#5 Men's Hockey Travels to Mass.-Lowell (Thurs. - 7 p.m.); Plays Host to Vermont (Sun. - 4 p.m.)

GAME NOTES
DURHAM, N.H --
The fifth-ranked University of New Hampshire men's hockey team (7-2-4, 5-1-2 HE) travels to league foe UMass-Lowell (2-10-2, 2-8-0 HE) on Thursday (7 p.m.) at Tsongas Center and will play host to Vermont (1-6-4, 1-5-3 HE) on Sunday (4 p.m) at Whittemore Center. The Wildcats are ranked in the top five for the first time since Nov. 10, 2008.

SCOUTING THE RIVER HAWKS: UMass.-Lowell enters Thursday's game with a 2-10-2 record and a 2-8-0 mark in Hockey East play.The River Hawks are trying to snap a five-game losing streak, which started with a 2-1 loss to New Hampshire on Nov. 6. UML is coming off back-to-back non-conference home losses to Minnesota State (8-3, 3-2) last weekend. Sophomore forward Riley Wetmore is leading the way offensively with 12 points (6g, 6a) in 14 games. Doug Carr and Marc Boulanger continue to split time in net for the River Hawks. Carr is 2-6-1 with a 3.37 GAA and a .903 save percentage, while Boulanger is 0-4-1 with a 4.25 GAA and a .868 save percentage.

SERIES HISTORY VS. UMASS-LOWELL: The Wildcats lead the all-time series with the River Hawks at 52-30-15 in 97 all-time meetings between the two schools dating back to Dec. 6, 1983.UNH captured a 2-1 win in the teams only meeting this season on Nov. 6 at Tsongas Center. Coach Umile owns a 45-19-10 all-time record against the River Hawks in his coaching career. Phil DeSimone is the active leader in scorer against the River Hawks with six points (1g, 5a) in 10 games. Matt DiGirolamo is 1-1-0 lifetime against UML.

SCORING LEADERS VS. THE RIVER HAWKS:
Player    GP    G-A-P
Phil DeSimone    10    1-5-6
Mike Sislo    10    3-0-3
Blake Kessel    7    2-1-3
Greg Burke    4    0-3-3
John Henrion    2    1-1-2
Mike Borisenok    4    0-2-2
Matt Campanale    4    1-1-2
Austin Block    4    1-1-2
Dalton Speelman    4    1-1-2
Connor Hardowa    4    0-1-1
Paul Thompson    10    1-0-1
Damon Kipp    6    0-1-1
Stevie Moses    6    1-0-1
Mike Beck    5    0-0-0
Greg Manz    3    0-0-0
Brett Kostolansky    4    0-0-0
Kevin McCarey    3    0-0-0
Scott Pavelski    1    0-0-0
Nick Sorkin    1    0-0-0
Jeff Silengo    1    0-0-0
Goaltending Stats
Player    GP/Min    GA    GAA    W-L-T    SV    SV%
DiGirolamo     2/119:57    9    4.50    1-1-0    51    .850

DiGirolamo Game-by-Game vs. the River Hawks
Date        Min    Res.    Svs.    GA    Shots
11-14-08        59:57    L    27    8    35
11-6-10        60:00    W    24    1    25
Totals        119:57    1-1-0    51    9    60

LAST TIME THESE TEAMS MET (11/6/10 AT MASS-LOWELL):  John Henrion registered a goal and an assist including the game-winner to lift the 10th-ranked men's ice hockey team to a 2-1 win over Massachusetts-Lowell in Hockey East action at Tsongas Center. Dalton Speelman broke the ice at 4:25 of the first as the sophomore scored on a wrister from the left slot. The play was setup on a pin-point right-to-left pass from Henrion, while Matt Campanale was also credited with an assist on the goal. New Hampshire controlled play in the opening frame with an 18-8 shot advantage, but were 0-2 on the power play in the period.UML netted the equalizer with a power play goal at 9:35 of second period. The goal came on the River Hawks second shot of the period.  The goal was scored by Matt Ferreira on a shot that hit the goal pipe and bounced in. Shayne Thompson and Chad Ruhwedel assisted on the tally. New Hampshire went back on top with a goal by Henrion that found its way through traffic and under the pads of UML netminder Doug Carr at 13:25 of the second. Greg Burke and Austin Block assisted on the eventual game-winner that came after a New Hampshire offensive flurry. UNH held a 15-4 shot edge in the frame despite three River Hawk power plays. Play was even in a scoreless third period with the River Hawks holding a 13-10 shot edge thanks in large part to 1:38 of 6-4 power play, empty-net play to conclude the contest.DiGirolamo stopped 24 shots including 13 in the final frame. He improves to 4-1-2 overall. Carr, who turned away 41 shots, falls to 2-3-1 on the season. The Wildcats held a commanding 43-25 shot advantage.

