GAME NOTES (PDF)
Wildcat Food Drive
UNH Athletics is partnering with The New Hampshire Food Bank and WOKQ 97.5 FM for the sixth annual Wildcat Food Drive, which begins Nov. 7 at the UNH women's ice hockey game vs. Providence College. Fans are encouraged to help relieve hunger in the Granite State by bringing a non-perishable item to donate. Fans who make a donation can purchase a ticket at a discounted price.
The UNH women's ice hockey team returns to action Thursday, Nov. 7 (7 p.m.) at home against Providence College. The Wildcats conclude the weekend with a trip to the University of Vermont for a Nov. 10 "Battle of the 'Cats" at the Gutterson Fieldhouse.
Thursday night's game will be broadcast on the Wildcats Sports Radio Network – Fox Sports WPKX-AM 930 (Dover-Portsmouth-Rochester) and WGIR-AM 610 (Manchester).
One of the longest rivalries in women's college hockey resumes when UNH and PC face off for the 137th time Thursday night. The Wildcats hold a 74-48-14 overall lead in the series, which dates back to December 1977. New Hampshire has a 36-13-8 home record against the Friars and that includes 17-7-5 at the Whittemore Center.
The 'Cats held a 1-0-2 edge, including a 3-3 tie at the Whittemore Center, in last year's season series but the Friars ousted UNH from the Hockey East quarterfinals with a 5-4 overtime win in Durham.
In the previous three seasons (2010-12), Providence went 7-1-0 against the Wildcats. PC is 6-0-1 in its last seven visits to the Whittemore Center. The last time UNH defeated the Friars on home ice was the 2009 Hockey East semifinal (3-1).
New Hampshire has a 27-6-0 lifetime record against Vermont, which won the 2012-13 season series, 2-1-0. UNH has a 11-4-0 road record and that includes last February's split (3-1 loss; 4-2 win). In last season's other meeting, the Catamounts skated to a 4-3 road win last October.
The Wildcats won the initial 21 meetings but the series is even at 6-6-0 the last 12 games (since the 2010 season). UVM also won the season series in 2012 (2-1-0).
The State of New Hampshire
New Hampshire enters the weekend with a 5-4-1 overall record that includes 1-2-1 at home, 4-2-0 on the road and 1-2-1 in Hockey East; in a cross-reference, the Wildcats are 0-1-1 in home league games and 1-1-0 in Hockey East road games.
UNH saw its five-game unbeaten streak and three-game win streak end with a 3-1 loss to Boston University last Friday, Nov. 1.
The Wildcats' streak of four consecutive road wins ended with the 3-0 loss at Northeastern University on Nov. 3.
UNH's power play, which entered last weekend ranked No. 7 in the nation at .297, went a combined 0-for-9 against BU and NU last weekend but climbed to No. 4 (.239).
Last Friday's loss to BU marked the first time in four games this season that UNH scored first and didn't' win the game. It also marked the first empty-net goal allowed by the 'Cats.
Sophomore forward Haley Breedlove scored her first goal of the season and second of her career when her first-period goal gave New Hampshire a 1-0 lead against Boston U. last Friday (Nov. 1).
Sophomore goaltender Vilma Vaattovaara stopped 65 of 70 shots for a .929 save percentage and 2.52 GAA in last weekend's action against BU and Northeastern. She made 33 saves, including a personal single-period best 17 in the second stanza, and surrendered two goals to BU. Vaattovaara followed that with 32 saves, including 16 in the third period, at NU.
Freshman goaltender Ashley Wilkes made her collegiate debut with the Oct. 27 start at Penn State and recorded her first career victory, 3-1, with a 17-save effort for a .944 save percentage.
Junior defenseman Jess Ryan scored her first career goal Oct. 27 at PSU and scored again to finish with a career-high two points; both goals were scored on the power play.
Junior forward Jenna Lascelle matched her career highs in both goals (two) and points (three) Oct. 26 at Penn State; her second goal of the game broke a 5-5 tie and proved to be the game-winner.
