GAME NOTES: Women's Hockey Skating Strides at BU (Feb. 8) & Home vs. UConn (Feb. 9)
COMPLETE GAME NOTES (PDF)
What's On Tap
The University of New Hampshire women's ice hockey team concludes its season series against both Boston University and the University of Connecticut this weekend with a road game vs. BU (Feb. 8; 3 p.m.) and home game against UConn (Feb. 9; 2 p.m.).
Sunday's game against UConn will be televised live on FOX College Sports. Both games are part of the Hockey East Skating Strides Against Breast Cancer, which is a program that has raised nearly $230,000 in the first seven years of its existence.
The Matchup: UNH vs. Boston U.
UNH has a 20-12-3 lifetime record against Boston University that includes two home losses (3-1, 2-1) back in November. BU has won four straight in the series dating back to the Wildcats' 4-2 victory Nov. 9, 2012. The Terriers have never swept a season series from the 'Cats, but they did have an unbeaten mark of 1-0-2 in the 2008-09 season.
New Hampshire has lost four consecutive games at Walter Brown Arena – 6-0 and 3-2 last season, 9-1 and 5-2 in the 2011-12 season – since recording a 4-2 win Feb. 3, 2011.
Since the start of the 2008-09 season, BU has a 12-4-3 edge in the series.
In this season's initial meeting (Nov. 1), UNH struck first on Haley Breedlove's goal at 3:29 of the first period; that one-goal lead held until Sarah Lefort's tally at 12:12 of the second stanza; Louise Warren broke the tie at 14:32 of the third period and added an empty-net goal with 15 seconds left to secure the 3-1 win; Vilma Vaattovaara stopped 33 shots, including 17 in the second period; Kerrin Sperry made 11 of her 22 saves in the first period.
Back on Nov. 24, Kayla Tutino's goal at 11:14 of the third period lifted the Terriers to a 2-1 road victory; Lefort gave BU a 1-0 lead at 8:01 of the first period and Hannah Armstrong potted a power-play goal at 15:28 of the seconds stanza to tie the score, 1-1; Ashley Wilkes, who was pulled in favor of an extra skater for the last 1:45, established a career high of 27 saves; Sperry stopped 29 shots.
The Matchup: UNH vs. UConn
UNH has a 37-7-4 lifetime record, including a home-and-home split earlier this season, against UConn. The Wildcats are 20-2-2 at home and have won four straight vs. the Huskies at the Whittemore Center; UConn's most recent win in Durham was Nov. 13, 2010 (1-0); their only other win at the Whitt was Dec. 1, 2001 (2-0).
Back on Jan. 18, UConn ended a stretch of three consecutive losses in the series – UNH outscored the Huskies 9-1 last season – with a 3-1 victory at Freitas Ice Forum. Connecticut's Kayla Campero scored early (at 5:26 of the first period) and that 1-0 lead held up until 9:48 of the third period, when Alexis Crossley tied the score; UConn responded with goals at 15:42 (by Rebecca Fleming) and 17:59 (Stephanie Raithby) to get the W. Wilkes made 10 saves in the second and 13 in the third to match her personal best of 27 saves; UConn's Elaine Chuli stopped 33 shots.
One day later at UNH's Whittemore Center, the 'Cats prevailed 3-2. Nicole Gifford quickly gave New Hampshire a 1-0 lead when she scored 14 seconds into the game; Cassandra Vilgrain increased the advantage to 2-0 at 10:59 of the seconds stanza and UNH took that two-goal lead into the third period; the Huskies rallied to tie the score with goals 1:43 apart by Sarah MacDonnell (at 1:48 and 3:31); Jonna Curtis netted the game-winning goal with 4:41 remaining. Vaattovaara was credited with 24 saves while Chuli, who was pulled for the last 2:15, made 30 saves.
The State of New Hampshire
New Hampshire enters the weekend with a 9-16-2 overall record that includes 5-6-1 at home, 4-10-1 on the road and 4-9-2 in Hockey East; those numbers include 3-3-1 in league home games and 1-6-1 in league road games.
