#15 MEN'S HOCKEY ENTERTAINS HOLY CROSS ON THURSDAY (7 P.M.)

AUDIO | STATS | VIDEO | GAME NOTES
DURHAM, N.H. -- The 15th-ranked University of New Hampshire men's ice hockey team concludes 2008 with a non-conference home game against Holy Cross on Thursday night (7 p.m.) at Whittemore Center. This meeting will be just the fifth all-time meeting between the two regional foes and the first since 1986. UNH holds a 3-1-0 advantage in four prior meetings including three-straight wins. The game will be heard on the Wildcat Sports Network with live audio, live stats and live video available online at www.unhwildcats.com.

SCOUTING THE CRUSADERS: The Crusaders come into Thursday’s action with a 5-10-1 overall record and a 5-8-1 Atlantic Hockey record. The Crusaders are coming off a split from last week’s home-and-home series against Bentley, as each team won on its home ice. Sophomore Matt Celin scored two goals, including the game-winner, as Holy Cross defeated Bentley, 3-2, on Dec. 6. Celin, who after playing his first 40 career games as a defender, now has three goals in two straight games as a forward. On the season, sophomore goalie Adam Roy notched a 3.19 goals against average with 4-9-1 record. Junior forward scoring leader Brodie Sheahan has amassed 13 points with 4 goals and 9 assists. Sophomore forward Jordan Cyr and junior forward Rob Forshner each have notched 10 points a piece.

SERIES HISTORY vs. HOLY CROSS (3-1-0)

1-20-56 (H) Holy Cross 6 UNH 3 L
2-26-57 (A) UNH 6 Holy Cross 0 W
12-14-57 (H) UNH 8 Holy Cross 0 W
12-31-86 (N) UNH 4 Holy Cross 1 W

SERIES HISTORY VS. HOLY CROSS: The Wildcats lead the all-time series against the Crusaders 3-1-0 in four all-time meetings between the two schools dating back to Jan. 20, 1956. The last meeting came on Dec. 31, 1986 in the championship game of the Auld Lang Syne Tournament at Dartmouth, which resulted in a 4-1 UNH win. Only nine players on the current UNH roster were alive the last time these teams met. In that game, Mike Rossetti recorded a hat trick while Scott Brown also tallied a goal. Tournament MVP Greg Rota registered 31 saves for the Wildcats.

LAST TIME THESE TEAMS MET (12/31/86 AT AULD LANG SYNE - DARTMOUTH): Behind the strength of a hat trick by Mike Rossetti, UNH captured a 4-1 win and the championship at the Auld Lang Syne on the campus of Dartmouth College. Greg Rota stopped 31 shots including 16 in the second stanza for the win. Rota was named tournament MVP, while Rossetti and Jeff Lazaro were All-Tournament selections.

LAST TIME OUT: Blake Kessel scored with 1:50 remaining to break a 2-2 tie and lead the Wildcats to a weekend sweep of UMass-Lowell on Saturday night. Trailing 2-1, Jerry Pollastrone netted the equalizer at 11:58. Greg Collins scored the Wildcats’ first goal, while Brian Foster stopped 15 shots for earn his seventh win of the season.

FOSTER NAMED HOCKEY EAST DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Brian Foster was Pure Hockey Hockey East Co-Defensive Player of the Week. The announcement was made on Monday afternoon. Foster, who earns this award for the second time this season, shares the honor with Boston University’s Kieran Millan.
Foster had 48 saves on the weekend in a pair of wins over No. 17 UMass-Lowell. He recorded his second shutout of the season stopping 29 shots on Friday night and followed that up with 19 saves on Saturday night.

UNH CAPTURES FIRST HOCKEY EAST SERIES, UNBEATEN IN LAST 10 HE SERIES: The Wildcats captured back-to-back games against UMass-Lowell to avenge an early 8-2 loss and win their first season series of 2008-09. UNH earned a split (1-1-1) with Northeastern in its only other completed series this year. After dropping its first complete series of 2007-08 to Northeastern, the Wildcats are unbeaten in their last 10 Hockey East season series .

