#3 WOMEN'S HOCKEY FACES OFF AGAINST #1 WISCONSIN IN FLORIDA

NOTES | VIDEO

THE MATCHUP

     The University of New Hampshire women’s hockey team, ranked third in both of this week’s national polls, is 7-1-3 overall with a 3-1-2 record in Hockey East. The Wildcats play top-ranked University of Wisconsin (12-0-2, 8-0-2 WCHA) in a two-game series at the Fort Myers Skatium in Fort Myers, Florida, on Nov. 21-22. Both games will be videostreamed live on USCHO.com/women/.

UNH has a 6-0-1 lifetime record, including two wins last season, against Wisconsin. The teams have met once at a neutral site, and the ‘Cats prevailed 2-1 on Nov. 27, 2005 at Dartmouth College’s Thompson Arena.

This series began in the 2002 season and UNH won twice by shutout at the Whittemore Center. The following year in Madison, Wisconsin, the Wildcats recorded a 2-0 win and the teams skated to a 1-1 tie.

Last year at the Whittemore Center, UNH won both games by a 2-1 score. In the series opener, Hilary Knight gave the Badgers a 1-0 lead at 13:47 of the second period and UW held that lead at the second intermission. UNH scored goals 3:38 apart –at 12:21 and 15:59 – in the third period to take a 2-1 lead. Wisconsin pulled goaltender Jessie Vetter (24 saves) with 36 seconds to play and went on the power play 12 seconds later to gain a two-skater advantage, but did not get a shot on goal. UNH goalie Kayley Herman finished with 19 saves. UW went 1-for-7 on the power play and UNH was 0-for-2 with a 26-20 shot advantage.

New Hampshire took an early 1-0 lead the next day with a goal at 1:51 of the opening stanza. UNH held that one-goal advantage until the Badgers struck at 2:06 of the third period. The ‘Cats immediately seized back momentum with a penalty kill and a goal to regain the lead at 4:45. For the second time in as many days, UW had a two skater advantage for the final 24 seconds of regulation with a Wildcat in the penalty box and Vetter on the bench in favor of an extra skater. Once again, the ‘Cats kept the Badgers at bay to secure the victory.

In the two-game series, Herman stopped 41 of 43 shots for a .953 save percentage against a team that was averaging 3.92 goals per game.

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 will be launched at the UNH men’s hockey game versus Providence on Saturday, Nov. 22, with women’s hockey having its special presentation Friday, Dec. 5 versus Harvard. Members of the hockey team will wear Operation Hat Trick hats during introductions and then toss each personally autographed hat into the crowd. Three team-signed hats will be raffled off and proceeds will go to the VA Hospital Recreation Therapy program. Shortly after the game, members of each hockey team will travel to the VA Hospital to meet and greet patients and to deliver the first group of hats.

Click here for more information about Operation Hat Trick or to view the product.

THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
    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.

Twelve of 14 skaters recorded a point in the 7-1 win at Maine on Nov. 14. Jenn Wakefield led four multiple-point scorers with two goals and two assists for four points.

The Wildcats limited Maine to eight shots, and that was preceded by a game in which they held Vermont to 12 shots for a total of 20 shots yielded in two games.

New Hampshire has scored a power-play goal in 8 of 11 games this season. The ‘Cats have scored six power-play goals in the last three games, including four at Maine last weekend. UNH has yielded a power-play goal in 7 of 11 games.

UNH had just one loss through 10 games for the fifth time in head coach Brian McCloskey’s seven-year tenure.

The Wildcats were idle from Nov. 2 to Nov. 13 and – other than the annual holiday break – it marked the first time UNH did not play a game during a week in regular-season play since February 2001.

UNH has trailed in the third period in four of six Hockey East games this season. They rallied to tie both BC, UConn and BU (Oct. 30) but lost at BU (Oct. 23). UNH has not faced a third-period deficit in any of its five non-league games.

WHO'S HOT
    Three UNH Wildcats carry lengthy streaks into the weekend series against Wisconsin. Kelly Paton extended her point-scoring streak to 11 games with a goal at Maine. Jenn Wakefield pushed her goal-scoring streak to eight games with two tallies in that game; she has recorded a point in all nine games played this season. Angela Taylor extended her assist streak to six games with one at Maine.

OFFENSIVE OUTPUT
    New Hampshire has outscored the opposition 14-4 in the second period with a 115-66 shot advantage in that stanza. In comparison, UNH’s scoring advantage is five goals (14-9) in the first period and two (12-10) in final frame.

UNH has scored a goal in 24 of 33 periods (excluding overtimes) this season, and that includes four games in which the ‘Cats scored at least once in all three periods.

The four power-play goals and seven goals overall Nov. 14 at Maine were single-game highs this season for the Wildcats. The four first-period goals also marked the highest single-period total.

Yale struck three times in the third period Oct. 25. UNH had not yielded three goals in any period since the 2007 NCAA quarterfinal loss to St. Lawrence on March 10, 2007 (first period).

UNH vs. #1
    New Hampshire has fared well in recent seasons against the top-ranked team in the nation – last year, the Wildcats won all three matchups against the top-ranked team.

A 4-1 victory Dec. 14, 2007 against Harvard University marked the team’s fourth consecutive win in matchups against the No. 1 ranked team. Earlier in the season, the Wildcats swept a two-game home series against then No. 1 Wisconsin on Nov. 17-18.

Prior to the 2008 season, the last time UNH faced off against a #1-ranked team was Nov. 27, 2005, when the ‘Cats defeated Wisconsin. All three games vs. the Badgers ended with a 2-1 score.

WILDCATS IN THE NATION
     A handful of Wildcats are ranked among the national leaders. Jenn Wakefield is No. 5 in points per game (1.78), sixth in goals per game (1.11), eighth in power-play goals (four) and second in game-winning goals (two). Sam Faber is tied for the lead in shorthanded goals (two), and she is 15th in goals (0.73 gpg) and 17th in points (1.36 ppg). Angela Taylor is 14th in assists (0.96 apg) while Kelly Paton is 17th in points (1.36) and Kacey Bellamy is 16th in defensemen scoring (0.73 ppg).

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.
 

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