In the national statistics, UNH is ranked No. 22 in offense (2.11 gpg) and No. 19 in defense (2.67 gpg). The Wildcats are slightly above the middle of the pack in power play (16th- .155) and in the top 10 in penalty kill (ninth- .870).
The 'Cats are 3-1-0 the last four home games with wins against Dartmouth College, Providence College and UConn as well as a loss to then-No. 7 Boston College. In five home games this season, Ashley Wilkes is 2-3-0 with a 1.85 GAA and .927 save percentage; in six home games, Vilma Vaattovaara is 3-2-1 with a 2.15 GAA and .918 save percentage.
UNH has scored a power-play goal each of the last three games at 3-for-8 (.375) overall. The Wildcats had not scored a power-play goal the previous nine games (0-for-33).
UNH has lost four consecutive games and has not won two games in a weekend since sweeping the two-game series at Penn State (Oct. 26-27).
The Wildcats have lost eight straight road games as part of a 10-game winless road stretch (0-9-1); the last road win was Oct. 27 at Penn State (3-1).
Last Saturday's 3-2 overtime loss at Maine marked UNH's first overtime loss in a regular-season game since Feb. 18, 2012, when the Wildcats were defeated 4-3 by Maine. New Hampshire had skated to a tie six consecutive regular-season overtime games since then.
The four goals scored in the 4-1 win Jan. 10 vs. Providence marked the team's highest total since also scoring four goals against those same Friars on Nov. 7. In between, the 'Cats scored a total of 10 goals in eight games. The four goals is bested this season only by eight goals at Penn State (Oct. 26). In the seven games since Jan. 10, UNH has averaged 1.86 gpg.
Senior forward Jessica Hitchcock moved into a tie atop the team leaderboard in assists with a helper last Saturday (Feb. 1) at Maine. She and classmate Nicole Gifford have 10 assists this season.
Seven Wildcats recorded one point apiece in last weekend's two-game series at Maine (Feb. 1-2). No one has an active multiple-game point streak.
Junior defenseman Caroline Broderick leads the team and is second in Hockey East in blocked shots with 55. Broderick blocked five shots in both of last weekend's games against seventh-ranked Boston College.
Since Jan. 18, when Vilma Vaattovaara was cleared to return to the lineup, Vaattovaara and Ashley Wilkes have split the goaltending duties with each receiving a start all three weekends.
Junior forward and assistant captain Hannah Armstrong enters the weekend with 98 career games played.
Freshman forward Cassandra Vilgrain has recorded a point four of the last five games with five points (3g, 2a) in that span; she recorded her first career multiple-goal game Jan. 25 with two at Boston College.
Vilgrain is tied for second on the team in goals (seven) and ranks third in points (15). She is fifth in shots (67) and has scored two power-play goals. Her other season highlights include a career-high three points, including a personal-best two assists, Nov. 10 at Vermont.
In 15 Hockey East league games, Cassandra Vilgrain (6g, 5a) leads the UNH Wildcats with 11 points. Nicole Gifford (5g, 5a) and Jessica Hitchcock (4g, 5a) are next on the leaderboard. Vilma Vaattovaara has a 3-4-2 record, 2.29 GAA and .917 save percentage in nine Hockey East games.
It's a Paradox
UNH has recorded a +57 shot advantage (268-211) in the first period but has been outscored 23-11. That shot total is just four less than UNH's highest (2nd- 272) but is the lowest goal total in comparison to 21 in the second and 25 in the third (on 237 shots).
What Just Happened
UNH was swept by the University of Maine in a two-game series at Alfond Arena. The Black Bears rallied for a 3-2 overtime win on Saturday (Feb. 1) and then outscored the Wildcats 3-1 in the third period in Sunday's game that was scoreless through two periods.
