DURHAM, N.H. -- No. 16 University of New Hampshire men's ice hockey team opens the 2009-10 regular season with a non-conference road matchup with ECAC-foe Rensselaer on Saturday (7 p.m.) at Houston Field House. Last year, the Wildcats defeated RPI 1-0 on the heels of a 17-save shutout by Brian Foster.

Rensselaer enters the 2009-10 season with high expectations coming off a strong finish to the 2008-09 season. The Engineers will open the season at UMass on Thursday night before opening the newly renovated Houston Field House on Saturday with UNH. With three victories in its final five games - all coming on the road in the ECAC Hockey Playoffs - the expectations for the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) men’s hockey team are as high as they have been in many years.The Engineers, who are led by fourth-year head coach Seth Appert, return 22 student-athletes from 2008-09, while adding a highly-touted recruiting class. Among the players back are seven of RPI’s top eight scorers, all eight defensemen, and the goaltender who backstopped RPI to the quarterfinals of the league’s post-season tournament.

UNH holds a slim 23-20-0 advantage in the all-time series, which dates back to Feb. 7, 1964. The Wildcats have won nine of the last 12 contests... Coach Umile owns a 8-3-0 record all-time against RPI. In the last five meetings, UNH owns a 3-2-0 advantage, while ranking up an 8-2-0 record in the last 10 meetings. Peter LeBlanc scored the game’s lone goal in last year’s 1-0 win on Oct. 17 at Whittemore Center... Brian Foster stopped all 17 shots he faced en route to the shutout.

Brian Foster made 17 saves to record his third career shutout and backbone UNH to a 1-0 non-conference victory against Rensselaer. Following a scoreless first period, Peter LeBlanc scored what proved to be the game’s only goal at 18:25 of the middle stanza when he snapped a wrist shot from the right circle into the upper-right corner of the net. Bobby Butler and Joe Charlebois set up the tally.

Player    GP    G-A-P   

Peter LeBlanc    1    1-0-1
Bobby Butler    1    0-1-1
Mike Borisenok    1    0-0-0   
Phil DeSimone    1    0-0-0   
Blake Kessel    1    0-0-0
Damon Kipp    1    0-0-0
Nick Krates    1    0-0-0
Steve Moses    1    0-0-0
Greg Manz    1    0-0-0
Kevin McCarey    1    0-0-0
Mike Sislo    1    0-0-0
Goaltending Stats
Player    GP/Min    GA    GAA    W-L-T    SV    SV%

Foster    1/60:00    0    0.00    1-0-0    17    1.000

USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine (Preseason)
Rk.    School, Pts. (FPV)        LW     Record   

1    Miami (Ohio) University, 457 (4)    2    23-13-5   
2    Denver, 455 (13)        7    23-12-5
3    Boston University, 438 (12)    1    35-6-4
4    Michigan, 384        5    29-12-0
5    Notre Dame, 370 (5)        4    31-6-3
6    Minnesota, 270        NR    17-13-7
7    Cornell, 254        12    22-10-4
8    North Dakota, 227        13    24-15-4
9    Princeton, 223        15    22-12-1
10    Mass.-Lowell, 175        NR    20-16-2
11    Yale, 149        10    24-8-2
12    Boston College, 117        NR    18-14-5
13    St. Cloud State, 106        NR    18-17-3
14    Wisconsin, 80        NR    20-16-4
15    Vermont, 73        3    22-12-5
Others receiving votes: University of New Hampshire, 71; University of Minnesota Duluth, 64; The Ohio State University, 60; United States Air Force Academy, 43; University of Northern Michigan, 31; Colorado College, 8; Northeastern University, 8; Bemidji State University, 6; Harvard University, 3; Mercyhurst College, 3; Niagara University, 3; St. Lawrence University, 2 Division I Men’s Poll (October 14)
 Rk.  Team           (First Place)    Record    Pts    LW

