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New Hampshire Wildcats men's ice hockey

The New Hampshire Wildcats men's ice hockey team is a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I college ice hockey program that represents the University of New Hampshire. The Wildcats are a member of Hockey East. They play at the Whittemore Center Arena in Durham, New Hampshire.[2]

New Hampshire Wildcats
New Hampshire Wildcats athletic logo
UniversityUniversity of New Hampshire
ConferenceHockey East
Head coachMichael Souza
2nd season, 12–15–9 (.458)
CaptainDylan Chanter
ArenaWhittemore Center
Capacity: 6,501
LocationDurham, New Hampshire
ColorsNavy Blue and White[1]
         
NCAA Tournament Frozen Four
1977, 1979, 1982, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2003
NCAA Tournament appearances
1977, 1979, 1982, 1983, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013
Conference Tournament championships
1979, 2002, 2003
Conference regular season championships
1992, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2010
Current uniform
HE-Uniform-UNH.png

Contents

HistoryEdit

Early yearsEdit

The first New Hampshire ice hockey team played in January of 1925, winning its first two games in a contest held in Lewiston, Maine.[3] A year later, now under the stewardship of Ernest Christensen, UNH played its first home game at the UNH ice rink, an outdoor facility that was completely dependent on cold weather for its surface. The Wildcats would play a small number of games for their first fifteen seasons, fluctuating between an undefeated season in 1927 and a winless campaign in 1932. Christensen retired in 1938 and the team eventually came under the tutelage of Anthony Dougal but his tenure was suspended in 1943 due to the outbreak of World War II. The team finally returned to the ice in January of 1947 with Dougal remaining for one year before handing the program over to Joseph Petroski. Horace "Pepper" Martin took over after four rather poor seasons and New Hampshire's fortunes began to change. By the mid-50's the Wildcats started to play more and win more games than they ever had before and in 1955 an artificial ice rink was constructed on campus to help the team play more than a handful of home games.[4]

ECACEdit

In 1961 New Hampshire was one of 28 schools that were founding members of ECAC Hockey. Martin turned the team over to A. Barr Snively and plans were underway to replace the Harry C. Batchelder Rink with an indoor ice rink. In the offseason of 1964, two events happened that hampered the ice hockey program. First, in April, head coach Snively suffered a heart attack and tragically died.[5] With the school searching for a replacement the ECAC announced that it was dividing itself into two separate tiers. 'Major' program would continue on with ECAC Hockey but 'minor' schools would be forced to join the newly-formed ECAC 2. Because their indoor facility had not yet been completed New Hampshire was forced out of the top tier. Rube Bjorkman was eventually named as head coach and he led the team for four years. During his tenure, the indoor arena was completed and christened as the Snively Arena after his late predecessor and a year later the program was readmitted into the top echelon of college hockey.

It was Bjorkman's successor, Charlie Holt, who put New Hampshire on the college hockey map. In Holt's first season UNH played its first postseason game, earning Holt his first of three Spencer Penrose Awards. In his first five seasons, the Wildcats finished with a winning record and then won the ECAC regular season championship in his sixth year. The Wildcats made their first NCAA appearance in 1977 and captured their first Conference championship two years later, but no matter how good Holt's teams were national success continued to elude him. under Holt the Wildcats went 0–6 in the frozen four and 2–8 in the tournament overall. While the wins started to come few and far between in the mid-1980s Holt continued to helm the program as it left ECAC Hockey to form Hockey East with six other northeastern schools.

Bob KullenEdit

Holt stepped down in 1986 and was replaced by long-time assistant Bob Kullen. In his first year the team saw marginal improvement but that summer Kullen was diagnosed with a rare form of heart disease that necessitated a transplant and his missing an entire season to recuperate.[6] Dave O'Connor served as the interim head coach for 1987–88 allowing Kullen to return in the fall of '88. In two years New Hampshire saw its wins total improve to 12 and then 17 but by 1990 Kullen started rejecting his new heart and was forced to resign. Another UNH assistant, Dick Umile, was named as his replacement and unfortunately, Kullen died in November of 1990 at the age of 41. Hockey East swiftly renamed its coach of the year award in his honor while the team continued the upward swing he began, allowing Umile to be the first recipient of the rechristened award.

Umile yearsEdit

In Umile second season New Hampshire made the NCAA tournament for the first time in almost a decade and retroactively finished first in the conference after Maine was forced to forfeit 13 games. The team continued to play well for several seasons but after a disappointing season in 1996, the team won its first Hockey East Championship and set a new program record with 28 wins. The following year the Wildcats made the Frozen Four for the first time in 16 years and then reached even higher in 1999. in the penultimate year of the millennium the Wildcats won 30 games for the first time, establishing a still-record of 31 victories (as of 2019), winning their second conference title (first outright) and were led by sophomore goaltender Ty Conklin and senior center Jason Krog, the latter won the NCAA scoring title by 16 points and captured the Hobey Baker Award (UNH's only recipient as of 2019). Despite losing in the Hockey East tournament finale The team received the #2 overall seed and a bye into the second round. The Wildcats defeated two Michigan schools to reach their first National Championship game where they would ultimately fall in overtime to conference rival Maine.

