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The University of New Hampshire women’s hockey team is ranked No. 3 in both national polls and takes a 17-2-3 overall record, which includes 9-1-0 in Hockey East and 4-1-1 on the road, into the Jan. 20 matchup at 4th-ranked Dartmouth College (14-4-2). Game time at Thompson Arena is 1 p.m.
UNH has a 29-11-4 lifetime record, including this season’s 3-3 tie at the Whittemore Center, against Dartmouth but the Big Green has a 7-3-1 edge in the last 11 meetings. The Wildcats have a 13-8-1 record at Thompson Arena. Prior to last season, however, UNH had lost six consecutive road games in this intrastate series. From the 2000 to 2006 seasons, only one of 12 games was decided by one goal.
In this season’s game at the Whittemore Center, Dartmouth’s Sarah Toupal scored an extra-skater goal with 19 seconds remaining in regulation to lift the Big Green into a 3-3 tie. After falling behind 2-0 in the first period, UNH rallied to take a 3-2 lead on goals by Martine Garland, Courtney Sheary and Jennifer Hitchcock. UNH goalie Melissa Bourdon finished with 26 saves and DC counterpart Carli Cemis stopped 34 saves.
600 AND COUNTING
UNH is the winningest women’s college hockey program in the United States. The Wildcats became the first to reach the milestone of 600 victories earlier this month vs. Maine. Now in their 30th year as a varsity sport at New Hampshire, the ‘Cats enter the weekend with an overall record of 600-155-51 for a .776 winning percentage. Here is a time line for each century mark:
Mark Date Opponent Result Game # Record
1st win 12/03/77 Colby 8-4 1 1-0-0
100 02/02/83 at Dartmouth 7-1 103 100-1-2
200 01/15/89 St. Lawrence 5-2 227 200-20-7
300 11/27/94 vs. Providence 5-2 371 300-55-16
400 11/21/98 at Yale 9-2 506 400-80-26
500 02/02/03 Providence 4-1 668 500-131-37
600 01/13/07 Maine 3-1 806 600-155-51
THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
New Hampshire enters the weekend with a 17-2-3 overall record that includes 4-1-1 on the road, 3-0-3 vs. the ECAC and 4-2-3 vs. nationally-ranked teams.
Saturday’s game at Dartmouth is the last non-conference regular-season game of the season for the Wildcats, who close the schedule with 11 Hockey East league games.
Including this weekend, nine of the last 12 games are on the road.
UNH’s shutout streak of Maine ended at 247:37 with the Black Bears’ third-period tally on Jan. 13. Rookie goaltender Lucy Schoedel’s personal shutout streak ended at 111:17 on that goal.
New Hampshire has a 35-10 scoring advantage in the second period with a 313-99 shot advantage in that stanza – that’s an average of 4.5 shots allowed in the second period.
UNH’s penalty kill unit was perfect in the two-game series vs. Maine (8-for-8). The Wildcats’ had not allowed a power-play goal in consecutive games since Oct. 27 & 29 in games vs. Boston College and Boston University.
UNH recorded a season-high 59 shots vs. Maine on Jan. 12. The 25 shots in the third period is the team’s highest single-period mark this season.
HOCKEY EAST TOURNEY COMES TO DURHAM
UNH’s Whittemore Center will be the site of the 2007 Women’s Hockey East Championship. The semifinal games will take place March 3 and the championship game is March 4. Game times have been announced as 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. for the semifinal games, and the title game will begin at 12:30 p.m.
This will be the first time in the league’s five-year history that the tournament will be held outside of Boston. Northeastern University’s Matthews Arena was the site of the 2003, 2004 and 2006 championships, and Boston University’s Walter Brown Arena was the venue in 2005.
Tickets for the 2007 Women’s Hockey East Championship Tournament are on sale now and may be purchased in person at the Whittemore Center Box Office, by phone at 1-866-WILDCAT, or on-line via www.unhwildcats.com.
Shannon Clement recorded her 50th career point with the second of her career-high three assists Jan. 12 vs. Maine.
Nicole Hekle is currently tied for 12th on UNH’s career assist leaderboard (with Marcy Delaney; 1980-83) at 77. She is 19th in career points with 126.
Jennifer Hitchcock enters Saturday’s game in Hanover ranked 16th in career goals with 61.
Lindsey Caleo recorded her 50th career assist with the last of her three assists at (then) No. 9 UConn on Jan. 6. The three assists (and points) matched her single-game highs. Caleo enters the weekend with 73 points in 125 career games.
Senior goaltender Melissa Bourdon became the sole holder of the New Hampshire record for career shutouts with her 27th in a seven-save effort against Maine on Jan. 12; the 27 shutouts surpasses the previous benchmark of 26 held by All-American Jen Huggon (2000-03). Bourdon is also the NCAA career shutout record holder with that mark of 27.
With that Jan. 12 victory, Bourdon also ascended into a tie for first place on the program’s career wins list (with Alicia Roberts) at 76.
Bourdon became the NCAA record holder with her 25th career shutout, which was a 13-save performance vs. Boston University on Oct. 29. Bourdon has six shutouts this season. A three-time Hockey East Goaltending Champion, she recorded 10 shutouts – UNH’s second-highest single-season total – last season, four as a sophomore in 2005 and seven as a rookie, including one in her collegiate debut.
Fifteen of her 27 shutouts have been in Hockey East league action and two have come in postseason play. Bourdon holds the UNH record for consecutive shutouts (five) and consecutive shutout minutes (341:49).
Bourdon also ranks among the Wildcats’ career leaders in GAA (2nd; 1.63), saves (3rd; 1,867), save percentage (5th; .917) and minutes (3rd; 6237:49).
STACKING THEM UP
Here is a comparison of how UNH and Dartmouth enter the weekend in the national statistics (34 teams):
Off. (gpg) 4 (4.18) 8 (3.90)
Def. (gpg) 4 (1.50) 5 (1.65)
PP (%) 4 (.258) 5 (.258)
PK (%) 9 (.883) 3 (.904)