GAME NOTES: WOMEN'S HOCKEY ENTERTAINS NIAGARA FOR TWO-GAME SET (OCT. 29-30)
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The University of New Hampshire women's ice hockey team has a 5-2-0 overall record and plays host to Niagara University (1-4-1) at the Whittemore Center on Oct. 29 (7 p.m.) and Oct. 30 (2 p.m.).
Saturday's game will be broadcast live on the Wildcat Sports Radio Network. Visit www.unhwildcats.com for links to live video and stats.
UNH has a 21-3-1 lifetime record, including last year's 3-3 tie and 6-1 victory (both at the Whittemore Center), against Niagara. The Wildcats have a 16-game unbeaten streak vs. the Purple Eagles; prior to last year's tie, the 'Cats had won 14 consecutive meetings.
New Hampshire has an 11-1-1 home record vs. Niagara.
All three of NU's wins in this series came in the '02 season.
In last year's 3-3 tie (Oct. 17), UNH skated to a 3-0 lead in the first period with a 12-3 shot advantage. The visitors closed within 3-1 at the end of two periods, then rallied to tie the score with third-period goals at 11:40 and 15:51 on the strength of an 11-4 shot advantage. Niagara went 2-for-4 on the power play; UNH was 1-for-4.
The following day, the Wildcats erased a 1-0 deficit with power-play goals 34 seconds apart in the last minute of the first period. The 'Cats also struck quickly – 1:59 apart – in the second stanza and again in the final frame (2:10 apart) to record a 6-1 victory. UNH recorded a 31-18 shot advantage that included a 16-7 margin in the second period. the Wildcats were 4 of 5 on the power play and 5-for-5 on the penalty kill.
The State of New Hampshire
New Hampshire enters the series against Niagara University on a four-game winning streak following last weekend's wins at the Whittemore Center against Clarkson University (2-1) and St. Lawrence University (5-3).
UNH's penalty kill started the season 31-for-31 before the Golden Knights of Clarkson scored a first-period power-play goal in the Wildcats' sixth game of the season.
Four of UNH's seven games have been decided by one goal, and the Wildcats won three of those four.
New Hampshire improved to 27-5-2 in home openers with last Friday's 2-1 victory vs. Clarkson.
Twelve of UNH's 18 skaters recorded a point in last Saturday's 5-3 victory against St. Lawrence.
There's No Place Like Home
Since the Whittemore Center opened in the 1995-96 season, the UNH women's ice hockey team has a 195-37-24 home record, which calculates to an .809 winning percentage. (includes last weekend)
Last year, the Wildcats had a 10-4-3 record at home that included 5-0-1 vs. non-conference opponents.
Countdown to the 700 Club
UNH, now in its 34th year at the varsity level, is the winningest women's college hockey program in the United States with an overall record of 692-178-64 for a .775 winning percentage. In 33 years, the Wildcats have won one national championship (1998; AWCHA), four Hockey East tournament championships, six Hockey East regular-season titles, five ECAC tournament championships and four EAIAW championships. UNH has made five consecutive NCAA tourney appearances (2006-10) with two trips to the Frozen Four in that span.
Senior forward Julie Allen factored in both of UNH's goals Oct. 15 vs. Clarkson. She set up the game-tying goal in the second period and scored the game-winner later in that stanza.
Senior defenseman Courtney Birchard recorded a season-high three points with a goal and two assists in UNH's 5-3 win against St. Lawrence on Oct. 23. She factored in three consecutive goals by setting up the goal that the 'Cats would not relinquish (2-1), scoring a goal to give UNH a 3-1 lead and assisting on the game-winning goal.
Junior goaltender Lindsey Minton surrendered just one goal each of her first three starts of the season (at Colgate; at Union; vs. Clarkson).
UNH's defensive corps combined to produce a goal and five assists in the 5-3 victory vs. St. Lawrence (Oct. 23). The blue liners also tallied two of the team's three assists in the 2-1 win vs. Clarkson (Oct. 22).
On the Airwaves
A total of nine UNH women's ice hockey games will be broadcast live on The Wildcat Sports Radio Network, which consists of WGIR-AM 610 (Manchester), WQSO-FM 96.7 (Portsmouth), WGIN-AM 930 (Rochester), WCNL-AM 1010 (Newport), WUVR-AM 1490 (Lebanon), WNTK-FM 99.7 (New London) and WASR-AM 1420 (Wolfeboro).
Here is the schedule of games (listed broadcast time begins 30 minutes prior to the start of the game):
Oct. 30 vs. Niagara, 1:30 pm
Nov. 28 vs. Boston College, 1:30 pm
Dec. 1 vs. Northeastern, 6:30 pm
Dec. 11 vs. Dartmouth, 1:30 pm
Jan. 9 vs. Northeastern, 1:30 pm
Jan. 14 vs. Providence, 6:30 pm
Jan. 30 vs. Maine, 1:30 pm
Feb. 5 vs. Boston University, 1:30 pm
Feb. 20 vs. Boston College, 1:30 pm