Hekle is the seventh UNH player to receive distinction as a Top 10 Finalist since the Award's inception in 1998, when Brandy Fisher of the Wildcats was the recipient. Hekle, who has led the Wildcats to three consecutive Hockey East regular-season titles (2004-05-06), has 11 goals and 21 assists for 32 points in 31 games this season. Her other statistics include three game-winning goals, three power-play goals, one shorthanded goal and a plus/minus rating of +24. In addition, Hekle has won 58.3% of faceoffs this season. In 19 league games, she has eight goals and 11 assists for 19 points. She has totals of 4-0-4 in seven games against nationally-ranked teams, and that includes the game-winning goal vs. the University of Wisconsin.
Hekle, the 2005 Hockey East Scoring Champion, became the 34th UNH Wildcat to record 100 career points on Jan. 11. She entered that game vs. Harvard with 99 and reached the personal benchmark with her seventh goal of the season - and 38th of her career - at 7:38 of the third period.
Hekle has recorded a point in 18 of 31 games with seven multiple-point efforts. That includes a four-assist game at Niagara University (Oct. 22) and a five-point game (3g, 2a) at Northeastern University (Nov. 19). The three goals vs. the Huskies marked a career high.
In 102 career games, Hekle has amassed 111 points on 42 goals and 69 assists. Hekle holds the Hockey East records for both assists in a game (five) and points in a game (six). Her other collegiate accolades include Hockey East All-Academic Team (2005), Hockey East First Team All-Star (2005), Hockey East All-Rookie Team (2004) and UNH's Tricia Dunn Award (best defensive forward; 2005).
The other Top 10 Finalists are: Sara Bauer (Wisconsin), Sabrina Harbec (St. Lawrence), Jana Harrigan (Ohio State), Noemie Marin (Minn-Duluth), Jessica Moffat (St. Lawrence), Kim Pearce (Princeton), Riitta Schaublin (Minn-Duluth), Bobbi-Jo Slusar (Wisconsin) and Karen Thatcher (Providence).
The Top Three Finalists will be announced March 13 and the 2006 recipient will be announced March 25 at a banquet in conjunction with the NCAA Women's Frozen Four.
Following Fisher in 1998, both Nicki Luongo and Carisa Zaban were named to the Top 10 in 1999. Luongo advanced as a Top 3 Finalist that year and Zaban earned Top 3 status in 2000. Michelle Thornton (2001) and Kira Misikowetz (2002) were also Top 10 honorees.