DURHAM, N.H. -- The University of New Hampshire women's ice hockey program honored six student-athletes and paid tribute to the seven-member Class of 2004 at the team's annual banquet, which was held Sunday afternoon at Holloway Commons on the UNH campus.
Senior forward and assistant captain Carolyn Gordon (Petrolia, Ontario) received both the Karyn Bye Award (MVP) and Sue Merz Award (Seventh Player). Gordon, who was named Hockey East Player of the Year in March, led the Wildcats in both goals (23) and power-play goals (seven), and was second in points with 39. Those numbers rank 14th in the nation in goals (0.64 per game), 11th in power-play goals and 27th in points (1.08 per game). In previous years, Gordon was the recipient of the Unsung Hero Award (2003) and the Sue Merz Award (2002). She leaves the program ranked 24th in points (115), 21st in goals (54) and 25th in assists (61).
Senior defenseman and two-time captain Kristen Thomas (Wilmington, Mass.) was honored as recipient of the Colleen Coyne Award (best defenseman) for the fourth consecutive season. In addition to her defensive prowess, Thomas was one of the team's top point producers as she ranked second in assists (27) and fifth in points (30) – both of those numbers led UNH blueliners. Those numbers rank among the national leaders in assists (13th; 0.77 per game) and defensemen scoring (third; 0.86 ppg). Thomas broke the school record for career assists by a defenseman with 82 and tied the points record of 108.
Debbie Bernhard (Acton, Mass.), a senior forward, received the Tricia Dunn Award as the team's best defensive forward. Her speed and skills were critical to the success of the penalty kill unit, which ranked No. 2 in the nation this season with a 91.9% success rate. Offensively, Bernhard contributed nine points on two goals and seven assists. In 138 career games, she had 18 goals and 24 assists for 42 points.
Jaime VanMassenhove (Alpena, Mich.), yet another senior, was presented the Unsung Hero Award. VanMassenhove's ability to rotate between forward and defenseman proved invaluable to the Wildcats this season. She compiled three goals and four assists for seven points. In 137 career games, VanMassenhove had 27 points on 15 goals and 12 assists.
The Academic Award for Excellence, in recognition of the student-athlete with the highest grade-point-average, was given to senior defenseman Allison Edgar (Brigden, Ontario) for the fourth consecutive year. Edgar, who was named the Top Scholar-Athlete by Hockey East in 2003, was a strong two-way player for the 'Cats. She ranked 12th in the nation among defensemen at 0.71 ppg as she finished with 25 points on nine goals and 16 assists. Edgar leaves the program ranked sixth among defensemen with 95 career points (39 goals, 56 assists in 137 games).
UNH's freshman class made significant contributions to the success of this year's team and goaltender Melissa Bourdon (Ile Bizard, Quebec) was named Rookie of the Year. Bourdon shut out nationally-ranked Princeton University on the road in her collegiate debut and finished the year with a 18-6-2 record, 1.76 goals-against-average, .922 save percentage and seven shutouts. Along the way, she was named Hockey East Rookie of the Month twice and Rookie of the Week five times. Bourdon is sixth nationally in both GAA and win percentage (.731), as well as 12th in save percentage.
In addition to Bernhard, Edgar, Gordon, Thomas and VanMassenhove, the team honored assistant captain Janine Goulet (Gloucester, Ontario) and Alexis Silvestri (Smithfield, R.I.) as part of the Class of 2004. This year's senior class helped guide the Wildcats to a 50-16-11 record (.721 winning percentage) in the past two seasons and the 2004 Hockey East regular-season title.
Goulet played her first full season as a defenseman this year after making the transition during the 2002-03 season, and the former forward finished with 15 points on three goals and 12 assists. In four years as a Wildcat, Goulet compiled 21 goals and 34 assists for 55 points. Silvestri, a defenseman, was sidelined the entire 2004 season due to a preseason injury. She had two points, both on assists, in 76 career games.
UNH finished the 2004 season with a 23-9-4 overall record that included 17-1-2 in Hockey East.