SCOUTING THE CATAMOUNTS: Vermont enters Sunday's game with New Hampshire with a 1-6-4 overall mark and a 1-5-3 mark in Hockey East. The Catamounts are trying to snap a three-game unbeaten streak. UVM's only win was a 5-3 win over Boston College on Nov. 13, 2010. Last weekend, the Catamounts tied Northeastern 2-2 on Nov. 26 and lost to Boston College 6-0 on Nov. 28. Vermont is led offensively by Wahsontiio Stacey, who has seven points in 11 games with six goals and an assist. In net, junior Rob Madore is 1-6-4 with a 3.06 GAA and a .899 save percentage.

SERIES HISTORY VS. VERMONT: The Wildcats own the advantage in the all-time series vs. Vermont at 68-16-4 in 88 all-time meetings dating back to Dec. 14, 1963. UNH is 10-2-3 against the Catamounts since they became a member of Hockey East during the 2005-06 season. This year,  the Wildcats won regular season series 2-0-1 with a 5-2 win up in Burlington, a 5-4 overtime win and a 3-3 overtime tie in the last two meetings (both at Whittemore Center). Coach Umile in his 20-year coaching career has registered a 24-6-3 mark against Vermont in 32 meetings. Overall, the Wildcats are 18-3-3 in the last 24 meetings with Vermont. Captain Peter LeBlanc is the leading active scorer against Vermont with 14 points in 12 games, while Brian Foster is 4-1-1 in seven all-time appearances against UVM.

SCORING LEADERS VS. THE CATAMOUNTS:
Player    GP    G-A-P    
Paul Thompson    12    2-8-10
Phil DeSimone    12    1-7-8
Blake Kessel    9    4-3-7
Mike Sislo    12    3-4-7
Stevie Moses    9    0-6-6
Damon Kipp    9    2-2-4
Matt Campanale    10    1-2-3
Greg Manz    9    2-0-2
Greg Burke    6    2-0-2
Mike Borisenok    6    1-1-2
Austin Block    1    0-1-1
Dalton Speelman    6    0-1-1
Brett Kostolansky    3    0-1-1
Mike Beck    5    0-0-0
John Henrion    4    0-0-0
Connor Hardowa    5    0-0-0
Kevin McCarey    5    0-0-0
Scott Pavelski    2    0-0-0    
Goaltending Stats
Player    GP/Min    GA    GAA    W-L-T    SV    SV%
no goalies with experience against UVM

LAST TIME THESE TEAMS MET (March 14, 2010): Jay Anctil scored at 15:52 of overtime to lift the Vermont men's ice hockey team to a 1-0 victory against in the decisive Game 3 of the Hockey East quarterfinals at the Whittemore Center. UNH goaltender Brian Foster finished with a career-high 50 saves, including nine in the extra session. He stopped 11 shots in the first period, followed by 14 and 16 in the subsequent periods of regulation.

LAST TIME OUT (11/27/10 VS. MERRIMACK): Matt DiGirolamo recorded a career-high 41 saves and Paul Thompson tallied a goal and an assist to lift the sixth-ranked men's hockey team to Saturday night's 2-1 Hockey East victory against 18th-ranked Merrimack College at the Whittemore Center. Following two scoreless periods of play, the Warriors capitalized on a power play to take a 1-0 lead at 4:12 of the third period. Joe Cucci won possession in the left corner and moved the puck to Stephane Da Costa in the lower-left circle. Da Costa quickly threw the puck to the top of the crease and Chris Barton redirected a shot into the net. That lead was short-lived, however, as UNH rallied to tie the score at 7:15 on a goal by Damon Kipp, whose shot from the right circle found the upper-right corner of the cage. Thompson, with the pass from the slot to Kipp, and Mike Beck set up the goal.New Hampshire took a 2-1 lead at 11:53 when Thompson scored his seventh goal of the season. Mike Sislo led a rush down the left side of the slot and dropped a pass diagonally back to Thompson, whose shot from the inner-right circle beat Merrimack goalie Joe Cannata (25 saves). Matt Campanale was also credited with an assist.

