DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire women's ice hockey team will host the University of Vermont in its home and conference opener Tuesday night at 7 p.m. Links to live stats and video will be available at www.UNHWildcats.com.
The University of New Hampshire comes into the game with a 2-0-0 record on the young season while Vermont arrives to Durham with a 1-3-0 in its first four games. The two sides have met a total of 30 times with the Wildcats holding a 26-4-0 all-time record against the Catamounts.
Up until the 2010 season, UNH had won each of the 21 prior meetings, outscoring UVM 135-11 in those 21 games.
In its last contest, the Vermont edged the New Hampshire by a score of 2-1. UNH notched a 1-0 lead in the first period on a goal by Nicole Gifford with 48 seconds remaining. She as assisted by Kristina Lavoie and Jenna Lascelle on the play. Returning Catamounts Kellie Dineen and Erin Wente tallied a goal each in the second and third periods.
Scouting the Catamounts
Vermont, picked seventh in the Hockey East Coaches Preseason Poll, comes in with an overall record of 1-3-0 through its first four games. Sophomore forward Klara Myren leads the Catamounts in assists (3) and points (4), adding a goal to her total. Classmate Brittany Zuback holds the lead in goals on the young season with two, adding an assist for three points. One of her goals came on a power play. Delia McNally, Emily Walsh, Danielle Rancourt and Meghan Huertas each have two points on a goal and an assist while Megan Dalbec has two points on a pair of assists, McNally's goal came on a power play while Rancourt's power play goal was also a game winner.
Senior netminder Kelci Lanthier and junior goalie Roxanne Douville have each started two games between the pipes. Lanthier's record stands at 1-1-0, tallying a goals against average of 3.00 and a save percentage of .895. Douville has a pair of losses for an 0-2-0 record with a goals against average of 4.03 and a save percentage of .886.
Vermont head coach Jim Plumer is in his first season with the program and as a Division I coach. Plumer came to the University of Vermont in May of 2012 after spending the previous nine seasons as the head caoch at Amherst College. During his tenure at Amherst, he led the program to a pair of NCAA Championship titles on his way to becoming the winningest coach in program history. He is assisted by associate head coach Grant Kimball who is in his fourth season with the Catamounts, and assistant coaches Chelsea Grills and Jeff Cooper. Grills is in her first season with the team while Cooper is in his fourth.
The State of New Hampshire
This year New Hampshire welcomed back 18 letterwinners after losing two to graduation (Emma Clark, Lindsey Minton). Among the returnees are captains Kailey Chappell, Katie Brock and Nicole Gifford. Also back on the offensive attack is last year's leader in goals (18) and points (33) Kristina Lavoie. Gifford also had a fantastic year on the ice after tallying 10 goals and 17 assists. Senior Kristine Horn put up similar numbers with eight goals and 17 assists for 25 points while sophomore Jenna Lascelle led the freshmen in scoring with eight goals and 13 assists for 21 points.
The 'Cats return two goalies in Jenn Gilligan and Moe Bradley. Gilligan saw the majority of time in net after spending 989:48 on the ice. She garnered a record of 5-11-2 with a shutout. Bradley went 0-2-0 in her two starts and made five appearances between the pipes for New Hampshire.
Incoming for the Wildcats are 11 student-athletes, all of whom are expected to make an immediate impact on the ice.
Kristina Lavoie returns for the 2012-13 season as the leader in career goals (47) and points (85) among active UNH players. Kristine Horn currently sits atop the assist category with 41 and second in the points category with 62.
Lavoie is also the active leader in games played (102). Horn and Kailey Chappell are right behind her with 101 while Katie Brock and is close behind with 94.
On The Airwaves
A total of five UNH women's ice hockey regular-season games will 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. 16 vs. Vermont and concludes on Feb. 17 vs. Providence.
Here is the schedule of games (listed time is start of broadcast):
Oct. 16 vs. Vermont (6:55 p.m.)
Nov. 9 vs. Boston U. (6:55 p.m.)
Nov. 20 vs. Quinnipiac (6:55 p.m.)
Feb. 10 vs. UConn (11:55 a.m.)
Feb. 17 vs. Providence (1:55 p.m.)
'Cats on TV
New Hampshire will have two of its home games aired on the WBIN-TV network. The games include Dec. 8 vs. Harvard (2 p.m.) and Feb. 10 vs. UConn (12 p.m.).
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 11th 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 234-88-34 overall record, including a 141-44-17 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.