The University of New Hampshire women’s hockey team, which remained No. 1 in the USCHO poll for a fourth consecutive week (but slipped to No. 2 in the USA Hockey poll), has a 20-3-1 overall record that includes a 10-0-1 mark in Hockey East. The Wildcats play host to longtime rival Northeastern University on Jan. 26 (2 p.m.); an alumni game begins at 9:30 a.m.

UNH has a 69-29-7 lifetime record, including two road victories this season, against NU. The Wildcats’ current 20-game winning streak vs. the Huskies began with the first meeting of the 2003 season – head coach Brian McCloskey’s first year at UNH. During the current streak, UNH has outscored the Huskies 106-14 with 11 shutouts.

The ‘Cats have shut out NU each of the last three meetings and held them scoreless for a total of 227 minutes, 38 seconds. New Hampshire has blanked the Huskies three consecutive games three times, including the only time in which the Wildcats won all three season meetings by shutout (2003).

UNH has a 31-9-4 home mark against NU that includes 13-3-2 at the Whittemore Center. NU has not won in Durham since Jan. 21, 2001, when the Huskies were 2-1 victors. In the three seasons prior to this UNH 20-game win streak, Northeastern had a 7-2-1 record vs. the ‘Cats.

In this year’s meetings, New Hampshire has outscored NU 10-0 with a 4-0 win Dec. 2 and a 6-0 victory Jan. 10. The ‘Cats have a 93-32 edge in shots and are 1-for-5 on the power play as well as 8 of 8 on the penalty kill.


    UNH freshman goaltender Kayley Herman was named Mission Rookie of the Week on Monday. She went 1-0-1 in two games last week with a 0.96 GAA and .952 save percentage. She stopped 22 of 23 shots, including all 12 in the third period, to backbone UNH to a 3-1 road win against ninth-ranked Dartmouth, then recorded 18 saves in a 1-1 tie vs. Providence to keep the ‘Cats undefeated in league play. Herman has received this honor once each month – October 8, November 19, December 17 and January 21.

    New Hampshire, ranked No. 1 in the national polls for the fourth consecutive week (eighth week overall this season), enters Saturday’s game with a 20-3-1 overall record (10-0-1 Hockey East and 11-1-1 at home). UNH’s current six-game unbeaten streak (5-0-1) is the team’s third unbeaten streak of at least six games this season; the ‘Cats recorded previous streaks of eight games (8-0-0) and six games (6-0-0).

The ‘Cats have won 20+ games all six years under the guidance of head coach Brian McCloskey. Three of the top four seasons in terms of wins – including No. 1 (33 wins) in 2006 – have come in McCloskey’s tenure. Last year’s 28-win total ranks third and the 27-win season of ‘03 is fourth.

UNH has yielded a total of three goals in four January games to lower the team goals-against-average to 1.24. Kayley Herman’s GAA of 1.15 is better than the school record of 1.18 established by Melissa Bourdon in 2006.

UNH’s penalty kill has not surrendered a goal in the Wildcats’ last 32 shorthanded situations. The ‘Cats are a perfect 25-for-25 in the last five games and have scored four shorthanded goals; UNH’s longest streak this season is 33 consecutive kills.

UNH’s 10-0-1 start in Hockey East is the team’s best in the six-year history of the league. The Wildcats opened with nine-game unbeaten streaks in 2003 (9-0-0) and 2004 (8-0-1); Providence is the team that ended both of those streaks. Including last year’s league tournament, the Wildcats are 27-0-3 in the last 30 games vs. Hockey East teams.

    Sam Faber, who led the 2007 ‘Cats in assists and points, currently leads this year’s team in goals (17), game-winning goals (nine), shorthanded goals (two), points (33) and plus/minus (+27) as well as multiple-point games (12); she is also second in assists (16) and shooting percentage (.221). Faber has recorded a point in 10 of the last 12 games with six multiple-point efforts and totals of nine goals and seven assists for 16 points.

Faber became the first player in league history to win back-to-back Player of the Month awards by receiving the honor in both November and December.

Faber’s eight-game point-scoring streak came to an end Jan. 5 at Brown; she had four multiple-point performances with totals of six goals and six assists for 12 points in the eight games.

Overall, Faber has a point in 18 of the team’s initial 24 games and is one of four Wildcats who has recorded double digits in both goals and assists. She has amassed 17 points (10g, 7a) in 11 games against nationally-ranked teams with two-goal efforts against Dartmouth, Harvard and UConn.

In December, Faber tallied four goals and three assists for a total of seven points in five games. She recorded 3-1-4 in three games against nationally-ranked teams as well as 1-2-3 in two Hockey East games. Faber scored one game-winning goal and assisted on two others as she recorded a point in every game to extend her point-scoring streak to eight. Her highlights included a two-goal game against then-No. 1 Harvard in which she scored the (shorthanded) game-winning goal. Faber led UNH in goals, points, plus/minus (+6) and shots (24) in the month of December.

Faber tallied six goals and eight assists for 14 points in nine November games; she netted three game-winning goals and a +10 plus/minus rating. Faber recorded nine points on four goals (two game-winners) and five assists in four Hockey East games as well as seven points (3-4-7) in four games against nationally-ranked teams. Faber had four multiple-point games, including a career-high five points against nationally-ranked UConn in which she tied her career high of two goals. The 14 points marked a team high in November; she tied for the team lead in goals and tied for second in assists, and was second in plus/minus.

She compiled eight points on four goals and four assists in six October games; she also had a plus/minus rating of +8 and scored the game-winning goal against Colgate, Boston College and Maine. Faber tallied 2-4-6 in three Hockey East games as well as 2-1-3 in three games vs. nationally-ranked teams.

    UNH has been extended to overtime twice this season, both on home ice at the Whittemore Center. Back on Dec. 1, Jennifer Hitchcock scored in the closing seconds of the extra session to lift the Wildcats to a 3-2 victory. Last weekend, the ‘Cats recorded a 3-1 shot advantage in the OT session but could not break the 1-1 tie vs. Providence.
    The Wildcats played seven OT games last season and are 3-0-7 in their last 10 games decided by overtime. UNH was last defeated in overtime Nov. 5, 2005 at Boston College (3-2).

    New Hampshire has been very successful at defending home ice this season with an 11-1-1 record. UNH has outscored the opposition 51-15 (averages of 3.92 gpg/1.15 gpg) with a 445-210 shot advantage (34.23 per game/16.15 per game) in 13 home games.
    Five ‘Cats are averaging at least one point per game at the Whittemore Center; Sam Faber leads the way with 20 points (9g, 11a) in 13 games and she also has a team-best .237 shooting percentage. Jennifer Hitchcock (6-8-14), Sadie Wright-Ward (5-9-14), Kelly Paton (5-7-12) and Jenn Wakefield (4-6-10) are also at 1.00 ppg or better; Wakefield’s total is in 10 games and Paton has missed one home game. Kayley Herman, in 12 games (11 starts), has compiled a 9-1-1 record with a 1.10 GAA, .934 save percentage and one shutout (in her home debut Oct. 14 vs. Colgate).
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