The University of New Hampshire women’s hockey team, which has an 8-1-0 overall record with a 6-0-0 mark in Hockey East, ascended to No. 1 in both of this week’s national polls. The Wildcats conclude their stretch of seven consecutive league games November 10 against eighth-ranked University of Connecticut (9-1-0, 2-0-0), then continue their eight-game homestand November 11 against Princeton University (1-3-2, 1-3-1 ECAC). Both games begin at 2 p.m.

UNH has a 22-3-3 lifetime record, including 14-2-3 under head coach Brian McCloskey and 9-1-2 at the Whittemore Center, against UConn. Last season, UNH skated to 6-2 and 2-1 victories at UConn and the teams played to a 2-2 tie here in Durham; then in the Hockey East semifinals, UNH prevailed 2-0 here at Towse Rink. The Wildcats have shut out the Huskies nine times and UConn has blanked UNH twice; both numbers include a scoreless tie in the 2005 season.

UNH has a 37-4-2 lifetime record, including 19-0-1 at home (10-0-1 at the Whittemore Center) and 3-0-1 under coach McCloskey, against Princeton. These teams have not faced off since skating to a 1-1 tie here at Towse Rink on Jan. 1, 2005. Princeton’s most recent win in this series was Dec. 8, 2001 (1-0); since then the ‘Cats are unbeaten in four meetings.

    New Hampshire enters the weekend with an 8-1-0 overall record that includes 6-0-0 in Hockey East, 4-0-0 at home and 3-1-0 vs. nationally-ranked teams. The Wildcats have won seven consecutive games – it is the second-longest winning streak in the nation. UNH has outscored the opposition 26-4 with three shutouts during the win streak.

The Wildcats enter the weekend ranked No. 7 nationally in offense (3.33 goals per game), tied for first in defense (1.00 gpg), seventh on the power play (.224) and eighth on the penalty kill (.918).

In the last 24 games vs. Hockey East teams – including the 2007 Hockey East Championship tournament – the Wildcats have a 22-0-2 record.

UNH has outscored the opposition 9-1 in the first period and 14-3 in the third as well as 7-5 in the second. The ‘Cats are averaging 34.6 shots per game while yielding 14.9 shots per game.

The Wildcats have scored the game’s first goal in eight of nine games and went on to win each of those games.

    Kelly Paton extended her team-high point-scoring streak to six games with a goal and an assist Wednesday vs. Boston College; she has three consecutive multiple-point games and four during the streak with totals of two goals and eight assists. Sadie Wright-Ward has the next longest active point-scoring streak of five games (3g, 5a); she entered the weekend as UNH’s active career leader in assists (68).

Jennifer Hitchcock has scored in four straight games.

Sam Faber leads the team with five multiple-point games.

Courtney Birchard carries a four-game point-scoring streak into the weekend with an assist each of the last three games.

Since allowing two goals in a season-opening victory at nationally-ranked St. Lawrence, freshman goaltender Kayley Herman has not yielded more than one goal in six consecutive appearances and has two shutouts in that span. She entered the weekend ranked No. 3 nationally in GAA and No. 6 in save percentage.

    UNH’s power play and penalty kill units have excelled in recent weeks. After starting the season 0-for-23 on the power play, the Wildcats are 11-for-26 in the last five games. They have scored multiple power-play goals in four consecutive games and that includes 4-for-6 last Saturday at Vermont. The penalty kill was perfect (26-for-26) during the initial six games of the winning streak before surrendering a power-play goal to Boston College (Nov. 7) to end a streak of 33 consecutive kills.

    In their most recent action, Sam Faber and Jennifer Hitchcock scored goals 37 seconds apart early in the third period to extend a one-goal lead into a 3-0 advantage en route to a 4-1 victory against 10th-ranked Boston College at the Whittemore Center on Nov. 7. Kelly Paton and Faber both recorded a goal and an assist and Courtney Birchard and Sadie Wright-Ward both tallied two assists to propel the attack. Kayley Herman was credited with 11 saves as the Wildcats outshot the Eagles 38-12 and went 2-for-7 on the power play.

    New Hampshire opened the 2008 season with three consecutive games against ECAC representatives and went 2-1-0 in those games. The Wildcats opened with a two-game road series at St. Lawrence University and returned home with a split, then defeated Colgate University at home. UNH’s next non-conference game is Nov. 11 at home against another ECAC team – Princeton University.
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