DURHAM, N.H. -- The University of New Hampshire women’s ice hockey team, ranked third in both national polls, carries a 4-0-0 record into this weekend’s two-game home series against Niagara University. Both the Saturday (Oct. 17) and Sunday (Oct. 18) games begin at two o’clock at the Whittemore Center.
Both games will be videostreamed live online at unhwildcats.tv and live stats will be available at www.unhwildcats.com.
UNH has a 20-3-0 lifetime record, including last year’s 5-3 and 5-2 road victories, against Niagara. The Wildcats have won 14 consecutive meetings in this series vs. the Purple Eagles. New Hampshire has a 10-1-0 record at home; the only loss – Feb. 16, 2002 – is also NU’s most recent win in the series.
Last year, the Wildcats recorded double-digit shots in all six periods to generate a 71-48 shots advantage. UNH went 2-for-15 on the power play while NU converted 3 of 18 power-play opportunities. In the first game, the ‘Cats led 2-1 at the first intermission and 4-1 at the end of two periods. The next day, the Purple Eagles erased a two-goal deficit with second-period tallies 50 seconds apart, but UNH responded with goals in a 26 second span to carry a 4-2 lead into the third period.
These teams last faced off here in Durham in November 2007, and New Hampshire recorded 6-2 and 11-1 victories.
THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
Dating back to last season, UNH has won 17 consecutive regular-season games. The Wildcats closed the 2009 regular season with 13 consecutive wins and have opened ‘10 with four victories.
Staying within the realm of regular season play, UNH has not lost at the Whittemore Center since Nov. 11, 2007 (2-1 to Princeton). Since that game, the ‘Cats are 25-0-4 at home in regular-season games –that includes 11-0-1 against non-league opponents.
UNH’s penalty kill is perfect in 22 shorthanded situations this season. Four of the team’s six goals last weekend were scored on the power play.
UNH shut out the opposition in the second and third games of the season; the Wildcats did not record back-to-back shutouts last year. UNH’s shutout streak ended at 183 minutes, 30 seconds when Syracuse scored its second-period goal.
Ten Wildcats recorded a point vs. Colgate, and Micaela Long (two assists) was the only multiple-point scorer.
Eighth-year head coach Brian McCloskey is approaching the 200-win milestone, as he enters the weekend with 193 career victories (193-41-24 overall record). There are currently nine active Division I coaches with 200+ wins. McCloskey’s predecessors at UNH also exceeded 200 victories. Russ McCurdy compiled a 264-36-10 record from 1978-92 and Karen Kay went 215-90-25 from 1993-2002.
In the seven-year tenure of head coach Brian McCloskey, UNH has exhibited a propensity for starting seasons with an extended unbeaten streak. Last year, the Wildcats went undefeated in their initial six games (4-0-2). In the 2007 season, UNH opened with nine consecutive wins. In 2005 and 2003, the ‘Cats began with seven straight victories.
New Hampshire has opened ‘10 with four wins.
SKATING STRIDES AGAINST
The fourth annual “Skating Strides Against Breast Cancer” will have an event on every WHEA campus this season, as well as participation by all of the Hockey East men’s teams. UNH will hold its Skating Strides event at the Whittemore Center on Jan. 16, vs. Providence.
In February 2007, the league debuted its inaugural “Skating Strides Against Breast Cancer.” The one-day event was hosted by Hockey East schools as a way to establish a greater fan base, to raise needed funds, and to work with the specific charities to raise awareness for both the league and the specific cause. “Skating Strides” has won national awards at NACMA in the “Single Day Attendance Promotion” category in 2007 and 2009.