DECEMBERS TO REMEMBER: UNH has won seven-straight games in December including a perfect 6-0 over the last two seasons. New Hampshire's last loss in December came on Dec. 28, 2007 at North Dakota.
Year        Record        GF/GA
2009-10        3-0-0         11-6
2008-09        3-0-0        14-10

TOP LINE PRODUCING:  UNH's top line of Phil DeSimone, Paul Thompson and Mike Sislo have combined for 10 goals, 25 assists and 35 points over the last six games. The group is averaging 1.67 gpg and 5.8 ppg.
Date    Thompson    Sislo    DeSimone
11/12 UMass    0-2-2     1-1-2    1-1-2
11/13 UMass    0-3-3    1-0-1    0-2-2
11/19 BU    2-1-3    0-1-1    1-2-3
11/20 @BU    1-1-2    0-2-2    0-1-1
11/23 Brown    0-1-1    2-2-4    0-3-3
11/27 Merr.    1-1-2    0-1-1    0-0-0
Totals     4-9-13    4-7-11    2-9-11

'CATS EXTENDS WHITTEMORE CENTER UNBEATEN STREAK TO 23 AGAINST HOCKEY EAST FOE:  With a 2-1 win over Merrimack, UNH is 17-0-7 in the last 24 Hockey East contests at Whittemore Center. New Hampshire's last home league loss came on Jan. 24, 2009 against BU.

THOMPSON FIRST IN HOCKEY EAST IN SCORING; LINEMATES RIGHT BEHIND: Paul Thompson ranks first in Hockey East in scoring with 18 points, while his linemates Phil DeSimone (17 pts) and Mike Sislo (16 pts) rank second and fifth, respectively.

DIGI TURNS ASIDE CAREER-HIGH 41 AGAINST MERRIMACK: Matt DiGirolamo stopped a career-high 41 shots including 33 shots in the final two periods against the Warriors. In eight league starts, DiGirolamo has a 1.73 GAA and a .941 save percentage with two goals or fewer allowed in six games.

THOMPSON; SISLO STREAKING: Paul Thompson and Mike Sislo are riding season-long six game scoring streaks.

DeSIMONE FIRST IN HOCKEY EAST IN ASSISTS: Phil DeSimone has a league-best 13 assists this season.

1ST IN 2ND AND 3RD: UNH  ranks first in Hockey East in second and third period scoring. The 'Cats have a league-best 20 goals in the second and 14 tallies in the third.

DiGIROLAMO LOGGING THE MINUTES: Matt DiGirolamo has a notched a league-best 795:54 of time between the pipes for New Hampshire.

'CATS OFF TO BEST START SINCE 2006-07: UNH is off to its best start since the 2006-07 season when the 'Cats were 10-2-1 over the first 13 games.
Year        Record (Pct.)        Final Record
2010-11        7-2-4 (.692)        ---
2009-10        4-6-3 (.423)        18-14-7
2008-09        5-5-3 (.507)        20-13-5
2007-08        8-4-1 (.653)        25-10-3
2006-07        10-2-1 (.807)        26-11-2

SCORING BY CLASS: 2010-11 breakdown of scoring by class.
Class    G-A-P    G-A-P %.
Seniors:    18-36-54    40-51-47
Juniors:    13-17-30    29-51-26
Sophomores:    13-18-31    29-25-27
Freshmen:    1-0-1    2-0-1

TO THIS POINT LAST YEAR: A comparison through 12 games between this season and last season.
    09-10        10-11
Record     3-6-2        6-2-4
HE Record    3-2-1        4-1-2
Goals scored    38            43
Goals scored/PG    3.17        3.58
Goals Allowed    46            34
Goals Allowed/PG    3.83        2.83
Shots    341        467
Shots Allowed    385        369
Power Play    17.6%         21.1%
    (9-51)        (12-57)
Penalty Kill    76.4%         83.0%
    (42-55)        (39-47)
Top 3 Scorers    Butler        DeSimone
    10-5-15        4-13-17
    Kessel        Thompson
    3-10-13        6-10-16
    LeBlanc        Sislo
    4-7-11        7-8-15

WHERE IS UNH RANKED?: Here is a week-by-week look at the 'Cats in the national polls and the HE standings:
Date     USA TODAY    USCHO     HE
9/27            8th    N/P    3rd (pre)
10/4            N/P    10th    3rd (pre)
10/11        9th    9th    4th
10/18        7th­­­    7th    6th
10/25        10th    10th        7th
11/1            10th    10th    9th
11/8            8th    9th    4th
11/15        8th    7th    3rd
11/22        6th    6th    3rd
11/29        5th    5th    3rd

