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SUN LIFE FROZEN FENWAY: A FIRST IN WOMEN'S HOCKEY
UNH and Northeastern will make history Jan. 8, 2010, at Fenway Park – home of the Boston Red Sox – when the teams face off in the first women’s hockey outdoor game as part of a Hockey East doubleheader entitled Sun Life Frozen Fenway. Tickets for the game went on sale Sept. 17 and are already sold out. The game will be televised live on NESN and the NHL Network; it will also be carried live on the Wildcat Sports Radio Network.
The Wildcats were part of another women’s ice hockey first that occurred in Boston when they won the inaugural national championship (American Women’s College Hockey Alliance) in 1998 against Brown University at the FleetCenter (now TD Garden).
The University of New Hampshire women’s ice hockey team, ranked fourth in both national polls, opens the 2010 calendar year by renewing one of the oldest rivalries in women’s college hockey in a Jan. 8 matchup against Northeastern University at Fenway Park.
In the 109 previous meetings, UNH has compiled a 74-28-7 record vs. Northeastern that includes 30-14-1 on the road and 10-5-2 at neutral sites.
Since the inception of Hockey East for the 2002-03 season – which also marked the first year as UNH head coach for Brian McCloskey – the Wildcats have won all 25 meetings between these programs.
During this streak, the ‘Cats have won 13 times by shutout, including by 2-0 and 3-0 scores last season at the Whittemore Center.
Earlier this season (Nov. 29, 2009), UNH won 2-1 at NU’s Matthews Arena. It marked the smallest margin of victory since Feb. 5, 2005, when the ‘Cats were also 2-1 road victors, as well as just the third one-goal margin during the 25-game win streak vs. the Huskies. In the past 25 games, the margin breakdown is: one goal (three times), two goals (five), three goals (four) and four-plus goals (13).
Northeastern last defeated New Hampshire on March 15, 2002, when the Huskies ousted the Wildcats from the ECAC Eastern League semifinals with a 2-0 win (at UConn’s Freitas Ice Forum). That game ended a stretch in which NU went 5-1-1 vs. the ‘Cats.
In this season’s previous matchup, UNH netted a pair of shorthanded goals in the 2-1 victory. The Wildcats were backboned in goal by Lindsey Minton (21 saves) and were led offensively by Kelly Paton, who tallied a goal and an assist. Paton gave the ‘Cats a 1-0 lead late in the first period, and NU’s Kristi Kehoe leveled the score just 58 seconds into the second stanza. The game remained tied at 1-1 until Courtney Birchard blasted a shot from the right point into the upper-right corner of the net with 3:27 remaining in the game. NU goalie Florence Schelling made 30 saves as UNH recorded a 32-22 shot advantage. The Wildcats were 0-for-1 on the power play, while NU went 0-for-4 with two shorthanded goals allowed.
Prior to this season, the last time UNH faced a nationally-ranked Northeastern team was in that 2002 ECAC Eastern League semifinal game. The Huskies were ranked #5 at the time, whereas the Wildcats were unranked.
And prior to this season, the most recent time these teams faced off when both were in the national rankings was Jan. 21, 2001, In that ECAC league matchup, the #8 Northeastern Huskies were 2-1 victors at UNH’s Whittemore Center against the #9 Wildcats.
SKATING STRIDES AGAINST BREAST CANCER
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 (the Wildcats’ next home game).
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.
"OPERATION HAT TRICK" CONTINUES
Last season, the University of New Hampshire athletic department announced the creation of a special project called “Operation Hat Trick,” an initiative that will give baseball hats to injured military personnel. This year’s Operation Hat Trick festivities will be held at the Feb. 13 game vs. Vermont.
For every two hats 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 was launched at the UNH men’s hockey game vs. Providence on Nov. 22, 2008, and women’s hockey had its special presentation Friday, Dec. 5, 2008 vs. Harvard.
Members of the hockey teams wore Operation Hat Trick hats during introductions and then tossed each personally autographed hat into the crowd. Three team-signed hats were raffled off with proceeds going to the VA Hospital Recreation Therapy program. In mid-December, members of each hockey team traveled to the VA Hospital to meet and greet patients and to deliver the first group of hats.
