BOSTON – Courtney Birchard (Mississauga, Ontario), a senior defenseman and captain on the University of New Hampshire women's ice hockey team, was named a 2011 Hockey East First Team All-Star, the league announced Friday night at its annual banquet.
Birchard, who was also honored as a First Team All-Star in 2010, ranked seventh in Hockey East in defensemen scoring with 15 points (eight goals, seven assists) in 27 games. She helped backbone UNH to a #3 national ranking in penalty kill (91.7%) and a #11 ranking in defense (2.09 goals per game).
Among UNH defensemen, Birchard ranked first in both goals and points as well as second in assists. Overall, she tied for third in points, was third in goals and fourth in assists. Birchard also led all blueliners and was second overall in plus/minus at +5. She led all Wildcats with 103 shots.
Birchard's season highlights included scoring the game-winning goal in overtime at nationally-ranked Northeastern University (Jan. 22) as well as the game-winning goal – again in overtime – against Niagara University on Oct. 29.
In two stints with Hockey Canada during the 2011 season, Birchard missed a total of four games – UNH lost all four – and earned a gold medal at both the Four Nations Cup and MLP Cup.
Birchard tallied 34 goals and 47 assists for 81 points in 117 games at New Hampshire. Her collegiate accolades include AWCHA All-America Second Team (2010), Hockey East All-Academic Team and Hockey East All-Tournament Team.