It’s impossible to talk about the rise of Harvard Women’s Ice Hockey to national prominence, without including A.J. Mlezcko as a major player in the program’s history.
As a four year letterwinner, A.J. was Co-Captain of her senior squad in 1999, leading her team to victory as Beanpot Champions, Ivy League Champions, ECAC Tournament Champions, and AWCHA National Champions. A.J.’s name also blankets the record books, appearing six times: fifth all-time for career points with 257, fourth all-time in career goals with 128, tied for eighth all-time single season goals with 37, first all-time in single season points with 114 (1998-99), first all-time in single season assists with 77 (1998-99), and second all-time in single game assists with six (vs. Colby on 12/5/98). At the time of her graduation she was first in all these categories, except single season goals where she shared the number two spot with teammate Jennifer Botterill ’02.
A.J. was recognized far and wide for her abilities on the ice: ECAC Rookie of the Year in 1994, Second Team All-ECAC in 1995, First Team All-ECAC in 1999, and 1999 ECAC Player of the Year. Among her 1999 accomplishments were: Beanpot Tournament MVP, ECAC Tournament MVP, First Team All-American Honors, and Radcliffe Prize recipient. Most notably, the 1999 Patty Kazmaier Award recipient, an award presented to the top female collegiate ice hockey player in the nation.
Both during and following her collegiate career, A.J. was a member of the USA Olympic Hockey team; in 1998, winning the first-ever Gold Medal for women’s ice hockey, and in 2002, where she collected silver. She was inducted into the New England Women’s Ice Hockey Hall of Fame in 2002.