Seven UNH hockey players honored at banquet

DURHAM, N.H. - The University of New Hampshire men's hockey program, which won the second-most games (30) in advancing to the Frozen Four and winning both the Hockey East regular season and tournament titles in 2002, honored several players and announced the captains of the 2002-2003 team at the annual team banquet that was held Saturday afternoon at the Whittemore Center.

Patrick Foley (Milton, Mass.), who became just the second sophomore to serve as an assistant captain in the 2001-02 season, was named captain of the 2002-03 squad. Junior defenseman Garrett Stafford (Los Angeles, Calif.), who was honored as Best Defenseman by his peers for the second consecutive year, will repeat his duties as assistant captain. Junior forward Lanny Gare (Vernon, B.C.), the Best Defensive Forward recipient, and junior forward Colin Hemingway (Surrey, B.C.) were also voted assistant captains.

Senior captain Darren Haydar (Milton, Ont.), whose 2002 awards included selection to the All-America First Team selection and Hockey East Player of the Year as well as being named one of three Hobey Baker Award finalists, received three honors. He was bestowed the Guy Smith Award (best offensive player), Roger A. Leclerc Trophy (MVP) and the Ted Karmeris Most Exciting Player Award. Haydar also won the Guy Smith Award last year and was given the Ted Karmeris award, which is chosen by the Friends of UNH Hockey, in both 2000 and 2001.

Season highlights for Haydar, who led the nation at 1.90 point per game, included becoming the fifth UNH Wildcat to record at least 70 points in a season with totals of 31 goals and 45 assists for 76 points. He finished his career No. 2 on the school's all-time goals list (102) and third on the career points list with 219.

Stafford, a Hockey East All-Conference Second Team selection, led New Hampshire's defensemen in both assists (22) and points (27) and his plus/minus rating of +22 ranked fourth on the team.

Junior forward Josh Prudden (Andover, Mass.) received the Robert A Kullen Award as the unsung hero. Prudden, who centered UNH's second line alongside Gare and Hemingway, ranked third on the team in game-winning goals and fourth in both goals (14) and power-play goals. He was sixth in points with 30.

The Warren R. Brown Memorial Trophy, which recognizes the best defensive forward, was presented to Gare, who had the highest plus/minus rating among Wildcat forwards - and was second overall -- at +26. Gare finished third on the team in assists with 31 and fourth in points (40).

Sophomore forward Steve Saviano (Reading, Mass.) was voted Most Improved Player by his teammates. Saviano recorded 1-1-2 in 16 games as a freshman in the 2000-01 season and improved those numbers to 13-14-27 while playing in all 40 Wildcat games this year.

The Sid Knight Award, which is presented to the student-athlete with the highest grade point average, was given to freshman forward Ed Caron (Hudson, N.H.), who is a Business major in the Whittemore School of Business and Economics. Caron skated in 34 games and recorded 13 points on six goals and seven assists as a rookie.

Senior forward David Busch (Toronto, Ont.), who had won the Sid Knight Award three consecutive years, received the Charles E. Holt Coaches Award in recognition by the coaching staff for his significant contributions to the team both on and off the ice. On the ice, Busch ranked fifth on the team in points (32) on 12 goals and 20 assists.

The Wildcats open their season on Saturday, October 12th at Vermont and host the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Friday, October 18th at the Whittemore Center in the home opener.

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