1    Denver     (20)        23-12-5    873     4
2     Boston Univ.    (17)        35- 6-4    814     1
3    Michigan    (2)        29-12-0    787     3
4    Miami    (5)        23-13-5    782    13
5    Notre Dame    (2)        31-6-3    750     2
6    North Dakota            24-15-4    615     7
7    Cornell            22-10-4    561     9
8    Yale            24-8-2    512     5
9     Minnesota            17-13-7    509    19
10    Princeton            22-12-1    474    10
11     Mass.-Lowell            20-16-2    448    16
12    Boston College            18-14-5    402    20
13     Wisconsin            20-16-4    375    17
14     Vermont            22-12-5    291    11
15     St. Cloud State             18-17-3    289    NR
16     New Hampshire        20-13-5    236    12
17     Ohio State            23-15-4    211    14
18     Minnesota-Duluth        22-13-8    186     8
19     Air Force            28-11-2    154    18
20     Northeastern            25-12-4    106     6

Here is a week-by-week look at the ‘Cats in the national polls and the HE standings:
Date     USA TODAY    USCHO     HE
9/28            RV    N/A    t-4th (pre)
10/5            N/A    16    t-4th (pre)


The Wildcats have won eight-straight season openers and are 11-0-1 in their last 12 openers. Under Umile, the ‘Cats are 14-3-1 in season openers.
Year    Team        Score
2008:    Wisconsin    5-1
2007:     Boston U.    4-1
2006:    Colorado Coll.    4-3
2005:    Ferris State    4-2
2004:    Ohio State    5-1
2003:    Vermont    3-0
2002:    Vermont    10-0
2001:    Vermont    7-1
2000:    North Dakota    2-2 (T)
1999:    Vermont    7-4
1998:    Vermont    4-3
1997:    Vermont    5-1

Head Coach Dick Umile was among a group of seven Hall of Fame inductees for the New Hampshire Legends of Hockey for 2009. In addition, former Wildcat assistant coach and longtime voice of the team Bob Norton will also be inducted.

Freshman Greg Burke is finally able to fulfill a life-long dream as he suites up for the Wildcats. Burke grew up a fan of the Blue and White in neighboring Lee, N.H. In fact, Burke is the first player on Umile’s roster to attend the Dick Umile Hockey School as a youth.

A total of 15 Wildcats recorded at least one point with eight skaters recording multiple points in UNH’s 8-1 win over Acadia in an exhibition game on Saturday night. Brian Foster started the game and stopped 15 of 16 shots in 48:59 of action. Matt DiGirolamo played the final 11:01 and turned aside all six shots he faced. Below is a breakdown of scoring from Saturday:
Name            G-A-P
Scott Pavelski        0-3-3
Peter LeBlanc        2-0-2
Austin Block        1-1-2
Blake Kessel        1-1-2
Greg Manz        1-1-2
Mike Sislo        1-1-2
Paul Thompson        1-1-2
Phil DeSimone        0-2-2
Kevin McCarey        1-0-1
Bobby Butler        0-1-1
Matt Campanale        0-1-1
Connor Hardowa        0-1-1
Damon Kipp        0-1-1
Brett Kostolansky    0-1-1
Nick Krates        0-1-1

UNH sophomore defenseman Blake Kessel is the younger brother of Toronto Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel, while freshman forward Scott Pavelski is the younger brother of  Joe Pavelski of the San Jose Sharks. Joe and Phil are currently sidelined with injuries that are keeping them out of the lineup of their current teams.

Former UNH Wildcat James van Riemsdyk made the Flyers’ roster and is currently among the team’s leading scorers. Entering the week, JVR had three assists in three games.

Inside College Hockey’s ranking of the top incoming players by position featured a pair of Wildcats.