In the weekend opener, Maine struck early in the second period and took that 1-0 lead into the second intermission. The 'Cats rallied to take a 2-1 lead early in the final frame on goals 73 seconds apart by Hannah Armstrong and Alexis Crossley. Audra Richards netted an extra-attacker goal with 42 seconds remaining in regulation to send the game into OT, and then she scored at 2:53 of the extra session to lift Maine to victory. Vilma Vaattovaara was credited with 19 saves while UM's Meghann Treacy stopped 29 shots.
One day later, UNH recorded a 13-9 shot advantage in the third period but the home team had the 3-1 edge in goals to record the 3-1 victory. Maine struck at 6:16 and 12:45 before the Wildcats' Heather Kashman potted a power-play goal at 17:21. The Black Bears secured the W with a power-play, empty-net goal with 1:45 to play. Ashley Wilkes made 23 saves defending the UNH goal while Treacy had 32 for Maine.
What Happens Next
Following the weekend against Boston University and UConn, the Wildcats play host to the University of Vermont on Feb. 15-16; both games begin at 2 p.m.
In the first meeting of the season (Nov. 10 at Gutterson Fieldhouse), UNH took a 3-0 lead into the third period but UVM scored three times in the opening 4:10 of the final frame. The game ended in a 3-3 tie despite the Wildcats' 7-0 shot advantage in overtime.
Race to Three
UNH has a 7-1-1 record when scoring three (or more) goals in a game – the only loss was Jan. 25 at No. 7 Boston College, 5-3 – and is 1-13-1 when allowing three-plus goals. On the flip side, the Wildcats are 2-15-1 when scoring less than three goals and have an 8-3-1 mark when holding the opposition to two goals or less.
Captain of the 'Cats
Senior forward Nicole Gifford is captain of the 2013-14 Wildcats. She has tallied a point in 14 of 27 games and had a five-game point streak spanning Dec. 8 to Jan. 19 with six points (2g, 4a).
Gifford leads the team in goals (eight), power-play goals (three; tie-1st), assists (10; tie-1st) and points (18). She also ranks third in shots (93). In 15 Hockey East league games, Gifford has tallied 10 points (5g, 5a).
In the faceoff circle, Gifford has taken 603 draws (she has won 311 of them; 51.6%) – the next highest overall total is 303 by Heather Kashman.
In the January series vs. UConn, Gifford tallied an assist on the team's only goal at Freitas Ice Forum (Jan. 18) and then scored 14 seconds into the game to help the 'Cats record a 3-2 win at the Whittemore Center (Jan. 19).
In the Jan. 10-11 series vs. Providence College, Gifford tallied three points with a goal and two assists; that included a goal and an assist in the 4-1 win at the Whitt on Jan. 10.
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. Gifford netted a goal in back-to-back games vs. Providence (Nov. 7) and UVM (Nov. 10).
Junior forward Hannah Armstrong and sophomore defenseman Alexis Crossley are the assistant captains.
Armstrong ranks fourth in points (13), fourth in goals (six) and sixth in assists (seven); she has the team's only shorthanded goal of the season and is fourth in shots (78). Last Saturday (Feb. 1) at Maine, her power-play goal in the third period tied the score, 1-1, and sparked UNH to a 2-1 lead.
She scored five goals in a nine-game span (Nov. 7 to Dec. 8) with goals in consecutive games against Providence and UVM as well as Boston U. and Ohio State.
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).
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 missed nine consecutive games (Oct. 26 to Nov. 24) due to injury before returning to the lineup Nov. 30 against Ohio State; she has recorded two points (Feb.1 goal at Maine; Jan. 18 goal at UConn) in 12 games since returning to the lineup.
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 four points (3g, 1a) in 16 games.
A pair of special teams streaks ended in the Jan. 25-26 series against seventh-ranked Boston College. UNH ended a stretch of nine consecutive games with nary a power-play goal when the 'Cats scored an extra skater goal in the first period of the Jan. 26 game; that Jess Ryan power-play goal ended an 0-for-36 stretch that dated back to the third period of the Nov. 24 game vs. Boston U.
