CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Sophomore forward James van Riemsdyk (Middletown, N.J.) of the University of New Hampshire men’s hockey team was honored as an All-Hockey East Second Team selection at the annual league banquet at the Royal Sonesta Hotel on Thursday night in Cambridge. In addition, Brian Foster (Pembroke, N.H.) was named to the Hockey East Honorable Mention team, while Alan Thompson (Gilford, N.H.) was the first ever recipient of the Hockey East Turfer Athletic Award, given annually to an individual player, coach or team, who best represents the core values of Turfer Athletic: tenacity, commitment and innovation.
van Riemsdyk ranks first on the team and sixth in Hockey East in scoring with 39 points in 34 games (1.15 ppg). The sophomore forward was a member of the league’s All-Rookie Team a year ago and elevated his game to become one of the top scorers in Hockey East. van Riemsdyk finished league play fifth in goals with 12 and 13th in assists with 15. He ranks first in Hockey East and second nationally in short-handed goals with four. Overall, van Riemsdyk sits in the top 25 in several offensive categories nationally, including points (19th), goals (24th) and short-handed goals. He finished the regular season with nine multi-point games and scoring streaks of three, four, six and 10 games.
In a year filled with goaltending depth in Hockey East, Foster emerged as one of the league’s elite netminders. Foster posted a 15-6-3 record in Hockey East play, which ranked third behind BU’s Kieran Millan (Hockey East second teamer) and Northeastern’s Brad Thiessen (Hockey East Player of the Year). Foster’s 15 wins were tied for second best with Millan and were four more than his nearest competition. Foster battled through an ankle injury in the first half of the season and ranks among the elite in Hockey East in nearly every category. He was selected as the Hockey East Goalie of the Month in October and February and was a two-time Hockey East Player of the Week. Foster posted a pair of Hockey East shutouts, allowed two goals or less in 15 of 24 league games played and had nine 30-plus save performances in Hockey East play.
Thompson embodied the core values of Turfer Athletic: tenacity, commitment and innovation, as he became the first ever recipient of the Hockey East Turfer Athletic Award. Battling and overcoming four different knee injuries, Thompson has become a fixture in the UNH lineup as a senior. Thompson played in just seven games over the first three seasons at UNH and has already played in 31 games in 2008-09. With a hard-working, get-it-done attitude, Thompson had a relentless work ethic during his knee rehab that allowed him to come back as a senior. When others may have given up, Thompson battled through adversity and is grinding it out on a daily basis on the Wildcat fourth line. After putting up just two assists in the first 18 games, Thompson has six points (3g, 3a) since Jan. 30.
These honorees and the rest of the Wildcats (19-12-5, 15-8-4 HE) hope its 19 regular-season wins are enough for an eighth-straight trip to the NCAA Tournament. UNH and the rest of the tournament hopefuls will find out its fates on Sunday, March 22 when the NCAA announces its 16-team field live on ESPN2 at 11:30 a.m. The Wildcats are the host of the Northeast Regional from March 28-29 at the Verizon Wireless Arena (Manchester, N.H.). Tickets for the event are on sale now at Ticketmaster.