Junior forward Kayla Mork tallied a career-high three points (1g, 2a) Oct. 26 at PSU; the two assists tied a personal best.
Junior defenseman Caroline Broderick recorded a career-high two points (1g, 1a) at Penn State on Oct. 26.
Sophomore forward Heather Kashman equaled her career high of two points (1g, 1a) with a +3 plus/minus rating Oct. 26 at PSU.
Senior Arielle O'Neill, in her first game as a defenseman, matched her personal best of two goals Oct. 26 at Penn State. She carries a three-game goal-scoring streak into Friday's game vs. Boston U.
Senior forward/defenseman Arielle O'Neill is approaching the 50-point milestone. She enters the weekend with 49 points (26g, 23a) in 110 career games.
Nicole Gifford, another senior forward, recorded her 50th career point with the first of her career-high three assists – a helper in the second period – Oct. 5 against Syracuse. Gifford currently has 55 points (22g, 33a) in 110 career games.
250 Career Wins
Head coach Brian McCloskey recorded career victory No. 250 with UNH's 8-5 victory at Penn State University on Saturday, Oct. 26. Now in his 12th season at the UNH helm, McCloskey has compiled an overall record of 251-108-39 that includes 152-54-22 in Hockey East.
Nicole Gifford has 22 goals and 33 assists for 55 career points while Jenna Lascelle has 11 goals and 22 assists for 33 points. Alexis Crossley's assist total (18) is double that of her goals (nine).
What Just Happened
New Hampshire took an early 1-0 lead against Boston University, but the Terriers battled back to outshoot the Wildcats 28-11 the last two periods en route to a 3-1 victory Nov. 1 at the Whittemore Center that included an empty-net goal with 15 seconds remaining.
BU leveled the score at 12:12 of the second stanza and netted a 2-1 lead at 14:32 of the final frame on a goal by Louise Warren, who also potted the empty-netter to secure the victory. The Terriers finished with a 36-23 shot advantage. Both teams were 0-for-4 on the power play.
Two days later, UNH was shut out for the first time this season in a 3-0 loss to Northeastern University at Matthews Arena. The teams skated to a scoreless first period in which the Wildcats recorded a 13-8 shot advantage. NU scored goals 85 seconds apart – at 3:03 and 4:28 of the second stanza – to quickly transform a scoreless game into a two-goal lead. Katie MacSorley scored her second goal of the day at 4:41 of the third period to close the scoring. NU tallied a 17-8 shot advantage in the last 20 minutes to finish with the overall edge, 35-31.
What Happens Next
Following this weekend's games, UNH hits the road to play Princeton University (Nov. 15) and Quinnipiac University (Nov. 16). Both games are at 3 p.m. UNH and Princeton have not faced off since November 2007, when the Tigers prevailed 2-1 at the Whittemore Center. The Wildcats skated to a 5-2 home win against Quinnipiac last November.
Captain of the 'Cats
Senior forward Nicole Gifford is captain of the 2013-14 Wildcats. She has tallied a point in five of 10 games as she leads the team in goals (four) and points (eight). She also ranks third in assists (four), second in shots (37) and is tied for the lead in power-play goals (two).
Gifford tallied a career-high three assists Oct. 5 vs. Syracuse, and the three points equaled a personal best. She scored the game-winning goal and recorded an assist to lead UNH to a 3-1 win at (then) second-ranked Boston College.
Junior forward Hannah Armstrong and sophomore defenseman Alexis Crossley are the assistant captains.
Armstrong matched her personal best of two assists Oct. 26 at Penn State. She recorded an assist in consecutive home games against RIT (Oct. 4) and Syracuse University (Oct. 5). Armstrong is tied for third on the team in assists (four) and tied for fourth in points (five); she is also tied for third in shots (30).
