The University of New Hampshire women’s ice hockey team, ranked fifth in the national polls with a 19-5-5 overall record, travels to play ninth-ranked Harvard University (15-8-3) on Feb. 17 (in a game that was originally scheduled for Dec. 12).
    UNH has a 27-12-3 lifetime record, including this year’s 1-1 home tie, against Harvard. The Wildcats have a 9-5-2 mark on the road, including a 3-3 tie in their most recent trip to Bright Hockey Center (Dec. 8, 2007). UNH is unbeaten in the last seven overall meetings at 5-0-2. Prior to that, Harvard won 12 consecutive matchups from the 1999-2004 seasons; HU’s most recent win in the series was Dec. 9, 2003 in Cambridge.
    In this year’s matchup (Dec. 5), UNH took a 1-0 lead midway through the second period but the visiting Crimson tied the score on a power-play goal with 1:14 remaining in that stanza. Harvard recorded a 20-5 shot advantage in the third period, but the score remained tied at 1-1. UNH had the 3-2 shot advantage in the five-minute overtime session, but HU generated a 37-13 edge overall. UNH goaltender Kayley Herman stopped a career-high 36 shots and counterpart Christina Kessler made 12 saves.


    With last weekend’s sweep of Providence College, UNH assured itself of at least a share of the Hockey East regular-season title as well as the top seed in the league tournament. As the top seed, the Wildcats receive a bye into the semifinals and will play host to the March 7 semifinal games (12/3 p.m.) and the March 8 championship game (12:30 p.m.) at the Whittemore Center. Tickets for those games will go on sale later this week.
    UNH has now won six consecutive Hockey East regular-season crowns – the ‘Cats shared the 2005 title and won it outright in ‘04, ‘06, ‘07 and ‘08. New Hampshire will claim the ‘09 title outright by virtue of one more point in two games vs. UConn, or if Boston College does not win both games this weekend vs. Providence.


    Senior defenseman Kacey Bellamy and sophomore forward Jenn Wakefield have been selected for the 2009 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award ballot, as announced by USA Hockey.
    The NCAA Division I women’s ice hockey coaches will select the top-10 finalists from the list of 43 nominees on the ballot with the announcement taking place March 2. Then a 13-member committee will select three finalists, which will be announced March 10, as well as the award winner, who will be named at the March 21 banquet in Boston.
    UNH has had 10 selections as a top-10 candidate and three top-3 finishers, including the inaugural recipient of the award, Brandy Fisher, in 1998.
    Tickets to the 2009 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award ceremony may be purchased at PattyKaz.com or by calling 719-538-1184. Individual seats are $85, while tables of 10 are available for $800.

    Freshman goaltender Lindsey Minton was named Mission Hockey East Rookie of the Week on Monday; she received the same distinction Dec. 15.
    Minton backboned UNH to a sweep of the home-and-home series against Providence College with a .923 save percentage and 1.50 GAA.
    In Saturday’s 4-1 win that clinched the league tournament’s top seed for the ‘Cats, Minton stopped a flurry of four shots with PC on a 6x3 advantage early in the third period, and that effort preserved a three-goal lead; she finished the game with 16 saves.
    Friday on the road, Minton fended off PC, which had a 6x4 advantage for the final 51 seconds, with a pair of saves in the last minute to secure a 3-2 win; she was credited with 20 saves overall.

    New Hampshire’s 10-game winning streak is the longest active unbeaten streak in Division I. Finishing strong in the regular season is nothing new for these ‘Cats. Last year, UNH closed the regular season with 10 consecutive wins as part of a 16-game unbeaten streak (15-0-1). In 2007, UNH went 9-0-2 in the last 11 regular-season games. And in ‘06, the ‘Cats entered the postseason with a 14-game winning streak and 26-game unbeaten streak (25-0-1).
    In the last three games, UNH is 5-for-11 on the power play for a 45.5% conversion rate.
    UNH is 3-0-2 in its last five games against nationally-ranked teams.
    The ‘Cats have won all 11 games in which the PK has not yielded a goal. They are 7-1-1 when scoring multiple power-play goals.
    The ‘Cats rank second in the nation in shorthanded goals with 10. Sam Faber and Jenn Wakefield have three apiece. Raylen Dziengelewski has been on the ice for six of the team’s 10 shorthanded tallies. And Kacey Bellamy has been on the ice for seven.
    UNH has netted 34 power-play goals this season, and Jenn Wakefield, who has scored 12 power-play goals herself, has been on the ice for 25 of them. Kacey Bellamy has been on-ice for 24 of 34 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 has competed in four Hockey East shootouts this season and has scored on 1 of 15 attempts overall for a 1-3 record. One of those losses was a 1-0 decision (five rounds) at UConn on Oct. 15.

    UNH has posted some impressive numbers during its 10-game winning streak. The Wildcats have scored at least three goals every game and have outscored the opposition 45-16; they have scored a goal in 27 of 30 periods.
    New Hampshire has a .143 shooting percentage (.113 overall this season) and has held the opposition to a .075 shooting percentage (.097 overall). The shot advantage stands at 315-214.
    The power play has excelled during this 10-game stretch by converting 16 of 49 opportunities for a .327 percentage (.217 overall this season).
    Five players, led by Kelly Paton (8-11-19) have recorded double-digit points. Jenn Wakefield (13g, 5a) and Sam Faber (3g, 15a) have 18 points apiece while both Micaela Long (6g, 6a) and Kacey Bellamy (1g, 11a) have 12 points.
    Maggie Joyce (2-7-9), Angela Taylor (3-5-8) and Raylen Dziengelewski (1-6-7) have also been consistent point producers during the win streak.
    Linsdey Minton has six starts, including each of the last three games, in the past 10 games and her numbers include a 1.67 GAA and .914 save percentage. In four starts, Kayley Herman has a 1.50 GAA and .939 save percentage.

    New Hampshire has a 4-1-1 record vs. ECAC teams with wins against St. Lawrence, Clarkson, Yale and Dartmouth. The ‘Cats skated to a 1-1 tie vs. Harvard and lost at Colgate. All but the Colgate game were at the Whittemore Center.

    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 fourth in goals per game (1.04), fifth in shorthanded goals (three) and 13th 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 21st in points per game (1.31). Kelly Paton is 20th in goals per game (0.69), 24th in points per game (1.28) and 10th in power-play goals (eight). UNH boasts two of the highest scoring defensemen – Kacey Bellamy is third (0.83 ppg) and Maggie Joyce is 20th (0.61 ppg).

    The Century Club has welcomed two UNH Wildcats in recent weeks. The most recent member is junior forward Kelly Paton, who recorded her 100th career point with the first of two goals Feb. 14 against Providence. She currently has 42 goals and 59 assists for 101 points.
    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 sophomore forward Jenn Wakefield (55-33-88).

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