12th-ranked Men's Hockey Plays Host to New Brunswick in Exhibition Action Saturday (4 p.m.)

Game Notes
DURHAM, N.H. -- The 12th-ranked University of New Hampshire men's hockey team opens the 2011-12 season with an exhibition game against the University of New Brunswick. Puck drops at 4 p.m. at Whittemore Center.

Scouting New Brunswick: The Varsity Reds are coming off another standout season after winning the University Cup Title, for Canada's best college hockey team. New Brunswick finished the regular season with an overall 42-9 record and a 23-5 Atlantic University Sport Conference record, taking home the AUS regular-season title. The Varsity Reds return 17 players including their second-leading scorer from last year's team, Chris Culligan, who amassed 38 points on 13 goals and 25 assists in 28 conference games. Along with Culligan, New Brunswick returns its leading goaltender, Travis Fullerton, who led the Varsity Reds with a 14-5 conference record including five shutouts. Last season, New Brunswick played four games against Hockey East opponents, beating UMass-Amherst, Vermont, and Providence, while also losing to Providence to post a 3-1 record.

Umile Approaching 300 Hockey East Victories: UNH head coach Dick Umile is just one win shy of 300 wins in Hockey East play. Umile, with 299 wins, is looking to become just the second coach in league history to capture 300 league wins. BU's Jack Parker was the first. italics=active
Coach        Team        Years in HE    Wins
1. Jack Parker    BU        27        389
2. Dick Umile    UNH        21        299
3. Jerry York    BC        17        241
4. Shawn Walsh    Maine        17        226
5. Tim Whitehead    UML, Maine    15        176

UNH to Play Rival Maine at Fenway Park: The University of New Hampshire will make history Jan. 7, 2012, when the Wildcats face off against longtime nemesis University of Maine at Fenway Park as part of a Hockey East doubleheader that was announced Aug.  25 at the venerable ballpark, which is home to the Boston Red Sox of MLB. The event has been dubbed Frozen Fenway 2012 and Hockey Day in New England. The 111th meeting in the series between UNH and Maine - the 'Cats swept last year's season series - is the second game of a doubleheader at 7:30 p.m. and will be preceded by a matchup between the University of Vermont and the University of Massachusetts at 4 p.m. The doubleheader will be broadcast live in high-definition on NESN.

Jim Tortorella Named Associate Head Coach: On Aug. 30, Dick Umile announced the hiring of Jim Tortorella as associate head coach of the program. Tortorella comes to New Hampshire after a 16-year stint as head coach at Colby College, where he led the Mules to an impressive 230-138-33 record in that span and leaves his mark as the program's all-time leader in career wins. A highly respected coach throughout the New England region, Tortorella brings a wealth of experience to Durham and will work primarily with the UNH defense. Tortorella replaces former associate coach David Lassonde, who was recently named the assistant coach at the University of Denver.

Wildcats Tabbed Third in Hockey East Preseason Poll: The University of New Hampshire men's hockey team was picked to finish third in the Hockey East Preseason Coaches' Poll, which was announced Sept. 27 at the league's annual media day at Legends Restaurant at the TD Garden. The Wildcats garnered 72 points in the poll, which was good enough for a third place preseason standing. UNH was picked third last season and finished second in the league's regular-season standings. New Hampshire has finished in the top three in Hockey East each of the last five seasons, including three regular-season titles in that span.

2011-2012 Hockey East Preseason Coaches Poll
Rk.            Team (FPV)                    Pts
1.            Boston College (7)                    88
2.            Boston University (3)                   83
3.            New Hampshire                    72          
4.            Maine                        64
5.            Merrimack                        61
6.            Vermont                        44
7.            Massachusetts                    42
8.            Northeastern                    33                      
9.            UMass-Lowell                    27
10.          Providence                        26

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
9/27            12th    12th    3rd (pre)

THE NATIONAL POLLS:
USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Men's Hockey Poll (Sept. 28)
Rk.      Team, Points  (FPV)    Last Poll    20-10-11 Record
1    Miami University, 453 (15)    8    23-10-6    
2    Notre Dame, 427 (4)        4    25-14-5
3    North Dakota, 373 (3)    3    32-9-3
4    University of Denver, 366    7    25-12-5
5    Boston College, 364 (1)    5    30-8-1
6    Boston University, 343 (3)    NR    19-12-8
7    Colorado College, 316    11    23-19-3
8    Yale University, 277 (2)    6    28-7-1
9    University of Michigan, 262    2    29-11-4
10    Minnesota Duluth, 232 (6)    1    26-10-6
11    Union College, 151        12    26-10-4
12    New Hampshire, 124    9    22-11-6
13    Western Michigan, 116    13    19-13-10
14    Nebraska Omaha, 89    14    21-16-2
15    University of Maine, 64    NR    17-12-5
Others receiving votes: University of Minnesota, 29; Merrimack College, 19; University of Wisconsin, 17; Cornell University, 15; University of Alaska, 8; Dartmouth College, 8; Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 8; Rochester Institute of Technology, 6; United States Air Force Academy, 5; Ohio State University, 3; College of the Holy Cross, 1; Lake Superior State University, 1; Quinnipiac University, 1; St. Cloud State University, 1.
 