UNH would continue to be a power in Hockey East, winning back to back conference championships in 2002 and 2003 and reached their second NCAA title game in '03 where they lost to Minnesota 1–5. UNH would make the NCAA tournament every year from 2002 through 2011 but the team could not make it out of the Regionals after 2003. Starting in 2012 the program began a slow decline, ending up dead-last in the conference in 2017–18. After that season Umile decided to retire, leaving the school as the all-time leader in just about every coaching category and recording the third most wins all-time for one school at the Division I level.

Umile's final act for the program was to name his successor, allowing 1999 alumnus Michael Souza to become the 14th head coach in program history.

Season-by-season results[7]Edit

Head CoachesEdit

As of the completion of 2018–19 season[7]

Tenure Coach Years Record Pct.
1922–1923 Hank Swasey 1 2–2–0 .500
1925–1936, 1937–1938 Ernest Christensen 12 55–54–8 .504
1936–1937 Carl Lundholm 1 3–5–0 .375
1938–1939 George Thurston 1 5–4–0 .556
1939–1943, 1946–1947 Anthony Dougal 5 15–28–0 .349
1947–1951 Joseph Petroski 4 9–20–0 .310
1951–1962 Horace "Pepper" Martin 11 76–76–3 .500
1962–1964 A. Barr Snively 2 23–22–0 .511
1964–1968 Rube Bjorkman 4 57–40–0 .588
1968–1986 Charlie Holt 18 347–232–18 .596
1986–1987, 1988–1990 Bob Kullen 4 37–66–8 .369
1987–1988 Dave O'Connor 1 7–20–3 .283
1990–2018 Dick Umile 28 598–375–114 .603
2018–Present Michael Souza 1 12–15–9 .458
Totals 14 coaches 93 seasons 1246–955–163 .562

Statistical Leaders[8]Edit

Career points leadersEdit

Player Years GP G A Pts PIM
Ralph Cox 1975–1979 128 127 116 243
Jason Krog 1995–1999 151 94 144 238
Darren Haydar 1998–2002 158 102 117 219
Jamie Hislop 1972–1976 119 77 132 209
Mark Mowers 1994–1998 144 85 112 197
Louis Frigon 1967–1971 89 98 95 193
Bob Gould 1975–1979 135 91 101 192
Cliff Cox 1972–1976 108 87 88 175
Jon Fontas 1974–1978 107 72 102 174
Frank Roy 1975–1979 131 71 103 174
Joe Flanagan 1988–1992 140 85 89 174

Career goaltending leadersEdit

GP = Games played; Min = Minutes played; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; GA = Goals against; SO = Shutouts; SV% = Save percentage; GAA = Goals against average

minimum 30 games played

Player Years GP Min W L T GA SO SV% GAA
Ty Conklin 1998–2001 93 5580 57 23 12 202 1 .915 2.18
Kevin Regan 2004–2008 112 6599 70 29 10 250 9 .928 2.27
Casey DeSmith 2011–2014 97 5637 48 36 8 218 9 .923 2.32
Jeff Pietrasiak 2002–2006 55 2904 27 13 6 119 2 .917 2.46
Mike Ayers 2000–2004 102 5755 58 25 12 239 12 .914 2.49

Statistics current through the start of the 2019–20 season.

Current rosterEdit

As of June 24, 2018.[9]