TERRIFC TRIO: James van Riemsdyk, Kevin Kapstad and Bobby Butler are riding multi-game scoring streaks of nine, four and three games respectively.

MOVING ON UP: In a closely contest Hockey East, UNH moved from tied for seventh to tied for third with its three league wins.

FOSTER CONTINUES SUCCESS AGAINST UML: Brian Foster improves to 3-0-1 with a pair of shutouts over Mass-Lowell. The junior netminder has a 0.97 GAA with just four goals allowed in four games against the River Hawks. Two of Foster’s four career shutouts have come against UML.

LEADING AFTER TWO: UNH improves to 7-0-1 when leading after two periods.

FIRST ROAD WIN: The Wildcats captured their first road win of the 2008-09 season on Friday night at Tsongas. They are 1-5-2 on the road.

‘CATS 5-1-2 AGAINST RANKED FOES: UNH is now 5-1-2 against nationally ranked opponents as 71.4 percent of its wins have come over ranked foes.

LEBLANC SURPASSES PREVIOUS GOAL TOTAL: With his seventh goal of the season, Peter LeBlanc surpassed his career goal total of six through just 15 games this season.

KAPSTAD HAS SCORED IN FIVE STRAIGHT: Kevin Kapstad has registered a point in each of the last five games for New Hampshire.

van RIEMSDYK PROVIDING WILDCAT SPARK: James van Riemsdyk has 14 points during a current nine-game scoring streak (4g, 9a - 1.625 ppg) and has scored in all but two of the Wildcats’ games this season. He has scored in 12 of the last 13 games (8-13-21) and tallied a point in 21 of the last 24 games (9-23-32) dating back to Feb. 22, 2008 at BC.
0-1-1 vs. Mass-Lowell (12/6)
0-1-1 at Mass-Lowell (12/5)
0-1-1 vs. Merrimack (11/29)
0-1-1 vs. Providence (11/22)
2-0-2 at Northeastern (11/21)
1-3-4 at Boston College (11/15)
0-1-1 at Mass-Lowell (11/14)
1-1-2 at Minnesota (11/8)
0-1-1 at Minnesota (11/7)
0-0-0 at NU (11/1)
1-1-2 vs. NU (10/31)
0-1-1 at SLU (10/26)
1-0-1 vs. UMass (10/24)
1-1-2 vs. BU (10/19)
0-0-0 vs. RPI (10/17)
1-0-1 vs. Wisconsin (10/11)
0-3-3 vs. Notre Dame (3/28)
0-2-2 vs. Boston College (3/21)
0-2-2 vs. UMass (3/15)
0-1-1 vs. UMass (3/14)
0-0-0 vs. Merrimack (3/1)
0-1-1 at Merrimack (2/29)
1-0-1 vs. Boston College (2/23)
0-1-1 at Boston College (2/22)
TOTAL: 9-23-32 (1.33 PPG)

SCORING BY CLASS: 2008-09 breakdown of scoring by class.
(G) % (A) % (P) %
Seniors (4) 9% (21) 30% (25) 22%
Juniors (9) 21% (16) 23% (25) 22%
Sophomores (25) 58% (25) 36% (50) 45%
Freshmen (5) 12% (7) 10% (12) 11%
Totals (43) 100% (69) 100% (112) 100%

SOPHOMORE SLUMP? NOT AT UNH: Overall, the sophomores are accounting for 45 percent of the total offense. A UNH sophomore has scored a goal in 13-of-16 games this season, including a goal from Mike Sislo on Friday against UMass-Lowell. The second-year Wildcats have accounted for 58 percent of the goal scoring with 25-of-43 goals.
Player G A P
van Riemsdyk 8 13 21
Dries 5 5 10
Sislo 7 1 8
DeSimone 3 5 8
Thompson, P. 2 0 2
Vranek 0 1 1
Totals 25 23 48

van RIEMSDYK RANKS 14th NATIONALLY IN SCORING: James van Riemsdyk ranks 14th nationally in scoring with 1.31 points per game.