USCHO.com Division I Men's Hockey Poll (Sept. 26)
Rk.    School    (FPV)    Record    Points    Lst Wk.
1     Notre Dame              (11)      25-14-5       740         1
 2     Miami                   (12)      23-10-6       722         2
 3     North Dakota            (5)      32- 9-3       720         3
 4     Denver                            25-12-5       670         4
 5     Boston College          (2)      30-8-1       659         5
 6     Michigan                         29-11-4       613         6
 7     Colorado College                  23-19-3       594         7
 8     Minnesota-Duluth        (10)      26-10-6       586         8
 9     Yale                    (1)      28- 7-1       571         9
10    Boston University       (2)      19-12-8       542        10
11     Union                             26-10-4       382        11
12     New Hampshire                     22-11-6       368        12
13     Western Michigan                  19-13-10   362        13
14     Nebraska-Omaha                    21-16-2       288        14
15     Merrimack                         25-10-4       198        15
16     Maine                             17-12-7       190        16
17     Wisconsin                         21-16-4       129        17
18     Rensselaer                        20-13-5       121        18
19     Minnesota                         16-14-6       107        19
20     Cornell                           16-15-3       106        20
Others receiving votes: Dartmouth 80, Air Force 74, RIT 53,
St. Cloud State 48, Alaska 22, Ohio State 16, Northeastern
15, Ferris State 12, Lake Superior 8, Northern Michigan 8,
Providence 8, Princeton 7, Michigan State 4, Quinnipiac 4,
Massachusetts 3.

Wildcats on Defense: Senior co-captain Damon Kipp (Salmon Arms, British Columbia) anchors a solid corps of defensive returnees. Kipp played in 106 career games with 31 points during his first three seasons. Juniors Brett Kostolansky (Denver, Colo.) and Connor Hardowa (Edmonton, Alberta) both took giant leaps in 2010-11 and will be asked to provide leadership on the Wildcat blueline. Kostolansky, a mainstay on the UNH power play, is a sure-handed defender that spent all of last season on UNH's top defensive pair. Kostolansky's 19 points are the most by any returning blueliner and were second best on the team a year ago. Hardowa, voted UNH's Most Improved Player in 2010-11, was an invaluable part of the UNH blueliners. Hardowa's +13 rating was the second best by a New Hampshire defenseman and he chipped in with 13 points, third best by a UNH defender. Sophomores Eric Knodel (West Chester, Pa.) and Justin Agosta (East Meadow, N.Y.) are primed to compete for a spot in the Wildcat defense. Both gained valuable experience being able to learn the New Hampshire defensive systems as freshmen. Knodel is a fifth-round pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs, while Agosta spent time in both the EJHL and USHL in 2009-10. A trio of freshmen -- Trevor van Riemsdyk (Middletown, N.J.), Eric Chevrier (South Cayuga, Ontario) and Ryan Randall (Durham, N.H.) -- could all see time on defense for Coach Umile in 2011-12. van Riemsdyk, the younger brother of Wildcat phenom James van Riemsdyk, and Randall were defensive partners in 2010-11 for the New Hampshire Junior Monarchs. The duo helped lead the Jr. Monachs to an EJHL championship a year ago. Randall racked up 24 points (11 goals, 13 assists) in 32 regular-season games, while van Riemsdyk posted 38 points (16 goals, 22 assists) in 39 games. Chevrier potted a pair of goals and dished out 15 assists for 17 points in 35 games at Cushing (Mass.) Academy in his senior season.

