DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire women's ice hockey team will wrap up the season series with the Providence College Friars this weekend with a home-and-home weekend. The first game will be at Providence on Friday, Feb. 15 and will be broadcast live on Cox TV. The second game will be at the Whittemore Center on Sunday, Feb. 17 at 2 p.m. and will be called live on the Wildcat Sports Radio Network. Sunday's game will also have links for live stats and video at www.UNHWildcats.com.
Friday and Sunday's games will be the 134th and 135th meetings between the two sides in the all-time series. The Wildcats hold a 73-47-13 advantage overall and are 26-22-6 away from Durham. At home, the 'Cats are 36-12-7 against the Friars. The two teams met once this season and played to a 2-2 tie at Schneider Arena. Megan Armstrong tallied the first goal on a power play while Arielle O'Neill notched the game-tying goal during shorthanded play. Marie-Eve Jean made 25 saves on the 27 shots she faced in net.
THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
The Wildcats are fresh off a season sweep of the University of Connecticut with a 4-0 win on Monday (Feb. 11). Sophomore foward Hannah Armstrong tallied her first career hat trick and three-point game while freshman Brittney Redlick tallied the other goal. Sophomore goalie Jenn Gilligan recorded her second shutout of the season in a 19 save effort.
Senior forward Kristina Lavoie comes into the game as the team leader in assists (13) and points (20). She also has seven goals, one of which came on a power play and another being a game winner. Freshman Alexis Crossley has lit the lamp six times this season and dished out 11 assists for 17 points. She leads the squad in power play goals with four. Senior Kristine Horn has found the back of the net four times while assisting on 12 for 16 points. Junior Jessica Hitchcock comes in with eight goals and seven assists for 15 points. She has a pair of power play goals and game winners. Hannah Armstrong leads the squad in goals (10) and adds four assists for 14 points while junior Arielle O'Neill splits her 14 points on seven goals and seven assists. Armstrong has a trio of power play goals and a game winner while O'Neill has the same amount of power play goals, one shorthanded tally and two game-winning goals.
Rookie Sara Carlson comes in registering six goals and seven assists for 13 points on the year. She has three power play tallies and a game winner. Junior Nicole Gifford has lit the lamp twice, both on power plays, and has dished out 10 assists for 12 points. Senior captain Kailey Chappell has assisted on 10 goals for her 10 points while freshman Megan Armstrong has nine points on four goals and five assists. Three of her four goals have come on power plays. Redlick has all six of her points on goals, one of which was a game winner as Katie Brock has four points on four helpers. Sophomore Caroline Broderick has three points on a goal and two assists while fellow sophomores Jenna Lascelle and Jess Ryan each have three points on three assists. Freshmen Haley Breedlove and Lauren Kirwan have one point on a goal while sophomore Kayla Mork rounds out the points with an assist.
Netminder Jenn Gilligan has seen most of the action in net for the 'Cats having started all 15 games she has played. She comes in with a record of 8-4-1 and a pair of shutouts. Gilligan has a goals against average of 2.06 and a save percentage of .916. Freshman Vilma Vaattovaara has started nine of the 11 games she has played in this season and comes in with a record of 3-8-0. She has a 3.84 goals against average and a .874 save percentage.
Rookie goalie Marie-Eve Jean has started two of the four games she has played and has a 1-1-1 record, along with a 2.71 goals against average and a .906 save percentage. Sophomore Moe Bradley has made starts in both of the games she has seen the ice in and has a 0-1-0 record. Bradley has tallied a 3.76 goals against average and a .904 save percentage.
SCOUTING THE FRIARS
Providence comes into the weekend having been the victors of its last three games. The Friars are led by Nicole Anderson who splits her 28 points on 14 goals and 14 assists. She has six power play goals, one shorthanded and two game winners. Molly Illikainen has registered 11 goals and 16 assists for 27 points this season. Four of her goals have come on power plays. Haley Frade has recorded 25 points on 12 goals and 13 assists, including five power play goals.
Freshman netminder Sarah Bryant has started 21 of the 22 games she has played in this season and has a 10-8-3 record with a pair of shutouts. Bryant comes in with a 2.84 goals against average and a .889 save percentage. Nina Riley has made starts in seven of her eight games played and has a 3-3-1 record with a 3.89 goals against average and a .876 save percentage. Allie Morse has played in four games and starting one of them. She has a 1-0-0 record with a 3.57 goals against average and a .812 save percentage.
The Wildcat's 4-0 win over Connecticut was the first Monday game the program has played since Monday, Jan. 11, 1999. On that date, UNH topped Cornell, 5-2.
THREE'S A FEAT
Sophomore forward Hannah Armstrong posted her first career hat trick and three-point game in UNH's 4-0 win over Connecticut on Monday, Feb. 11. In the last two games, Armstrong has five points on five goals.
CURRENT PLAYERS WITH HAT TRICKS
With the addition of Hannah Armstrong, three other current Wildcats have tallied hat tricks in their careers. Here is a list of those who have accomplished the feat.
Hannah Armstrong - Feb. 11, 2013 vs. Connecticut
Nicole Gifford - Nov. 26, 2011 vs. Princeton
Jenna Lascelle - Dec. 12, 2011 vs. Dartmouth
Kristina Lavoie - Jan. 28, 2012 vs. Vermont
OUT OF THE BOX
The Wildcats are the least penalized team in Hockey East play this year with just 106 minutes in conference games.
Senior forward Kristina Lavoie became the 43rd student-athlete in UNH women's hockey history to surpass the 100-career point mark with a three-point game against Vermont (Feb. 2). She now has 52 career goals and 50 assists for 102 points.
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, 3-0 (series complete)
Maine - UNH leads, 1-0
Northeastern - NU, 2-1 (series complete)
Providence - 0-0-1
Vermont - UVM, 2-1 (series complete)
The Wildcats have had success while playing on the road this season, tallying a 8-7-1 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). 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 7-0-0. When leading after two periods, the 'Cats have a record of 9-1-1. When scoring first, New Hampshire is 9-5-1.
Junior forward Arielle O'Neill has tallied all but one of her seven goals on the road this season. Her one home goal came on a power play in a 4-2 win over Boston University (Nov. 9).
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 (0.61) and 23rd in rookie scoring. Jenn Gilligan is 13th in the nation in winning percentage (.654), 13th in the nation in goals against average (2.06) and 17th in save percentage (.916).
The team as a whole has found great success on the power play, ranking eighth in power play percentage (22.9). On the penalty killing side, they rank 16th with a kill percentage of 83.7. In combined special teams, the 'Cats are ranked 9th nationally at 54.5 percent.
This year's newcomers have accounted for 68 (34g, 34a) of the 168 points the Wildcats have tallied this year. Alexis Crossley has six goals and 11 assists for 17 points while Jessica Hitchcock has 15 points on eight goals and seven assists. Sara Carlson has six goals and seven assists for 13 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 six times for her six points while Haley Breedlove and Lauren Kirwan each have one goal.
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.)