June 10, 2009

SEVEN WOMEN'S HOCKEY PLAYERS RECEIVE LEAGUE ACADEMIC HONOR

WAKEFIELD, Mass. – Hockey East announced Tuesday that seven student-athletes on the University of New Hampshire women’s ice hockey team were named to the 2008-09 WHEA All-Academic Team.

 Of the seven UNH honorees, Kayley Herman (Weyburn, Saskatchewan), Angela Taylor (Paisley, Scotland) and Jenn Wakefield (Pickering, Ontario) received this distinction for the second time. Both Herman and Wakefield were also feted last year and Taylor was previously honored in 2007.

Courtney Birchard (Mississauga, Ontario), Micaela Long(South Boston, Mass.), Kelly Paton (Woodstock, Ontario) andBrittany Skudder (Plainview, N.Y.) were the other Wildcats named to the 2009 All-Academic Team.

Herman has been named to UNH’s Dean’s List all four semesters, and that included High Honors each of the last two. On the ice this season, she had a 14-6-5 overall record in 25 games with a 2.29 GAA and .900 save percentage. Herman went 8-2-3 in 13 Hockey East games with a 1.93 GAA and .908 save percentage. She recorded a career-high 36 saves against nationally-ranked Harvard University and matched that total against nationally-ranked Boston College.

Taylor, a senior forward and assistant captain, had a breakout season in which she tallied five goals and 22 assists for 27 points to tie for third on the team in assists and rank fifth in points. The 22 assists more than doubled her career assist total (21 in the previous three years), and the 27 points nearly matched her previous three-year total of 32. Taylor tallied 4-13-17 in 21 Hockey East league games.

Wakefield, a sophomore forward, was a Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award Top 10 Finalist. She tallied 32 goals and 17 assists for 49 points in 31 games to rank third in the nation in goals per game and 13th in points per game, as well as second in game-winning goals and third in both power-play goals and shorthanded goals. Wakefield led UNH in points, goals, power-play goals, shorthanded goals, game-winning goals and shots; additionally, she was second in shooting percentage and fifth in assists. This year’s honors included New England All-Star, Hockey East First Team All-Star and Hockey East Player of the Month (twice).

Birchard opened the year in her accustomed role of forward, but made the transition to defenseman for the last 16 games of the season and UNH’s 15-game winning streak coincided with that switch. The sophomore finished with nine goals and 14 assists for 23 points to surpass her rookie totals in all three categories. Her 2009 accolades included Hockey East All-Tournament Team.

Long tallied a personal-best 13 goals as well as 13 assists for a total of 26 points; she tied for third on the team in goals and was also third in both power-play goals (four) and shooting percentage; furthermore, Long ranked fourth in plus/minus. The junior forward recorded 18 points (nine goals, nine assists) in 21 league games.

Paton recorded 21 goals and 26 assists for 47 points in 35 games to rank 22nd in the nation in points per game and 24th in both goals per game and assists per game; she is also 14th in power-play goals. The junior forward was the only Wildcat with 20+ goals and 20+ assists this season and her team rankings included first in shooting percentage as well as second in goals, power-play goals, assists and points; she was also third in game-winning goals and plus/minus. She tallied 12-16-28 in 21 Hockey East league games as well as 7-15-22 in 17 games vs. nationally-ranked teams. Paton’s 2009 accolades included New England All-Star, Hockey East Second Team All-Star, Hockey East All-Tournament Team and Hockey East Player of the Month.

Skudder redshirted her first year as a Wildcat due to an injury incurred before the start of the ’09 season.

UNH won the Hockey East regular-season crown for the sixth consecutive year and the league tournament title for the fourth straight time in 2009. The Wildcats also advanced to the NCAA tourney for the fourth time in as many years and finished with an overall record of 24-6-5.

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