GAME DAY: #3 WOMEN'S HOCKEY PLAYS HOST TO PROVIDENCE (DEC. 5)
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The University of New Hampshire women’s ice hockey team, ranked third in both national polls, returns to action Dec. 5 at home against longtime rival Providence College. Game time at the Whittemore Center is 2 p.m. Videostreaming is available online at unhwildcats.tv.
UNH has a 72-39-12 overall record, including 3-1-0 last season, vs. Providence. Last year’s 5-0 loss at Schneider Arena (Jan. 10) ended UNH’s 11-game unbeaten streak (9-0-2) in the series. The Wildcats have an 8-1-1 edge in the last 10 meetings and a 36-7-7 record at home vs. the Friars that includes a 17-1-4 mark at the Whittemore Center. PC has not won at the Whitt since Jan. 11, 1997.
UNH head coach Brian McCloskey has a 17-8-3 record vs. PC, and that includes 3-2 in Hockey East postseason play.
In last year’s series, UNH had a 10-9 scoring advantage with a 4-1 home win in the regular season and a 3-1 victory at the Whittemore Center in a Hockey Eats semifinal matchup. The Wildcats recorded the shot advantage in all four matchups, including 43-36 in the 5-0 loss. UNH went 3-for-16 on the power play, while PC converted 3 of 23 power-play chances in the four games.
Saturday will mark the first time since the 2001 season that these teams face off before the calendar turns to January; in that game at Schneider Arena (Dec. 2000), the Friars prevailed 2-1.
TOYS FOR TOTS AT THE WHITTEMORE CENTER
The UNH athletic department has announced its “Toys for Tots” campaign will be held at the Whittemore Center this weekend. Bring along an unwrapped toy to the game and donate to Toys for Tots. The Marines will be in attendance accepting donations at the Dec. 4 men’s game as well as the Saturday, Dec. 5 women’s game (vs. Providence, 2 p.m.).
Two milestones are on the immediate horizon for a pair of UNH Wildcats. Senior forward Micaela Long enters Saturday’s game with 99 career points (41g, 58 a) in 125 games; there are currently 41 members in UNH’s Century Club.
Head coach Brian McCloskey has 199 career victories with a 199-42-28 overall record. Here’s a look at some notable wins:
1st win– Oct. 11, 2002 (4-0 vs. Vermont)
1st Hockey East win– Nov. 2, 2002 (5-1 vs. Maine)
50th win– March 20, 2004 (5-0 vs. Northeastern)
100th win– Feb. 25, 2006 (5-0 vs. Vermont)
150th win– Jan. 5, 2008 (3-1 at Brown)
PATON GARNERS WEEKLY AND MONTHLY HONORS
Kelly Paton received two accolades from Hockey East this week. She was honored as Pure Hockey Player of the Week for the second consecutive week (third time overall this season) on Monday and Player of the Month –for the second time in as many months – on Tuesday.
Last week, Paton recorded a point on both of UNH’s goals in a 2-1 victory at seventh-ranked Northeastern. Her shorthanded tally gave the ‘Cats a 1-0 first-period lead, and she set up the game-winning shorthanded tally that broke a 1-1 tie late in the third period.
Paton recorded seven goals and six assists for 13 points in six November games; those numbers calculate to 1.17 goals per game, 1.00 assists per game and 2.17 points per game. Paton’s other numbers included two game-winning goals, a power-play goal, a shorthanded goal, a +6 rating and a .212 shooting percentage. In four league games, she tallied nine points (4g, 5a). She had five points (2g, 3a) in three games vs. nationally-ranked teams.
THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
New Hampshire has the nation’s longest active unbeaten streak of eight games (5-0-3); last week, the Wildcats skated to a 2-1 victory at seventh-ranked Northeastern University.
The Wildcats faced a deficit in four consecutive games during this unbeaten streak – spanning Nov. 6-21. UNH fell behind 3-1 vs. Rensselaer on Nov. 21 before rallying to a 4-3 victory. The ‘Cats previously trailed Harvard (1-0) and Boston University twice (4-3, Nov. 7; and 1-0, Nov. 6).
UNH has a Hockey East regular-season unbeaten streak of 17 games (16-0-1) dating back to last season. The Wildcats ended the 2009 league schedule with 11 consecutive wins and they are 5-0-1 in league play this season.
In head coach Brian McCloskey’s seven-year tenure, UNH has a 15-6-4 record (.640 winning percentage) in the month of December. In the last four years, that mark is 8-1-4 (.692).
Kelly Paton has recorded a goal or assist on each of the team’s last six goals with a total of four goals and two assists in the last two games. Last Sunday, she had a goal and assist at seventh-ranked Northeastern (2-1 win). And back on Nov. 21, Paton recorded three goals and an assist in the 4-3 win vs. Rensselaer.
Lindsey Minton stopped 21 of 22 shots (.955 save percentage) to backbone UNH to its 2-1 road victory against seventh-ranked Northeastern.
Micaela Long has 13 points (2g, 11a) during her current eight-game point-scoring streak.
UNH AT FULL STRENGTH
UNH’s penalty kill has been so effective this season that it may appear as if the Wildcats are still at full strength. Both of UNH’s goals in the 2-1 victory at seventh-ranked Northeastern (Nov. 29) were shorthanded tallies, and that tied the school record for shorthanded goals in a game (established Feb. 1999 and matched Nov. 1999, both vs. Yale). In that game vs. NU, the Wildcats’ penalty kill recorded a 5-4 shot advantage while the Huskies were on the power play.
New Hampshire’s penalty kill is a perfect 14-for-14 with three shorthanded goals in the last three games; the current streak is also 14 consecutive successful kills.
UNH’s PK is 31-for-33 (.939) in Hockey East league action.
HOME SWEET HOME
New Hampshire opened the 2010 season with a six-game homestand and went 5-0-1. Since then, the Wildcats have defeated Maine, UConn and Rensselear and skated to a tie vs. Boston U. to move to 8-0-2 at home this year. The ‘Cats have outscored the opposition 38-15 with a 310-177 shot advantage.
UNH had a 14-1-3 record at the Whittemore Center last season and went 17-1-1 at home in 2008; the ‘Cats had a 30-game unbeaten streak (26-0-4) spanning those two seasons.
UNH has not lost a regular-season game at the Whittemore Center since Nov. 11, 2007 (2-1 to Princeton). Since that game, the ‘Cats are 28-0-6 in regular-season home games.
HOME ICE ADVANTAGE
UNH is 65-0-10 in home league regular-season games since the inception of Hockey East in the 2003 season. The ‘Cats are also 4-0 in postseason Hockey East home games. The Hockey East teams that have skated to a tie against New Hampshire at the Whittemore Center are Providence (three), UConn (two), Boston College (two), Boston University (two) and Maine.