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    The University of New Hampshire women’s ice hockey team, ranked fifth in the national polls with a 20-5-5 overall record, concludes the regular season with a home-and-home series against 10th-ranked University of Connecticut (19-9-4). The teams face off at Freitas Ice Forum on Feb. 21 (1 p.m.) and UNH will hold its Senior Day on Feb. 22 (2 p.m.).
    UNH has a 25-3-4 lifetime record, including a 3-3 road tie earlier this season, against UConn. The Wildcats are 13-1-2 at home in the series with an 11-1-2 mark here at the Whittemore Center. The Huskies’ lone win in Durham vs. the ‘Cats was Dec. 1, 2001, and their most recent win in the series overall was March 12, 2005. Since then, UNH is 9-0-2 in 11 games.
    In the Oct. 15 matchup, Sam Faber and Jenn Wakefield scored third-period goals 21 seconds apart to lift UNH into a 3-3 tie at UConn. The Huskies won the shootout, 1-0 in five rounds, to gain the extra point in the Hockey East standings.
    The Huskies led 1-0 at the end of 1 and 2-1 at the end of 2, then took a 3-1 lead early in the third period. UNH goalie Kayley Herman made 21 saves and UConn’s Brittany Wilson stopped 27 shots.The Wildcats went 2-for-4 on the power play and 3 of 3 on the penalty kill.

    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 the Women’s Hockey East Championship Tournament go on sale Feb. 20. They are available at the Whittemore Center Box Office, by calling 603-868-7300 or by clicking here. Tickets are $8 for adults and $4 for seniors/youths. Students of Hockey East institutions will receive a complimentary ticket by presenting a valid student ID at the Whittemore Center Box Office on game day.

    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.

    New Hampshire’s 11-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).
    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.
    UNH is 4-0-2 in its last six games against nationally-ranked teams.
    The ‘Cats have won all 12 games in which the PK has not yielded a goal. They are 7-1-1 when scoring multiple power-play goals.
    The ‘Cats lead the nation in shorthanded goals with 11. Jenn Wakefield (four goals) and Sam Faber (three) have been the top snipers with a teammate in the penalty box. Raylen Dziengelewski has been on the ice for seven of the team’s 11 shorthanded tallies. And Kacey Bellamy has also been on the ice for seven.
    UNH has netted 35 power-play goals this season, and Jenn Wakefield, who has scored 12 power-play goals herself, has been on the ice for 26 of them. Kacey Bellamy has been on-ice for 25 of 35 PPG.
    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 11-game winning streak. The Wildcats have scored at least three goals every game and have outscored the opposition 48-18; they have scored a goal in 29 of 33 periods.
    New Hampshire has a .139 shooting percentage (.113 overall this season) and has held the opposition to a .072 shooting percentage (.095 overall). The shot advantage stands at 346-249.
    The power play has excelled during this 11-game stretch by converting 17 of 54 opportunities for a .315 percentage (.216 overall this season).
    Five players, led by Kelly Paton (11-9-20) and Jenn Wakefield (14-6-20) have recorded double-digit points. Sam Faber (3g, 16a) is next with 19 points, 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 seven starts, including each of the last four games, in the past 11 games and her numbers include a 1.70 GAA and .921 save percentage. In four starts, Kayley Herman has a 1.50 GAA and .939 save percentage.

    The Class of 2009 enters the weekend with 114 wins – which is exceeded only by last year’s class that finished with 115 victories in four years – and a .845 winning percentage. Included in that is a 60-3-8 (.901) record here at the Whittemore Center and a 71-4-7 (.909) mark in Hockey East. This class has captured the Hockey East regular-season crown all four years and has won each of the last three league tournament titles. These seniors have participated in three NCAA tournaments and advanced to the Frozen Four twice.
    Kacey Bellamy is a highly-accomplished and highly-decorated UNH defenseman; she is one of 43 candidates for the 2009 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award. Bellamy enters the weekend with 24 goals and 79 assists for 103 career points to rank third among UNH defensemen in assists and fifth in points. This season, she ranks third in the nation in defensemen scoring; in previous years, she was 10th (‘08), 12th (‘07) and 13th (‘06) in that statistic. Bellamy is second on the team in assists and fourth in points, and is also second in plus/minus.
    Sam Faber, a 2008 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award Top 10 Finalist and two-time Hockey East First Team selection, is one of the top point producers in UNH history. She enters the weekend with career numbers of 77-108-185 to rank 13th in goals, fourth in assists and fifth in points. Faber led the ‘Cats in assists in ‘07 and ‘08, and she has a team-best 26 assists this season. She also was the points leader each of the past two years and is second in that statistic this season. Faber, the team leader in plus/minus, is 13th in the nation in assists and 21st in points.
    Maggie Joyce has been a steady, physical presence on UNH’s blue line in her four years, and this year she has also developed into an offensive weapon to rank 24th in the nation in defensemen scoring with 17 points (3g, 14a) in 29 games. She was recognized for outstanding play in last year’s Hockey East tourney with a selection to the All-Tournament Team, and she has been named to the league’s All-Academic Team all three years. Joyce’s season highlights included a stretch in which she recorded a point in 8 of 11 games (2-9-11).
    Angela Taylor has exploded on the scene in her senior season, due in part to her assertive forechecking. She is tied for third on the team in assists (18) and is fifth in points (23). Both of those numbers are single-season highs and nearly match her previous three-year totals of 21 assists and 32 points. Taylor’s season highlights include a six-game assist streak and four multiple-assist games. Her collegiate accolades include selection to the 2007 Hockey East All-Academic Team.

    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.

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