DURHAM, N.H. – Brian McCloskey, head coach of the fifth-ranked University of New Hampshire women’s ice hockey team, was honored as Coach of the Year by Hockey East at the league’s annual banquet Friday night at Huddleston Hall on UNH’s campus, and four of his student-athletes also received league accolades.
Kacey Bellamy (Westfield, Mass.), Sam Faber (Mt. Sinai, N.Y.) and Jenn Wakefield (Pickering, Ontario) were named to the Hockey East All-Star First Team and Kelly Paton (Woodstock, Ontario) was announced as a Second Team selection.
This marks the fourth Hockey East Coach of the Year award for McCloskey, who was also feted in 2003, 2005 and 2006. He directed the Wildcats to a 22-5-5 overall record and their sixth consecutive regular-season league title this season. McCloskey has led the ‘Cats to 20-plus wins all seven years and twice been a runner-up for the national Coach of the Year award.
Bellamy, a senior defenseman and captain of the Wildcats, ranks third in the nation in defensemen scoring with 26 points (4g, 22a) in 32 games. She recorded three goals and 14 assists for 17 points in 21 Hockey East league games as well as 3-10-13 in 15 games against nationally-ranked teams. Bellamy ranks second on the team in both assists and plus/minus. In the league, she is third in assists. Bellamy was a Second Team selection each of the past two years.
Faber, a senior forward and assistant captain, was named to the First Team for the third consecutive year. She ranks sixth nationally in shorthanded goals (three) as well as 17th in assists per game and 23rd in points per game with 13 goals, 27 assists and 40 points in 32 games. Faber leads UNH in both assists and plus/minus; furthermore, she is third in both points and goals as
well as fourth in shooting percentage. Faber tallied 10-17-27 in 21 Hockey East league games and 6-11-17 in 15 games against nationally-ranked teams. In the league, she is second in assists and fourth in points. Faber recorded a point in 23 of 32 games with 11 multiple-point efforts.
Wakefield, a sophomore forward, garnered First Team recognition for the second time in as many years. With 32 goals and 17 assists for 49 points in 30 games, she ranks third in the nation in goals per game and 12th in points per game; Wakefield leads the nation in power-play goals and game-winning goals, and is also second in shorthanded goals.
Wakefield recorded team highs in points, goals, power-play goals, shorthanded goals, game-winning goals and shots; additionally, she was second in shooting percentage, fourth in plus/minus and fifth in assists. Wakefield recorded 21-9-30 in 19 league games and 13-8-21 in 14 games vs. nationally-ranked teams. She tallied a point in 26 of 30 games with 15 multiple-point efforts. Earlier this week, Wakefield – a two-time TPS Hockey Player of the Month selection by Hockey East – was named a 2009 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award Top 10 Finalist.
Paton, a junior, recorded 21 goals and 21 assists for 42 points in 32 games to rank 20th in the nation in points per game and 21st in goals per game; she is also 11th in power-play goals. Paton is the only Wildcat with 20+ goals and 20+ assists this season and her team rankings include first in shooting percentage, second in goals, power-play goals and points; she is also third in assists, game-winning goals and plus/minus. She tallied 12-16-28 in 21 Hockey East league games as well as 7-12-19 in 15 games vs. nationally-ranked teams. Paton opened the season with an 11-game point-scoring streak and recorded a point in 25 of 32 games with 12 multiple-point efforts. Her ’09 accolades included TPS Hockey Player of the Month by Hockey East for January.
New Hampshire, which ended the regular season with a 13-game winning streak, is the top seed and host of the 2009 WHEA
Championship Tournament on March 7-8 at the Whittemore Center. The Wildcats face off against fourth-seeded Providence College in Saturday’s early semifinal at 12 p.m.
The second semifinal featuring Boston College and Boston University is at 3 p.m. and Sunday’s title game begins at 12:30 p.m. Tickets for the event are available at the arena’s box office, by calling (603) 868-7300 or by clicking here.