June 7, 2011

Men's Hockey Unveils 2011-12 Recruiting Class

DURHAM, N.H. – Dick Umile, head coach of the University of New Hampshire men's hockey team, announced the eight-member incoming freshman class of 2015 on Tuesday afternoon. Jay Camper (Rocky River, Ohio), Eric Chevrier (Dunnville, Ontario), Dan Correale (Prince George, British Columbia), Casey DeSmith (Rochester, N.H.), Grayson Downing (Abbottsford, British Columbia), Ryan Randall (Durham, N.H.), Trevor van Riemsdyk (Middletown, N.J.) and Matt Willows (Congers, N.Y.) make up New Hampshire's freshman class for the upcoming 2011-12 season.

"I am excited about the strength of this year's recruiting class," Umile said. "We have a solid balance of forwards, defensemen and a goaltender that will help us right away. I think all eight of these student-athletes will be a great fit for our program and the University."

Camper (F, 5-11, 174) is coming off two seasons in the USHL with the Chicago Steel. He missed the last 20 games of the Steel's 2010-11 season with injury. However, Camper still managed to collect 14 points (nine goals, five assists) in his 37 games played. On the ice, he was selected four consecutive years to compete in the USA Hockey Player Development Camp, while off the ice he sports a 4.20 grade-point average. His older brother Carter recently finished his fourth season with Miami (Ohio), while his other brother Ben played four years at Colgate.

Steel's Head Coach Scott McConnell on Camper: "What a warrior, Jay was our captain during a very difficult season for our club. He attempted to rise above the turmoil and lead his team towards the playoffs. He continually tried to fight back from injury, but finally had to end his season because of it. He is a competitor who is very reliable without the puck and will contribute to any team in all defensive situations."

Chevrier (D, 5-10, 190) potted a pair of goals and dished out 15 assists for 17 points in 35 games at Cushing (Mass.) Academy in his senior season. As a junior, Chevrier registered 14 points with 12 assists and two goals. The Ontario native played midget minor hockey for the Toronto Marlboro 93 team.

Cushing Academy Head Coach Rob Gagnon on Chevrier: "Eric has been a true leader at Cushing for the two years he has been here. He will be missed on the ice, but even more so on the campus. He is a physically tough defenseman. His strength is his physical play without the puck, he reminds me of former Wildcat Mick Mounsey. A defensive presence each shift. I have no doubt that he will be successful at UNH, his work ethic is unique and that alone will allow him to contribute quickly to the Wildcat defense."

Correale (F, 5-11, 195) played on the AJHL's Grand Prairie Storm in the 2010-11 season racking up 70 points (24 goals, 46 assists) in 60 regular-season games and three points (two goals, one assist) in five playoff games. In the Storm's nine playoff games during the 2009-10 season, Correale had seven points (five goals, two assists), earning him the Storm Playoff MVP award. Before his two seasons in the AJHL, he played in the BCHL with the Prince George Spruce Kings, recording 30 points (11 goals, 19 assists) in 93 games over two seasons.

Storm's Head Coach Mike Vandekamp on Correale: "The UNH fans will notice Dan right away as he can absolutely fly. The difference from his first year of junior to this year is that he was able to make plays with pace in his second year. He developed into a top PP and PK guy who used his one dominant skill – speed -- effectively in all situations. Dan is an exceptional player and young man. He will become a fan favorite in Durham much like he was in Grand Prairie."

DeSmith (G, 6-0, 174), one of two Granite Staters in this year's recruiting class, grew up in neighboring Rochester, DeSmith played his 2010-11 season with the Indiana Ice of the USHL, posting a 22-13-2 record in 37 regular season appearances with three shutouts, a .920 save percentage, and a 2.54 goals against average. He also put up a 2-2-0 playoff record including one shutout and a .929 save percentage. DeSmith received several USHL Goaltender of the Week Awards in his final season with the Ice. Also in 2010, DeSmith was selected as one of 22 USHL players to the U.S. Junior Select Team that competed in the 2010 World Junior A Challenge.

Ice's Head Coach Charlie Skjodt on DeSmith: "Casey is one of the most mature players that I have ever coached. He is focused and determined both on and off the ice. He has been a very good goaltender over the last two regular seasons and an incredible goalie in the playoffs. He plays his best hockey when the games are the biggest."