Forward Thinking: Senior co-captain Mike Borisenok (Watervliet, N.Y.) and alternate captain Stevie Moses (Leominster, Mass.) made up two-thirds of one the team's top lines in 2010-11. This pair along with fellow senior Kevin McCarey (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) comprises the veteran offensive core for UNH. Borisenok, who is a two-time winner of the Warren Brown Best Defensive Forward Award, centered UNH's second line. Borisenok's line was considered one of the nation's hottest lines over the final month and a half of the season as he put up a career-high 20 points on six goals and 14 assists in 37 games. Moses emerged as one of the Wildcats' top offensive weapons in the second half of the season. The speedy forward tallied 26 points on 14 goals and 12 assists. Moses owned a +13 rating and played in all 39 games this past season. McCarey played in 26 games with a pair of assists on the season. New Hampshire's depth could come from its junior class as it returns five players that saw significant time last season in Austin Block (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), Greg Burke (Lee, N.H.), John Henrion (Holden, Mass.), Scott Pavelski (Plover, Wis.) and Dalton Speelman (San Jose, Calif.). Block centered New Hampshire's third line and garnered nine points on four goals and five assists in 36 games. Burke missed a number of games due to injury, but chipped in with three points in 18 games. Henrion had a breakout season in 2010-11 with 12 goals and seven assists for 19 points in 39 games. Pavelski saw action in 10 contests, while Speelman played in all 39 games notching 10 goals and six assists. Three sophomores -- Kevin Goumas (Long Beach, N.Y.), Jeff Silengo (Madison, Conn.) and Nick Sorkin (Rockville, Md.) -- all saw significant ice time as freshmen. The three combined to play in 102 games with 31 points. Goumas was the left-winger on UNH's formidable GO-BO-MO line (which also featured Moses and Borisenok). Goumas finished the season with 18 points on six goals and 12 assists. Silengo posted eight points in 35 games, none bigger than his two-goal performance in a 4-3 overtime win at Maine on Dec. 10. Sorkin appeared in 35 games with three goals and two assists including the game-winning goal Jan. 28 at Providence. Four newcomers round out a deep crop of forwards: Jay Camper (Rocky River, Ohio), Grayson Downing (Abbottsford, British Columbia), Casey Thrush (Easton, Md.) and Matt Willows (Congers, N.Y.). Camper 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. Downing 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.  Thrush played for the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the USHL in 2010-11, tallying 28 points on 10 goals and 18 assists last season. In 2009-10, he was named a NAPHL first team selection and led his team to the national championship semifinals. Willows 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, and he totaled 145 points in 94 career contests.

Goal Oriented: Senior Matt Di Girolamo (Ambler, Pa.) emerged as one of the league's top netminders in 2010-11. The relatively unknown goalie burst on the scene and took his place in a long line of great UNH goalies. College hockey's ironman in net, he logged a national-best 2,302:51 between the pipes and posted a 22-11-6 record with a school-record 1,145 saves, a .923 save percentage and a pair of shutouts. Fellow senior Tyler Scott (Ridgefield, Conn.) saw time in a relief appearance against Vermont on Dec. 5. Sophomore netminder Jeff Wyer (Reading, Mass.) served as Di Girolamo's understudy in 2010-11. Wyer and local newcomer Casey DeSmith (Rochester, N.H.) are expected to compete for the backup role in 2011-12. 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.

The Road Ahead:  The Wildcats open the 2011-12 campaign at home with an exhibition match against New Brunswick on Saturday, Oct. 1 (4 p.m.). New Hampshire will officially kick off the regular season on the road against Hockey East rival Boston University on Saturday, Oct. 8 (8 p.m.). The 'Cats will travel to Northeastern (Oct. 14 – 7 p.m.) before the home opener against defending Hockey East champion Boston College, who spent much of the 2010-11 season in the top five nationally, on Oct. 15 (7 p.m.). New Hampshire travels out to St. Cloud University (Oct. 21-22) to play the Huskies for the first time since an NCAA tournament win in 2003. UNH returns home for a set of four games starting with a non-conference matchup against ECAC champion Union on Oct. 28 (7 p.m.) followed by conference tilts against Northeastern (Oct. 29 – 7 p.m.), Massachusetts (Nov. 4 – 7 p.m.) and Maine (Nov. 5 – 7 p.m.). The Wildcats will make trips to Vermont (Nov. 12 - 7 p.m.), Boston U. (Nov. 19 – 7 p.m.) and Harvard (Nov. 22 – 7 p.m.) during the month. UNH will also play host to Mass.-Lowell (Nov. 18 – 7 p.m.) and Alabama-Huntsville (Nov. 26 – 7 p.m.) in November. Alabama-Huntsville will be making its first trip to Durham since Nov. 1990. On the non-conference side, UNH will also play host to ECAC-foe Brown Dec. 30 (7 p.m.) and will take part in Frozen Fenway 2012 on Jan. 7 against Maine before traveling to Manchester, N.H. for the 11th-annual "Battle for the RiverStone Cup" against Dartmouth College on Jan. 14 (7 p.m.). The Wildcats cap off their regular season at Maine (March 3).

SCORING BY CLASS: 2011-12 breakdown of scoring by class.
Class    G-A-P    G-A-P %.
Seniors:    0-0-0    0-0-0
Juniors:    0-0-0    0-0-0
Sophomores:    0-0-0    0-0-0
Freshmen:    0-0-0    0-0-0

ALL IN THE FAMILY: Sophomore forward Scott Pavelski is the younger brother of  Joe Pavelski of the San Jose Sharks while freshman defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk is the younger brother of former wildcat and current Philadelphia flyer James van Riemsdyk.