THE NATIONAL POLLS:
USCHO.com/CBS College Sports Division I Men's Poll (Nov. 30)
Rk.      Team              (FPV)    Rec.     Pts     LW
 1     Minnesota-Duluth        (49)              11-1-2     999     1
 2     Boston University       (1)               7-1-5           901     2
 2     Yale                                       8-1-0   901     3
 4     Nebraska-Omaha                             9-2-1   845     4
 5     New Hampshire                              7-2-4   775     6
 6     Miami                                      9-4-3   731     5
 7     North Dakota                               9-5-2   689     9
 8     Boston College                             9-5-0   640     7
 9     Maine                                      6-3-3   598    10
10    Denver                                    10-4-2   550    12
11     Michigan                                   8-4-4   546     8
12     Notre Dame                                 9-4-2   455    11
13     Union                                      7-2-3   404    13
14     Alaska                                     8-5-3   324    14
15     Wisconsin                                  7-6-3   254    16
16     Rensselaer                                 7-3-3   231    17
17     Minnesota                                  8-5-1   230    15
18     Merrimack                                  5-3-4   178    18
19     Western Michigan                           7-4-3   124    19
20     Ferris State                               7-5-3    75    20
Others Receiving Votes: Dartmouth 21, Brown 15,  Robert Morris 8, Clarkson 2, Niagara 2, Colorado College 1, Michigan State 1

USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine (Nov. 30)
Rk.    School, Pts. (FPV)        Last     Record    Weeks
1    Minnesota Duluth, 510 (34)    1    11-1-2    9
2    Yale University, 454        3    8-1-0    9
3    Boston University, 448        2    7-1-5    9
4    Nebraska Omaha, 405        4    9-2-1    7
5    New Hampshire, 368        6    7-2-4    9
6    Miami University, 325        5    9-4-3    9
7    North Dakota, 299        10    9-5-2    9
8    Boston College, 256        7    9-5-0    9
9    University of Maine, 233    9    6-3-3    9
10    University of Denver, 195    13    10-4-2    9
11    University of Michigan, 194    8    8-4-4    9
12    University of Notre Dame, 132    11    9-4-2    6
13    Union College, 126        12    7-2-3    6
14    University of Alaska, 70        14    8-5-3    8
15    Rensselaer, 20        NR    7-3-3    1
Others receiving votes: University of Wisconsin, 17; Merrimack College, 13; University of Minnesota, 13; Dartmouth College, 1; Robert Morris University, 1.

Wildcats Among National leaders: Below is a list of where UNH players and team rank nationally.
Individual    Rank    Stats
Points Per Game:
Paul Thompson     10th     1.38 ppg
Phil DeSimone     19th     1.31 ppg
Goals Per Game:
Mike Sislo     38th        0.54 gpg
Paul Thompson         38th        0.54 gpg
Assists Per Game:
Phil DeSimone             10th              1.00 apg
Paul Thompson              21st            0.85 apg
Power Play Goals:
Mike Sislo     25th     3 ppg
Paul Thompson      25th      3 ppg
Short-Handed Goals:
Dalton Speelman      15th     1 shg
Stevie Moses     15th     1 shg
Game-Winning Goal:
Mike Sislo     6th     2 gwg
Paul Thompson      6th       2 gwg
Defensemen Scoring:
Blake Kessel        19th     0.77 ppg
Goals Against Average:
Matt DiGirolamo     32nd             2.56 gaa
Save Percentage:
Matt DiGirolamo        24th     .917
Winning Percentage:
Matt DiGirolamo     15th     .692
Team
Scoring Offense       14th     3.46
Scoring Defense          22nd     2.69
Scoring Margin     12th     0.77
Penalty Minutes     50th       10.5
Power Play     20th     19.7
Penalty Kill       29th     82.0
Combined Special Teams     41st         47.7
Winnning Percentage       6th     .692