POWER PLAY PRODUCTION: The Wildcat power play has scored in seven of the last eight games including a tally on a 5-on-3 opportunity.

van RIEMSDYK RANKS FIRST IN HOCKEY EAST SCORING: James van Riemsdyk has 16 points in league play (6-10-16), which is the best in all of Hockey East.

van RIEMSDYK AND KESSEL NAMED TO JUNIOR NATIONAL TEAM: James van Riemsdyk and Blake Kessel have been named to the 2009 U.S. National Junior Team that will compete in the 2009 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship Dec. 26-Jan. 5 in Ottawa, Ontario. The IIHF World Junior Championship runs from Dec. 26 – Jan. 5.

WHITTEMORE TRULY HOME SWEET HOME: UNH is 13-2-1 in its last 15 games at Whittemore Center and are 20-5-1 dating back to the start of the 2007-08 season.

UNH’S HOCKEY EAST TOP WEEKLY PERFORMERS (AS ANNOUNCED BY LEAGUE OFFICE):
Bobby Butler, UNH (Jr., F, Marlboro, Mass.) Had three assists during the weekend including two on Saturday night with helpers on the first two goals of the night. He had an assist on the game-winner on Friday night at UMass-Lowell.
Blake Kessel, UNH (Fr., D, Verona, Wis.) Scored the game-winner on Saturday night against UMass-Lowell.

THE NATIONAL POLLS:
USCHO.com/CBS Sports Division I Men’s Poll (Dec. 8)
Rk. Team (First Place) Record Pts LW

1 Notre Dame (41) 12-3-2 976 1
2 Minnesota (3) 7-2-5 918 3
3 Miami (3) 10-3-3 873 4
4 Boston University 10-4-1 805 7
5 Northeastern 11-3-2 759 6
6 Denver (1) 11-5-1 731 8
7 Boston College 9-5-2 723 2
8 Princeton (2) 10-2-0 678 9
9 Colorado College 9-5-4 570 5
10 Cornell 7-1-2 544 13
11 Vermont 9-3-2 507 12
12 Air Force 14-2-0 445 10
13 Michigan 11-7-0 438 14
14 Minnesota State 8-5-3 272 11
15 New Hampshire 7-6-3 214 19
16 Wisconsin 9-7-2 183 NR
17 St. Cloud State 10-6-0 169 NR
18 Dartmouth 6-4-0 163 16
19 Nebraska-Omaha 9-4-3 156 18
20 Alaska 8-4-4 86 20

USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine (Dec. 8)
Rk. School, Pts. (FPV) LW Record WIP

1 Notre Dame, 504 (30) 1 12-3-2 11
2 Minnesota, 459 (2) 2 7-2-5 11
3 Miami (Ohio), 443 (2) 4 10-3-3 11
4 Boston University, 380 5 10-4-1 11
5 University of Denver, 347 7 11-5-1 11
6 Northeastern University, 337 8 11-3-2 8
7 Princeton University, 307 9 10-2-0 10
8 Boston College, 279 3 9-5-2 11
9 Cornell University, 220 13 7-1-2 5
10 Colorado College, 212 6 9-5-4 11
11 Vermont, 192 12 9-3-2 6
12 Michigan, 126 14 11-7-0 11
13 Air Force Academy, 120 10 14-2-0 6
14 Minnesota State, 46 11 8-5-3 9
15 New Hampshire, 33 15 7-6-3 10

WHERE IS UNH RANKED?: Here is a week-by-week look at the ‘Cats in the national polls and the HE standings:
Date USA TODAY USCHO HE
9/22 N/A 7 3rd (pre)
9/29 N/A 7 3rd (pre)
10/6 7 7 3rd (pre)
10/13 6 6 ---
10/20 3 4 2nd
10/27 7 6 2nd
11/3 5 5 2nd
11/10 5 6 2nd
11/17 13 13 5th
11/24 NR 15 6th
12/1 15 19 7th
12/8 15 15 3rd