Crossley was a highly decorated freshman in 2012-13 with Hockey East Second Team All-Star, All-Rookie Team, Rookie of the Month and All-Academic Team included among her accolades. Crossley recorded her first points of the 2013-14 season with a two-goal effort vs. Syracuse (Oct. 5) to tie her benchmark for goals in a game; both of those goals were scored on the power play. She tallied an assist in UNH's road win against BC (Oct. 16) and has a total of three points (2g, 1a) in six games.
New Hampshire enters Thursday night's game ranked No. 4 in the nation in power play at .239 (11-for-49). UNH went 5-for-8 in the weekend series at Penn State and scored multiple power-play goals three consecutive games (2x5 at BC; 3x5 at PSU; 2x3 at PSU). The Wildcats have scored at least one power-play goal in 6 of 10 games.
The Wildcats are also 18th in penalty kill – 33 teams are ranked – at .836 (46-for-55). UNH's combined .564 percentage ranks ninth.
Nicole Gifford leads all 'Cats with five power-play points (2g, 3a). Sara Carlson (4a), Jess Ryan (2g, 1a) and Alexis Crossley (2g, 1a) are the next top point producers.
Senior forward Jessica Hitchcock is a second-year Wildcat who was also a two-year letterwinner at Niagara University. She scored a goal in her UNH debut and ended the 2012-13 season ranked third in goals (nine) and fifth in points (18). Hitchcock also ranked third in shots.
This season, Hitchcock has tallied a point in 4 of 10 games with a total of five points (1g, 4a) – with those stats, she is tied for third in assists and tied for fifth in points. She is also third in plus/minus at +2.
UNH has scored the game's first goal four times in 10 games and is 3-1-0 with wins at St. Lawrence (Sept. 28), at Boston College (Oct. 16) and at Penn State (Oct. 28); the only loss came vs. Boston U. (Nov. 1). The Wildcats are 2-3-1 when falling behind 1-0.
UNH took a lead into the first intermission for the first time this season – the sixth game of 2013-14 – when the Wildcats held a 2-1 advantage at Boston College (Oct. 16). The 'Cats are 2-1-0 when leading through 20 minutes and 2-0-1 when taking a lead into the third period.
The Wildcats have trailed at the first intermission four times (1-2-1 record) and at the second intermission three times (1-2-0).
Color Me Blue
Senior Arielle O'Neill had never skated as a defenseman until taking the blue line Oct. 27 at Penn State. In her debut at the position, O'Neill still contributed offensively with a pair of power-play goals in the third period to propel UNH to an 8-5 victory; the two goals matched her career high. O'Neill also scored the next day in the Wildcats' 3-1 win at PSU. She was honored as Hockey East co-Player of the Week on Oct. 28 for her efforts vs. the Nittany Lions.
In 10 games this season (F-6, D-4), she has netted four goals to tie for the team lead. O'Neill is also atop the leaderboard in shots with 41.
Before making the transition to the blue line, O'Neill was the top 'Cat in the faceoff circle. She won 20 of 25 faceoffs vs. Maine and has a .690 faceoff win percentage (69 of 100) this season. Last year, O'Neill led UNH and ranked second in Hockey East with a .645 win percentage.
O'Neill tallied her first point of the 2013-14 season when she scored a first-period goal to give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead at second-ranked Boston College (Oct. 16) and that proved to be the game-winning goal. She also made a key defensive play in the third period when a her pokecheck thwarted a 3-on-1 rush and preserved UNH's 3-1 lead.
Against the Best
In its first – and only – game against a nationally-ranked team this season, UNH recorded a 3-1 road victory against (then) No. 2 Boston College on Oct. 16.
Last year, the Wildcats were 3-7-1 in 11 games against nationally-ranked opponents with home wins against BC (4-3) and Boston University (4-2) as well as a 3-1 road win against Northeastern University and a 2-2 tie at home vs. Harvard University.
Setting The Table
Sara Carlson, who was equal finisher, equal playmaker last year as a freshman with seven goals and seven assists for 14 points, leads the 2013-14 Wildcats in assists with five. She also has one goal for a total of six points, which is tied for second on the team.
