DURHAM, N.H. - The University of New Hampshire women's hockey program honored seven student-athletes at its annual team banquet that was held last weekend. In addition, it was announced that junior forward Annie Fahlenbock (Toronto, Ont.) and sophomore defenseman Kristen Thomas (Wilmington, Mass.) were named co-captains of the 2002-03 Wildcat team.
Fahlenbock, who served as assistant captain on the 2001-02 team that finished the year with a 19-12-5 record, was the recipient of the Tricia Dunn Award, which is bestowed upon the best defensive forward. Her assertive forechecking kept opponents on their heels and the puck in the offensive zone for the Wildcats. This style of play also made her one of UNH's top players on the penalty kill unit. She finished the season with 17 points on seven goals and 10 assists.
Thomas was presented the Colleen Coyne Award as the team's best defender. She ranked third on the team in assists with 19 and fifth in points with 24 as she quarterbacked UNH's top power-play unit. Thomas ranked second among blueliners in both of those statistics as she skated in all 36 games. She also ranked second on the team in the plus/minus category with a rating of plus 20. Thomas was recognized as ECAC Eastern League Honorable Mention.
Kira Misikowetz (Mississauga, Ont.), a senior center who was one of the 10 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award candidates as the most outstanding women's collegiate hockey player in 2002, received the Karyn L. Bye Award as the most valuable player. She led UNH in assists with 25 and points with 39 and was consistently the team's top center in the faceoff circle, where she won more than 60% of the draws. Some of her season highlights included her 100th career point and a five-assist performance against Quinnipiac University. In two seasons as a Wildcat, Misikowetz recorded 28 goals and 39 assists for 67 points in 70 games. She finished her career with 47 goals and 85 assists for 132 points in 128 games. Other 2002 honors for Misikowetz included selection to the New England All-Star Team, the ECAC Eastern League Second Team and the ECAC Eastern League All-Academic Team.
The Unsung Hero Award, which recognizes the player who gives her all to the program but is often unrecognized, was bestowed upon junior goaltender Jen Huggon (Plymouth, Mass.). She had a record-setting season in 2002 by registering the third-best single-season save percentage (.931) and the sixth-best single-season goals-against-average at 1.78 in UNH history. Huggon also tied the school record for games played in a single season (34) and this year's efforts also ranked second in saves (809) and third in both shutouts (five) and minutes played (2021:19). Her season highlights included a streak of 245 consecutive shutout minutes - which is the equivalent of more than four games -- and becoming the school's all-time saves leader (2,146). Huggon's other 2002 awards included ECAC All-Conference Honorable Mention, four-time ECAC Eastern League Goaltender of the Week and USCHO.com Defender of the Week.
Stephanie Jones (Kimberley, B.C.) was named the Rookie of the Year. This forward ranked second in the nation in game-winning goals (seven) and became the first freshman since 1996 to lead the team in goals with 17 this season. Jones was one of three Wildcats to record double figures in both goals and assists, as she also registered 13 assists. Her 30 points tied for the second-highest total on the team. She had the best plus/minus rating among forwards - and was third overall - with a plus 17 rating. Jones was a two-time selection as ECAC Eastern League Rookie of the Week and was also named to the conference's All-Rookie Team.
The Sue Merz Award, which is presented to as the 'Seventh Player Award' to the student-athlete who performs above and beyond all expectations, was given to sophomore forward Carolyn Gordon (Petrolia, Ont.). She ranked second on the team in assists (22) and was tied for second in points (30). Her season highlights included a career-best three assists in the season opener against Ohio State, an effort that she later duplicated against Quinnipiac, and she was named ECAC Player of the Week following the season opening series against Ohio State. Her other conference honors included selection to the All-Academic Team.
For the second time in as many years, sophomore defenseman Allison Edgar (Brigden, Ont.) won the Award for Academic Excellence. Edgar, who incurred a season-ending injury against Providence College on Feb. 23, finished second on the team in goals (15) and fourth in points (26). She ranked sixth in the nation in points per game (for defenseman) and was one of three Wildcats in double figures in both goals and assists (11). Edgar led the team - and was 11th in the nation - with six power-play goals and recorded a team-best +23 plus/minus rating. Edgar's 2002 honors included ECAC Eastern League Second Team and ECAC Eastern League All-Academic Team.
The program also said goodbye to seniors Brandi Kerns (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Misikowetz. Kerns, a two-year captain, patrolled the blue line in a school-record 143 games in her four-year career. She finished her senior year with one goal and three assists for four points and ranked third on the team in plus/minus at +17. Kerns' 2002 awards included selection to the ECAC Eastern League All-Academic Team.