NORTHEAST REGIONAL TICKETS ON SALE: Tickets for the Northeast regional at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, N.H. (hosted by the University of New Hampshire), are now on sale. Fans can purchase tickets by visiting the Verizon Wireless Arena box office, by calling (603) 868-7300 or by logging onto the internet at www.unhwildcats.com or www.ticketmaster.com. Start times for the first-round games are 1:30 and 5 p.m. Eastern time, March 28, while the regional final is 5:30 p.m. Eastern time, March 29. Tickets for the three-game package are $82.

Wildcats Among National leaders (12/8): Below is a list of where UNH players and the team rank nationally.
Individual Rank Stats
Points Per Game:
James van Riemsdyk 14th 1.31 ppg
Goals Per Game:
James van Riemsdyk 25th 0.50 gpg
Assists Per Game:
James van Riemsdyk 22nd 0.81 apg
Power Play Goals:
James van Riemsdyk 43rd 3 ppg
Short-Handed Goals:
James van Riemsdyk 10th 1 shg
Game-Winning Goals:
Peter LeBlanc 8th 2 gwg
Defensemen Scoring:
none ranked
Freshmen Scoring:
none ranked
Goals Against Average:
Brian Foster 20th 2.21
Save Percentage:
Brian Foster 16th .928
Winning Percentage:
Brian Foster 26th .615
Team
Scoring Offense 31st 2.69 gpg
Scoring Defense 37th 2.94 gapg
Scoring Margin 36th -.25
Power Play 49th 10.9
Penalty Kill 34th 83.2
Combined Special Teams 42nd 47.6
Team Winning Percentage 28th .531

WHERE UNH IS RANKED IN HOCKEY EAST (12/8):
Overall HE games

Goals/per game 2.69/7th 2.91/6th
GAA 2.94/9th 3.09/9th
Power Play 10.9/9th 13.3/8th
Penalty Kill 83.2/7th 83.1/6th
Special Teams Net -7/8th -2/7th
1st Period Scoring 11/6th 9/3rd
2nd Period Scoring 19/3rd 12/2nd
3rd Period Scoring 13/8th 11/4th

WILDCAT AWARDS: Here is a list of awards that Wildcat players have won to date this season:
Player Award Date
J. van Riemsdyk CHN’s Nat. Plys to Watch 10-4-08
Joe Charlebois CHN’s Nat. Plys to Watch 10-4-08
Brian Foster CHN’s Nat. Plys to Watch 10-4-08
Brian Foster HE Def. Player of the Week 10-20-08
Brian Foster Inside Hockey Play. of the Week 10-20-08
Brian Foster HE Goalie of the Month October
Brian Foster HE Def. Player of the Week 12-8-08

WILDCATS PICKED THIRD IN HOCKEY EAST POLL: UNH was picked third in the Hockey East preseason Coaches’ Poll, which was announced Sept. 29 at the league’s annual media day at Legends Restaurant at the TD Banknorth Garden.

2008-09 Hockey East Men’s Preseason Coaches Poll
Rk. Team (FPV) Pts

1. Boston College (6) 86
2. Boston University (3) 80
3. New Hampshire (1) 78
4. Northeastern 62
5. Vermont 58
6. Massachusetts 48
7. UMass-Lowell 46
8. Providence 34
9. Maine 28
10. Merrimack 20

HOME SWEET HOME: UNH is in its 14th season of play at the Whittemore Center in 2008-09, posting a 6-1-1 at Towse Rink.UNH owns a 176-49-20 all-time record in 14 seasons of play at the Whittemore Center with 159 sellouts during that time in 244 all-time games.

