SEVEN UNH WILDCATS HONORED AT HOCKEY EAST BANQUET

SAM FABER

STORRS, Conn.  – The second-ranked University of New Hampshire women’s ice hockey team dominated the 2008 Hockey East all-star teams with three selections to both the First Team and Second Team, the league announced Friday night at its annual banquet. Two Wildcats were also selected to the All-Rookie Team, including Mission Rookie of the Year Jenn Wakefield (Pickering, Ontario).

Martine Garland (Toronto, Ontario), Sam Faber (Mt. Sinai, N.Y.) and Wakefield received Hockey East First-Team All-Star distinction; Garland, the only unanimous selection, received First Team honors for the third consecutive year while Faber is a repeat selection from last season.

Jennifer Hitchcock (LaSalle, Ontario), Kacey Bellamy (Westfield, Mass.) and Kayley Herman (Weyburn, Saskatchewan) received Second-Team All-Star recognition; it marked the second straight year that both Hitchcock and Bellamy were given that honor. Herman received two other awards – ITECH Goaltending Champion and All-Rookie Team. Sadie Wright-Ward (Durham, N.H.) was Hockey East Honorable Mention.

Garland, a senior defenseman, is tied for second in Hockey East among defenseman scorers with 13 points – all on assists – in 18 league games. Overall in 30 games, she has compiled 22 points on three goals and 19 assists to rank 11th nationally in defenseman scoring (0.73 ppg). Garland’s season highlights include a personal-best five assists (and five points) Feb. 2 at . The third-year captain also became the fifth UNH defensemen to record 100 career points with the last of her five assists in that game.

Faber, who became the first player in league history to garner consecutive Player of the Month awards (November and December), is second on Hockey East’s points leaderboard with 32 (13g, 19a) in 21 league games; eight of her 13 goals were game-winners. Overall in 34 games, Faber has 22 goals and 23 assists for a team-high 45 points. The junior forward also leads the team in both game-winning goals (12) and plus/minus (+37), and is ranked second in goals and shooting percentage (.193) as well as third in assists. Faber ranks No. 2 in the nation in game-winning goals, No. 12 in goals (0.65 gpg) and No. 14 in points (1.32 ppg).

Wakefield, a two-time Mission Rookie of the Month and four-time Mission Rookie of the Week honoree, received the distinction as Scoring Champion for her league-high 33 points on 19 goals and 14 assists. In 29 games overall, she tallied 23 goals and 18 assists for 41 points to lead the team in goals and rank third in points. Wakefield is also second in plus/minus (+33), tied for second in power-play goals (five) and third in shooting percentage (.190). In the national rankings, Wakefield is third in rookie scoring (1.41 ppg) and that is No. 9 overall; she is also No. 5 in goals (0.79 per game). She carries a six-game point-scoring streak into the postseason.

Hitchcock, a senior forward and assistant captain who also garnered First Team accolades in ’06, tallied 28 points on 16 goals, including a league-high 11 power-play goals, and 12 assists in 21 league games. In 34 games overall, she recorded 20 goals and 21 assists for 41 points to rank third in goals and points as well as fourth in assists. Hitchcock has a team-high 14 power-play goals and is fourth in shooting percentage (.169). In the national stats, she is atop the leaderboard in power-play goals, is No. 19 in goals (0.59 gpg) and No. 21 in points (1.21 ppg). Hitchcock carries a 10-game point-scoring streak into the league tournament.

Bellamy, a junior defenseman, is tied with arland for second in scoring among Hockey East blueliners with 13 points on three goals and 10 assists. In 31 games overall, she has three goals – two of which have been game-winners -- and 19 assists for 22 points. Bellamy is ranked No. 13 nationally in defensemen scoring at 0.71 ppg. She recorded four points with two goals and two assists in last weekend’s home-and-home series against nationally-ranked University of Connecticut.

Herman, whose regular-season accolades were ITECH Goaltender of the Month (December), Mission Rookie of the Month (November and January) and Mission Rookie of the Week (four times), received the ITECH Goaltending Champion award for her Hockey East record-setting GAA of 0.83 in 18 league games; she also set a league record for single-season wins with her 17-0-1 mark. Herman’s other league stats included a .944 save percentage and six shutouts, both of which also led Hockey East. In 30 games (29 starts), the rookie went 26-2-1 with a 1.04 GAA, .940 save percentage and seven shutouts. She ranks second nationally in wins as well as third in both GAA and save percentage.

Wright-Ward, a First Team selection and league MVP in ’06, tallied 30 points in 21 league games with 11 goals and 19 assists. In 34 games, the senior forward recorded 19 goals and 24 assists for 43 points; those numbers ranked (tied for) first in assists, second in points and fourth in goals. Wright-Ward ranks 16th in the nation in points (1.26 ppg) as well as No. 20 in goals (0.56 gpg) and No. 21 in assists (0.71 apg). She ended the regular season with a point in 14 consecutive games.

New Hampshire (30-3-1 overall, 20-0-1) became the first team to complete the Hockey East regular season undefeated to earn the top seed of the 6th Annual Hockey East Championship Tournament, which will be held March 8-9 at the University of Connecticut’s Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum. UNH opens tourney play against fourth-seeded Boston University (15-16-3, 11-9-1) Saturday at 12 p.m. The winner advances to Sunday’s 12:30 p.m. title game. UNH’s games will be broadcast on the UNH Sports Network and all of the tournament games will be videostreamed online by B2 Networks.

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