DICK UMILE NAMED HOCKEY EAST COACH OF THE YEAR

BOSTON – Dick Umile, the head coach of the University of New Hampshire men’s hockey team was named the 2007 Hockey East Coach of the Year at the annual league banquet at the Royal Sonesta Hotel on Thursday night in Boston as voted on by the league head coaches.

Umile is only the second coach in league history to earn the award five times, to go along with Jack Parker of Boston University. He has helped guide the Wildcats to a 25-9-2 overall record this season and a first-place finish in the conference for the school’s sixth regular-season championship in school history. Umile also won the award in 1991, 1997, 1999 and 2002. He has amassed has 398-195-62 record in 17 seasons as UNH’s head coach. He needs only two wins to become the ninth active head coach with 400 career coaching victories. Coach Umile owns a 32-19-1 record in the Hockey East playoffs with tournaments titles in 2002 and 2003.

Sophomore forward Trevor Smith (North Vancouver, B.C.) was named to Hockey East All-Conference First Team and senior defenseman Chris Murray (Dover, Mass.) was a Second Team selection in his final season in Durham.

Smith more than doubled his point total from his freshman year and led the Wildcats in scoring with a career-high 42 points (20g, 22a) in 36 games as a sophomore. Smith ranked second in the conference in scoring and his 32 points in league play were second best among conference skaters. He is the first Wildcat in school history to earn First-Team honors as a sophomore.

Murray has had a breakout senior season setting career highs in points, goals and assists with 22 points (9g, 13a) in 36 games as UNH’s leading blueline scorer along with junior Brad Flaishans (Glendale, Ariz.). He ranks tied for fifth in points among Hockey East defensemen and his nine goals are second best among conference blueliners.

Four other Wildcats earned Hockey East Honorable Mention honors, which included Flaishans and juniors Matt Fornataro (Calgary, Alberta), Mike Radja (Yorkville, Ill.) and Kevin Regan (South Boston, Mass.).

The No. 3 ranked Wildcats will face No. 12 ranked Massachusetts (20-11-5) in the Hockey East semifinals on Friday, March 16 (5 p.m.) at the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston.

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