THE DICK UMILE ERA: Dick Umile, a five-time Hockey East Coach of the Year, enters his 19th season as the head coach of the UNH Wildcats. He recently earned his fourth Leonard Fowle New England Coach of the Year award. After signing a long-term contract in 2000, Umile will conclude his coaching career at his alma mater. During his time spent at UNH, Umile has molded UNH hockey into one of the top programs in all of Division I hockey, guiding the Wildcats to four Frozen Four appearances, 14 NCAA tournament appearances and 18 Hockey East championship tournament showings in his 18-year career in Durham. In addition, Umile has posted 16 20-victory campaigns over the span of 18 seasons, including a current streak of 12 20-win seasons and back-to-back 25-plus win seasons. Umile is now the winningest coach in the history of UNH hockey with 424 career victories. He surpassed legendary coach Charlie Holt on Feb. 16, 2005 in a 6-1 victory at Merrimack at Thom Lawler Arena in North Andover, Mass. Umile ranks third among active NCAA coaches with a .653 winning percentage and on the active victories list his 424 victories ranks eighth among NCAA coaches. He has been named Coach of the Year a total of 10 times in his career, including New England honors four times. Umile’s five Hockey East Coach of the Year Awards is an all-time league best. Last season Umile led the Wildcats to a 25-10-3 record, including a program-record 19 Hockey East wins en route to a 19-5-3 record in league play, which earned UNH the regular season title for the second season in a row. Umile captured his 400th career victory Oct. 19, 2007 against Boston University. Umile coached four All-Americans in Kevin Regan, Mike Radja, Matt Fornataro, and Brad Flashains, which was the first time in school history that four players received that honor.

THE PROGRAM’S HISTORY: UNH has appeared in the NCAA Tournament 18 times in the 81-year history of the program. UNH has appeared in the Frozen Four seven times, including national championship game appearances against Maine in 1999 and Minnesota in 2003. UNH earned Hockey East Tournament titles in 2002 and 2003 and regular-season championships in 1997, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2007 and 2008. The Wildcats won the ECAC regular-season title in 1974 and the tournament championship in 1979. UNH has posted 29 seasons with 20-plus wins, including the last 12 consecutive seasons.

‘CATS SELECTED IN THE NHL DRAFT: Six current UNH players have been selected in the National Hockey League draft.Joe Charlebois (Chicago), Phil DeSimone (Washington), Brian Foster (Florida), Blake Kessel (N.Y. Islanders), Peter LeBlanc (Chicago) and James van Riemsdyk (Philadelphia) have all been taken.

‘CATS IN THE PROS: Here is a listing of former Wildcats playing professional hockey:
Justin Aikins: Sport Vaasan Mestis(FIN)
Travis Banga: Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees (CHL)
Derek Bekar: Springfield Falcons (AHL)
Eric Boguniecki: Iowa Chops (AHL)
A.J. Bucchino: Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees (CHL)
Ty Conklin: Detroit Red Wings (NHL)
Matt Dzieduszycki: Hannover Scorpions (DEL)
Matt Fornataro: Phoenix Roadrunners (ECHL)
Lanny Gare: Bad Nauheim EC (GerObL)
Darren Haydar: Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL)
Brett Hemingway:Alaska Aces (ECHL)
Colin Hemingway: Alaska Aces (ECHL)
Mark Kolanos: Arizona Sun Dogs (CHL)
Jason Krog: Manitoba Moose (AHL)
Nathan Martz: Alba Volan Szekeshfehervar (Austria)
Jacob Micflikier: Rochester Americans (AHL)
Mark Mowers: Fribourg-Gotteron (Swiss NL)
Chris Murray: Portland Pirates (AHL)
Bryan Muir: Minsk Dynamo (KHL)
Eric Nickulas: Ingolstadt ERC (DEL)
Josh Prudden: Fresno Falcons (ECHL)
Mike Radja: Rockford Ice Hogs (AHL)
Kevin Regan: Providence Bruins (AHL)
Steve Saviano: Tappara Tampere (FNL)
Tyler Scott: Bakersfield Condors (ECHL)
Trevor Smith: Bridgeport Soundtigers (AHL)
Mike Souza: Cortina SG (Italy)
Garrett Stafford: Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL)
Craig Switzer: Elmira Jackals (ECHL)
Tyson Teplitsky: Cardiff Devils (EIHL)
Daniel Winnik: Phoenix Coyotes (NHL)
Brian Yandle: Augusta Lynx (ECHL)

