BIRCHARD NAMED PURE HOCKEY PLAYER OF THE WEEK BY WOMEN'S HOCKEY EAST

WAKEFIELD, Mass.Courtney Birchard (Mississauga, Ontario), a junior defenseman on the third-ranked University of New Hampshire women’s ice hockey team, was selected the Pure Hockey Player of the Week by the Women’s Hockey East Association on Monday.

Birchard recorded four points with a goal and an assist in both games of the home-and-home series vs. eighth-ranked Boston University. She scored the game-tying goal with 54 seconds remaining in regulation to lift UNH into a 4-4 tie on Saturday; she also set up the team’s third goal, which gave the ‘Cats a 3-0 first-period lead. One night earlier, Birchard set up the UNH goal that tied the game, 1-1, and her second-period goal gave the Wildcats a 3-2 lead they would not relinquish.

In 12 games this season, Birchard has tallied seven goals, including five power-play tallies, and six assists for 13 points to lead the nation in defensemen scoring (1.08 points per game) and rank second overall in power-play goals. Birchard is tied for the team lead in goals and is third in both assists and points.

Birchard is the second UNH skater to win the award in as many weeks, as senior forward Kelly Paton (Woodstock, Ontario) was the Nov. 2 honoree.

New Hampshire (8-1-3 overall, 4-0-1-0 Hockey East) returns to action Nov. 14 (2 p.m.) at Vermont. The Wildcats’ next home game is Nov. 21 (5 p.m.) vs. Rensselaer. The following day (Nov. 22; 1 p.m.), UNH’s Whittemore Center is the site of a Hockey East All-Star vs. Team USA exhibition game. Tickets are available now.

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