New Hampshire's streak of successful penalty kills also came to an end when BC netted a power-play goal in the third period of the Jan. 25 game at Conte Forum. The Wildcats' PK had been perfect the previous four games and a total of 16 consecutive shorthanded situations.
New Hampshire entered Thanksgiving weekend ranked No. 6 nation in power play (20.3%). With a 3-for-8 effort the past three games, the Wildcats have climbed back to No. 9 in the nation at 15.5%.
UNH scored on 5 of 8 power plays in the weekend series at Penn State as part of three consecutive games with multiple power-play tallies (2x5 at BC; 3x5 at PSU; 2x3 at PSU). The Wildcats have scored at least one power-play goal in 11 of 27 games and are 17-for-110 overall.
The Wildcats have climbed into the top 10 in penalty kill at No. 9 with a success rate of .870 (100-for-115). UNH's PK has not yielded a goal in 14 of 27 games and has allowed multiple power-play goals twice – two by St. Lawrence in the Sept. 27 season opener and two by Penn State on Oct. 26.
Nicole Gifford leads all 'Cats with seven power-play points (3g, 4a). Sara Carlson (6a), Jess Ryan (3g, 2a) and Cassandra Vilgrain (2g, 3a) 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 14 of 27 games with a total of 17 points (7g, 10a) – with those stats, she is tied for the lead in assists and is second in both goals and points. She leads the Wildcats in both plus/minus rating (+4) and shots (102), and has tallied at least one point each of the last six weekends the 'Cats have played.
Hitchcock recorded a six-game point streak spanning Dec. 8 (vs. Dartmouth) to Jan. 25 (at Boston College) in which she tallied eight points (5g, 3a).
She matched her career highs in both goals (two) and points (three) Jan. 10 in the 4-1 win vs. Providence at the Whittemore Center. Hitchcock finished that two-game series vs. PC with four points (3g, 1a) to garner the Warrior Player of the Week award from Hockey East.
Hitchcock recorded one other multiple-point game this season with two assists Oct. 26 at Penn State.
UNH has scored the game's first goal nine times in 27 games and is 5-3-1 when taking a 1-0 lead; on the road, the Wildcats are 3-1-1 when scoring first. The Wildcats are 4-11-1 when falling behind 1-0 and that includes 1-7-0 on the road.
The team that scored first has been victorious seven of the eight games in the 2014 calendar year.
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 have led at the first intermission just seven times in 27 games with a 3-3-1 record; the most recent time New Hampshire led at the end of the first period was Jan. 26 against Boston College (that 2-1 lead ended in a 3-2 home loss). UNH has trailed at the first intermission 13 times (3-9-1 record).
At the second intermission, New Hampshire has led five times (3-0-2 record) and trailed 11 times (1-10-0); the game has been tied through 40 minutes 11 times (5-6-0 record). The last time UNH led at the second intermission was Jan. 19 vs. UConn, and that 2-0 lead resulted in a 3-2 win at the Whittemore Center.
Color Me Blue
Senior Arielle O'Neill has proven invaluable this season by playing both center and defenseman. She had never skated as a defenseman until taking the blue line Oct. 26 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.
And just as injury force the coaching staff to transition O'Neill from forward to defense in October, another UNH injury during the Jan. 26 game vs. Boston College prompted O'Neill's return to forward – she skated as a center the remainder of that game and in the following two games at Maine (Feb. 1-2).
In 27 games this season (F-8, D-19), she has netted five goals to rank fifth on the team – she scored four of those goals as a defenseman – and has two assists for a total of seven points. O'Neill was atop the leaderboard in shots a majority of the season, but slipped to second following the Jan. 26 game vs. BC; she has 95 shots overall, which still ranks second.
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 (Oct. 13) and has a .691 faceoff win percentage (103 of 149) this season; in last weekend's two-game series at Maine, she was 17 of 23 on draws.
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. A stretch of 10 consecutive games without a point ended Jan. 26 with an assist vs. BC.
