GAME DAY: Women's Hockey Resumes Hockey East Action This Weekend On The Road vs. Boston U. & Providence


The Matchups
    The University of New Hampshire women's ice hockey team enters the weekend with a 4-4-2 record. The Wildcats continue their stretch of five consecutive road games with games against Boston University (Nov. 12; 3 pm) and Providence College (Nov. 13; 2 pm).
    UNH has an 18-5-3 lifetime record against BU, but the Terriers have the 4-1-0 edge in the last five meetings. The Wildcats, however, are 2-1-1 in their last four trips to Walter Brown Arena and 8-2-1 overall at that venue against the Terriers.
    BU won last year's season series, 2-1-0. The Terriers prevailed 5-2 on home ice last November, but the 'Cats upset third-ranked BU, 4-2, on Feb. 3 at Walter Brown Arena. Two days later, Boston U. responded with a 3-1 win at the Whittemore Center.
    New Hampshire and Providence continue one of the longest rivalries in women's ice hockey at Schnieder Arena on Sunday, when these programs face off for the 130th time. UNH leads the series 73-44-12 with a 26-21-5 road record. PC has had the upper hand the past two years with a 5-1-0 ledger against the Wildcats. UNH ended a five-game losing streak in the series in the most recent meeting (Jan. 15, 2011) with a 2-1 road win.

The State of New Hampshire
    New Hampshire has a 4-4-2 overall record that includes 0-2-1 in Hockey East and 3-2-1 on the road. The Wildcats ended a six-game winless streak (0-4-2) with a 5-4 overtime victory at intrastate rival Dartmouth College (Nov. 6).
    UNH improved to 4-0-0 when scoring the game's first goal as well as when scoring 3+ goals in a game with that win at Dartmouth.
    The five-goal output at Dartmouth matched the Wildcats' aggregate total of the previous five games.
    UNH is averaging 4.25 goals per game in its four wins. The 'Cats are averaging 2.30 goals per game overall.
    New Hampshire remained unbeaten in overtime this season with its 5-4 win at Dartmouth. The Wildcats are now 1-0-2 in OT. Dating back to last season, the 'Cats are unbeaten in their last seven overtime games (3-0-4). UNH's last overtime loss was Oct. 9, 2010 (1-0 at Colgate).
    UNH has scored 14 of its 23 goals in the second period.

'Cat Nips
    Ten skaters recorded a point – four tallied multiple points – in the 5-4 overtime win at Dartmouth last Sunday. Eight players combined to produce nine assists with Bryanna Farris tallying two helpers. The two assists and points matched her personal bests.
    Kayla Mork recorded her first career point with an assist Nov. 3 against Vermont. She then tallied her first goal and multiple-point game Nov. 6 at Dartmouth.
    Heather Kashman finished with a goal and assist at Dartmouth for her first career multiple-point game.
    Emma Clark has recorded four points in the last four games and that includes a two-goal game at Dartmouth (Nov. 6). She has scored three goals on eight shots for a .375 shooting percentage.
    Jenna Lascelle tallied a point in both of last week's games. She assisted on the team's only goal vs. UVM and then scored a goal to give UNH a 1-0 first-period lead at Dartmouth.
    Both Nicole Gifford and Kristine Horn have tallied a point in six of 10 games. Kristina Lavoie and Heather Kashman have a point in 5 of 10.
    All nine of Katie Brock's career points have been on assists.
    Nicole Gifford has taken more faceoff draws than any other Wildcat at 226. Her mark of 129-97 is good for a .571 winning percentage. The next highest total of 133 belongs to Heather Kashman, who has a .541 win percentage. Of the three primary centers, Arielle O'Neill has the top winning percentage of .606 (77-50).

Wildcats in the Nation
    Here is how UNH stacks up against Boston University and Providence in the national statistics (34 teams; through Nov. 10):
    UNH    BU    PC
Offense (gpg)    27 (2.30)    17 (2.73)    20 (2.50)
Defense (gpg)    18 (2.60)    17 (2.55)    23 (3.00)
PP (%)    15 (.182)    18 (.160)    26 (.109)
PK (%)    11 (.878)    1 (.938)    24 (.810)