Carlson recorded a career-high two assists in the 3-1 win at (then) No. 2 Boston College (Oct. 16) and tallied one assist in the weekend series at Penn State.
In the opening weekend of the season at St. Lawrence, Carlson tallied an assist in the first game (Sept. 27) and scored the game-winning goal the next day vs. the Saints.
Heather Kashman (sophomore) returns from a redshirt season in 2012-13. Injury sidelined Kashman last year after recording 10 points (7g, 3a) as a freshman in 2011-12.
Kashman has tallied a point in 4 of 10 games this season and is tied for second on the team in points with six as well as tied for third in goals (three).
The forward has matched her career high of two points twice this season, most recently with a goal and an assist at Penn State on Oct. 26. Kashman also finished with 1g, 1a against Maine (Oct. 13).
In the faceoff circle, Kashman has won 42 of 95 draws (.443). She has taken the third most faceoffs on the team (behind Nicole Gifford 202, and Arielle O'Neill, 100).
The Puck Stops Here
The Wildcats once again have four goaltenders on the 2013-14 roster with three returning netminders (one junior, two sophomores) and one incoming freshman. The junior is the only goalie yet to see action this season.
Vilma Vaattovaara had a strong start to the season with a 4-0-1 record, 2.16 GAA and .928 save percentage through October. In two Hockey East league games, she went 2-0-0 with a 1.44 GAA and .946 save percentage.
In seven games overall (all starts), Vaattovaara is 4-2-1 with a 2.27 GAA and .928 save percentage. In four Hockey East games, she is 1-2-1 with a 1.97 GAA and .937 save percentage.
Vaattovaara was honored as Hockey East co-Player of the Week following her career-high 41-save effort in a 2-1 win at St. Lawrence (Sept. 28). She made 36 saves to lead UNH to a 3-1 victory at second-ranked BC (Oct. 16) and was honored as Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week.
Marie-Eve Jean is 0-2-0 with a 3.55 GAA and .860 save percentage in two games (both starts) this season. She made a season-high 27 saves in the Sept. 27 season opener at SLU (4-2 loss).
Ashley Wilkes made her collegiate debut with the Oct. 28 start at Penn State University and earned her first career win, 3-1, with a 17-save effort. She blanked the Nittany Lions in both the first and third periods with five and 10 saves, respectively. The only goal allowed was on a PSU two-skater advantage.
Junior forward Kayla Mork leads the all Wildcats (alongside Haley Breedlove) in plus/minus rating at +3. She recorded a career-high three points with one goal and two assists Oct. 26 at Penn State; the two assists matched a personal best. In 10 games, Mork has a total of four points (1g, 3a); she also tallied an assist in the Sept. 27 season opener at St. Lawrence.
Jenna Lascelle, another junior forward, checks in with an overall Even rating, which is also her rating in Hockey East league games. Lascelle has five points (2g, 3a) through 10 games. In the series at Penn State, Lascelle matched her career highs in both goals (two) and points (three) in the 8-5 win on Oct. 26; her second goal of the game broke a 5-5 tie with 3:39 remaining in regulation. She also recorded a goal in the season opener at SLU and an assist vs. Maine (Oct. 13). Most recently, she tallied an assist vs. Boston U. (Nov. 1).
Juniors Caroline Broderick and Jess Ryan as well as sophomore Megan Armstrong are logging a lot of minutes for UNH's defense, which has been hit by injury to Alexis Crossley and Kate Haslett.
Broderick has also contributed four points (2g, 2a). She recorded her first career multiple-point game with a goal and an assist Oct. 26 at Penn State. She tallied her first point of the season with a goal Sept. 28 at St. Lawrence and was credited with an assist vs. Maine (Oct. 13).
Ryan scored her first career goal and finished the game with two goals – both on the power play – to lift UNH to 3-1 win at Penn State (Oct. 27). She opened the game scoring and then struck again to give the 'Cats a 2-0 lead. In 10 games, Ryan has tallied three points. She leads all defensemen and is fourth overall in plus/minus at +1.
