DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire women's hockey team looks to gain some ground in conference play as they travel to the University of Vermont for a pair of games. Game one is set for Friday, Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. while game two will take place the following day at 3 p.m. Links to live stats and video will be available at www.UNHWildcats.com
Friday and Saturday's contests will be the 32nd and 33rd of the all-time series. Through the first 31 games, UNH holds a 26-5 advantage and are 10-3-0 at Gutterson Fieldhouse. Prior to the weekend series, the Wildcats and Catamounts met once earlier this year at the Whittemore Center in Durham, N.H. Vermont was able to score a pair of third period goals to take a 4-3 lead and ultimately edge the 'Cats. Hannah Armstrong tallied the first goal for UNH while Sara Carlson netted the second on a power play. Jonna Curtis scored the lone goal of the second period to make the game 3-2 in favor of New Hampshire.
THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE.
After taking the first three games of the month by a margin of two goals or more, the Wildcats have been the victims in their last two games, including a 3-1 decision to Northeastern and a heartbreaking 3-2 loss to the fifth-ranked BU Terriers.
Senior Kristina Lavoie and freshman Alexis Crossley have matching tallies in all three point categories with six goals and 10 assists for 16 points. Lavoie has one power play goal and a game winner while Crossley has four power play tallies and one game-winning goal. Jessica Hitchcock has netted a team-leading eight goals and adds seven assists for 15 points. She has a pair of power play goals and game winners. Kristine Horn has lit the lamp four times and dished out nine assists for 13 points. She has one power play goal and a game winner. Sara Carlson splits her 12 points with six goals and six assists. Three of her goals have been on power plays while one has been a game-winning goal. Arielle O'Neill has five goals and six assists for 11 points while Nicole Gifford has tallied a pair of goals and nine assists for the same total. O'Neill has two power play goals, one shorthanded goal and a game winner while both of Gifford's goals have come on power plays.
Hannah Armstrong has notched five goals and four assists for nine points while Megan Armstrong has four goals and five assists for the same point total. Hannah Armstrong has one power play goal while Megan Armstrong has three power play goals and one game winner. Senior Kailey Chappell has dished out seven assists for her seven points while Brittney Redlick has lit the lamp five times for her five points. One of her goals was a game winner. Caroline Broderick has one goal and adds a pair of assists for three points while Katie Brock, Jenna Lascelle and Jess Ryan each have three assists for three points. Haley Breedlove and Lauren Kirwan have each tallied a goal while Kayla Mork has one point on one assist.
Jenn Gilligan has seen the majority of time in net for the 'Cats, starting all 12 games she has played in. She comes into the series with a record of 7-3-1 with one shutout. Thus far, Gilligan has registered a goals against average of 2.07 and a save percentage of .918. Vilma Vaattovaara has seen action in 11 games on the year, starting nine of them. She has a record of 3-8-0 with a goals against average of 3.84 and a save percentage of .874.
Marie-Eve Jean has started two of the three games she has appeared in and has a record of 0-1-1. Jean has notched a goals against average of 3.34 and a save percentage of .897. Moe Bradley has started both games she has played in on the year and has a record of 0-1-0. She has recorded a 3.76 goals against average and a .904 save percentage.
SCOUTING THE CATAMOUNTS
Vermont enters the two-game series having fallen in its last three games. They are led by sophomore forward Brittany Zuback, who comes into the weekend with 10 goals and 10 assists for 20 points. She has three power play goals. Klara Myren has notched five goals and 13 assists for 18 points thus far and has tallied a pair of power play goals. Meghan Huertas and Amanda Pelkey have each totaled 14 points. Huertas has hers on eight goals and six assists while Pelkey's stem from five goals and nine assists. Erin Wente has lit the lamp six times and dished out five assists for 11 points while Emily Walsh has a pair of goals and nine assists for the same total.
