3-1 win over Japan. Vaughan also went head to head with Russian Olympic team goalie Anna Prugova twice at the WUG, coming out on top 4-2 in the preliminary round before a 3-2 shootout defeat in the semifinals knocked Team USA out of gold medal contention.

In 2011, she helped the U.S. to a fourth-place finish in Erzurum, Turkey. Both the 2011 and 2013 World University Games squads were coached by long-time Penn State bench boss Mo Stroemel.

The Pittsburgh native's domestic exploits have been well documented, even beyond her awards haul. In both her junior and senior seasons, while playing an instrumental role in the WIHC's founding and serving as vice president, she helped the team reach the ACHA national championship game. Penn State is just the third program to reach consecutive ACHA Division 2 finals, joining Minnesota-Duluth and Rainy River.

Prior to that, Vaughan was in goal on January 14, 2012 and saved 26 of 28 Sacred Heart attempts as the Lady Icers upset the Pioneers 3-2 in overtime - Penn State's first-ever win against an NCAA Division I opponent in women's hockey - and wound up backstopping the squad to the ECWHL regular season championship that season. For her career, she accumulated 39 wins, with a 1.81 goals against average, a 0.935 save percentage and eight shutouts.

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