WAKEFIELD, Mass. – Freshman goalie Casey DeSmith (Rochester, N.H.) of the University of New Hampshire men's hockey team was named Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week. Additionally, the Wildcats were honored as Hockey East's Team of the Week on the heels of a weekend home-and-home sweep of Providence College. The announcements were made Monday by the league office. DeSmith is the second UNH netminder to earn this award this season (Matt Di Girolamo – Oct. 31).
DeSmith stopped 71 of 74 shots (.959 save percentage) in a weekend sweep of Providence. He stopped a career-high 37 shots and followed that up with a 34-save effort on Saturday night at Providence. He turned aside double-digit shots in all but one period over the weekend (nine in the other).
Overall, DeSmith ranks second in Hockey East and ninth nationally in save percentage (.929) and third in goals against (2.17). In league play, DeSmith is third in save percentage (.927) and fourth in GAA (2.31).
The Wildcats jumped from ninth place to sixth place in the Hockey East standings with a critical weekend sweep of Providence College. UNH scored three times in the first period in a 3-1 win at home on Friday night, while Kevin McCarey's (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) overtime game-winner lifted the 'Cats to a 3-2 win at Providence on Saturday. New Hampshire took both games of a weekend series for the first time since Nov. 4-5 with a weekend sweep of UMass and Maine.
DeSmith and the rest of the Wildcats return to action Friday, Feb. 10 against Northeastern University. Puck drops at 7 p.m. at the Whittemore Center for Operation Hat Trick Night. The contest will be televised live on WBIN-TV. For more information on Operation Hat Trick Night or for tickets to UNH home games log on to www.UNHWildcats.com.