DeSmith, van Riemsdyk earn Hockey East All-Rookie Honors; ‘Cats win Charlie Holt Sportsmanship Award
|Trevor van Riemsdyk|
WAKEFIELD, Mass. –Freshmen Casey DeSmith (Rochester, N.H.) and Trevor van Riemsdyk (Middletown, N.J.) of the University of New Hampshire men's hockey team were named to the Hockey East All-Rookie team. In addition, the Wildcats were honored as the 2012 Charlie Holt Team Sportsmanship Award, given annually to the least penalized team in Hockey East. The first round of awards were announced Wednesday, March 14 by the league office. The Hockey East All-Star Team, Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year and Coach of the Year will be announced at the league's awards banquet Thursday, March 15 at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge.
UNH places two on the Hockey East All-Rookie team for the first time since the 1998-99 season when Ty Conklin and Darren Haydar were among the league's top freshmen. Additionally, this duo becomes the first selected to the all-rookie team since James van Riemsdyk, Trevor's brother and current Philadelphia Flyer, did so in the 2007-08 season.
DeSmith finished a stellar freshman campaign with a 2.33 goals against average and a .926 save percentage. He was 9-10-1 with eight of his 10 losses by just one goal including four in overtime. DeSmith was first in Hockey East in save percentage at .928, while his 2.29 GAA was fourth-best in league play. He stopped 30-plus shots in 12 games including 50 saves in the season finale on March 11, 2012 and allowed two goals or fewer on 12 separate occasions.
van Riemsdyk posted 19 points on four goals and 15 assists as he played in all 37 games from the New Hampshire blue line. The sure-handed defender owned a team-best +7 rating and played the point on UNH's top power play unit. van Riemsdyk registered five multi-point contests including a season-high three assists against Alabama-Huntsville on Nov. 26, 2011 and a career-best two goals on Feb. 24 at UMass, a win that helped a playoff berth for the Wildcats.
Hockey East proudly recognizes an entire team for its sportsmanlike play with the Charles E. Holt Sportsmanship Award, named after the former UNH coach. This award is given to the team that receives the lowest average penalty minutes per game over the course of regular season Hockey East play. The Team Sportsmanship Award was established by the league's directors in 1992 and was renamed to honor Holt in 1998. The award is in the form of a shadow box with etched glass depicting the image of New Hampshire's legendary coach. New Hampshire earns the award bearing the name of its former coach for the seventh time in program history and the third time in as many seasons. UNH's 10.1 penalty minutes per game are the fewest by any team in Hockey East. Overall, the Wildcats are the second-least penalized team in all of Division I college hockey with just 10.6 pmpg.
New Hampshire closed out the regular season with a 15-19-3 overall record. UNH advanced to the Hockey East playoffs for the 24th-straight season and came up just short of advancing to the TD Garden, falling in game three of the quarterfinals, 5-4 in double overtime, to sixth-ranked Boston University.