Junior goalie Roxanne has started all 19 games she has played this season, registering a record of 4-12-3 with three shutouts. She has tallied a goals against average of 3.32 and a save percentage of .907. Senior Kelci Lanthier has started five of the six games she has seen and has a record of 2-3-0. Lanthier has tallied a goals against average of 3.00 and a save percentage of .910.
A LOOK AT CONFERENCE PLAY
With the regular season winding down, the Wildcats are in the crucial stages of conference play. Here is a look at the season series standings between New Hampshire and the rest of the conference:
Boston College - BC, 2-1 (series complete)
Boston University - Tied, 1-1
Connecticut - UNH leads, 2-0
Maine - UNH leads, 1-0
Northeastern - NU, 2-1 (series complete)
Providence - 0-0-1
Vermont - UVM leads, 1-0
The Wildcats have had success while playing on the road this season, tallying a 7-5-1 record away from the Whittemore Center. The team opened up the season with a pair of road wins, the first being at Syracuse (Oct. 5, 4-3) while game two was at Colgate (Oct. 6, 4-1). Most recently, the team started 2013 with a 3-0-0 road record before falling to fifth-ranked Boston U. Jan. 27 (3-2).
KEEPING THE LEAD
When leading at the end of the first period, the Wildcats are a perfect 6-0-0. When leading after two periods, the 'Cats have a record of 7-1-1. When scoring first, New Hampshire is 8-5-1.
Three different freshmen have been honored by Hockey East this season for multiple awards. Netminder Vilma Vaattovaara was tabbed as the WHEA Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 8 while Alexis Crossley (Oct. 22) and Megan Armstrong (Nov. 12) have each been named the Pro Ambitions Rookie of the Week. Crossley was most recently honored as the Hockey East Rookie of the Month for the month of December.
WHERE THEY RANK NATIONALLY
Individually and as a team, the Wildcats have posted some impressive numbers, securing spots in the top-rankings nationally. Alexis Crossley ranks 25th in defenseman points per game (0.65) and 24th in rookie scoring. Jenn Gilligan is 11th in the nation in winning percentage (.750), 14th in the nation in goals against average (2.07) and 19th in save percentage (.918).
The team as a whole has found great success on the power play, ranking 10th in power play percentage (21.8). On the penalty killing side, they rank 17th with a kill percentage of 83.5. In combined special teams, the 'Cats are ranked 11th nationally at 54.3 percent.
This year's newcomers have accounted for 65 (33g, 32a) of the 145 points the Wildcats have tallied this year. Alexis Crossley has six goals and 10 assists for 16 points while Jessica Hitchcock has 15 points on eight goals and seven assists. Sara Carlson has six goals and six assists for 12 points as Megan Armstrong has four goals and five assists for nine points. Jonna Curtis has a pair of goals and four assists for six points. Brittney Redlick has lit the lamp five times for her five points while Haley Breedlove and Lauren Kirwan each have one goal.
HERE, THERE, EVERYWHERE!
The Wildcats are a team made up of student-athletes from around the world. In the geographic breakdown, 14 'Cats hail from Canada while 13 are from the United States. The remaining two players hail from Sweden and Finland, respectively.
Through the first 20 games of the season, nine were against teams nationally ranked in the top-10 at the time of the contest. The Wildcats wrapped up 2012 with a string of six in a row. Here are the results:
10/20 - No. 4 Boston College --W, 4-3
10/21 - No. 4 Boston College -- L, 2-5
11/09 - No. 5 Boston University -- W, 4-2
11/24 - No. 1 Minnesota -- L, 2-10
11/25 - No. 1 Minnesota -- L, 0-4
12/01 - No. 9 Northeastern -- L, 1-8
12/02 - No. 9 Northeastern -- W, 3-1
12/05 - No. 6 Boston College -- L, 1-4
12/08 - No. 4 Harvard -- TOT, 2-2
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 T.V.
New Hampshire will have two of its home games aired on the Live Well TV network. The games include Dec. 8 vs. Harvard (2 p.m.) and Feb. 10 vs. UConn (12 p.m.).