GAME DAY: Women's Ice Hockey Travels To Play Two-Game Series At No. 2 Minnesota

Complete Game Notes

The Matchup
    The University of New Hampshire women's ice hockey team travels to second-ranked University of Minnesota for a two-game series at Ridder Arena on Nov. 18 (8 pm Eastern) and Nov. 19 (5 pm Eastern).
    UNH has a 9-6-2 lifetime record vs. Minnesota and the Wildcats were 6-5 victors in overtime the last time these teams faced off – Oct. 7, 2006 at Ridder Arena (the only meeting at that venue). That win snapped a seven-game winless stretch (0-6-1) against the Golden Gophers that spanned the 2000-06 seasons.
    This series includes two national semifinal games. UNH prevailed 4-1 in March 1998 en route to its only national title (AWCHA); Minnesota won 5-4 in a 2006 NCAA Frozen Four semifinal game.

The State of New Hampshire
    New Hampshire has a 4-6-2 overall record that includes 3-4-1 on the road. Last weekend, the Wildcats lost a pair of Hockey East road games against fifth-ranked Boston University (5-2) and Providence College (6-2). UNH is 1-6-2 in its last nine games; two of those losses were by one goal.
    UNH has not faced off against a team from the WCHA since March 2010, when the 'Cats were defeated 2-1 at Minnesota-Duluth in an NCAA quarterfinal game. The last time New Hampshire played a regular-season game against a WCHA opponent was November 2008, when the Wildcats were swept by Wisconsin in a two-game series in Fort Myers, Fla.
    New Hampshire scored multiple power-play goals in a game for the first time this season with a 2-for-5 effort Nov. 12 at fifth-ranked Boston University. The Wildcats also surrendered their first shorthanded goal of the season in that game against the Terriers.
    UNH ended a six-game winless streak (0-4-2) with a 5-4 overtime victory at intrastate rival Dartmouth College (Nov. 6). The five-goal output 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 2.25 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 15 of its 27 goals in the second period.

'Cat Nips
    Sophomore forward Nicole Gifford and junior forward Kristine Horn carry a three-game point-scoring streak into the weekend series at Minnesota. Both skaters have recorded a goal and three assists (four points) during that stretch.
    Gifford recorded a career-high two assists Nov. 12 at fifth-ranked Boston University. It was her second multiple-point game of the season; she tallied a goal and an assist for two points in the Sept. 30 season opener at Niagara University.
    Freshman goaltender Jenn Gilligan matched her career high of 28 saves in UNH's 5-2 loss at fifth-ranked Boston University on Nov. 12.
    Moe Bradley, another freshman goalie, made her collegiate debut in a Nov. 13 relief appearance at Providence College. She played the final 28:01 of the game and stopped 18 of 20 shots on goal, and that included a 14-save effort in the third period (with one goal allowed).
    Heather Kashman has scored a goal in consecutive games twice this season. It happened most recently Nov. 6 (at Dartmouth) and Nov. 12 (at Boston U.). Kashman potted a goal in both games of the season-opening series at Niagara.
    In the faceoff circle, Nicole Gifford leads the team in both wins (151) and total faceoffs (268). Arielle O'Neill ranks second in both of those stats with 100 faceoff wins in 164 draws; of the three primary centers, O'Neill has the top winning percentage (.610).

Wildcats in the Nation
    Here is how UNH stacks up against Minnesota in the national statistics (34 teams; through Nov. 16):
    UNH    UM
Offense (gpg)    23 (2.25)    6 (4.25)
Defense (gpg)    27 (3.08)    1 (1.00)
PP (%)    13 (.195)    9 (.226)
PK (%)    11 (.883)    4 (.920)

What Just Happened?
    UNH was outscored 11-4 and outshot by an aggregate margin of 69-44 in a pair of Hockey East road games last weekend. The Wildcats lost 5-2 to fifth-ranked Boston University (Nov. 12 at Walter Brown Arena) after skating to a 1-0 lead through one period of play. BU then scored as many second-period goals as UNH had shots – three – before the 'Cats closed within 3-2 with a power-play tally early in the final frame. The Terriers scored two late goals (at 14:26 and an empty-netter at 19:11) to secure the win.
    New Hampshire fell behind 3-0 three minutes into the game at Providence College (Nov. 13 at Schneider Arena). The Friars extended the lead to 5-0 before scoring at 13:57. Both teams netted a late third-period goal to close the scoring at 6-2. PC recorded a 36-22 shot advantage; both teams went scoreless on the power play (UNH: 0-3, PC: 0-6). Lindsey Minton, in her first action since Oct. 15 at nationally-ranked Boston College, allowed four goals and was charged with the loss after exiting the game at 11:59 of the second period with UNH trailing 4-0; she made 12 saves.

