November 30, 2011

GAME DAY: Women's Ice Hockey Plays Home-And-Home Series vs. 10th-Ranked Northeastern; Dec. 3 is Wildcat Toy Drive

GAME NOTES | VIDEO | STATS | TICKETS

The Matchup
    The University of New Hampshire women's ice hockey team concludes a four-game homestand Dec. 3 with the opener of a home-and-home series against 10th-ranked Northeastern University. The teams face off again Dec. 4 at Matthews Arena. Both games begin at 2 p.m.
    Dec. 3 is part of the annual Wildcat Toy Drive. Fans are encouraged to bring an unwrapped toy and will receive a discounted ticket price of $3 with a donation.
    UNH has a 77-30-8 lifetime record, including 1-2-0 last season, against Northeastern. The Wildcats have a 34-11-5 home record and a 32-14-1 mark in road games. New Hampshire is winless in its last three home games (0-2-1) in this series dating back to a 3-0 victory in December 2009. In comparison, the 'Cats have won 13 consecutive games at Matthews Arena vs. NU dating back to the Huskies' 3-2 win on Feb. 2, 2002.
    UNH entered the 2010-11 season with a 27-game unbeaten streak (26-0-1) against Northeastern spanning November 2002 to January 2010 that included a 26-game winning streak. But the Huskies recorded their first win vs. the Wildcats since March 2002 by prevailing 4-0 on Dec. 1, 2010 at the Whittemore Center. NU won again in Durham on Jan. 9 (4-2), but the 'Cats avoided the season-series sweep with a 4-3 overtime victory at Matthews Arena on Jan. 22.

The State of New Hampshire
    New Hampshire has a 6-9-2 overall record that includes 0-5-1 in Hockey East, 3-3-1 at the Whittemore Center and 3-6-1 on the road. The Wildcats enter the weekend with a two-game winning streak following Tuesday's 3-2 overtime victory against Union College at the Whittemore Center.
    UNH halted a five-game losing streak with a 3-1 victory Saturday, Nov. 26 against Princeton University. The three goals matched the aggregate total of the previous four games.
    New Hampshire remained unbeaten in overtime this season with its 3-2 win against Union on Nov. 29. The Wildcats are now 2-0-2 in OT this season. Dating back to last year, the 'Cats are unbeaten in their last eight overtime games (4-0-4). UNH's last overtime loss was Oct. 9, 2010 (1-0 at Colgate).
    Tuesday's game marked just the second time this season New Hampshire won when falling behind 1-0 (2-8-2 record) as well as when trailing at the end of two periods (2-8-1).
    The Wildcats' penalty kill unit was perfect in 16 consecutive shorthanded situations spanning four games from Nov. 19–29. The streak ended when the Union Dutchwomen scored on their third power-play opportunity of the game on Nov. 29. The 16 consecutive successful kills included 9-for-9 against Princeton (Nov. 26).
    The 'Cats have recorded the shot advantage seven of the last nine regulation periods (as well as the overtime session); one other stanza was even.
    UNH went 1-4-0 during its stretch of five consecutive road games spanning Nov. 6-19. Three of the five games were against nationally-ranked teams (Boston University; Minnesota twice).

On Second Thought
    UNH has scored 18 of its 31 goals in the second period.

Three for Three
    New Hampshire has limited the opponent to three third-period shots two of the last three games – Nov. 29 vs. Union and Nov. 25 vs. Maine.

Horn Hits 50
    Junior defenseman Kristine Horn – she has patrolled the blue line each of the last four games – recorded her 50th career point with the second of her two points Nov. 29 against Union College. She entered the game with 48 points and inched closer to the benchmark with a third-period assist that tied the score, 2-2. She then set up the game-winning overtime goal for her second assist of the game, eighth of the season and 31st of her career. Horn has 19 career goals in 82 games.

'Cat Nips
    Kristine Horn matched her career high of two assists each of the last two games – Nov. 29 vs. Union and Nov. 26 against Princeton.
    Nicole Gifford has tallied five points the past two games. She recorded her first career multiple-goal game with three goals to lead UNH to a 3-1 victory against Princeton University (Nov. 26); it was the first hat trick by a Wildcat since Nov. 21, 2009 (Kelly Paton vs. Rensselaer). The three points also marked a personal best for the sophomore forward and assistant captain. Gifford then matched her career high of two assists Nov. 29 vs. Union.
    Sophomore defenseman Maggie Hunt recorded career highs in both assists and points with a two-assist effort against Princeton. She then scored her second career game-winning goal in overtime against Union. All three of Hunt's goals have been power-play tallies.
    Junior defenseman and captain Kailey Chappell recorded her first point of the season with an assist Nov. 29 against Union.
    Brynja Bogan, a freshman defenseman, recorded her first career point with an assist Nov. 26 against Princeton.
    Freshman goaltender Jenn Gilligan stopped 24 of 25 shots in the 3-1 win against Princeton.
    Moe Bradley, another freshman goalie, made her first collegiate start (in her fourth overall game) Nov. 25 against Maine. She finished the 3-0 loss with 18 saves.
    In the faceoff circle, Nicole Gifford leads the team in both wins (199) and total faceoffs (359). Arielle O'Neill ranks second in both of those stats with 162 faceoff wins in 253 draws; of the three primary centers, O'Neill has the top winning percentage (.640); she had a particularly impressive game in the faceoff circle against Maine on Nov. 25, when she won 19 of 23 draws; O'Neill also controlled 9 of 11 faceoffs Nov. 29 against Union.

