The University of New Hampshire women’s ice hockey team, ranked fifth in the national polls with a 17-5-5 overall record, plays a home-and-home series against longtime nemesis Providence College (16-12-2) this weekend. The Wildcat travel to Schneider Arena on Feb. 13 and then they play host to the Friars on Feb. 14. Both games begin at 7 p.m.
    UNH will clinch at least a share of the Hockey East regular-season title – and the #1 seed in the Hockey East tournament (the top seed receives a bye and is host of the semifinals/final) – with a sweep of the Friars, regardless of the outcome of any other league games.
    At the other end of the spectrum, Providence will move into first place in the league standings with a sweep of the Wildcats.
    New Hampshire has a 69-39-12 lifetime record against Providence College, which ended an 11-game winless streak (0-9-2) vs. the Wildcats with a 5-0 win at Schneider Arena on Jan. 10. Prior to that game, PC had not defeated the ‘Cats since Feb. 27, 2005 (4-3 at Schneider Arena).
    UNH has a 24-19-5 road record in this series, as well as a 34-7-7 mark at home (15-1-4 at the Whittemore Center). The Friars have not won in Durham vs. the ‘Cats since Jan. 11, 1997; since then, they are 0-13-4 on UNH’s home ice.
    In this year’s matchup, the Friars converted two of six power-play opportunities and also scored on a delayed call en route to a 5-0 win. UNH recorded a 19-8 shot advantage in the first period but trailed 1-0 at the intermission. PC scored once more in the second stanza, then pulled away in the third with tallies at 9:16, 14:00 and 18:15. UNH goaltender Kayley Herman stopped 31 shots and PC counterpart Genevieve Lacasse made 43 saves for the shutout. It marked the most shots in a shutout loss in UNH history.

    New Hampshire closes the regular season with five games in a 10-day span from Feb. 13-22.
    UNH carries a season-long eight-game winning streak into the weekend home-and-home series against Providence College. The Wildcats have scored a goal in 22 of 24 periods and have outscored the opposition 38-13 during the win streak.
    The ‘Cats lead the nation in shorthanded goals with nine. Sam Faber and Jenn Wakefield have three apiece. Raylen Dziengelewski has been on the ice for six of the team’s nine shorthanded tallies. And so has Kacey Bellamy.
    UNH has netted 32 power-play goals this season, and Jenn Wakefield, who has scored 12 power-play goals herself, has been on the ice for 23 of them. Kacey Bellamy has been on-ice for 22 of 32 PPG.
    UNH’s four first-period goals Jan. 30 at BC matched the team’s highest goal output in the opening stanza this season
    UNH is 3-0-2 in its last five games against nationally-ranked teams.
    The ‘Cats have won all 10 games in which the PK has not yielded a goal. They are 6-1-1 when scoring multiple power-play goals.
    UNH has competed in four Hockey East shootouts this season and has scored on 1 of 15 attempts overall for a 1-3 record.

    A handful of Wildcats are ranked among the individual national leaders. Jenn Wakefield leads the nation in both power-play goals (12) and game-wining goals (seven); she is second in goals per game (1.04), fifth in shorthanded goals (three) and 12th in points-per-game (1.56). Sam Faber is also fifth in shorthanded goals (three) and ranks 14th in assists per game (0.85) as well as 22nd in points per game (1.30). Kelly Paton is 21st in goals per game (0.63), 25th in points per game (1.26) and 19th in power-play goals (six). UNH boasts two of the highest scoring defensemen – Kacey Bellamy is sixth (0.78 ppg) and Maggie Joyce is 18th (0.62 ppg).

    Senior defenseman and captain Kacey Bellamy became the 40th UNH Wildcat – and just the sixth defensemen – to reach the 100-point milestone with the last of her two points Feb. 8 at Vermont.
    The other active Wildcat in the Century Club is Sam Faber, who attained the 100-point milestone Oct. 21, 2007, with the first of her two points at Boston University. Faber became the 13th UNH Wildcat to reach the 150-point milestone with the last of her three points Oct. 11 at Niagara University. Faber supplanted current UNH field hockey head coach Robin Balducci at No. 6 on the career points list with the last of her four points Feb. 8 at Vermont.
    The closest active ‘Cat to 100 career points is junior forward Kelly Paton, who enters the weekend with 98 points (37g, 61a).

    The Wildcats are unbeaten (10-0-3) at the Whittemore Center this season and they were very successful at defending home ice last season with a 17-1-1 record. New Hampshire extended its home unbeaten streak  to 26 games (22-0-4) with the Jan. 29 victory vs. BC.
    Jenn Wakefield (13-5-18), Kelly Paton (6-11-17) and Sam Faber (5-11-16) are the top three point scorers at home this season, while Kayley Herman is 8-0-3 with a 1.28 GAA and .938 save percentage and Lindsey Minton is 2-0-0 with a 1.46 GAA and .932 save percentage.

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