Armstrong has one point with an assist in the 3-2 win vs. Syracuse (Oct. 5).
Mine, Mine, Mine, Mine, Mine, Mine
Sophomore forward Brittney Redlick scored six goals to account for all six of her points in 26 games played last season. She has not recorded a point in 10 games this season.
In & Out
Freshman defenseman Kate Haslett played in both games opening weekend at St. Lawrence (Sept. 27-28) but has not dressed the past eight games. Sophomore defenseman Alexis Crossley has also missed four consecutive games.
Sophomore forward Haley Breedlove was out the opening weekend at SLU but skated in each of the last eight games. She tallied her first point of the season with a goal at home against Boston U. (Nov. 1), and Breedlove is tied atop the team leaderboard in plus/minus (+3).
UNH has three incoming student-athletes – all freshmen – with one new forward, defenseman and goaltender.
The lone newcomer to the forward corps is Cassandra Vilgrain. She led the Edge School for Athletes to a gold medal at the World Sport School Challenge, where she was named the tournament's top forward, and to the JWHL championship game.
Kate Haslett comes to UNH from Brooks School, where she captained the team as a senior defenseman and was named ISL All-League and All-New England Second Team.
Ashley Wilkes played between the pipes at North American Hockey Academy in 2012-13, when she had a 19-0-1 record with a 1.09 GAA and .942 save percentage to garner JWHL First Team All-Star recognition and backbone NAHA to the league title.
UNH Wins Cat Fight at Penn State
The 'Cats scored a season-high eight goals last Saturday (Oct. 26) at Penn State University and it marked the team's highest total since Jan. 16, 2009 (8-3 win vs. Dartmouth College).
Ten skaters, including eight of nine forwards, recorded at least one point and seven tallied multiple points in last Saturday's 8-5 win at Penn State.
New Hampshire has been outscored 8-5 in the first period despite a 93-70 shot advantage and the Wildcats have outscored the opposition 9-5 in the third despite an 84-66 shot deficit.
Including this season, each of UNH's last five regular-season overtime games have ended in a tie – the Wildcats were defeated in OT of the 2013 Hockey East quarterfinal (5-4 at home by Providence College) after all four regular-season overtime games were ties.
The most recent UNH win or loss in a regular-season OT game was a 4-3 loss at Maine (Feb. 18, 2012). Earlier in the season, the 'Cats prevailed 3-2 in overtime against Union College on Nov. 29, 2011.
Spanning the Globe
The Wildcats are a team made up of student-athletes from around the world. In the geographic breakdown, 12 'Cats hail from Canada while eight are from the United States and one calls Finland home.
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 12th 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 251-108-39 overall record, including a 152-54-21 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)
250th win– Oct. 26, 2013 (8-5 at Penn State)
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.
Lights. Camera. Action!
The UNH women's ice hockey team will have four home games broadcast on television – two on the Live Well Network (sister station of WBIN-TV) and two on Fox College Sports. Here is the schedule:
Sat. Oct. 5 Syracuse Live Well Network 3-2 win
Sun. Dec. 1 Ohio State Live Well Network 1 pm
Sun. Feb. 9 UConn Fox College Sports 2 pm
Sat. Feb. 15 Vermont Fox College Sports 2 pm
On The Air
A total of nine games will be broadcast on the Wildcats Sports Radio Network – Fox Sports WPKX-AM 930 (Dover-Portsmouth-Rochester) and WGIR-AM 610 (Manchester). Here is that schedule:
Sun. Oct. 13 Maine 2-2 tie
Thur. Nov. 7 Providence 6:45 pm
Sun. Dec. 1 Ohio State 12:45 pm
Sun. Dec. 8 Dartmouth 1:45 pm
Fri. Jan. 10 Providence 6:45 pm
Sun. Jan. 19 UConn 1:45 pm
Sun. Feb. 9 UConn 1:45 pm
Sat. Feb. 15 Vermont 1:45 pm
Sun. Feb. 23 Northeastern 1:45 pm
O'Neill and Vilgrain Receive Hockey East Honor
Arielle O'Neill was named Player of the Week by Hockey East on Monday (Oct. 28). The league also announced Cassandra Vilgrain as the Rookie of the Week, which marked the second time this season she received the award.
