PATON NAMED TOP PLAYER, LAVOIE TOP ROOKIE AS WOMEN'S HOCKEY GARNERS NINE HOCKEY EAST AWARDS

KELLY PATON
KRISTINA LAVOIE
MICAELA LONG
COURTNEY BIRCHARD

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Kelly Paton (Woodstock, Ontario) was named Hockey East co-Player of the Year and Kristina Lavoie (Fonthill, Ontario) was tabbed the league’s Bauer Rookie of the Year to highlight a total of nine awards received by the fifth-ranked University of New Hampshire women’s ice hockey team at Friday night’s Hockey East banquet.

Paton, a senior forward and captain of the Wildcats, also received the Hockey East Three Stars Award and First Team All-Star recognition; she was a unanimous selection to the First team. She was joined on the First Team All-Star squad by senior forward Micaela Long (South Boston, Mass.) and junior defenseman Courtney Birchard (Mississauga, Ontario).

Earlier this week, it was announced that Long was the Scoring Champion and Lavoie was selected to the All-Rookie Team. On Friday, it was also announced that Lavoie was an Honorable Mention honoree.

Paton, who was also the Three Stars Award recipient in 2007, ranked second in the league in points (32), assists (20) and power-play points (13) as well as third in goals (12). The Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award Top 10 Candidate currently ranks fourth in the nation in assists per game and fifth in points per game. Paton leads the team in goals (19), points (51) and plus/minus (+19) and is tied for the lead in game-winning goals (four); furthermore, she ranks second in assists (32), is tied for second in power-play goals (six) and is fourth in shooting percentage (.161).

Paton, whose other Hockey East accolades in 2010 included three Player of the Month awards and three Player of the Week honors, recorded a point in 27 of 31 games with a point-scoring streak of 12 games to open the season as well as a current nine-game streak.

Lavoie, a two-time Hockey East Rookie of the Month, led Hockey East in goals (14) and was the top rookie scorer with 20 points; that point total ranked fifth overall. She is ranked seventh in the nation in rookie scoring (0.94 points per game) and is eighth in power-play goals. Lavoie has a team-best seven power-play goals and is second in both goals (18) and shooting percentage (.184) as well as third in both points (29) and plus/minus (+13). She recorded a point in 19 of 31 games and had an 11-game goal-scoring streak as part of a 12-game point-scoring streak.

Long led the league in points (34), assists (27), power-play points (14) and power-play goals (four). She is currently ranked second in the nation in assists per game and sixth in points per game. Long leads the Wildcats in assists (38) and is ranked second in points (50), power-play goals (six) and plus/minus (+18); she is also third in goals (12). Long has recorded a point in 27 of 31 games and tallied a team-best 17-game point-scoring streak to factor in 50 of the team’s 98 goals. Long’s other accolades included a Hockey East Player of the Week award in December.

Birchard led Hockey East in power-play goals (four) and ranked second in defenseman scoring (13), third in game-winning goals (three) and fourth in power-play points (seven) despite missing four games due to injury. She is currently sixth in the nation in defensemen scoring (0.81 points per game). Birchard is tied for the team lead in game-winning goals (four) and is tied for second in power-play goals (six). In other statistics, she is tied for third in assists (13), is fourth in points (22) and fifth in goals (nine). Birchard was a Hockey East Player of the Week award winner in November.

This marked the fifth time in the eight-year existence of Hockey East that a UNH Wildcat was named Player of the Year. Jen Huggon was the initial recipient in 2003 and was followed by Carolyn Gordon ('04), Stephanie Jones ('05) and Sadie Wright-Ward (06).

It was the fourth Rookie of the Year award for the Wildcats. The previous honorees were Lindsay Hansen ('03), Sam Faber ('06) and Jenn Wakefield ('08).

This also was the fourth Three Stars Award for UNH as Huggon ('03) and Jenn Hitchcock ('06) were previous recipients.

UNH has also boasted five Scoring Champions. The prior titlists were Hansen ('04), Nicole Hekle ('05), Wright-Ward ('06) and Wakefield ('08).

New Hampshire (19-7-5 overall, 13-6-2-0 Hockey East) is the second seed of the 8th Annual Women’s Hockey East Championship tournament and will face off against third-seeded Boston University in a March 6 semifinal game at Providence College’s Schneider Arena

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