What Just Happened?
    UNH ended a six-game winless streak (0-4-2) with a 5-4 overtime win at Dartmouth College on Nov. 6. Emma Clark scored two goals, including the game-winning tally at 3:02 of the extra frame, to record her first career multiple-point game. Heather Kashman and Kayla Mork both finished with a goal and an assist to mark their first multiple-point game, and Bryanna Farris matched her personal bests in both assists and points with a two-assist effort. Jenn Gilligan finished with 16 saves.
    The Wildcats took a 1-0 lead on Jenna Lascelle's goal midway through the first period but trailed 2-1 at the first intermission despite recording an 8-4 shot advantage. The Big Green extended its advantage to 3-1 before Kashman netted a power-play goal with 1:52 remaining in the second period.
    Clark leveled the score, 3-3, midway through the third period but the home team regained the lead less than two minutes later. Mork's first career goal forged the third tie of the game at 15:38.
    UNH dominated overtime and generated a 6-0 shot advantage to finish the game with a 29-20 edge. The Wildcats went 1-for-2 on the power play and 4 of 5 on the penalty kill.

What's Up Next?
    New Hampshire hits the road this weekend to play Boston University and Providence College, then concludes its stretch of five consecutive road games with a two-game road series at the University of Minnesota (Nov. 18-19).

200 Wins at The Whitt
    New Hampshire recorded its 200th victory at the Whittemore Center with a 4-2 victory Jan. 30, 2011 against Maine. Since the Whitt opened in the 1995-96 season, the UNH women's ice hockey team has a 201-46-25 home record, which calculates to a .787 winning percentage.

Captaining the 'Cats
    Junior defenseman Kailey Chappell is captain of the 2011-12 UNH Wildcats, while junior defenseman Katie Brock and sophomore forward Nicole Gifford will serve as alternate captains. All three were named to the 2011 Hockey East All-Academic Team.
    Chappell logs innumerable minutes as the backbone of the Wildcats' defensive unit and penalty kill.
    Through 10 games this season, Brock is atop the UNH leaderboard in plus/minus at +4.
    Gifford recorded an assist each of the first four games of the 2011-12 season. She has a team-high five assists and is tied for the lead in points (seven). Gifford is also third in shots (29).

Forward Thinking
    Junior forwards Kristine Horn (5-foot-8) and Kristina Lavoie (5-9), as well as sophomore Arielle O'Neill (5-10), generated 38% of the team's points a year ago as three of the top four point producers.
    Horn opened the 2011-12 season with a five-game goal-scoring streak and she leads the Wildcats in goals (five). She is tied for the team lead in points (seven) and has a team-best two power-play goals as well as a team-high 41 shots.
    Through 10 games, Lavoie is tied for first in points (seven) and is second in both goals (four) and shots (39) as well as tied for third in assists (three); she has two game-winning goals. She already has a pair of two-point games (Sept. 30 at Niagara; Oct. 7 vs. Colgate). Lavoie is tied for third on the team in plus/minus (+2).
    Lavoie recorded her 50th career point with the first of her two points, a second-period assist, Sept. 30 at Niagara. She enters the weekend with 31 goals and 25 assists for 56 points to lead all active players in both goals and points (and tie for the lead in assists).
    Entering this weekend's games, O'Neill has four points, all on assists, and she is second on the team –first among forwards –in plus minus (+3). She tallied two helpers in the Sept. 30 season opener at Niagara and had an assist Oct. 21 at St. Lawrence as well as an assist in the most recent game, a 5-4 overtime win at Dartmouth College on Nov. 6.

The Puck Stops Here
    UNH has three goaltenders on its 2011-12 roster, but only senior Lindsey Minton entered the season with collegiate experience. Freshman Jenn Gilligan has immediately challenged Minton for playing time and fellow newcomer Moe Bradley completes the depth chart.
    In fact, Gilligan has more than just challenged for playing time as she has received the starting nod in eight of 10 games. She made 21 saves in her Sept. 30 collegiate debut, a 6-4 victory at Niagara. In her next start, Gilligan stopped 19 shots to record her first career shutout in a 3-0 win against Colgate on Oct. 7. She made 24 saves to backbone UNH to a 1-1 tie against fifth-ranked Boston College at the Whittemore Center (Oct. 14) and then stopped a season-high 28 shots in the 2-2 tie at St. Lawrence (Oct. 21). She has a 3-3-2 record, 2.34 GAA and .891 save percentage.
    Minton got the starting nod Oct. 1 at Niagara and stopped 22 of 24 shots to backbone the Wildcats to a 3-2 victory. It marked her 50th career game (48th start). In her second start, Minton made a season-high 30 saves, including 16 in the third period, in a 5-0 loss at fifth-ranked BC. It marked the fifth time in her career that Minton finished with 30+ saves.
    Minton currently has a 30-16-2 lifetime record with a 1.91 GAA, .916 save percentage and seven shutouts.

