SCOUTING THE MINUTEMEN: Massachusetts, under the guidance of head coach Don Cahoon (his seventh season at UMass), enters the week with a 1-0-1 record following last weekend’s season-opening 3-2 victory against Sacred Heart on Oct. 13 and a 3-3 tie vs. Clarkson on Oct. 14... The Minutemen return 20 letterwinners from last year’s team that went 13-21-2 overall and finished eighth in the Hockey East standings at 10-15-2... Captain Matt Anderson leads five returning skaters in double digits in points with 20 (7g, 13a)... Jon Quick is the top returning goalie; he went 4-10-1 with a 2.98 GAA and a .920 save percentage last season... Quick played in last week’s draw vs. CU; Dan Myers was in net against Sacred Heart.

SERIES HISTORY VS. MASSACHUSETTS: UNH has a 68-14-5 lifetime record, including 2-1-0 last season, vs. UMass... The Wildcats have a 14-2-2 record vs. Minutemen here at the Whittemore Center... UMass, which recorded a 4-3 overtime victory in Durham the last time these teams faced off on Jan. 21, 2006, has won consecutive games in this series only three times, most recently in the 2000-01 season.

SCOUTING THE BULLDOGS: Yale, under the guidance of first-year head coach Keith Allain, opened the 2006-07 season Friday night at home vs. Holy Cross... The Bulldogs return 16 letterwinners from a team that went 10-20-3 last season and finished 11th in the ECAC at 6-14-2... They lost three of the top four point scorers, with Jean-Francois Boucher leading all returning skaters with 23 points (13g, 10a)... Alec Richards was the team’s top goalie as a rookie; he compiled an 8-15-3 record with a 3.02 GAA and .912 save percentage... Last weekend, Yale lost 3-1 to McGill University in an exhibition game.

SERIES HISTORY VS. YALE: New Hampshire has an 18-12-0 overall record, including a 4-1  road victory last season, against Yale... The teams have played once each season since 1999-2000 and the Wildcats have a 4-3-0 edge in that span; the Bulldogs are 2-1-0 at the Whittemore Center but the ‘Cats were 8-2 victors the last time these teams met in Durham (1/15/05)... None of the previous 30 meetings have gone into overtime.

THE ‘CATS HOME OPENER: New Hampshire has an 8-2-1 record in home openers at the Whittemore Center... Last season, the Wildcats were defeated 3-2 by North Dakota... UNH has not lost back-to-back season openers since the 1987-88–1988-89 seasons... Thursday’s game vs. UMass will mark the first time that UNH faces off against a league opponent in the home opener since the opening game of the Whittemore Center (Nov. 10, 1995), when the ‘Cats won 6-5 in overtime vs. Boston University... In head coach Dick Umile’s tenure, the ‘Cats are 11-3-2 in home openers... The Wildcats have won six consecutive season openers and are unbeaten in the last 10 season openers at 9-0-1; the last time UNH lost its first game of the season was in the 1996-97 season (5-1 to Vermont).

ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGHLIGHTS: Sophomore forward Jerry Pollastrone recorded career highs in both goals (two) and points (three) in last Saturday’s 7-2 victory at Colorado College... Also in that game, junior forward Matt Fornataro had a personal-best three assists and the three points matched a career high... Rookie forward Bobby Butler recorded his first collegiate point with a goal in the season opener at CC... Peter LeBlanc, another freshman forward, registered his first collegiate point with a assist on Butler’s tally... Regan, who earned both wins, stopped 61 of 66 shots to record a 2.64 GAA and .924 save percentage... UNH became the first non-WCHA team to sweep a two-game series at CC’s World Arena.

SMITH NAMED CCM/RBK HOCKEY EAST PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Sophomore forward Trevor Smith was named the CCM/RBK Hockey East Player of the Week for the first time in his Wildcat career on Monday... Smith had a outstanding opening weekend for the Wildcats in the two-game series against Colorado College with five points (3g, 2a)... He posted the game-winning goal in the season-opening 4-3 win last Friday, then recorded a career-high four points vs. the Tigers with two goals and two assists in Saturday’s 7-2 win... Smith also totaled seven shots on the weekend with a +5 plus/minus rating... Smith currently ranks eighth in Hockey East scoring with five points.

THE DYMANIC DUO: The Wildcats return one of the top scoring lines in the country, which includes senior forwards Brett Hemingway (41 pts.) and Jacob Micflikier (42 pts.)...They ranked first and second on the team last year in scoring, while Hemingway led the roster in goals with 19 and Micflikier was the top assist man with 26...Micflikier ranked fourth in the conference in scoring, while Hemingway had the fifth highest point total among Hockey East skaters...They both scored their 100th career points last season and they along with Michel Leveille of Maine are the only active 100 point scorers in Hockey East...Hemingway and Micflikier are also the active point leaders in Hockey East games with 74 and 71 points respectively...Hemingway’s 39 goals and Micflikier’s 45 assists are also active records among Hockey East players...Hemingway and Micflikier both have recorded three assists in two games this season.

CAPTAIN CIOCCO: Senior forward Josh Ciocco is the 101st captain in the history of UNH hockey...Ciocco posted 18 points as a junior with seven goals and 11 assists...In his Wildcat career, he has played in 100 career games with 16-24-40.
REGAN IS THE NUMBER ONE: Junior goaltender Kevin Regan is now UNH’s No. 1 goalie to start the season after platooning the last two seasons with former Wildcat Jeff Pietrasiak...Regan owned a 8-8-5 record in 05-06 with a 2.63 GAA and a .914 save percentage...In comparison to his stellar freshman season where he went 15-4-2 with a 2.35 GAA and a .928 save percentage...Regan started both games at Colorado College, posting 61 saves in two games on 66 shots by the Tigers.

UNH SPECIAL TEAMS: UNH’s power play posted 42 goals last season, the third highest total among conference teams...The Wildcat power play also ranked third in the league at a 19.9% conversion rate, which ranked ninth in the nation...In terms of penalty kill, the Wildcats also had a lot of success with a man down ranking seventh in the nation and second among Hockey East teams.

THE ‘CATS DEFENSE: UNH defense ranked fifth in the league and 16th in the nation last season allowing 2.55 goals per game.

ON THE COVER: Senior forward Shawn Vinz (Rochester, Minn.) is featured on the program cover vs. Massachusetts and Yale... The senior forward is best known for bringing a physical style of play to the Wildcats... He skated in 26 games as a junior last season and recorded one assist, which came in the season opener against Ferris State... Vinz recorded a personal-best three assists in the 2005 season... He skated in both games last weekend at Colorado College.

WILDCAT AWARDS: Here is a list of awards that Wildcat players have won to date this season:
Smith    Hockey East Player of the Week    10/23

HOME SWEET HOME: UNH finished its 11th season of play at the Whittemore Center in 2005-2006 posting a final record of 10-6-3 record at Towse Rink this season..UNH owns a 144-39-18 all-time record in 11 seasons of play at the  Whittemore Center with 128 sellouts during that time in 201 all-time games.
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