10. Connor Hardowa
16. Brett Kostolansky
TOP 15 FRESHMAN CLASSES: New Hampshire 15th

Peter LeBlanc and Bobby Butler were named the 104th and 105th captains in the history of UNH hockey for the 2009-10 season. The announcement was made on April 18 at the annual team awards banquet at the Whittemore Center. LeBlanc, ends a stellar a junior campaign with 30 points on 14 goals and 16 assists, which was good for the third best point total on the team. Of the 14 goals he put home, four of which were game-winners, a team-high. Turning it up in the second half of the season, Leblanc notched 22 of his 30 points in conference play, including 14 assists. As for Butler, he also ranked third on the Wildcat roster with 30 points, compiling the second highest assist total on the team with 21, not to mention netting nine goals, two of which were game-winners.

UNH was picked to finish tied for fourth in the Hockey East preseason Coaches’ Poll, which was announced on Sept. 30 at the league’s annual media day at Legends Restaurant at the TD Garden. The Wildcats garnered 59 points in the poll, which was good enough for a fourth-place tie with Vermont. UNH was picked third, in the preseason, and finished tied with Vermont for third place in last year’s regular season standings.
2009-10 Hockey East Men’s Preseason Coaches Poll
Rk.    Team (FPV)            Pts

1. Boston University (6)         84
2. UMass-Lowell (2)         79
3. Boston College (2)         76
4. New Hampshire         59
Vermont             59
6. Northeastern             57
7. Massachusetts             47
8. Maine             32
9. Providence             24
10. Merrimack             23

Dick Umile, a five-time Hockey East Coach of the Year, enters his 20th season as the head coach of the UNH Wildcats. He earned his fourth Leonard Fowle New England Coach of the Year award following the 2007-08 season. After signing a long-term contract in 2008, Umile will conclude his coaching career at his alma mater. During his time spent at UNH, Umile has molded UNH hockey into one of the top programs in all of Division I hockey, guiding the Wildcats to four Frozen Four appearances, 15 NCAA tournament appearances and 19 Hockey East championship tournament showings in his 19-year career in Durham.  In addition, Umile has posted 17 20-victory campaigns over the span of 19 seasons, including a current streak of 13 20-win seasons. Umile is now the winningest coach in the history of UNH hockey with 444 career victories. He surpassed legendary coach Charlie Holt on Feb. 16, 2005 in a 6-1 victory at Merrimack at Thom Lawler Arena in North Andover, Mass. Umile ranks fourth among active NCAA coaches with a .652 winning percentage and on the active victories list his 444 victories ranks eighth among NCAA coaches. He has been named Coach of the Year a total of 10 times in his career, including New England honors four times. Umile’s five Hockey East Coach of the Year Awards is an all-time league best.Last season, Umile directed the Wildcats to a 20-13-5 mark as they captured their eighth-consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament. Umile guided the Wildcats to 20+ wins in 13 straight years, the second longest streak in the nation and five seasons more than its closest competition; no other team in Hockey East has an active streak longer than one season. After struggling through a 1-5-2 stretch in November, New Hampshire went 14-4-2 to close out the regular season and claimed third place in the league and home-ice in the Hockey East quarterfinals for a Hockey East-best 13th straight season. The crowning moment of the 2008-09 season was the Wildcats’ goal with 0.1 seconds remaining to tie and eventually win 6-5 in overtime in their NCAA Northeast Regional opening-round game against perennial power North Dakota in front of UNH faithful at Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester.

  UNH has appeared in the NCAA Tournament 19 times in the 82-year history of the program, including the nation’s second best streak at eight-straight appearances. UNH has appeared in the Frozen Four seven times, including national championship game appearances against Maine in 1999 and Minnesota in 2003. UNH earned Hockey East Tournament titles in 2002 and 2003 and regular-season championships in 1997, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2007 and 2008. The Wildcats won the ECAC regular-season title in 1974 and the tournament championship in 1979. UNH has posted 30 seasons with 20-plus wins, including the last 13 consecutive seasons.