What's Up Next?
    New Hampshire hits the road this weekend to play second-ranked University of Minnesota to conclude a stretch of five consecutive road games. The Wildcats then play four straight games at home, including a stretch of three games in five days – Nov. 25 (Maine), Nov. 26 (Princeton) and Nov. 29 (Union).

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 12 games this season, Brock is atop the UNH leaderboard in plus/minus at +3.
    Gifford recorded an assist each of the first four games of the 2011-12 season. She has a team-high seven assists, is tied for the lead in points (10) and is third in shots (32). Gifford carries a three-game point-scoring streak into the weekend series at Minnesota. Last weekend, she recorded a career-high two assists at fifth-ranked Boston University (Nov. 12) and then scored a goal at Providence College (Nov. 13).

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 (six). She is tied for the team lead in points (10) and has a team-best three power-play goals as well as a team-high 45 shots. Horn has recorded a point each of the last three games; last weekend, she tallied a goal and an assist at fifth-ranked Boston U. (Nov. 12) to match her season high of two points and then recorded an assist at Providence (Nov. 13). She is on the verge of recording her 50th career point (46 points; 19g, 27a).
    Through 12 games, Lavoie ranks third in points (eight), is tied for second in both goals (four) and assists (four), and is second in shots (40); she has two game-winning goals. She has a pair of two-point games (Sept. 30 at Niagara; Oct. 7 vs. Colgate). Lavoie is tied for fourth on the team in plus/minus (E).
    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 26 assists for 57 points to lead all active players in both goals and points (and rank second in assists).
    Entering this weekend's games, O'Neill has five points on one goal and four assists (tied for second on the team), and she is second – first among forwards – in plus minus (+1). 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 5-4 overtime win at Dartmouth College on Nov. 6. In the most recent game (Nov. 13), O'Neill netted a goal at Providence College.

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 nine of 12 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). In her most recent action, Gilligan matched that personal best of 28 saves in a 5-2 loss at fifth-ranked Boston University (Nov. 12). She has a 3-4-2 record, 2.52 GAA and .889 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. Most recently, she made 12 saves and yielded four goals in 31:59 to be charged with the loss at Providence College (Nov. 13). In three games, Minton is 1-2-0 with a 4.34 GAA and .853 save percentage.
    Minton currently has a 30-17-2 lifetime record with a 1.97 GAA, .913 save percentage and seven shutouts.
    Bradley made her collegiate debut Nov. 13 at Providence with a relief stint of 28 minutes, 1 second. She finished with 18 saves, including 14 in the third period, and allowed to goals for a 4.28 GAA and .900 save percentage.

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). Hunt quarterbacks the UNH power play from the point and ranks fourth in shots (28).

Immediate Impact
    Six members of the freshman class have skated in all 12 games, while freshman goaltender Jenn Gilligan has seen action in nine games (all starts). Heather Kashman (4g, 3a) and Jenn Lascelle (2g, 3a) are the top point producers and Kayla Mork (1g, 2a) has contributed three points. Caroline Broderick (1g) and Brynja Bogan have seen significant minutes as part of the defensive unit and Jess Ryan has also patrolled the blue line.
 
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 (11%)    1   (3%)    4   (6%)
Junior (6)    10 (37%)    11 (31%)    21 (34%)
Sophomore (5)    6 (22%)    15 (43%)    21 (34%)
Freshman (7)    8 (30%)    8 (23%)    16 (26%)

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 15 of the team's 27 goals (55.6%), 25 of 35 assists (71.4%) and 40 of 62 points (64.5%), as well as 74.6% 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.

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 705-197-68 for a .762 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 226-71-32 overall record, including a 136-32-19 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 Golden Gophers
    The University of Minnesota, ranked second in this week's national poll, enters the series vs. New Hampshire with a 10-2-0 overall record that includes 8-2-0 in the WCHA and 8-0-0 at home. Last weekend, the Golden Gophers swept a two-game home series against Minnesota-Duluth by the scores of 4-1 and 3-2.
    Amanda Kessel leads the team in goals (10), assists (16) and points (26), and Jen Schoullis (9g, 11a) has also reached 20 points. Megan Bozek (6g, 9a) and Sara Erickson (7g, 7a) lead five other Golden Gophers in double-digit points.
    Noora Raty is the top goaltender. In 11 games (all starts), she has a 9-2-0 record with a 1.13 GAA, .945 save percentage and three shutouts. In 72 career games, Raty has a 52-14-6 record with a 1.51 GAA, .944 save percentage and 19 shutouts.
    UM has outscored the opposition by double figures all three periods with a high of +14 (20-6) in the second period. The Golden Gophers are: 8-0-0 when scoring first; 9-0-0 when leading at both the first and second intermissions; 2-2 in one-goal games.
    Their two losses this season were Oct. 14 at Wisconsin (3-2) – but they rebounded to beat the Badgers the next day (3-2) – and Oct. 29 at Bemidji State (2-1).

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