DURHAM, N.H.  – The University of New Hampshire women’s ice hockey program lauded the accomplishments of the 2008 Wildcat team, which was one of the most successful teams in the program’s storied history, and its student-athletes at the annual team banquet that was recently held at the Whittemore Center.

Junior forward Sam Faber (Mt. Sinai, N.Y.) was the recipient of the Karyn Bye Award as the team MVP. Faber led the team in both assists (24) and points (49) for the second consecutive year; she also led the team in plus/minus (+41), game-winning goals (13) and shorthanded goals (three); furthermore, Faber ranked second in goals (25) as well as third in shooting percentage (.192). Faber led the nation in game-winning goals and was second in shorthanded goals, 10th in goals (0.66 gpg) and 13th in points (1.29 ppg). Faber’s 2008 Hockey East accolades included Tournament MVP, First-Team All-Star and TPS Hockey Player of the Month (November and December); she was also honored as a New England All-Star.

Kacey Bellamy
(Westfield, Mass.) received the Colleen Coyne Award as the top defenseman. With 23 assists, Bellamy had one less than the team leaders. She led UNH’s defensemen in goals (three), assists and points (26), and she also had a plus/minus rating of +30 to rank fifth overall. Bellamy ranked No. 23 in the nation in assists (0.66 apg) and No. 10 in defenseman scoring (0.74 ppg). Bellamy’s other 2008 honors included Hockey East Second-Team All-Star and New England All-Star.

Sadie Wright-Ward (Durham, N.H.) was honored with the Tricia Dunn Award as the top defensive forward for the second time in three years; she also received that accolade in 2006. The senior tied for the team lead in assists (24) and ranked third in both goals (20) and points (44) to rank 21st in the nation in points (1.16 ppg) and 25th in goals (0.53 gpg). Wright-Ward also tallied a +24 plus/minus rating.

Senior forward Leah Craig (Seaforth, Ontario) was bestowed with two awards – the Sue Merz Award (Seventh Player) and Fan Favorite Award. Craig tied for the team lead in assists (24) and was fifth in both goals (13) and points (37); she also ranked fourth in plus/minus at +31 and fifth in shooting percentage (.129).

For the second consecutive year, Nicole Goguen (Truro, Nova Scotia) won the Unsung Hero Award. The senior defenseman contributed six points, all on assists, to the offense but much of her contribution to the second-ranked defense and top-ranked penalty kill went unheralded, as did her leadership as an assistant captain.

The Rookie of the Year Award went to goaltender Kayley Herman (Weyburn, Saskatchewan), who had a record-setting year in net for the Wildcats. She broke the UNH single-season records for wins (29) and goals-against-average (1.07), while her marks in save percentage (.938), shutouts (nine) and minutes (2026:45) rank third. With those statistics, Herman was No. 3 in the nation in GAA and wins as well as fourth in minutes and fifth in save percentage. Herman’s 2008 Hockey East accolades included ITECH Goaltending Champion, Second-Team All-Star, ITECH Goaltender of the Month (December) and Mission Rookie of the Month (November and January).

Senior defenseman and third-year captain Martine Garland (Toronto, Ontario) received the Norma O’Dowd Award for sportsmanship. Garland was whistled for just one (minor) penalty in 34 games as an integral part of the defensive unit and both the penalty kill and power play. She recorded three goals and 20 assists for 23 points, and ranked No. 15 nationally in defenseman scoring (0.68 ppg). Garland was a 2008 All-America Second Team selection in ’08 and her other honors included Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award Top 10 Finalist, New England All-Star and Hockey East First-Team All-Star.

Senior defenseman Diana Saly (Edina, Minn.) was the recipient of the Academic Excellence Award for the second time in as many years. In 30 games this season, Saly tallied one point with an assist. She has a double major in math and philosophy and has been selected to the Hockey East All-Academic Team every year.

Special recognition was given to the six-member senior class that includes Craig, Garland, Goguen, Saly, Wright-Ward, and assistant captain Jennifer Hitchcock (LaSalle, Ontario). Hitchcock tallied 172 points to rank seventh on UNH’s all-time scoring list.

UNH (33-4-1, 20-0-1 Hockey East) became the first team to complete the Hockey East season undefeated to win its fifth consecutive league regular-season title en route to a third straight league tournament title and a trip to the NCAA Frozen Four in 2008.
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