DURHAM, N.H. -- The University of New Hampshire women’s hockey team, which has a 17-3-0 overall record with a 9-0-0 mark in Hockey East, has climbed to No. 1 in the national polls for the third time this season. The Wildcats, who have been idle since upending then-No. 1 Harvard University, 4-1, at the Whittemore Center on Dec. 14, return to action Jan. 5 at Brown University (1-10-2, 1-7-2 ECAC).

UNH has a 29-13-4 overall record, including last year’s 2-0 victory at the Whittemore Center, against Brown. Despite the overall lopsided advantage for the Wildcats, the series is even (9-9-2) at the Bears’ Meehan Auditorium, a place that UNH has not defeated Brown in more than a decade. Brown has won five straight at home vs. the ‘Cats and is unbeaten in its last seven home games (5-0-2) dating back to UNH’s 8-2 road victory Dec. 29, 1997; in the last 12 games at Meehan Auditorium, Brown has a 9-1-2 record vs. the ‘Cats.

In his five-year tenure, Brian McCloskey has guided New Hampshire to a 4-2-0 record vs. the Bears in which the home team has won every game. Overall, the home team has won seven straight.

In last year’s game at the Whittemore Center, UNH netted power-play goals at 10:00 and 13:50 of the first period en route to a 2-0 victory in which the Wildcats recorded a 39-7 shot advantage; the ‘Cats generated a 12-2 shot advantage in the second period and an 18-1 edge in the third. The Bears’ Nicole Stock finished with 37 saves.


New Hampshire enters the weekend with a 17-3-0 overall record that includes 6-2-0 on the road and 3-2-0 vs. the ECAC. Eight of the team’s last 14 regular-season games are on the road. Saturday’s game at Brown is one of two remaining non-conference games for the Wildcats; the other is a Jan. 17 matchup at intrastate rival Dartmouth College.

The Wildcats rose to the top of the national polls for the third time this season on Dec. 17. UNH’s initial reign as No. 1 lasted just one week, as the ‘Cats gained the top billing Nov. 5 and subsequently defeated nationally-ranked Boston College and UConn before falling to Princeton. UNH quickly rose back to the top and remained there for three weeks (Nov. 19; Nov. 26; Dec. 3).

Five Wildcats are averaging more than one point per game this season, and Kayley Herman has recorded 20+ saves each of the last four games; UNH had not allowed 20+ shots in four consecutive games since Nov. 28, 2004 to Jan. 5, 2005 (eight games).

UNH ended the 2007 calendar year with three consecutive games against nationally-ranked teams. The Wildcats carry a two-game winning streak into 2008 following victories against then-No. 1 Harvard University (4-1) on Dec. 14 and No. 6 Mercyhurst College (5-2) on Dec. 8. MC upended the ‘Cats, 4-3, on Dec. 7.

In the Dec. 14 win vs. Harvard, UNH scored on three consecutive shots spanning the second and third periods.


UNH’s 6-2-0 overall road record includes 2-2-0 vs. non-conference teams (1-1-0 against both St. Lawrence and Mercyhurst). Kelly Paton leads all Wildcats with 10 points (2g, 8a) in eight road games. Sadie Wright-Ward and Jenn Wakefield share the lead in goals with seven, and both have nine points overall, in road games. Sam Faber (5-4-9) and Leah Craig (1-7-8) are also averaging 1.00+ points per game on the road. Away from the Whittemore Center, Kayley Herman has compiled a 6-1-0 record with a 1.43 GAA, .926 save percentage and two shutouts; Lucy Schoedel is 0-1-0 with a 3.00 GAA and .875 save percentage.

New Hampshire opened the 2008 season with three consecutive games against ECAC representatives and went 2-1-0 in those games; the ‘Cats have also lost to Princeton and defeated Harvard for a 3-2-0 mark vs. that conference. 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 has two more scheduled games, including Saturday’s tilt at Brown, against the ECAC. The Wildcats also travel to Dartmouth on Jan. 17 for their last non-conference game of the regular season.

UNH VS. #1
New Hampshire has fared well in recent seasons against the top-ranked team in the nation. A 4-1 victory Dec. 14 against Harvard University marked the team’s fourth consecutive win in matchups against the No. 1 ranked team. Earlier this season, the Wildcats swept a two-game home series against then No. 1 Wisconsin on Nov. 17-18.

Prior to this year, the last time UNH faced off against a #1-ranked team was Nov. 27, 2005, when the ‘Cats defeated Wisconsin. All three games vs. the Badgers ended with a 2-1 score.

UNH athletics and Pack Network have partnered together to spawn the creation of UNHwildcats.tv. Women’s ice hockey is part of the “Wildcat All-Access Pass,” which is an annual subscription for $79.95 that provides not only all the live coverage of various UNH home athletic events, but also premium content and archives. Individual games are also available at $6.95 per game. Commentary will be provided by Nate Bridges and/or Rob Dally. (In addition to women’s hockey, other sports included in the “Wildcat All-Access Pass” are men’s hockey, football, men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball and gymnastics.)
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