No Longer Freshmen
    Hannah Armstrong and Maggie Hunt are veterans on the 2011-12 squad despite their sophomore status. Armstrong, who missed both of last week's games, opened the 2011-12 season with a two-point weekend at Niagara University. She scored a goal in the Sept. 30 opener, then tallied an assist Oct. 1. Armstrong tallied her third point of the season Oct. 14 with an assist in the 1-1 tie vs. 5th-ranked Boston College.
    Hunt recorded her first point of the 2011-12 season with an assist on the Wildcats' only goal in a 2-1 loss to Syracuse at the Whittemore Center on Oct. 8. She scored the team's only goal against Vermont on Nov. 3 (4-1 loss at the Whittemore Center).
A matter of class
    Here is a glance at the class breakdown (excluding goalies) with number of players per class indicated in parenthesis:
    G (%)    A (%)    P (%)
Senior (1)    3   (6%)    1   (6%)    4   (7%)
Junior (6)    9 (53%)    8 (17%)    17 (33%)
Sophomore (5)    4 (18%)    12 (56%)    16 (31%)
Freshman (7)    7 (24%)    8 (22%)    15 (29%)

O, Canada
    Ten of 22 student-athletes on the 2011 UNH women's ice hockey roster hail from Canada. Hannah Armstrong, Kailey Chappell, Bryanna Farris, Nicole Gifford, Paige Goloubef, Jenna Lascelle, Kristina Lavoie and Arielle O'Neill are from Ontario, Jenn Gilligan hails from British Columbia and Heather Kashman is matriculating from Alberta.
    These players account for 12 of the team's 23 goals (52.1%), 22 of 29 assists (75.9%) and 34 of 52 points (65.4%), as well as 80% of the minutes in goal.

On the Airwaves
    A total of eight 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), WNTK-FM 99.7 (New London) and WASR-AM 1420 (Wolfeboro), WSMN-AM 1590 (Nashua).
    It begins with the home opener Oct. 7 vs. Colgate and concludes with the final regular-season home game Feb. 12 against Providence.
    Here is the schedule of games (listed time is start of broadcast):
  Oct. 7 vs. Colgate (3-0 win)
  Nov. 3 vs. Vermont (4-1 loss)
  Nov. 26 vs. Princeton, 1:55 pm
  Nov. 29 vs. Union, 6:55 pm
  Dec. 11 vs. Dartmouth, 1:55 pm
  Jan. 13 vs. UConn, 6:55 pm
  Feb. 4 vs. Boston U., 1:55 pm
  Feb. 12 vs. Providence, 1:55 pm

'Cats on TV
    New Hampshire will have two of its home games broadcast live on WBIN-TV. You can catch the 'Cats on the tube Nov. 26 against Princeton as well as Jan. 28 against Vermont.

Notes From Niagara
    The six goals in the 6-4 win at Niagara marked the highest UNH output since Oct. 18, 2009 against Niagara (6-1 win at the Whittemore Center) and the most scored by the 'Cats on the road since Feb. 8, 2009 at Vermont (6-2 win).
    New Hampshire scored five second-period goals in the season opener at Niagara; in comparison, the Wildcats' highest goal output in a game last season was five goals.

Quick Starts
    New Hampshire skated to a 3-0 lead each of the first three games of the season and did not face a deficit until the fourth game of the season, when Syracuse took a 1-0 lead midway through the second stanza.

Starting Strong
    In the 10-year tenure of head coach Brian McCloskey, UNH has exhibited a propensity for starting seasons with an extended unbeaten streak.
    Last year was one of the few exceptions, as the Wildcats won the opener but then lost the second and third games. They did reel off seven consecutive wins, however, to improve to 8-2-0 through 10 games.
    New Hampshire had opened each of the previous two seasons with six-game unbeaten streaks; the 'Cats had a 5-0-1 mark in 2010 preceded by 4-0-2 in 2009. In the 2007 season, UNH opened with nine consecutive wins. In '05 and '03 the Wildcats began with seven straight victories.
    This year's squad opened with three consecutive wins to mark the fifth time in coach McCloskey's 10-year tenure UNH started a season at 3-0-0.

Gilligan Garners Defensive Honor From WHEA
    Freshman goaltender Jenn Gilligan was named WHEA Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 17. Gilligan backboned UNH to a 1-1 tie against fifth-ranked Boston College by stopping 24 of 25 shots on goal, including all three in the five-minute overtime session, for a .960 save percentage. Gilligan held the Eagles scoreless the last 48:37 of the game.