'CATS SELECTED IN THE NHL DRAFT: Twocurrent UNH players have been selected in the National Hockey League draft. Greg Burke (Washington) and Eric Knodel (Toronto) have all been drafted.

UNH HOCKEY ON THE RADIO:  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 2009, Wildcats Sports Properties has added WGIN-AM 930 (Rochester) and WQSO-FM 96.7 (Portsmouth) as affiliate stations on the Wildcat Sports Network, joining flagship WGIR-AM 610 (Manchester), which was added in 2008. All three stations are part of the Clear Channel family. These three aforementioned stations -- along with WSMN-AM 1590 (Nashua), WNTK-FM 99.7 (New London) and WASR-AM 1420 (Wolfeboro) -- will carry the following: all UNH football & men's hockey broadcasts, a select number of men's basketball, women's basketball and women's hockey broadcasts. Dan Parkhurst will be handling the play-by-play for the fifth-straight season, while Pete Webster will once again be doing the color commentating. Webster has been announcing Wildcat hockey since the 1993-94 season.

LISTEN LIVE ON THE INTERNET: UNHWildcats.com via Stretch Internet Broadcast will carry all of the UNH men's ice hockey action again this season. If you can not attend Wildcat hockey, 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 broadcast site by going to the men's hockey schedule page at www.unhwildcats.com.

WILDCAT AWARDS: Here is a list of awards that Wildcat players have won to date this season:
Player    Award    Date
Matt Di Girolamo    USCHO's Top 10 Goalies #1    9/26

GRANITE STATE CONNECTION: The Wildcat hockey team features three players from New Hampshire with Greg Burke (Lee) Ryan Randall (Durham) and Casey DeSmith (Rochester) all hailing from the Granite State.

THE DICK UMILE ERA: Dick Umile, the first six-time Hockey East Coach of the Year in league history, is in the midst of his 22nd season as the head coach of the UNH Wildcats.  After signing a long-term contract in 2008, Umile will conclude his coaching career at his alma mater. With 483 career victories behind the bench, the Melrose, Mass., native is the winningest coach in school history. During his time in Durham, 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, 17 NCAA tournament appearances and 21 Hockey East championship tournament showings in his 21-year career. Umile has guided the 'Cats to 20-victory campaigns in 18 of his 21 seasons, including this year's 21-10-6 mark. He surpassed legendary coach Charlie Holt for the most victories in school history Feb. 16, 2005, by notching his 348th coaching triumph in a 6-1 defeat of Merrimack College at the Thom Lawler Arena in North Andover, Mass. Umile ranks fourth among active NCAA coaches with a .659 winning percentage, and his 483 career victories rank seventh among active bench bosses. He has been named Coach of the Year a total of 11 times in his career, including New England honors four times and Hockey East Coach of the Year six times.  A total of 10 Hobey Baker finalists have suited up for Umile, including Paul Thompson and Jason Krog, who won the prestigious award in 1999, the year the Wildcats played for the National Championship in Anaheim, Calif. Umile became the 12th coach in University history when he was promoted to the position Dec. 6, 1990.  Previously, he served as assistant coach in 1988-89 and associate head coach in '89-90.  An outstanding player for the Wildcats, Umile captained the 1971-72 team that placed third in the ECAC playoffs with a 20-10 record. Umile's finest season came during his sophomore campaign when he collected a career-high 56 points, earning the Roger LeClerc Trophy as the team's MVP. In 87 career games at UNH, Umile potted 60 goals to go along with 84 assists for 144 points.  Umile was inducted into the National Italian American Hall of Fame in 2007 and enshrined in the New Hampshire Legends of Hockey in 2009 . Last year, the Wildcats had a successful campaign posting a 22-11-6 overall record and 17-6-4 in Hockey East. The season took off quickly with just two losses in the 'Cats first 16 games. In Hockey East play, they won the regular-season series with five of nine league foes, highlighted by a season series sweep of rival Mane. New Hampshire continued its hot streak, without back-to-back losses until mid-February. Umile helped take a team to its 23rd straight trip to the Hockey East playoffs and home-ice advantage for a league best 15th straight season. New Hampshire was awarded the Charlie Holt Team Sportsmanship Award this season. The 'Cats earned an at-large bid in the NCAA tournament for the 10th-straight season and hosted the Northeast Regional at Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester as a fourth seed. They advanced to the regional final for the third straight season with a 3-1 victory over the top seeded Miami (Ohio) RedHawks.

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