Once again, UNH will be led from the net out in 2009-10 by senior netminder Brian Foster (Pembroke, N.H.). Foster, a fifth-round draft pick of the Florida Panthers in 2005, emerged as one of the elite goalies in all of Hockey East and when healthy was dominant in net for the Wildcats. While Foster missed a pair of games in November and struggled through an ankle injury in the first half of the season, he was pivotal in UNH’s second-half run and was one of three netminders in Hockey East to win the league’s goalie of the month honors on two occasions (October, February; Millan, Thiessen). A honorable mention Hockey East All Star selection, Foster ranked third in the conference in win percentage at .688 and fifth in save percentage at .917. In addition, his 15-league wins ranked second in Hockey East. Sophomore Matt DiGirolamo (Ambler, Pa.) emerged as Foster’s backup and will serve in that role once again this season. DiGirolamo picked up his first collegiate win Dec. 11 against Holy Cross as he stopped all six shots he faced in the final 26:25 en route to the victory. Fellow sophomore Tyler Scott (Ridgefield, Conn.) will give the Wildcats valuable depth in the net behind Foster.

UNH once again returns sure-handed veterans on the defense with senior Nick Krates (Palos Park, Ill.) anchoring a solid core of four returners on defense. Krates played in 37 of 38 games and set benchmarks in goals, points and plus/minus during his junior campaign. Krates is joined by three other returners on defense in junior Matt Campanale (Chester Springs, Pa.) and sophomores Blake Kessel (Verona, Wis.) and Damon Kipp (Salmon Arm, B.C.). Campanale was inserted into the Wildcat lineup a third of the way through and proved to be a valuable addition notching his first collegiate point with an assist in UNH’s 6-5 overtime win over Vermont on March 7, a win that gave UNH third place in the regular season. Kessel is the Wildcats’ top returning blueline scorer and served as a lethal weapon on the Wildcat power play. Kessel had a knack for scoring big goals as three of his six goals were game winners including late winners against Mass-Lowell and Vermont at Whittemore Center. Kipp quickly became one of UNH’s most reliable defenders playing in 27 games as a freshman. He notched two points, none bigger than his assist on a Greg Collins’ goal in NCAA Northeast Regional game against North Dakota. Junior Mike Beck (Long Beach, Calif.) is another defender with a lot of experience for New Hampshire. Beck played in 11 games and should compete for an increased role in 2009-10. Adding depth to the UNH defense are three freshmen that could compete for a spot in the Wildcat lineup right out of the gate in Connor Hardowa (Edmonton, Alberta), Brett Kostolansky (Denver, Colo.) and Ansel Ivens-Anderson (Pound Ridge, N.Y.). Hardowa played three years in the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL), leading the Spruce Grove Saints to the 2008-09 regular season title. Hardowa led all defensemen in the AJHL, scoring 63 points in 61 games on 20 goals and 43 assists. After a stellar career at prep school power Shattuck St. Mary’s, Kostolansky played one season for the Chicago Steel of the USHL. During the 2008-09 campaign, he amassed 18 points on a goal and 17 assists. Anderson helped lead the Jersey Hitmen to the regular season and playoff championships in the EJHL in 2008-09. Prior to that season, he played two years for the Junior Monarchs out of Manchester, N.H.