Junior forward Kayla Mork is tied for third on the team in assists (nine) and is fifth in points (12) – both those numbers are personal single-season highs. Mork recently tallied a point in three consecutive games with an assist Jan. 25 at Boston College, a goal Jan. 26 at the Whittemore Center vs. BC and an assist Feb. 1 at Maine. She has skated in 26 of 27 games; she was not in the lineup Jan. 11 game at Providence.
Mork recorded a career-high three points with one goal and two assists Oct. 26 at Penn State; the two assists matched a personal best. Mork also finished with multiple points (1g, 1a) in the Nov. 7 win against Providence.
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 2-0 loss
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 4-2 win
Sun. Dec. 1 Ohio State 2-0 loss
Sun. Dec. 8 Dartmouth 2-1 win
Fri. Jan. 10 Providence 4-1 win
Sun. Jan. 19 UConn 3-2 win
Sun. Feb. 9 UConn 1:45 pm
Sat. Feb. 15 Vermont 1:45 pm
Sun. Feb. 23 Northeastern 1:45 pm
The Puck Stops Here
The Wildcats have three goaltenders on the 2013-14 roster with two returning netminders (both sophomores) and one freshman.
Vilma Vaattovaara had a strong start to her sophomore 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.
Vaattovaara returned to action Jan. 19 vs. UConn with a 24-save effort that backboned the Wildcats to a 3-2 victory; she was sidelined nine games by injury and had not seen game action since Nov. 15 at Princeton.
Jan. 26 versus seventh-ranked Boston College, Vaattovaara made 20 saves in a 3-2 loss at the Whittemore Center.
In 13 games overall (all starts), Vaattovaara is 6-5-2 with a 2.44 GAA and .913 save percentage. In nine Hockey East games, she is 3-4-2 with a 2.29 GAA and .917 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.
Ashley Wilkes started nine consecutive games spanning Nov. 16 (at Quinnipiac) through Jan. 18 (at UConn). She recorded a personal-best 27 saves in back-to-back games vs. BU (Nov. 24) and Quinnipiac (Nov. 16) – both were 2-1 losses for the 'Cats.
Wilkes also finished with 27 saves, including a single-period high of 13 in the third period, Jan. 18 at UConn (3-2 loss). Also of note, she recorded 26 saves Jan. 25 at Boston College (5-3 loss) and she stopped 22 of 23 shots in UNH's 4-1 win against Providence College on Jan. 10.
In 12 games (all starts), Wilkes is 3-9-0 with a 2.61 GAA and .901 save percentage. In six league games, she is 1-5-0 with a 2.86 GAA and .899 save percentage.
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.
Wilkes was honored as Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week on Nov. 18 following a 27-save effort against seventh-ranked Quinnipiac University. She held the Bobcats scoreless in the first period (six saves) and followed that with 10 saves in the second and 11 in the third.
Marie-Eve Jean is 0-2-0 with a 3.50 GAA and .852 save percentage in three games (two starts) this season. She made a season-high 27 saves in the Sept. 27 season opener at SLU (4-2 loss). Jean entered the Jan. 11 game at Providence at the start of the third period and stopped three of the four shots she faced; that appearance ended a stretch of 17 consecutive games in which she did not play (dating back to Oct. 4 vs. RIT).
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. Crossley missed nine consecutive games before returning to the ice Nov. 30, while Haslett has been sidelined since the third game of the season.
Ryan, who didn't record a point as a freshman and tallied three points last year, has 10 points (4g, 6a) in 27 games this season to lead UNH defensemen in points. She tallied a point three consecutive games spanning Jan. 19-26 with three points (1g, 2a). Ryan also recorded an assist three consecutive games vs. Quinnipiac (Nov. 16), BU (Nov. 24) and Ohio State (Nov. 30). She leads all defensemen and is fourth overall in plus/minus at E (even).
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. Ryan also netted the game-winning goal against Providence (Nov. 7) when she gave the 'Cats a 3-2 lead.
