BOSTON, Mass. – On Friday night at the Hockey East Championship banquet and ahead of Saturday’s semifinal against Boston College, senior goalie Annie Belanger was recognized as the Windjammer Best Western Goaltender of the Year for the first time in her career.
A native of Sherbrooke, Quebec, Belanger also earned a spot as a First Team All-Star, following her strong senior campaign. She leads Hockey East in save percentage (.937) and goals against average (1.83).
“We’re proud of her. She is always giving us a chance to be in a lot of games. She’s been a steady force for us and we’re happy to have her,” said head coach Chris MacKenzie. “We’re certainly proud of the accolades she has received.”
In addition to Belanger’s honors, freshman Natalie Snodgrass was named an All-Star Honorable Mention after a sensational first year where she leads the Huskies in goals (19) and points (35). This week, four different players earned six honors from Hockey East.
Belanger was named Hockey East Goalie of the Month on Tuesday, following an impressive 5-2-1 record in February with the Huskies on the brink of missing the league playoffs. She recorded shutouts against Vermont and Providence as part of her output.
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“She was quoted as saying she’s just enjoying the moment and enjoying the team. Once she started to do that, she started to play better,” said MacKenzie. “When you’re worried about results, it can throw you off. She let all of that go.”
She enters the weekend as the program’s career leader in save percentage (.928) and tied for second in goals against average (2.26). She has an 11-10-6 record this season and was named WHEA Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 23 and Jan. 29.
In four years with the Huskies, Belanger has appeared in 85 games (31-35-16) and logged over 5,000 minutes between the pipes. She has five career shutouts and nearly 2,500 saves during her time at UConn.
Belanger earned the award as voted on by the nine head coaches throughout Hockey East.
“It’s a sign of respect for her game. They’re educated coaches and they saw her in that position and voted for her,” said MacKenzie. “I think that speaks volumes when your competition sees that in you.”
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