DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire women's hockey team will travel west to Wisconsin to take on the Badgers for two games of non-conference play. Game one will take place Friday, Oct. 26 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 28 at 3 p.m.
The University of New Hampshire travels to Wisconsin for a pair of non-conference games against the Badgers. The Wildcats come in with a record of 3-2-0 overall while Wisconsin enters with a record of 3-3-2.
UNH leads the all-time series 6-2-1 but has fallen in the last two meetings. The last time the Wildcats and Badgers faced off (Nov. 22, 2008), Wisconsin tallied a pair of power play goals to take down UNH, 2-0. The two games the Badgers took from New Hampshire were the first wins of the all-time series.
The State of New Hampshire
Through the first five games of the season, New Hampshire has notched a record of 3-2-0 overall and a 1-2-0 in Hockey East play.
The Wildcats welcomed in 11 newcomers in the offseason that have made an immediate impact. Freshman forward Sara Carlson has had a fantastic start to the season, scoring four goals and adding two assists for six points. One of her goals came on a power play. Senior Kristina Lavoie and rookie Jonna Curtis also have six points from two goals and four assists. Lavoie has a power play goal and a game winner while Curtis has a game winner as well. Defener Alexis Crossley has three goals and one assist for four points in her first year of play with two goals being on power plays and one a game winner. Kristine Horn has four points on a pair of goals and a pair of assists while Jessica Hitchcock has three points on two goals and one assist. Sophomore Jess Ryan has been a playmaker from the blue line, dishing out three assists while Arielle O'Neill and Jenna Lascelle each have two helpers. Lauren Kirwan and Hannah Armstrong have each lit the lamp once while Katie Brock, Kailey Chappell and Nicole Gifford each have one assist.
Rookie goaltender Vilma Vaattovaara has seen most of the action between the pipes for the Wildcats this season. In the five games played, she has a record of 3-2, a goals against average of 3.03 and a save percentage of .893. Sophomore Moe Bradley played one period on the ice for New Hampshire this year after starting against Colgate. She allowed one goal and blocked eight shots.
Scouting the Badgers
Wisconsin, last year's national runner-up, comes into the series with a record of 3-3-2 overall and a 1-3-2 record in WCHA play. After a 3-0-1 start to the season, the Badgers have since fallen in three of their last four games (0-3-1). In its last series, Wisconsin suffered a 1-0 loss at the hands of Bemidji State in the first of two games and played to a 3-3 draw in the second game.
The Badgers are led by senior forward Brianna Decker who comes into the game with seven goals and six assists for 13 points. She has two power play goals and a game winner. Madison Parker is next in point totals with a pair of goals and six assists for eight points. One of her goals came on a power play. Karley Sylvester has four goals and two assists for six points while Alev Kelter has notched four goals and one assist for five points. Courtney Burke has scored once and assisted on four goals for five points while Saige Pacholok has dished out four helpers.
Alex Rigsby has seen all but five minutes in goal for Wisconsin through the first eight games of the season. She has tallied a record of 3-3-2, a goals against average of 1.75 and a save percentage of .917. Rookie goalie Jorie Walters has played 5:38 between the pipes and has not faced any shots.
Wisconsin is coached by Mark Johnson, who is in his 10th season at the helm and same as a head coach. In his time as the head coach, he has tallied a record of 283-49-28. He is assisted by Dan Kick, Jackie Friesen and Mark Greenhalgh.
This year's incoming class has accounted for 20 of New Hampshire's 41 points thus far. Sara Carlson and Jonna Curtis lead the way with six points each, Carlson with four goals and two assists and Curtis with two goals and four assists. Alexis Crossley has tallied three goals and one assist for four points while junior transfer Jessica Hitchcock has two goals and an assist. Lauren Kirwan has notched a goal through three games to round out the scoring.
Taking Advantage of the Advantage
The Wildcats have notched a power play goal in each of the first five games of the season. Alexis Crossley leads the way with two while Sara Carlson, Kristina Lavoie and Jessica Hitchcock each have one.
Kristina Lavoie returns for the 2012-13 season as the leader in career goals (47) and points (88) among active UNH players. Kristine Horn currently sits atop the assists category with 42 and second in the points category with 65.
Lavoie is also the active leader in games played (105). Horn and Kailey Chappell are right behind her with 104 while Katie Brock and is close behind with 97.
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.).
UNH Records 700th Win
UNH, now in its 36th year at the varsity level, is the winningest women's college hockey program in the United States with an overall record of 711-212-69 for a .753 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 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 234-90-34 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.