Broderick has contributed eight points (2g, 6a) – she has four assists the past nine games – and leads the team in blocked shots with 55. 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.
Armstrong has four points, all on assists. She recorded three of her points the Nov. 7-10 weekend against Providence (1a) and Vermont (2a). The two assists against the Catamounts matched her personal best.
One For Me, One For You
A handful of Wildcats have almost even career totals in goals and assists. In 126 career games, Jessica Hitchcock has tallied 34 goals and 36 assists. The career breakdown for Hannah Armstrong is almost even at 21 goals and 22 assists. Arielle O'Neill (27g, 25a) isn't far off from an even split. Freshman Cassandra Vilgrain has been almost equal finisher and distributor with seven goals and eight assists.
UNH's stretch of six consecutive ties in regular-season overtime games ended Feb. 1 with a 3-2 loss at Maine. Both of the Wildcats' previous OT games this season – Oct. 13 vs. Maine and Nov. 10 at Vermont – ended in a tie. The 'Cats were defeated in OT of the 2013 Hockey East quarterfinal (5-4 at home by Providence College) after all four regular-season overtime games that season were ties.
Prior to Feb. 1, 2014, the most recent UNH win or loss in a regular-season OT game was a 4-3 loss at Maine (Feb. 18, 2012). Earlier that season, the 'Cats prevailed 3-2 in overtime against Union College on Nov. 29, 2011.
Scouting the Terriers
Boston University enters the weekend with an 18-9-1 overall record that includes 11-5-0 in Hockey East and 9-2-0 at home (5-2-0 in league home games). The Terriers were defeated 4-1 by Boston College in Tuesday's opening round of the Beanpot at BC's Conte Forum.
In the national statistics, BU is ranked No. 7 in offense (3.00 gpg) and No. 15 in defense (2.46 gpg) as well as 22nd in power play (.136) and 16th in penalty kill (.857).
BU's offense is spearheaded by Sarah Lefort (22-18-40) and Louise Warren (20-14-34). Samantha Sutherland (5-15-20), Kaleigh Fratkin (4-16-20) and Maddie Elia (8-11-19) are the other top point producers.
Senior goaltender Kerrin Sperry has started 23 of 28 games and is 15-7-1 with a 2.27 GAA, .926 save percentage and two shutouts. In 13 Hockey East games, she is 9-4-0 with a 2.08 GAA, .929 save percentage and one shutout.
BU has been a strong frontrunner this season. The Terriers are 15-1-1 when taking a 1-0 lead, 10-1-0 when leading at the first intermission and 13-0-1 when holding a lead at the second intermission.
Scouting the Huskies
The University of Connecticut enters the weekend with a 7-19-2 overall record that includes 4-10-1 in Hockey East and 1-10-2 on the road (1-6-1 in league road games). The Huskies have lost three consecutive games and play host to Boston College on Saturday before travelling to UNH.
UConn went 3-8-0 in January and that included a home-and-home series split against New Hampshire in which both teams won on home ice.
UConn enters the weekend ranked No. 24 in offense (1.89 gpg) and No. 30 in defense (3.07 gpg) as well as 23rd in power play (.132) and 10th in penalty kill (.864).
Sarah MacDonnell is the only one on the team who has recorded double digits in both goals (10) and assists (13); she leads the team in goals and points. Michela Cava has a team-high 15 assists and is second in points (22). Kayla Campero (9-7-16), Emily Snodgrass (4-9-13) and Rachel Farrel (8-3-11) are the other top point producers.
Elaine Chuli has a 5-13-1 overall record with a 2.67 GAA, .925 save percentage and one shutout in 19 games (all starts); in 12 Hockey East league games, she is 4-7-1 with a 2.52 GAA and .929 save percentage. Chuli was honored as Hockey East co-Goaltender of the Month for January, when she had a 1.52 GAA and .955 save percentage in 10 games.
UConn's goal output progressively increases each period with 14 goals in the first, 17 in the second and 20 in the third.
Connecticut is 2-2-2 in overtime games.