---- — NORTH ANDOVER — Merrimack College has selected Erin Hamlen to lead the women’s ice hockey team as the school’s first-ever head coach of the program, as announced yesterday by Director of Athletics Jeremy Gibson.
Hamlen, who led the University of New England women’s hockey team during its inaugural season of existence in 2012-13, will chart the course for the Warriors during their eventual transition into Hockey East.
“I am excited to welcome Erin to Merrimack and am thrilled that she will be leading the launch of our Division I women’s ice hockey program,” noted Gibson. “I am very proud that Erin will be joining the Warriors at this exciting time for Merrimack athletics and the entire Merrimack community.”
“I am excited and honored to have the opportunity to lead the women’s hockey program at Merrimack College,” said Hamlen.
“The addition of the new rink and athletic facilities is a testament to Merrimack’s commitment to Athletics and provides me with all of the necessary resources to be successful in my quest to build a program that the college can be proud to call their own.”
Prior to UNE, Hamlen spent a decade at the University of New Hampshire, a perennial power in the Women’s Hockey East Association. Hamlen held posts as both associate head coach and assistant coach from 2000-10. During her tenure, Hamlen helped guide the Wildcats to four straight Hockey East tournament titles, six straight regular season crowns, and two appearances in the Frozen Four.
During her decorated playing career, Hamlen was a four-time First-Team All-Star selection at UNH from 1989-93. She still ranks among the Wildcats’ all-time leaders in victories, minutes played, and shutouts, and her career saves total (1,556) ranks fifth in program history.
In 1990 and 1991, she helped lead UNH to a pair of ECAC Championship titles, and in 1992 she was selected ECAC Goaltender of the Year. She graduated from UNH with a bachelor’s degree in psychology.
Hamlen was also the starting goaltender for the United States Women’s national team from 1992-1997, and again from 1999-2000, earning USA Hockey Women’s Player of the Year honors in 1994.
A Glens Falls, N.Y., native, Hamlen and her husband, Tim, reside in Hampton, N.H. with their two young children.