Downing (F, 6-0, 185) is coming off three seasons in the BCHL with the Westside Warriors. In his 2010-11 season, he posted 70 points with 34 goals and 36 assists in 52 games, while also putting in 13 power-play goals and five shorthanded goals. These numbers put Downing second in team scoring and 15th in points for the BCHL. He was also named the Interior Conference Most Sportsmanlike Player, as he collected only 30 penalty minutes.

Warriors' Head Coach Darren Yopyk on Downing: "A classic Wildcat forward, he simply makes plays from anywhere on the ice. He has an exceptional stick both as a playmaker and a finisher. He may be the most underrated defensive forward in the league, always my first PK forward, he just finds ways to get in lanes without the puck. I expect that he will impact UNH quickly."

Randall (D, 6-0, 195), a Durham, N.H. native, returns to his hometown Wildcats after playing the 2010-11 season in the EJHL with the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs. He racked up 24 points (11 goals, 13 assists) in 32 regular-season games and one point (one goal) in six playoff games. Randall helped his Jr. Monarchs team win the EJHL championship in both the 2010 and 2011 seasons.

Monarchs' Head Coach Sean Tremblay on Randall: "Ryan converted to defense only a year and a half ago, and it has been amazing how quickly his game grew. He already had good puck skills, but the move to defense allowed him the space and time to make the plays he was capable of. He is still developing, but his instincts are excellent both offensively and defensively. He became a top defenseman in our league, and I expect his development to carry over to UNH."

van Riemsdyk (D, 6-2, 185), a defensive partner of Randall's with the Monarchs, is the younger brother of former Wildcat standout James, who spent two seasons at UNH and was the second overall pick in the 2007 NHL draft by the Philadelphia Flyers. Trevor spent his 2010-11 season with the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs, posting 38 points (16 goals, 22 assists) in 39 games. He also recorded five points (two goals, three assists) in six playoff games, helping the Monarchs to the 2011 EJHL championship. van Riemsdyk's numbers led his team in regular season and playoff scoring for a defenseman.

Tremblay on van Riemsdyk: "Trevor is simply the most gifted offensive defensemen in the EJHL over the last two seasons. His ability to see the ice and make the right decision with the puck is exceptional.  Because his game with the puck is so strong, he is a very underestimated defensive player. I expect him to make an immediate and big impact in Durham."

Willows (F, 5-9, 185) played his 2010-11 season with the New Jersey Hitmen of the EJHL. In just 40 games, Willows racked up a league-leading 70 points (27 goals, 43 assists), while his 12 points (5 goals, 7 assists) in eight playoff games also led the EJHL. These numbers had Willows named the Offensive Player of the Year, totaling 145 points in 94 career contests. His high school career earned him a spot on the Lower Hudson Valley League 2 All-Star Team, where he also received the Player of the Year Award.

Hitmen's Head Coach Toby Harris on Willows: "Matt has great speed combined with an excellent work ethic. This combination puts him around the puck a lot on each shift. He can take it to the net himself and make a play to someone else, but his best quality is that he is difficult to play against. He has a high-end motor and he takes no shifts off; the Whit fans are going to love him."

The Wildcats kick off the 2010-11 season on Saturday, Oct. 1, against the University of New Brunswick.

UNH Hockey Recruiting Class of 2011-12
Name            Pos.    Hometown/Previous Team            Ht./Wt.        
Jay Camper    F    Rocky River, Ohio/Chicago (USHL)        5-11/174
Eric Chevrier    D    Dunnville, Ontario/Cushing Academy (Prep)     5-10/190
Dan Correale    F    Prince George, B.C./Grand Prairie (AJHL)    5-11/195
Casey DeSmith    G    Rochester, N.H./Indiana (USHL)        6-0/174
Grayson Downing    F    Abbottsford, B.C./Westside (BCHL)        6-0/185
Ryan Randall    D    Durham, N.H./Jr. Monarchs (EJHL)        6-0/195
Trevor van Riemsdyk    D    Middletown, N.J./ Jr. Monarchs (EJHL)        6-2/185
Matt Willows        F    Congers, N.Y./New Jersey (EJHL)        5-9/185

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