No. S/P/C Player Class Pos Height Weight DoB Hometown Previous team NHL rights
2   Drew Hickey Freshman D 5' 11" (1.8 m) 185 lb (84 kg) 1997-10-28 New Canaan, Connecticut Connecticut (NCDC)
3   Ryan Verrier Freshman D 6' 0" (1.83 m) 175 lb (79 kg) 1998-11-19 Reading, Massachusetts Green Bay (USHL)
5   Will MacKinnon Freshman D 5' 11" (1.8 m) 200 lb (91 kg) 2000-04-13 Plymouth, Michigan Des Moines (USHL)
6   Angus Crookshank Freshman F 5' 11" (1.8 m) 180 lb (82 kg) 1999-10-02 North Vancouver, British Columbia Langley (BCHL) OTT, 126th overall 2018
7   Brendan van Riemsdyk Junior F 6' 3" (1.91 m) 205 lb (93 kg) 1996-01-28 Middletown, New Jersey Islanders (USPHL)
8   Max Gildon Sophomore D 6' 3" (1.91 m) 210 lb (95 kg) 1999-05-17 Plano, Texas USNTDP (USHL) FLA, 66th overall 2017
9   Frankie Cefalu Senior F 5' 10" (1.78 m) 175 lb (79 kg) 1995-03-13 Buffalo, New York Walpole (EHL)
11   Jackson Pierson Freshman F 5' 9" (1.75 m) 160 lb (73 kg) 1999-09-10 Zionsville, Indiana Culver (Midget AAA)
12   Eric Esposito Freshman F 5' 11" (1.8 m) 180 lb (82 kg) 1998-08-24 West Haven, Connecticut Youngstown (USHL)
13   Justin Fregona Junior F 5' 7" (1.7 m) 170 lb (77 kg) 1997-05-29 Mississauga, Ontario Langley (BCHL)
14   Joe Sacco Junior F 5' 11" (1.8 m) 190 lb (86 kg) 1996-06-01 Reading, Massachusetts Vernon (BCHL)
15   Richard Boyd Senior D 6' 3" (1.91 m) 220 lb (100 kg) 1995-06-07 Delray Beach, Florida Cushing (USHS–MA)
16   Filip Engarås Freshman F 6' 0" (1.83 m) 190 lb (86 kg) 1999-05-16 Stockholm, Sweden Skellefteå (J20 SuperElit)
17   Marcus Vela (C) Senior F 6' 1" (1.85 m) 205 lb (93 kg) 1997-03-03 Burnaby, British Columbia Langley (BCHL) SJS, 190th overall 2015
18   Kohei Sato Sophomore F 6' 1" (1.85 m) 185 lb (84 kg) 1996-09-26 Nishitōkyō, Japan Northeast (NAHL)
19   Eric MacAdams Sophomore F 5' 11" (1.8 m) 190 lb (86 kg) 1997-04-29 Salem, Massachusetts Dubuque (USHL)
20   Patrick Grasso Junior F 5' 7" (1.7 m) 170 lb (77 kg) 1996-05-29 Ankeny, Iowa Des Moines (USHL)
21   Anthony Wyse Junior D 6' 3" (1.91 m) 230 lb (104 kg) 1996-03-29 Newton, Massachusetts Lincoln (USHL)
22   Ara Nazarian Senior F 5' 9" (1.75 m) 185 lb (84 kg) 1996-06-09 Boxford, Massachusetts Des Moines (USHL)
23   Charlie Kelleher Sophomore F 5' 8" (1.73 m) 160 lb (73 kg) 1997-02-04 Longmeadow, Massachusetts Sioux City (USHL)
25   Chris Miller Senior F 5' 7" (1.7 m) 165 lb (75 kg) 1995-06-01 Windham, New Hampshire Boston Jr. Bruins (USPHL)
26   Liam Blackburn Junior F 5' 10" (1.78 m) 175 lb (79 kg) 1996-06-08 Prince George, British Columbia West Kelowna (BCHL)
27   Matt Dawson Senior D 5' 10" (1.78 m) 170 lb (77 kg) 1996-08-13 Delta, British Columbia Green Bay (USHL)
28   Benton Maass Sophomore D 6' 2" (1.88 m) 205 lb (93 kg) 1998-11-25 Elk River, Minnesota Elk River (USHS–MN) WSH, 182nd overall 2017
29   Joseph Cipollone Freshman F 5' 8" (1.73 m) 175 lb (79 kg) 1997-03-29 Purchase, New York Boston Jr. Bruins (NCDC)
31   Mike Robinson Sophomore G 6' 4" (1.93 m) 195 lb (88 kg) 1997-03-27 Bedford, New Hampshire Springfield (NAHL) SJS, 86th overall 2015
33   Joe Lazzaro Junior G 5' 7" (1.7 m) 180 lb (82 kg) 1997-06-13 Hampstead, New Hampshire Phillips Exeter (USHS–NH)
35   Ty Taylor Freshman G 6' 4" (1.93 m) 200 lb (91 kg) 1999-07-05 Richmond, British Columbia Vernon (BCHL) TBL, 214th overall 2018

Awards and honorsEdit

US Hockey Hall of Fame[10]Edit


NCAAEdit

Individual awardsEdit

All-American teamsEdit

AHCA First Team All-Americans

AHCA Second Team All-Americans


ECAC HockeyEdit

Individual awardsEdit

All-Conference teamsEdit

First Team All-ECAC Hockey

Second Team All-ECAC Hockey


Hockey EastEdit

Individual awardsEdit

All-Conference teamsEdit

First Team All-Hockey East

Second Team All-Hockey East

Third Team All-Hockey East

Hockey East All-Rookie Team

New Hampshire Wildcats Hall of FameEdit

The following is a list of people associated with the New Hampshire men's ice hockey program who were elected into the New Hampshire Wildcats Hall of Fame (induction date in parenthesis).[11]

Wildcats in the NHL[12]Edit

= NHL All-Star Team = NHL All-Star[13] = NHL All-Star[13] and NHL All-Star Team = Hall of Famers

WHAEdit

Several players also were members of WHA teams.