Five A's For The D
    The defensive corps combined to record all five of the team's assists in the 3-1 victory against Princeton (Nov. 26). Kristine Horn and Maggie Hunt tallied two assists apiece and Brynja Bogan had one helper.
    The Wildcats' D tallied four of the team's nine points against Union (Nov. 29) with a goal and three assists. Horn once again recorded two goals while Hunt scored the game-winning goal in overtime and Kailey Chappell had an assist.
    At least one blueliner has factored in each of the last eight goals dating back to Nov. 13 at Providence College.

Wildcats in the Nation
    Here is how UNH stacks up against Northeastern in the national statistics (34 teams; through Nov. 29):
                         UNH              NU
Offense (gpg)     29 (2.00)    10 (3.43)
Defense (gpg)    30 (3.53)    8 (1.79)
PP (%)              13 (.197)    14 (.194)
PK (%)              11 (.854)    2 (.895)

What Just Happened?
    UNH won its second consecutive game with Tuesday night's 3-2 overtime victory against Union College at the Whittemore Center. The Wildcats surrendered a goal in the first and second periods, but rallied behind third-period goals by Kristina Lavoie and Heather Kashman to tie the score and force the extra session, where Maggie Hunt scored a power-play goal with 41 seconds elapsed to complete the comeback.
    Nicole Gifford and Kristine Horn both tied a personal best of two assists. Jenn Gilligan made 13 saves in net for UNH while Union counterpart Shenae Lundberg stopped 29 shots. Both teams finished 1-for-4 on the power play.

What's Up Next?
    Following this weekend's home-and-home series against Northeastern University, UNH closes out its December schedule against ECAC foes Harvard (Dec. 9 on the road) and Dartmouth (Dec. 11 at home). The Wildcats defeated their intrastate rival, 5-4 in overtime, Nov. 6 at Dartmouth's Thompson Arena.

Right at Home
    In six games at the Whittemore Center, Jenn Gilligan has a 3-2-1 record with a 1.66 GAA, .915 save percentage and one shutout. She has surrendered more than one goal twice (2-1 loss to Syracuse, Oct. 8; 3-2 overtime win vs. Union, Nov. 29).
    Both Nicole Gifford (3g, 4a) and Kristine Horn (3g, 4a) are averaging one point per game at home with seven points in seven games.

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 17 games this season, Brock is second on the team in plus/minus. She is also an integral part of the defense and penalty kill.
    Gifford, who recorded an assist each of the first four games, leads the team in assists (nine) and points (15) and is tied for the lead in both goals (six) and power-play goals (three); she ranks third in shots (47) and shooting percentage (.128).
    Gifford has tallied a point in 10 of 17 games with four multiple-point efforts, including each of the last two games (3g, 2a); the 'Cats have a 6-3-1 record when she records a point. She scored three goals Nov. 26 vs. Princeton for her first career multiple-goal game, and the three points also marked a personal best. Gifford then matched her personal best of two assists Nov. 29 against Union College. She had previously tallied a career-high two assists at fifth-ranked Boston University (Nov. 12).

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 recorded her 50th career point (19g, 31a) with the second of her two points Nov. 29 against Union College at the Whittemore Center. She opened the 2011-12 season with a five-game goal-scoring streak –she also opened the year as a forward for 13 games before making the switch to defenseman Nov. 19. Horn is tied for the team lead in goals (six), is tied for the lead in power-play goals (three), and is ranked second in points (14), assists (eight) and shots (56); she is also fourth in shooting percentage (.107).
    Horn has recorded a point in 10 of 17 games with four multiple-point efforts, including a personal best of two assists each of the last two games (Nov. 26 vs. Princeton and Nov. 29 vs. Union). Her other season highlights include a two-point game (1g, 1a) at fifth-ranked Boston University (Nov. 12). Horn is the team's top scorer in Hockey East league play with four points (2g, 2a) in six games.
    Through 17 games, Lavoie ranks third in points (nine), is tied for third in goals (five) and tied for fourth in assists (four), and is atop the leaderboard in shots (57); she has two game-winning goals. Lavoie has a pair of two-point games (Sept. 30 at Niagara; Oct. 7 vs. Colgate).
    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 32 goals and 26 assists for 58 points to lead all active players in both goals and points (and rank second in assists).
    Entering Friday's game, O'Neill has six points on one goal and five assists, which ranks third on the team. 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.

