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 Saturday, Jan. 16 vs. Providence. There will be merchandise sales, raffles, auctions, and other special events at the game. All proceeds from Skating Strides will be donated to breast cancer charities.

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 won national awards at NACMA in the “Single Day Attendance Promotion” category in 2007 and 2009.

Wildcat Kids’ Club members can join the UNH men’s and women’s hockey teams for the annual Skate with the ‘Cats event Jan. 18 (10 am to 12 pm) at the Whittemore Center. Current members get in free and new members can sign up on the day of the event. Registration begins at 9:00 am.

The University of New Hampshire women’s ice hockey team, ranked third in both national polls, plays a home-and-home series Jan. 16-17 against longtime nemesis Providence College, which is ranked ninth in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll. The teams face off Saturday at UNH’s Whittemore Center and the series concludes Sunday at PC’s Schneider Arena. Both games begin at 2 p.m.

UNH has a 72-40-12 lifetime record, including the 4-1 home loss Dec. 5 this season, against Providence. The record breakdown includes 36-8-7 at home and 25-19-5 on the road; in the eight-year tenure of head coach Brian McCloskey, the ‘Cats lead the series at 17-9-3; since the 2006 season, UNH holds a 12-2-2 edge.

Coming off a 4-1 victory in the most recent meeting, PC will attempt to win consecutive games vs. UNH for the first time since the 2004 and 2005 seasons (March ‘04 and January ‘05). The last time the Friars defeated New Hampshire twice in the same season was 2005. And the last time PC won two consecutive road games vs. the ‘Cats was in the 1988 season.

In this year’s previous matchup, Providence netted goals 1:32 apart in the first period (at 8:32 and 10:04) to quickly build a 2-0 lead; the visitors extended their advantage to three goals at 4:25 of the middle stanza. UNH scored a power-play goal late in the period to close within 3-1, but PC struck 30 seconds into the third period to reestablish a three-goal cushion. Jessica Vella (2g), Arianna Rigano (1g, 1a) and Alyse Ruff (2a) led the Friars’ offense and Genevieve Lacasse made 22 saves. The lone UNH goal was produced by Micaela Long and Lindsey Minton was credited with 17 saves between the pipes. The Wildcats went 1-for-6 on the power play on 11 shots, whereas PC went 1-for-5 on the PP by scoring on its only shot with the skater advantage.

The storied history between these programs includes the longest collegiate hockey game (men’s or women’s) in March 1996 – the inaugural year of the Whittemore Center – when UNH upended the Friars, 3-2, in five overtimes of the ECAC championship game.

UNH and PC have faced off in postseason play a total of 14 times –all in league tournaments – and the Friars have a 9-5 edge, including 8-4 in title games.

Kristina Lavoie matched her career high of two goals Jan. 8 vs. ninth-ranked Northeastern University at Fenway Park to lift UNH to a 5-3 victory. For her efforts in that game, Lavoie was honored as Bauer Rookie of the Week by Hockey East on Monday.

Lavoie broke a 3-3 tie with 5:30 remaining in the game and also scored an empty-net goal with 15 seconds to play to secure the victory. The Wildcats entered the third period trailing 3-1, but rallied to record the win in the first women’s college hockey outdoor game.

New Hampshire opened the 2010 calendar year Jan. 8 at Fenway Park with a 5-3 victory against ninth-ranked Northeastern University to extend the win streak to three games. The Wildcats are 7-1-2 in the last 10 games.

UNH scored four third-period goals Jan. 8 vs. Northeastern, which was the top-ranked defensive team in the nation at the time; the Huskies were yielding 1.06 goals per game; they had not allowed more than three goals in a game in the previous 18 games of the season and had surrendered a total of five goals in the previous five games.

UNH has yielded less than two goals in 11 of 19 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 an 11-0-1 record with 30+ shots in a game; the Wildcats have held the opposition to fewer than 20 shots in a game seven times and have won all seven games. The ‘Cats are 9-0-1 when scoring more than three goals in a game.

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 122-11-15 (.875 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 41-6-8 record (.818 winning percentage) in the month of January. That mark was 24-2-3 (.879) spanning the 2006-09 seasons.

