action:article | category:SPORTS | adString:SPORTS | zoneID:40

Home » Sports

December 17. 2012 9:58PM

Athlete of the Month: The puck stops at UNH's DeSmith


University of New Hampshire goalie Casey DeSmith, of Rochester, watches his save deflect in front of Boston University's Sean Escobedo during the first period of their Hockey East match at the Whittemore Center in Durham. (MARK BOLTON/UNION LEADER)


CASEY DeSMITH 

Casey DeSmith of Rochester took people by surprise last year when he stepped into the starting goaltender's role with the University of New Hampshire as a freshman, blossoming into one of the best in Hockey East.

His success raised expectations for this year and DeSmith has been equal to the challenge, helping elevate the Wildcats to the No. 1 ranking in the country at one point this season.

DeSmith was nothing short of incredible during one November stretch when he posted three straight shutouts and set a program record by going 203:32 without allowing a goal. He finished the month with a 5-1-1 record, a 1.65 goals-against average and .951 save percentage, earning the November Athlete of the Month award as voted on by the New Hampshire Union Leader Board of Judges.

"As far as people's expectations for me, I think that has changed the most this year," DeSmith said. "And (after the streak), I feel expectations have risen even more and I don't think that's a bad thing."

DeSmith topped a ballot that included Exeter High running back Tyler Grant, the Union Leader's football player of year, quarterback Connor Benjamin of Goffstown High and Deanna Purcell of Hudson (Alvirne), a sophomore standout basketball player at Rivier College in Nashua.

Others receiving votes were champion high school cross country runner Elizabeth Conway of Manchester Central, running back Manny Latimore of Pinkerton Academy of Derry, quarterback Donavan Phanor of Portsmouth High, quarterback James Caparell of Bedford High and soccer player Samuel Binogono of Manchester Central.

DeSmith was named the Hockey East Goaltender of the Month in November after recording four games with 30 or more saves, including two with 40 or more.

DeSmith said there are times when the bounce of the puck or a deflection off a post goes against a goalie and times when everything breaks right. Most everything has seemed to go right for DeSmith this year - he was also named Hockey East Goaltender of the Month in October - and he credits a stout defense and soaring confidence for being ranked rank 10th nationally in goals-against average (1.81), ninth in save percentage (.939) and fourth in shutouts, with four.

DeSmith, who prepped at schools in Maine and Massachusetts and spent a year in junior hockey with the Indiana Ice of the USHL, said it was a dream come true to play for UNH.

"I grew up watching UNH," DeSmith said. "This is where I always wanted to be."

To submit a nomination for future Athlete of the Month consideration, email the Union Leader Sports Department at sports@unionleader.com and enter "Athlete of the Month" in the subject line.

Previous 2012 winners: January, Drew Ledwith, Keene (swimming); February, Zach Bridson, Sandown (wrestling); March, Curtis Arsenault, Berlin (basketball); April, Peter Williamson, Hanover (golf); May, Morgan Andrews, Milford (soccer); June, Hillary Holmes, Exeter (track); July, Lauren Thibodeau, Hampstead (golf); August, Sarah Groff, Hanover (triathlon); September, Victoria Arlen, Exeter (swimming); October, Chelso Barrett, Keene (golf).



.



jfennell@unionleader.com


 NH Sports Angle Ľ more
Links to news and happenings around the world of sports with a Granite State connection, updated daily.

Nashua's Fayne moves from Devils to Oilers

Granite State Pro Stock Series to make debut at Lee Speedway

BRIAN McCLOSKEY

Ex-UNH hockey coach indicted on four charges

Growing up a hazard to golf: Real world claims talent from NHGA

Concord man wins National Javelin Championship at 2014 USA Track & Field Masters Championship

Conway's Locke happy with first half, believes best yet to come for Pirates

Court filing details prosecution's perjury allegations against Aaron Hernandez girlfriend

Is N.H. really home to longest mini golf hole on the planet?

Professional hockey coming to Berlin

van Riemsdyk setting high expectations for pro career

Life changes in an instant: Travis Roy shares story at Frank Monahan Foundation event

Improvements help, but traffic still a problem on race weekend in and around Loudon

Itís show time in Chicago for Dartmouthís Hendricks

State sells Windham golf course site for $3.06M

Ex-minor leaguers sue MLB over low salaries

$14M to beaten Giants fan returns security focus

Matt Bonner and brother bring rock show back to Redhook

GM: Twin State Speedway progressing with revival

Foot golf arrives on Seacoast

New Hampshire's Burns gets more than he could ever ask for

Pro runner's yoga class will raise money for clean Kenyan water

Menard wrecks as New Hampshire testing concludes

Lawyers try to bar Patriots from paying Hernandez $3.2M bonus

Pease Golf Course celebrates opening of lower nine holes

NFL rule could signal end of Justin Tuck signature facemask and that's a good thing according to UNH findings

MORE

 New Hampshire Events Calendar
    

   Ľ SHARE EVENTS FOR PUBLICATION, IT'S FREE!

Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory

  

   Ľ ADD YOUR BUSINESS TODAY!