For more information about Operation Hat Trick or to view the product, visit www.unhwildcats.com.
THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
New Hampshire ended the 2009 calendar year with road wins against Boston College (4-0; Dec. 8) and Dartmouth College (4-1; Dec. 12). The Wildcats are 7-1-2 in the last 10 games as well as 4-1-2 away from home.
UNH has yielded less than two goals
in 11 of 18 games this season; that includes four shutouts.
The Wildcats have won all four games decided by one goal. Dating back to last season, the ‘Cats have won eight consecutive one-goal games. (last loss: Nov. 29, 2008 at Colgate, 5-4)
New Hampshire has recorded its largest advantages in both goals (+14; 25-11) and shots (+74; 204-130) in the second period. In comparison, the ‘Cats are +5 (17-12) in the first period and +7 (17-10) in the third.
In the opening decade of this millennium (January 2000 through December 2009), UNH compiled an overall record of 252-80-32 (.736 win percentage). The Wildcats advanced to postseason play all 10 years, won six consecutive league regular-season titles (Hockey East, 2004-09) and four straight league tournament titles (Hockey East, 2006-09). They also made four consecutive NCAA tourney appearances (2006-09) with two Frozen Four appearances (‘06 and ‘08).
In the eight-year history of Hockey East, UNH has lost a total of 14 games to league opponents –11 in the regular season and three in postseason play. Of those 14 losses, nine have been to Providence (seven in the regular season; two in postseason).
New Hampshire’s eight-year league record is now 121-11-15 (.873 winning percentage). Additionally, the ‘Cats are 10-3 in the Hockey East tournament.
In head coach Brian McCloskey’s eight-year tenure, UNH has a 40-6-8 record (.815 winning percentage) in the month of January. That mark was 24-2-3 (.879) spanning the 2006-09 seasons.
Senior forward Micaela Long has 19 points (4g, 15a) during her current 11-game point-scoring streak. She recorded her 100th career point Dec. 5 with a goal vs. Providence. Long tied her personal bests in both assists (three) and points (four) Dec. 12 at Dartmouth College.
Junior goaltender Kayley Herman matched her season high of 30 saves with 10 saves all three periods at Dartmouth. She stopped 51 of 52 shots (.981) in the two games prior to the holiday break. Herman is unbeaten (6-0-2) this season.
Freshman forward Kristine Horn has a point in four of the last five games and in 12 of 18 this season. She and classmate Kristina Lavoie are tied for the UNH rookie lead in goals (six), assists (eight) and points (14). Lavoie equalled her career highs in both assists (two) and points (three) at Dartmouth.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
In the first game of a new calendar year, or New Year game, UNH has a 27-3-2 record that includes 14-3-0 in road games and 2-0-1 at a neutral site. In the tenure of head coach Brian McCloskey, the Wildcats are 4-2-1 in New Year games.
New Hampshire opened the 2009 calendar year Jan. 10 with a 5-0 road loss to Providence College. That loss ended a three-year winning streak – all on the road – against Brown (3-1 in ‘08), UConn (6-2 in ‘07) and Dartmouth (4-1 in ‘07).
This will be UNH’s first New Year game on January 8.
The game at Fenway Park will mark the third time that the ‘Cats play a New Year game against Northeastern. UNH skated to a 4-4 tie vs. the Huskies on Jan. 15, 1988 (neutral site) and defeated NU, 7-3, on Jan. 12, 1979 (at home).
THIS DATE IN HISTORY
The Jan. 8, 2010 game at Fenway Park against Northeastern University is certainly historical in significance as the first outdoor women’s ice hockey game.
UNH has played five other times on the date January 8 and have a 3-1-1 record. Most recently, the Wildcats skated to a 2-2 tie vs. Boston College at the Whittemore Center in 2005. In other games, UNH upended Cornell (8-3 in ‘00) and Providence (4-1 in ‘95), lost to Brown (5-3 in ‘94) and defeated Concordia (3-0 in ‘93).