Among the League Leaders: Where some of the Wildcats rank in Hockey East.
        Player    All Games    HE Games
Points     Paul Thompson     1st (18 pts)    2nd (13 pts)
        Phil DeSimone     2nd (17 pts)     9th (8 pts)
        Mike Sislo     4th (16 pts)     13th (7 pts)
Goals           Mike Sislo     4th (7 g)         33rd (2 g)
        Paul Thompson      4th (7 g)      3rd (5 g)
              John Henrion     13th (5 g)      18th (3 g)
               Stevie Moses      13th (5 g)          59th (1 g)
Assists           Phil DeSimone      1st (13 a)       7th (6 a)
                          Paul Thompson      2nd (11 a)       2nd (8 a)
                          Blake Kessel     10th (8 a)           34th (3 a)
PP Points           Paul Thompson      4th (8 pts)      3rd (6 pts)
                    Mike Sislo     6th (6 pts)     14th (3 pts)
                   Phil DeSimone      6th (6 pts)       7th (4 pts)
        Blake Kessel     6th (6 pts)     14th (3 pts)
PP Goals            Paul Thompson     3rd (3 ppg)         15th (1 ppg)
                Mike Sislo     3rd (3 ppg)         15th (1 ppg)
                   Phil DeSimone     11th (2 ppg)     3rd (2 ppg)
SH Points           Four Tied     6th (1 shp)     n/a
SH Goals     Dalton Speelman 5th (1 shg)     n/a
                Stevie Moses     5th (1 shg)     n/a
GW Goals       Mike Sislo      1st (2 gwg)       5th (1 gwg)
                Paul Thompson     1st (2 gwg)      1st (2 gwg)
Def. Scoring      Blake Kessel     2nd (10 pts)     7th (4 pts)
         Brett Kostolansky 8th (6 pts)      13th (3 pts)
        Connor Hardowa     13th (5 pts)     25th (2 pts)
GAA     Matt DiGirolamo     5th (2.56)     2nd (1.73)
Save %     Matt DiGirolamo     5th (.917)     3rd (.941)
Win %     Matt DiGirolamo     2nd (.692)    2nd (.750)
Saves     Matt DiGirolamo     2nd (376)     7th (225)
Minutes     Matt DiGirolamo 1st (795:54)          7th (486:52)
Wins     Matt DiGirolamo     2nd (7)     2nd (5)

WHERE UNH IS RANKED IN HOCKEY EAST:
    Overall             HE games
Goals/per game     3.46/2nd     2.62/4th
GAA         2.69/5th     1.75/1st
Power Play     19.7/2nd     19.4/3rd
Penalty Kill      82.0/5th     89.3/3rd
Special Teams Net     +2/2nd      +2/3rd
1st Period Scoring          11/6th     8/4th
2nd Period Scoring        20/1st       9/3rd
3rd Period Scoring     14/1st     4/10th
Overtime Scoring             0/3rd        0/3rd

UNH HOCKEY ON TELEVISION: UNH will have nine games broadcast live on TV in 2010-11. NESN will air five games, three will air on CBS College Sports, while one will air locally on ONN (Ohio).
DATE    GAME    Channel    RES.
Oct. 8     at Miami                 CBS-College Sports    L, 3-6
Oct. 9     at Miami                    ONN (OHIO)    W, 6-3
Nov. 19     Boston U.               NESN    W, 5-2
Dec. 10      at Maine               CBS-College Sports
Jan. 22     Boston U.     NESN
Feb. 4      Maine    NESN
Feb. 5     Maine    NESN
Feb. 18    at Vermont    CBS-College Sports            
March 4     at Boston College      NESN

ALL IN THE FAMILY: UNH junior defenseman Blake Kessel is the younger brother of Toronto Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel, while sophomore forward Scott Pavelski is the younger brother of  Joe Pavelski of the San Jose Sharks.

WILDCATS PICKED THIRD IN HOCKEY EAST PRESEASON POLL:
Rk.            Team (FPV)                            Pts.
1.                Boston College (9    90
2.                Maine (1)        80
3.                New Hampshire      76
4.                Boston University               59
5.                Northeastern                    54
6.                Vermont                                  53
7.                Merrimack                    48
8.                UMass-Lowell             33
9.                Massachusetts            26
10.          Providence                  21

WILDCAT AWARDS: Here is a list of awards that Wildcat players have won to date this season:
Player    Award    Date
Blake Kessel    INCH Preseason All-America First Team    10/7
Blake Kessel    InsideHockey.com's Hobey Watch    10/7
Matt DiGirolamo    HE Defensive Player of the Week    10/18
UNH Wildcats    HE Team of the Week    11/8
Matt DiGirolamo    HE Player of the Week    11/8
Matt DiGirolamo    INCH National Player of the Week    11/8
Paul Thompson    HE co-Player of the Week    11/2

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