The University of New Hampshire women’s ice hockey team, second in both national polls, is 9-0-0 overall and 3-0-0 in Hockey East entering Thursday’s matchup at 10th-ranked Boston College (5-1-1 overall, 2-1-0 Hockey East). Game time at Conte Forum is 7 p.m. These teams finished 1-2 in the 2006 regular-season league standings, met in the Hockey East championship game and were selected 1-2 in the 2007 league preseason poll.
    UNH has a 35-1-2 lifetime record, including last Friday’s 2-1 victory at the Whittemore Center, against Boston College. The Wildcats are 18-1-1 on the road in this series and that includes the only loss in the overall series, 3-2 in overtime on Nov. 5, 2005. UNH head coach Brian McCloskey has a 14-1-1 ledger vs. BC.
    The ‘Cats have won 14 times by shutout, including twice last season (6-0 in the Hockey East championship game; 6-0). Last week’s 2-1 victory was the Wildcats’ third victory in the series by that score; UNH also won by that margin at BC on March 6, 2005 and home March 6, 2004. New Hampshire has been held to two goals in four of the last 10 meetings. The only time the ‘Cats were limited to a single goal was Feb. 9, 2002 (1-0 home win).

    New Hampshire enters the week with a 9-0-0 overall record that includes 5-0-0 on the road and 3-0-0 in Hockey East league action.
    UNH recorded double digits in shots all six periods last weekend while yielding no more than nine shots in a period.
    UNH has recorded five shutouts in just nine games this season. Senior goaltender Melissa Bourdon has four shutouts and held the opposition scoreless in consecutive games (Brown, Maine) before yielding a goal at 17:05 of the first period last Friday vs. BC; that tally ended her shutout streak at 141:32. Bourdon carries an active shutout streak of 102:55 into Thursday’s game at BC. Rookie goalie Lucy Schoedel recorded a shutout in her collegiate debut, a 20-save effort vs. Bemidji State.
    UNH has scored 19 of its 38 goals on the power play, and that includes a stretch of 10 consecutive goals (spanning four games) that ended with Jennifer Hitchcock’s even-strength game-winning tally against BC. The Wildcats have scored multiple power-play goals in seven of nine games this season. The only exceptions are an 0-for-11 performance Sept. 30 vs. Niagara and last Friday’s 1-for-8 effort vs. the Eagles.

    Here is a comparison of how UNH and Boston College enter the week in the national statistics (34 teams):
                        UNH                  BC
Off. (gpg)      7 (4.22)         10 (3.71)
Def. (gpg)     3 (1.11)           9 (1.86)
PP (%)          6 (.297)         16 (.133)
PK (%)          3 (.949)           9 (.893)

    UNH  extended it regular-season unbeaten streak to 35 games (34-0-1) with Sunday’s 4-0 victory against Boston University.
    New Hampshire has won 23 consecutive regular-season games. In fact, the 5-0 win in the season opener marked the fifth consecutive regular-season game won by shutout. Niagara’s tally at 2:53 of the first period of the next game ended UNH’s regular-season shutout streak at 345:12. In the 35-game unbeaten streak, the ‘Cats have recorded 15 shutouts.

    New Hampshire has won eight consecutive games on the road and has a 15-game road unbeaten streak (14-0-1) dating back to a Nov. 5, 2005 overtime loss at Boston College. The only blemish in the past 15 road games is a 5-5 tie at Maine on Jan. 13, 2006.

    For the second time in three years, the UNH women’s ice hockey team will entertain guests at the Whittemore Center for the Thanksgiving holiday. The 2006 UNH Tournament features two teams from Hockey East – UNH and Boston College – and two from the CHA (Wayne State and Mercyhurst).
    The tourney opens Nov. 24 when BC faces off against Mercyhurst at 4 pm; UNH vs. Wayne State follows at 7 p.m. The second day of action features BC vs. Wayne State (4 pm) and UNH vs. Mercyhurst (7 pm).

    For years now, photos of UNH women’s hockey teams and headshots of current Wildcats have been displayed on the concourse of the Whittemore Center. On December 10, 2006, this display will officially become commemorated as the Russell J. McCurdy Gallery with a dedication ceremony prior to the game vs. intrastate rival Dartmouth College.
    McCurdy, an inductee of the UNH Hall of Fame, guided the Wildcats to a 264-36-10 overall record for an .868 winning percentage in 15 seasons (1978-1992). The program went undefeated in the initial four seasons (1978-81) at 72-0-1.
    UNH won the EAIAW championship all four years of its existence (1980-93) and the ‘Cats won four ECAC titles under McCurdy’s direction.

    UNH’s Whittemore Center will be the site of the 2007 Women’s Hockey East Championship. The semifinal games will take place March 3 and the championship game is March 4. This will be the first time in the league’s five-year history that the tournament will be held outside of Boston. Northeastern University’s Matthews Arena was the site of the 2003, 2004 and 2006 championships, and Boston University’s Walter Brown Arena was the venue in 2005.
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