WAKEFIELD, Mass.  – Courtney Birchard (Mississauga, Ontario), a sophomore defenseman on the fourth-ranked University of New Hampshire women’s ice hockey team, was named Pure Hockey Defensive Player of the Week by Hockey East on Monday.

Birchard scored UNH’s only goal in the NCAA quarterfinal matchup March 14 against fifth-ranked University of Minnesota Duluth. Her power-play tally lifted the Wildcats within 2-1 at 11:59 of the third period.

Birchard, who made the transition to defenseman for the last 16 games of the season, recorded nine goals and 14 assists for 23 points in 35 games overall. She tallied 5-5-10 16 games as a defenseman and ended the year with a point in six of the last seven games, including all three in the postseason.

In two years as a Wildcat, Birchard has compiled 17 goals and 27 assists for 44 points in 63 games.

UNH completed the 2009 season with a 24-6-5 overall record. The Wildcats won their sixth consecutive Hockey East regular-season title and fourth straight league tournament title en route to hosting an NCAA quarterfinal game for the fourth consecutive year.


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