UNH's Saviano earns Hockey East Player of the Year honors

BOSTON- Senior co-captain Steve Saviano (Reading, Mass.) was named Hockey East Player of the Year on Thursday evening at the Hockey East awards banquet at the Sonesta Hotel in Boston.

Saviano, who was the only unanimous Hockey East First-Team All-Star, also took home the Len Ceglarksi Award for outstanding sportsmanship. Saviano is the fifth UNH player in the last six years to take home Player of the Year honors (Jason Krog- 1999, Ty Conklin-2000, Darren Haydar- 2002 and Mike Ayers- 2003). Along with Saviano, freshman forward Brett Hemingway (Surrey, B.C.) was selected to the league's All-Rookie Team and sophomore defenseman Brian Yandle (Milton, Mass.) earned honorable mention honors.

Saviano, who is enjoying his finest season as a Wildcat, has recorded 26 goals and 21 assists for 47 points in 39 games in his senior campaign. He leads the Wildcats' squad in points, goals and plus/minus (+17). Saviano ranks tied for sixth in point scoring among Div. I players and his 1.21 points per game is 10th best in the nation. His 26 goals is third best on the the Div. I leaderboard.

Saviano has registered 9-7-16 with a +10 plus/minus rating in 13 games vs. nationally ranked opponents. He posted a career-high four goals twice this season Oct. 24 vs. Canisius and Jan. 23 vs. Merrimack. He also tallied a career-high five points on Jan. 23rd, as well as a career-high three assists Dec. 5 at Clarkson.

In 24 conference games, Saviano amassed 25 points (14g, 11a), which ranked fifth among conference players. He has posted at least one point in 24 of UNH's 39 contests with 11 multi-point games to his credit. Entering his senior season, Saviano had accumulated 23 goals in his previous three seasons as a Wildcat.

Hemingway, in 32 games in his freshman campaign, posted seven goals and 12 assists for 19 points as the Wildcats' second-leading rookie scorer. He posted 13 of his 19 points in 19 conference games, which was the second-highest point total of any Hockey East rookie in league games.

Yandle has amassed 28 points (11g, 17a) as a sophomore in 39 games as UNH's leading point producer on the blueline. His 0.72 points per game is 10th best among defensemen nationally.

No. 4 seed UNH (20-13-6, 10-8-6 HE) returns to action on Friday, March 19 vs. the No. 3 seed University of Massachusetts (18-11-6, 12-9-3 HE) in the semifinals of the Hockey East Championships. Game time at the FleetCenter in Boston is 8 p.m.

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