Women's Ice Hockey Plays Home-and-Home Series vs. #9 Providence


The Matchup
    The University of New Hampshire women's ice hockey team plays a home-and-home series against ninth-ranked Providence College this weekend. The teams face off at UNH's Whittemore Center on Friday, Jan. 14 and PC's Schneider Arena on the 15th. Both games begin at 7 p.m..
    Friday's game will be broadcast live on the Wildcat Sports Radio Network; videostreaming and stats will be available online at www.unhwildcats.com. Saturday's matchup will be broadcast on Cox Sports (in Rhode Island).
    New Hampshire has a 72-43-12 lifetime record, including this year's 4-2 road loss Dec. 4, against Providence. The breakdown includes a 36-9-7 mark at home (17-3-4 at the Whittemore Center) and 25-21-5 on the road.
    The Friars have won four consecutive games vs. the Wildcats to match their longest win streak in the series (established in the 1984 season) as last year PC became the first Hockey East school to sweep New Hampshire.
    In this season's previous matchup (Dec. 4 in Providence), UNH took an early 1-0 lead on a Julie Allen goal at 3:00 of the first period. The Friars went ahead 2-1 on a Kate Bacon power-play goal (at 8:40) and shorthanded tally by Ashley Cottrell (12:07). Allen struck again at 12:34 to tie the score heading into the final frame. PC scored goals 2:16 apart (3:30 and 5:46) to quickly established a two-goal lead.
    UNH's Kayley Herman made 27 saves while Genevieve Lacasse stopped 17 shots. The 'Cats were 1-for-3 on the power play and 5 of 7 on the penalty kill.

The State of New Hampshire
    New Hampshire concludes a four-game homestand Friday night against nemesis Providence College. Following that game, seven of the last 11 games of the regular season are on the road.
    Seven of UNH's last 12 regular-season games are against teams ranked in this week's national polls.
    The Wildcats have lost eight consecutive Hockey East games; spanning the 2003-09 seasons, the Wildcats lost a total of 10 league games.
    In 10 league games this season, UNH is 2-for-31 (.065) on the power play.
    In 33 years, UNH has never finished with a losing record. The only non-winning season was 2001, when the 'Cats finished 17-17-0. The record for fewest goals in a season (99) and lowest scoring average (2.96 gpg) was established last season; this year's squad has 35 goals in 20 games for an average of 1.75 gpg.

Skating Strides Against Breast Cancer
    In February 2007, Hockey East 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.
    In the initial year, close to $20,000 was donated back to local breast cancer charities (Friends of Mel's Foundation and the American Cancer Society), vastly exceeding expectations. Last year, over $23,000 was raised to bring the four-year total to over $114,000. "Skating Strides" has won two national awards at NACMA in the "Single Day Attendance Promotion" category in 2007 and 2009.
    The fifth 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.
    At UNH's Whittemore Center, the dates are Jan. 29 for the men (vs. Providence) and Jan. 30 for the women (vs. Maine). You can support the fight against breast cancer by purchasing a raffle ticket for a team-signed jersey.

Scoring Breakdown
    New Hampshire has outscored the opposition 13-11 in the second stanza, but the Wildcats have been outscored 13-12 in the first period as well as 19-9 in the third period (including 15-1 in 10 Hockey East league games).
    UNH has not scored more than two goals in a game since defeating St. Lawrence University by a score of 5-3 on Oct. 23 – a stretch of 13 consecutive games with less than three goals.

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 199-41-24 home record, which calculates to a .799 winning percentage. (includes this season)
    New Hampshire's 3-1 home loss to Harvard on Dec. 9 ended the Wildcats' 20-game home non-conference regular-season unbeaten streak (18-0-2) that dated back to November 2007.

'Cat Nips
    Senior defenseman Courtney Sheary has tallied an assist each of the last two games and three of the last four. She has six assists this season, which is her second-highest single-season total; Sheary finished with seven assists last season.
    A freshman –Arielle O'Neill – leads the team in goals (eight), points (12), and plus/minus (+6) and sophomore Kristine Horn is atop the assist leaderboard with seven.
    Nicole Gifford has scored three goals this season, and every time it has been the team's first goal of the game. In fact, two of her goals have given UNH a 1-0 lead; the other tied the game, 1-1. She is the only Wildcat with an active multiple-game point streak (two games).
    Julie Allen, Kristina Lavoie and Arielle O'Neill are tied for the team lead in Hockey East league scoring with five points apiece. O'Neill has three goals and two assists while Allen and Lavoie both have two goals and three assists.

Wildcats in the Nation
    Here is how UNH stacks up against Providence in the national statistics (35 teams; through Jan. 11):
    UNH    PC
Offense (gpg)    26 (1.75)    10 (3.14)
Defense (gpg)    13 (2.20)    9 (2.00)
PP (%)    30 (.086)    19 (.150)
PK (%)    5 (.910)    10 (.869)

What Just Happened?
    This past Sunday (Jan. 9), UNH played host to Northeastern University and was defeated 4-2 by the Huskies, who led 3-0 at the first intermission. The Wildcats pulled within two goals on a goal by Kristine Horn at 4:07 of the second period; Arielle O'Neill netted a power-play goal at 7:56 to close the game's scoring.
    NU recorded a 16-7 shot advantage in the first period, but the 'Cats had the edge in both the second (11-9) and third (10-8) periods.

What's Up Next?
    Following this weekend's home-and-home series against ninth-ranked Providence College, UNH plays its final non-conference game of the season when the Wildcats travel to Quinnipiac University on Jan. 18.

Home / Road Splits
    UNH has a winning record at home (6-5-0) despite being outscored 19-17 in 11 games at the Whittemore Center. After opening with five consecutive home wins, the Wildcats are 1-5-0 in the last six games in Durham. Kristina Lavoie (4g, 3a in 11 games) and Courtney Birchard (2g, 4a in eight games) are the top point producers at the Whittemore Center. Lindsey Minton is 6-5-0 with a 1.64 GAA, .938 save percentage and four shutouts.
    The Wildcats have a 3-5-0 road record that includes 1-3-0 in Hockey East. Arielle O'Neill (4g, 2a) and Julie Allen (3g, 3a) are the top point producers in road venues. Minton has a 1-3-0 record with a 2.25 GAA and .889 save percentage in four games while Kayley Herman is 2-2-0 with a 3.02 GAA and .885 save percentage in four games.
    UNH is averaging more shots per game on the road (27.2) than at home (22.5). The power play is virtually the same whether at the Whittemore Center or another locale; the 'Cats are 3-for-31 at home and 3-for-32 on the road.
Inside the streaks
    Here is a look inside the eight-game losing streak (Nov. 7 to Dec. 9) as well as the seven-game winning streak (Oct. 15-Nov. 6).
    The Wildcats were outscored 26-8 during the losing streak – the initial seven games were vs. Hockey East foes. The 'Cats recorded a .044 shooting percentage (8g/180 shots) and went 1-for-26 on the power play (3.8%). Julie Allen was the leading scorer with three points (2g, 1a).
    In the winning streak that immediately preceded the losing streak, UNH outscored the opposition 20-8 with three shutouts. Eight players, led by Courtney Birchard (4g, 4a) and Arielle O'Neill (4g, 3a), recorded 3+ points. The Wildcats registered a .105 shooting percentage (20/191) and went 3-for-20 (15.0%) on the power play.

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