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 immediately challenged Minton for playing time and fellow newcomer Moe Bradley completes the depth chart.
    Gilligan, in fact, has more than just challenged for playing time as she has received the starting nod in 13 of 17 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). Gilligan matched that personal best of 28 saves in a 5-2 loss at fifth-ranked Boston University (Nov. 12).
    In the two-game series at second-ranked Minnesota (Nov. 18-19), she started both games and played a total of three periods. In the opener, Gilligan made 27 saves and surrendered eight goals in 40 minutes. One day later, she made 17 first-period saves and exited the game with UNH trailing 3-0 at the first intermission.
    Gilligan's season numbers included a 5-6-2 record, 3.05 GAA, .877 save percentage and one shutout.
    Bradley made a relief appearance three consecutive games spanning Nov. 13-19 prior to making her first career start Nov. 25 against Maine. She made her collegiate debut Nov. 13 at Providence with a relief stint of 28 minutes, 1 second and finished with 18 saves, including 14 in the third period, and allowed two goals.
    In the two-game series at second-ranked Minnesota, Bradley stopped 11 of 14 third-period shots on Nov. 18, then made a career-high 29 saves with 11 stops in the second period and 18 in the third; she allowed three goals in that game.
    Bradley made 18 saves in her start against Maine (3-0 loss). Her overall numbers include 0-1-0, 4.47 GAA and .874 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.

No Longer Freshmen
    Hannah Armstrong and Maggie Hunt are veterans on the 2011-12 squad despite their sophomore status. Armstrong, who has missed each of the last nine 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 has emerged as one of the team's top point producers in recent weeks with five points (2g, 3a) in six games; she tallied a point on four of the team's five goals spanning Nov. 13-26, then scored the game-winning power-play goal in overtime against Union College on Nov. 29.
    Hunt recorded personal bests in both assists and points with a two-assist effort Nov. 26 against Princeton. Hunt scored a goal Nov. 19 at second-ranked Minnesota and tallied an assists Nov. 13 at Providence College.
    Hunt is UNH's top-scoring defenseman with seven points (3g, 4a) in 17 games; she tallied 2-2-4 in 30 games last year as a freshman. She quarterbacks the power play and ranks fourth on the team in both assists and shots (43).
    She 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).

Immediate Impact
    Five members of the freshman class have skated in all 17 games, another skater has played in 16 of 17. Freshman goaltender Jenn Gilligan has seen action in 13 games (all starts) and Moe Bradley has played in four games (one start). Heather Kashman (5g, 3a) and Jenna Lascelle (2g, 4a) are the top point producers and Kayla Mork (1g, 2a) has contributed three points. Caroline Broderick (1g) and Brynja Bogan (1a) have seen significant minutes as part of the defensive unit and Jess Ryan has also patrolled the blue line. In the last four games, Ryan has skated as a forward. Broderick also made the transition three consecutive games before missing the Nov. 29 game against Union.
 
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 (9%)           1   (2%)    4   (5%)
Junior (6)          11 (32%)       16 (34%)    27 (33%)
Sophomore (5)    11 (32%)    20 (43%)    31 (38%)
Freshman (7)      9 (26%)      10 (21%)    19 (23%)

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 20 of the team's 34 goals (58.8%), 30 of 47 assists (63.8%) and 50 of 81 points (61.7%), as well as 70.4% 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 (3-1 win)
  Nov. 29 vs. Union (3-2 win, OT)
  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.

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 707-200-68 for a .760 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

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 202-47-25 home record, which calculates to a .783 winning percentage.

Hockey East Preseason Poll
    New Hampshire, which finished first or second in the Hockey East regular-season standings each of the initial eight years of the league's existence before finishing tied for sixth in 2010-11, was picked seventh in the 2011-12 WHEA Preseason Coaches Poll that was released Sept. 20.
    Here is a complete look at the poll:
Preseason Poll (1st-place votes)
1.    Boston University (6)    55
2    Boston College (2)    51
3.    Northeastern    42
4.    Providence    39
5.    Connecticut    30
6.    Vermont    24
7.    UNH    21
8.    Maine    18

Scouting the Huskies
    Northeastern University, ranked 10th in this week's national poll, enters the week with a 10-4-0 overall record that includes 5-2-0 in Hockey East, 5-1-0 at home and 5-3-0 on the road. The Huskies, who lost their third consecutive game with a 4-3 overtime loss at Dartmouth last Saturday, play host to Boston University on Wednesday, Nov. 30.
    Casey Pickett leads five NU skaters in double-digit points with 19; she has a team-high 10 goals and is tied for second in assists (nine). Kendall Coyne ranks second in goals (eight), assists and points (17). Brittany Esposito is atop the assist leaderboard with 10.
    Florence Schelling is the No. 1 goalie; she has started 13 of 14 games and played 92.6% of the team's minutes. Schelling is 9-4-0 with a 1.77 GAA , .936 save percentage and four shutouts; she is tied for the national lead in shutouts and is ranked #9 in save percentage as well as #11 in GAA.
    NU's highest scoring period has been the third (20), but it is also the period that the Huskies have allowed the most goals (12); in comparison, they have yielded a combined 12 goals in the first and second periods.

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