Offensively, the Wildcats return three players with over 30 points a year ago and five everyday players led by senior co-captains Bobby Butler (Marlboro, Mass. ) and Peter LeBlanc (Hamilton, Ontario). Butler (9g, 21a) and LeBlanc (14g, 16a) each had 30 points a year ago. Butler is the program’s active leader in points (68), goals (32) and assists (36). LeBlanc emerged as one of the Wildcats’ top scoring threat down the stretch and netted a pivotal overtime goal against North Dakota to give UNH a 6-5 win in the NCAA Northeast Regional. New Hampshire returns the most firepower from its junior class, which accounted for 40 percent of the scoring a year ago. The group is anchored by leading returning goal scorer Mike Sislo (Superior, Wis.). Sislo, who had just three goals his freshman season, erupted for 19 goals and 12 assists and was Hockey East’s Player of the Month in December. Classmates Phil DeSimone (East Amherst, N.Y.), Paul Thompson (Derry, N.H.) and Greg Manz (Wayne, Pa.) will be called upon to provide offensive firepower for the ‘Cats in 2009-10. DeSimone played in all 38 games and set benchmarks in goals (7), assists (11) and points (18). Thompson played in 27 games a year ago with four goals and five assists, tallying eight of his nine points in Hockey East play. Manz played in six games including both games at the NCAA Northeast Regional. He will compete for an everyday spot in the lineup. Three sophomores who gained valuable experience a year ago and are expected to contribute in 2009-10 are Steve Moses (Leominster, Mass), Mike Borisenok (Watervliet, N.Y.) and Kevin McCarey (Baldwinsville, N.Y.). Moses played in 33-of-38 games recording 13 points (5g, 8a). He potted game-winners against Providence (2/14) and Maine (2/6) and is one of six returners with double-figure points a year ago. Borisenok appeared in 11 games notching a goal and an assist despite missing several games late in the season due to illness. McCarey played in eight games as a freshman and could see additional time this season. Five newcomers will look to crack the UNH lineup right of the gate for Umile’s Wildcats. Austin Block (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), Greg Burke (Lee, N.H.), John Henrion (Holden, Mass.), Brett Kostolansky (Denver, Colo.) and Dalton Speelman (San Jose, Calif.) comprise the freshman forward class. Block played two years in the North American Hockey League (NAHL) for the Fairbanks Ice Dogs and served as the team captain for 2008-09 campaign. As a second year player, he led the league in scoring with 73 points in 57 games, (29 goals and 44 assists). Burke missed most of 2008-09 with a season-ending injury. However, the highly talented forward represented his country in the World Junior A challenge just weeks before the injury. He had two points in five games as the United States won the championship for the first time. Burke was drafted in the sixth round of the 2008 NHL Entry Level Draft by the Washington Capitals with the 174th overall pick. Henrion was a first-year player with the United States National Team Development Program (NTDP) after playing junior hockey for the Junior Bruins of the EJHL. John played both center and wing for the NTDP accumulating 31 points in 58 games on 19 goals and 12 assists. Henrion’s schedule while at NTDP included many games against Division I colleges as well as international competition. His season culminated with his participation on the Gold Medal-winning U.S. team in the World Under-18 Championships. Pavelski, whose brother Joe plays for the San Jose Sharks, was a two-year player for the Waterloo Blackhawks.  He played in all situations for the Blackhawks in his second season amassing 29 points in 57 games on 13 goals and 16 assists to go along with a  +19 rating. He was an especially effective penalty killer throughout the season. Speelman played one year for the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL and registered 21 goals and 21 assists for 42 points in 57 games and was a +30.

Five current UNH players have been selected in the National Hockey League draft...Greg Burke (Washington), Phil DeSimone (Washington), Brian Foster (Florida), Blake Kessel (N.Y. Islanders) and Peter LeBlanc (Chicago) have all been taken.

‘CATS IN THE PROS: Here is a listing of former Wildcats playing professional hockey:
Justin Aikins:  Bossier Shreveport Mudbugs (CHL)
A.J. Bucchino: Amarillo Gorillas (CHL)
Joe Charlebois: Toledo Walleye (ECHL)
Greg Collins: Las Vegas Wranglers (ECHL)
Sean Collins: Wheeling Nailers (ECHL)
Ty Conklin: St. Louis Blues (NHL)
Matt Dzieduszycki: Hannover Scorpions (DEL)
Matt Fornataro: Houston Aeros (AHL)
Jamie Fritsch: Gwinnett Gladiators (ECHL)
Lanny Gare:  Bad Nauheim EC (GerObL)
Darren Haydar: Lake Erie Monsters (AHL)
Brett Hemingway: Alaska Aces (ECHL)
Colin Hemingway: Alaska Aces (ECHL)
Kevin Kapstad: Riessersee SC (2.GBun)
Jason Krog:  Chicago Wolves (AHL)
Nathan Martz: Alleghe HC (Italy)
Jacob Micflikier: Florida Everblades (ECHL)
Mark Mowers: Fribourg-Gotteron (Swiss NL)
Jerry Pollastrone: Las Vegas Wranglers (ECHL)
Mike Radja: TPS Turku (FNL)
Kevin Regan: Providence Bruins (AHL)
Steve Saviano: Vaxjo Lakers (SEL)
Tyler Scott- Allen Americans (CHL)
Trevor Smith: Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL)
Garrett Stafford: Texas Stars (AHL)
Craig Switzer: Las Vegas Wranglers (ECHL)
James van Riemsdyk: Philadelphia Flyers (NHL)
Daniel Winnik: Phoenix Coyotes (NHL)

