UNH'S AYERS NAMED USA HOCKEY PLAYER OF THE YEAR

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Junior goaltender Mike Ayers (Hingham, Mass.) of the University of New Hampshire men's hockey team was named the 2003 USA Hockey College Player of the Year on Wednesday, May 21.

The award is presented to an outstanding American-born college ice hockey player in recognition of excellence during the 2002-2003 season. The award will be presented to Ayers during the 2003 USA Hockey Annual Congress as part of the awards luncheon on Friday, June 13 in Colorado Springs, Colo.

In the 10-year history of the award, he is the first UNH player in school history to win the award and he is the fifth Hockey East player to garner this honor.

Ayers, the Co-Player of the Year in Hockey East and a Second-Team All-America selection, guided the Wildcats to their fourth Frozen Four appearance in the last six years and their second national championship game appearance.

Ayers helped guide the Wildcats to their second straight Hockey East regular-season and tournament titles with a 28-8-6 overall record and a 15-5-4 record in league play.

Ayers finished the season with a 27-8-6 record, a 2.18 GAA and a .926 save percentage. Ayers re-wrote the UNH goaltending record book in 2002-2003, breaking single-season school records for wins (27), saves (1139), shutouts (7), games played (41) and minutes (2499).

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