UNH records 700th Win
    UNH, now in its 35th year at the varsity level, is the winningest women's college hockey program in the United States with an overall record of 705-195-68 for a .763 winning percentage. The Wildcats attained the most recent century milestone Feb. 3, 2011 with a 4-2 road victory against third-ranked Boston University.
    In 34 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 made five consecutive NCAA tourney appearances (2006-10) with two trips to the Frozen Four in that span.
    Here is a time line for each century mark:
Mark    Date    Opponent    Result    Game #    Record
1st win    12/03/77    Colby    8-4    1    1-0-0
100    02/02/83    at Dartmouth    7-1    103    100-1-2
200    01/15/89    St. Lawrence    5-2    227    200-20-7
300    11/27/94    vs. Providence    5-2    371    300-55-16
400    11/21/98    at Yale    9-2    506    400-80-26
500    02/02/03    Providence    4-1    668    500-131-37
600    01/13/07    Maine    3-1    806    600-155-51
700    02/03/11    at Boston U.    4-2    953    700-189-64

The McCloskey File
    Brian McCloskey (Dartmouth '77), who recorded his 200th career victory Dec. 8, 2009 at Boston College (4-0 win), is in his ninth year at the helm of the Wildcats. He is a four-time Hockey East Coach of the Year recipient (2003, 2005, 2006, 2009) and was runner-up in both the 2003 and 2006 national Coach of the Year balloting. He has directed UNH to the NCAA Women's Ice Hockey Championship five consecutive years (2006-10) with four consecutive Hockey East tournament titles (2006-09) and six straight league regular-season crowns (2004-09). The 'Cats advanced to the Frozen Four in '06 and '08.
    A Wildcat was honored as Player of the Year each of the first four years of Hockey East's existence. In addition, the ITECH Goaltending Champion award was presented to a UNH goalie each of the first six years and the Scoring Champion has five times been a Wildcat.
    McCloskey has compiled a 226-69-32 overall record, including a 136-30-19 mark in Hockey East, with 20+ wins each of the initial seven seasons.
    In his first year (2003) as head coach of the program, he led the 'Cats to a 27-7-2 record, which is now the fifth-best single-season win mark behind those established in 2006 & 2008 (33), 1998 (31) and 2007 (28).
    Under his tutelage, five players have received a total of six All-America honors and five have been honored as a Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award Top 10 Finalist.
    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)
   200th win– Dec. 8, 2009 (4-0 at Boston College)
    Coach McCloskey's predecessors at UNH also exceeded 200 victories. Russ McCurdy compiled a 264-36-10 record from 1978-92 and Karen Kay went 215-90-25 from 1993-2002.

Scouting the Terriers
    Boston University, ranked fifth in the nation, enters Saturday's game vs. UNH with a 6-4-1 overall record that includes 1-1-0 in Hockey East and 4-2-0 at Walter Brown Arena. The Terriers went 5-1-1 through the first seven games and are 1-3-0 in the last four with a pair of losses at Wisconsin (3-0, 6-1) and a split against Boston College (4-1 road win; 3-1 home loss).
    Former UNH skater Jenn Wakefield is the BU leader in goals (nine), assists (seven) and points (16). Jenelle Kohanchuk, who has misses three games, is tied for second in points (nine; 4g, 5a) with Isabel Menard (3g, 6a). Kayla Tutino ranks second in goals (six) and has eight points.
    Kerrin Sperry is the primary goaltender. In nine games (all starts), she is 4-4-1 with a 2.49 GAA and .929 save percentage.
    BU has been a strong frontrunner. The Terriers are 4-0-1 when scoring the game's first goal, 3-0-1 when leading at the first intermission and 5-0-0 when holding the lead at the second intermission.

Scouting the Friars
    Providence College enters the weekend with a 3-6-3 overall record that includes 2-2-1 in Hockey East and 2-3-1 at home. The Friars carry a three-game unbeaten streak (2-0-1) into Saturday's game at UConn. Last weekend at Schneider Arena, PC skated to a 3-3 tie and 7-4 victory against Maine.
    Corinne Buie (4g, 6a) and Abby Gauthier (10a) lead the team with 10 points apiece. Laura Veharanta, the team's active career leader in points (37g, 32a), ranks third in points with nine (5g, 4a).
    Genevieve Lacasse has started eight of 12 games in goal. She is 1-6-1 with a 2.63 GAA, .923 save percentage and one shutout. Nina Riley has started four games and is 2-0-2 with a 2.72 GAA and .907 save percentage.
    Providence has been outscored 15-10 in the first period and 10-9 in the third. The goal total is even in the second stanza (11-11).

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