In the summer of 1999, the University of New Hampshire Athletic Department formed the “UNH Sports Network” — the largest network ever to broadcast UNH sporting events.
    Wildcats Sports Properties has added WGIN-AM 930 (Rochester) and WQSO-FM 96.7 (Portsmouth) as flagship stations on the Wildcat Sports Network, joining WGIR-AM 610 (Manchester), which was added in 2008. All three stations are part of the Clear Channel family and this change will go into effect at the beginning of the 2009-10 season.
    These three aforementioned stations -- along with WUVR-AM 1490 (Lebanon), WNTK-FM 99.7 (New London) and WCNL-AM 1010 (Newport) -- will carry the following: all UNH football & men’s hockey broadcasts and weekly coaches’ shows, a select number of men’s basketball, women’s basketball, and women’s hockey broadcasts, as well as “Wildcat Sports Today”, a three-minute daily update concerning UNH athletics.
    The game can also be heard on the internet at through a service from Stretch Internet. Stretch has also partnered with UNH to develop a podcast page for UNH fans to listen to archived broadcasts.
    Dan Parkhurst will be handling the play-by-play for the third straight season, while Pete Webster will once again be doing the color commentating. Webster has been announcing Wildcat hockey for 16 years since the 1993-94 season.

LISTEN LIVE ON THE INTERNET: via Stretch Internet Broadcast will carry all of the UNH men’s ice hockey action again this season...If you can not attend Wildcat hockey, you can still tune into the game from anywhere you can gain access to the internet...Fans can get to the UNH men’s ice hockey broadcast site by going to the men’s hockey schedule page at

UNH will have nine games broadcast live on TV in 2009-10. NESN will air four games, while three will air on ESPNU, while COX-TV and WABI will each broadcast one.

DATE    GAME    Channel

Oct. 23     Northeastern    NESN
Nov. 6     Boston College    NESN
Nov. 8     AT Mass-Lowell     ESPNU
Dec. 6     at Vermont     ESPNU
Dec. 11     at Providence     Cox-TV
Jan. 3     Cornell    ESPNU
Feb. 6     at Maine     WABI-TV
Feb. 19     Vermont     NESN
March 5     Boston College    NESN

The Coach’s Show featuring UNH men’s hockey head coach Dick Umile and hosted by Mike Murphy begins its 10th season in 2009-10. The Coach’s Show is broadcast Mondays on the Wildcat Sports Network from various locations around the seacoast and features Coach Umile, as well as a student-athlete from the men’s ice hockey team. In front of a live audience, Murphy and his guests talk about the latest news and notes regarding UNH hockey. 

The Wildcat hockey team features three players from New Hampshire with Greg Burke (Lee) Brian Foster (Pembroke) and Paul Thompson (Derry) all hailing from the Granite State.

UNH and Pack Network have once again partnered to provide online video streaming of UNH’s seven ticketed sports for the upcoming 2009-10 season with UNHwildcats.TV.
    Wildcat fans are encouraged to buy the “Wildcat All-Access Pass” which is an annual subscription for $79.95 that provides all the live coverage of UNH home athletic events. Fans can also purchase home events on a per game basis of $6.95.

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