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The University of New Hampshire women’s hockey team, ranked eighth in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll and seventh in the USCHO.com poll, is 8-4-5 overall with a 4-1-3 record in Hockey East. The Wildcats return to action Dec. 9 at home against Northeastern University (7-5-2, 4-3-0 Hockey East) and conclude the fall semester Dec. 12 at ninth-ranked Harvard. Both games are at 7 p.m.
New Hampshire has a 71-28-7 lifetime record, including this year’s 2-0 home win Nov. 26, against Northeastern. The Wildcats have won 22 consecutive games in the series dating back to March 15, 2002, when the Huskies were 2-0 victors in an ECAC Eastern League semifinal game; of the 22 wins, 11 have been by shutout. UNH has a 33-9-4 record at home and that includes 15-3-2 at the Whittemore Center.
In this year’s meeting (on the eve of Thanksgiving), Courtney Birchard potted a shorthanded goal at 11:14 of the second period and Angela Taylor scored with 2:12 remaining in regulation to lift UNH to a 2-0 victory. Kayley Herman recorded her first shutout of the season –10th of her career – with a 12-save effort. NU counterpart Florence Schelling stopped 34 shots, including 18 in the second stanza. The Wildcats went 0-for-6 on the power play (with 16 shots) and 5 of 5 on the penalty kill.
UNH has a 27-12-3 lifetime record, including last Friday’s 1-1 tie at the Whittemore Center, against Harvard University. The Wildcats are unbeaten in the last seven games (5-0-2) of the series. Prior to this current streak, the Crimson has a 12-game winning streak vs. the ‘Cats. UNH is 9-5-2 on the road with a 3-3 tie (Dec. 8, 2007) and 3-0 win (Dec. 10, 2005) in the two most recent visits to Bright Hockey Center. Harvard last defeated the Wildcats Dec. 9, 2003 (4-0) in Cambridge.
HERMAN NAMED CO-DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Sophomore goaltender Kayley was named Pure Hockey co-Defensive Player of the Week by Hockey East on Monday. She received the award twice last year as a rookie.
Herman backboned UNH to a pair of ties against nationally-ranked teams last week with a 1.85 GAA and .937 save percentage. She recorded a career-high 36 saves, including 20 in the third period (a personal best for a single period), in a 1-1 tie against 10th-ranked Harvard University on Dec. 5. Herman made 23 saves – 10 in the final frame – at sixth-ranked Boston University on Dec. 7.
THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
UNH is in the midst of a four-game, eight-day stretch that began with last Friday’s 1-1 tie at home against 10th-ranked Harvard University and continued Sunday with a 3-3 tie at sixth-ranked Boston University. The ‘Cats play host to Northeastern University on Dec. 9 (7 p.m.) and conclude the 2008 calendar year Dec. 12 (7 p.m.) at Harvard.
New Hampshire opened the 2009 season with 10 games in 25 days and the Wildcats compiled a 6-1-3 record, including a 1-1-3 mark against nationally-ranked teams.
UNH is unbeaten in its last 21 games at the Whittemore Center (17-0-4). Princeton was the last visiting team to leave Durham with a victory against the Wildcats – 2-1 on Nov. 11, 2007.
Kayley Herman recorded her first shutout of the season – 10th of her career –with a 12-save effort at home against Northeastern on Nov. 26. She tallied a career high 36 saves, including 20 in the third period, Dec. 5 against 10th-ranked Harvard.
UNH recorded a 34-2 shot advantage in the third period at Colgate on Nov. 29; Jenn Wakefield tallied 12 shots in that stanza. The ‘Cats finished with a 47-25 shot advantage in the 5-4 loss; they outscored the Raiders 2-1 in that third period.
New Hampshire has scored a power-play goal in 12 of 17 games this season and the ‘Cats have yielded a power-play goal in 13 games.
The Wildcats went 3-3-0 in November, and it marked the most losses in a month for the ‘Cats since November 2003, when the team went 5-3-1. November ‘08 also marked the first non-winning month for UNH since December ‘03 (1-2-0).
UNH had just one loss through 10 games for the fifth time in head coach Brian McCloskey’s seven-year tenure.
UNH ANNOUNCES "OPERATION HAT TRICK"
The University of New Hampshire athletic department recently announced the creation of a special project called “Operation Hat Trick,” an initiative that will give baseball hats to injured military personnel.
For every two hats that are sold (suggested retail price of $19.95 each), a third will be donated to the VA Hospital’s Recreation Therapy program. Six local retailers, including an online provider, have committed to the project by selling the hats through their outlets. The retailers are: UNH Bookstore, Hayden Sports, Town & Campus, Sportdesigns.com, Friends of Men’s Hockey, Friends of Women’s Hockey and UNH Athletics.
Operation Hat Trick was launched at the UNH men’s hockey game vs. Providence on Saturday, Nov. 22, and women’s hockey had its special presentation Friday, Dec. 5 vs. Harvard.
Members of the hockey team will wore Operation Hat Trick hats during introductions and then tossed each personally autographed hat into the crowd. Three team-signed hats were raffled off with proceeds going to the VA Hospital Recreation Therapy program. Members of each hockey team will travel to the VA Hospital to meet and greet patients and to deliver the first group of hats.
For more information about Operation Hat Trick or to view the product, visit www.unhwildcats.com.
WILDCATS IN THE NATION
A few Wildcats are ranked among the individual national leaders, and that includes Sam Faber leading the nation in shorthanded goals with three. Jenn Wakefield is 11th in goals per game, 13th in points per game, sixth in game-winning goals and fourth in power-play goals. Kacey Bellamy is 14th in defensemen scoring.
WHEN YOU CAN'T MAKE IT TO THE WHITT
There may be times this season when you can’t make it to the Whittemore Center to support the UNH Wildcats. We’ve got you covered with videostreaming at unhwildcats.tv and live stats at www.unhwildcats.com.
HOME ICE ADVANTAGE
UNH is 54-0-9 in home league regular-season games since the inception of Hockey East in the 2003 season. The ‘Cats are also 2-0 in postseason Hockey East home games. The Hockey East teams that have skated to a tie against New Hampshire at the Whittemore Center are Providence (three), UConn (two), Boston College (two), Boston University and Maine.
OT IS OK
UNH has already played five overtime games this season, and all five have ended in a tie. The school single-season record for ties is six, which was established in 2005; the ‘Cats also had five ties in the ‘07 and ‘02 seasons.
UNH has skated to a tie each of the last two games –3-3 at BU and 1-1 vs. Harvard – to mark the fifth time in the program’s 32-year history that UNH recorded back-to-back ties; it also occurred in December 2006, February 2002, November 1998 and Jan/Feb 1987.
UNH has gone to overtime three consecutive games just once – in the 1999 postseason (ECAC title game and both the semifinal and final games of the AWCHA tournament).
The Wildcats are 4-0-12 in their last 16 games decided by overtime; they were last defeated in OT Nov. 5, 2005 at Boston College (3-2).
The ‘Cats have not lost an OT game at the Whittemore Center since Nov. 7, 2003 (2-1 to St. Lawrence); since then, they are 5-0-12 in 17 home games that have extended beyond 60 minutes of regulation.