Senior forward Micaela Long has 21 points (5g, 16a) during her current 12-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 recorded her 50th career victory with a 12-save effort Jan. 8 vs. Northeastern at Fenway Park; she is unbeaten (7-0-2) this season.

Freshman forward Kristine Horn has a point in four straight games, five of the last six and in 13 of 19 this season. She is the rookie leader in goals, whereas Kristina. Lavoie, who matched her career high of two goals with a game-winning goal and empty-net tally vs. Northeastern at Fenway Park, leads UNH rookies in both goals (eight) and points (16); she has six points in the last three games.

On January 16, UNH has a 9-2-0 overall record that includes 5-1-0 at home. Last year, the Wildcats were 8-3 victors against intrastate rival Dartmouth College. In the 2000 season, UNH upended Providence, 3-1, at the Whittemore Center.

On January 17, the Wildcats have a 7-1-3 overall record that includes 4-0-0 on the road. UNH and PC faced off Jan. 17, 1993, when the teams skated to a 4-4 tie in Durham.

Sun LIFE Frozen Fenway: a first in women’s hockey
UNH and Northeastern made history Jan. 8, 2010, at Fenway Park – home of the Boston Red Sox – when the teams faced 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 sold out within a week. The game was televised live on NESN and the NHL Network.
As for the game itself, NU took a 1-0 lead just 1:29 into the game and extended the advantage to two goals at 3:41. UNH responded with a highlight-reel goal – it made the ESPN SportsCenter Top 10 plays – by Shannon Sisk (from Sarah Cuthbert) just 18 seconds later. The Huskies reestablished a two-goal lead of 3-1 with a power-play goal in the second period, but the Wildcats stormed back with four goals in the third period, including an empty-netter with 15 seconds remaining to secure the victory. Kayley Herman, who entered the game at the start of the second stanza, stopped 12 of 13 shots in 40 minutes of action to earn the win; Lindsey Minton started the game and made three saves. NU goalie Florence Schelling turned aside 28 of 32 shots she faced.

    New Hampshire has a 3-1-2 record against nationally-ranked teams and that includes one home game – a 4-4 tie vs. Boston U. on Nov. 7. UNH’s unbeaten streak vs. ranked teams stands at five games (3-0-2).
    In a home-and-home against #8 Boston U., the Wildcats skated to a 4-3 road victory (Nov. 6) and a 4-4 tie at home (Nov. 7). UNH also tied #6 St. Lawrence (3-3 on Oct. 24) and lost to #4 Clarkson (6-2 on Oct. 23); both of those games were on the road. New Hampshire has also defeated Northeastern twice (2-1 on the road; 5-3 at Fenway Park).
    The top ‘Cats vs. nationally-ranked teams have been Courtney Birchard (4g, 6a), Kelly Paton (4g, 5a), and Micaela Long (1g, 7a).
    In four games (all starts), Lindsey Minton has a 2-1-0 record with a 3.17 GAA and .850 save percentage. Kayley Herman is 1-0-2 with a 3.17 GAA and .882 save percentage in four games (two starts). Both goalies’ numbers are affected by the 6-2 loss at Clarkson; in that game, Minton stopped 7 of 10 shots in 21 minutes, while Herman turned aside 16 of 19 shots in nearly 39 minutes of action.
    In the six games vs. nationally-ranked teams, UNH is 7-for-21 on the power play for a 33.3% conversion percentage. UNH’s penalty kill is 25 of 31 (80.6%) with two shorthanded goals.

    New Hampshire opened the 2010 season with a six-game homestand and went 5-0-1. The Wildcats then defeated Maine, UConn and Rensselear and skated to a tie vs. Boston U. to move to 8-0-2 at home this year before losing 4-1 to Providence (Dec. 5). The ‘Cats have outscored the opposition 39-18 with a 333-199 shot advantage.
    In 11 home games, four ‘Cats are averaging at least one point per game – Kelly Paton (1.91), Micaela Long (1.82) and Kelly Cahill and Courtney Birchard at 1.00. In five home games, Kayley Herman has a 4-0-1 record with a 1.19 GAA and .935 save percentage
    Both of UNH’s special teams perform better on home ice. The power play converts 30.8% of its opportunities (16-for-52) compared to 29.6% overall and the penalty kill is 93.2% (55 of 59) in comparison to 90.5% overall.
    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.

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