O'Neill, pressed into skating as a defenseman for the first time in her career, scored three goals in the weekend series at Penn State. She matched her career high of two goals – both on third period power plays – in the 8-5 win (Oct. 26); her tallies gave UNH leads of 5-4 and 7-5. One day later, O'Neill scored with 29 seconds remaining in the second period –and just 74 seconds after a PSU goal – to put the Wildcats ahead 3-1.
Vilgrain extended her goal-scoring streak to three games with a tally in last Saturday's victory and pushed her point streak to four with an assist last Sunday. Her third-period goal tied the score, 4-4, just 14 seconds after Penn State took the lead and ignited UNH's five-goal outburst en route to the 8-5 win. One day later, Vilgrain set up the game's first goal to spark the 'Cats to a 3-1 win.
Scouting the Friars
Providence College has a 4-6-0 overall record including 1-3-0 against Hockey East opponents. The Friars have played four games on road ice with a record of 2-2-0.
Last weekend, Providence was unable to pick up a point in a home-and-home series against No. 5 Boston College. On Friday, Nov. 1, sophomore Molly Illikainen lead a third period rally by tallying three of her career-high four points but the Friars ultimately fell 8-6 to the Eagles. Illikainen continued her hot streak Sunday, Nov. 3 by recording Providence's only goal against in a 2-1 loss.
The Friars wrap up their six-game streak of Hockey East opponents with Thursday's matchup against New Hampshire followed by UConn on Sunday. In the first four games, PC has been outscored 17-12 with the only victory coming against Northeastern, 4-3, on Oct. 25.
Senior forward Corinne Buie leads the team in all scoring categories with 12 points on five goals and seven assists. Illikainen follows Buie in scoring with seven points on three goals and four assists.
Sophomore goaltender Sarah Bryant has started in net 9 of 10 games going 4-4-0 with a 3.23 GAA and .879 save percentage.
Through 10 games, PC's offense is averaging 2.60 gpg and the defense is allowing 3.60 gpg. On special teams, the power play is at .159 and the penalty kill has a .823 percentage.
The Friars are 1-4-0 when falling behind 1-0, as well as 0-3-0 when trailing at the first intermission and 0-5-0 when trailing through 40 minutes.
Scouting the Catamounts
The University of Vermont enters the weekend with a 3-5-1 overall record that includes 1-1-0 in Hockey East and 0-1-1 at home; the Catamounts play host to Boston College on Friday before facing off against UNH on Sunday.
Last weekend, the Catamounts were 4-0 victors at UConn (Nov. 1) and then lost 6-0 at Boston U. (Nov. 2).
UVM is led offensively by junior forwards Amanda Pelkey (6-6-12) and Brittany Zuback (5-6-11).
Senior goaltender Roxanne Douville has started five games and is 1-2-1 with a 2.55 GAA, .900 save percentage and one shutout. Freshman goalie Madison Litchfield has started four games and is 2-3-0 with a 4.37 GAA and .850 save percentage. Both goalies have played in six games.
Through nine games, UVM's offense is averaging 2.67 ppg and the defense is allowing 4.11 gpg. On special teams, the Catamounts are at .167 on the power play and the penalty kill is at .829.
UVM is 3-1-0 when scoring first and 0-4-1 when falling behind 1-0. Also of note, the team is perfect when leading at the first (3-0-0) or second intermission (2-0-0) and winless when trailing at the end of the first (0-5-0) or second (0-5-0) periods.
GAME NOTES: Women's Hockey Resumes Rivalry vs. Providence; Wildcat Food Drive (Nov. 7)
GAME NOTES (PDF)