UNH HOCKEY ON THE RADIO: UNH men’s hockey action this season can be heard live on the UNH Sports Network.In the summer of 1999, the University of New Hampshire Athletic Department formed the “UNH Sports Network” — the largest network ever to broadcast UNH sporting events. In 2001-2002, WTSN AM 1270 was introduced as the flagship station with the signal carried on several stations through New Hampshire. The network also consists of WGIR 610AM in Manchester; WNTK 99.7 FM in New London; WCNL 1010AM in Newport; and WUVR-1490AM in Lebanon. WNTK offers streaming audio of network broadcasts at www.wntk.com. Dan Parkhurst will once again be handling the majority of the play-by-play, while Pete Webster will be doing the color commentating. Webster has been anouncing Wildcat hockey for 15 years since the 1993-94 season.

LISTEN LIVE ON THE INTERNET: Yahoo Broadcast will carry all of the UNH men’s ice hockey action again this season.If you can not attend Wildcat hockey at the Whittemore Center, you can still tune into the game from anywhere you can gain access to the internet.Fans can get to the UNH men’s ice hockey Yahoo Broadcast site by going to the men’s hockey schedule page at www.unhwildcats.com.

UNH HOCKEY ON TELEVISION: UNH will have 12 games broadcast live on TV in 2008-09.NESN will air four games, while three will air on CN8 and ESPNU, while two will air on FSN-North Minnesota.

DATE GAME Channel Result
OCT. 19 BOSTON U. ESPNU W, 2-1
OCT. 26 @ ST. Lawrence ESPNU L, 1-4
Oct. 31 NORTHEASTERN CN8 W, 4-2
NOV. 7 @ Minnesota Fox Sports North-MN T, 2-2
NOV. 8 @ Minnesota Fox Sports North-MN L, 2-6
DEC. 6 UMASS-LOWELL CN8 W, 3-2
JAN. 4 @ Maine ESPNU
JAN. 23 @Boston U. NESN
JAN. 24 BOSTON U. CN8
FEB. 6 MAINE NESN
FEB. 20 BOSTON COLLEGE NESN
FEB. 28 MERRIMACK NESN

THE DICK UMILE SHOW ON RADIO: The Coach’s Show featuring UNH men’s hockey head coach Dick Umile, with hosts Andy Schachat and D. Ellis is broadcast on Mondays live from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on WTSN-1270 AM (Dover, N.H.), simulcasted on WGIR- 610 AM (Manchester, N.H.) and on www.wtsn1270.com from Libby’s Bar and Grill on Main Street in Durham.The show will start the Monday following the end of the UNH football season.The Coaches Show features Coach Umile as well as a selected student-athlete each week from the men’s ice hockey team.

GRANITE STATE CONNECTION: The Wildcat hockey team features three players from New Hampshire with Brian Foster (Pembroke), Paul Thompson (Derry) and Alan Thompson (Gilford) all hailing from the Granite State.

WATCH ALL THE ACTION WITH THE UNHWILDCATS.TV: After an extremely successful first season, UNH and Pack Network have once again partnered to provide online video streaming of UNH’s seven ticketed sports for the upcoming 2008-09 season with UNHwildcats.TV.
Wildcat fans are encouraged to buy the “Wildcat All-Access Pass” which is an annual subscription for $79.95 that provides not only all the live coverage of UNH home athletic events, but also premium content not available to view without the All-Access Pass. The premium content includes a behind the scenes look at UNH athletics through player and coaches interviews, highlights, podcasts, select post-game interviews and an in-depth archive section of all video available on UNHwildcats.TV. Fans can also purchase home events on a per game basis of $6.95.

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