WOMEN'S HOCKEY RETURNS HOME FRIDAY
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THE MATCHUP

    The University of New Hampshire women’s ice hockey team, ranked second in both national polls, takes a 5-0-0 overall record into Friday night’s matchup against Brown University at the Whittemore Center. For the second time in as many years, Brown will open its season at UNH . Live stats will be available online at www.unhwildcats.com.
    The Wildcats have a 28-13-4 lifetime record, including last year’s home-and-home series split in which each team won on home ice, against Brown University. The Wildcats have a 17-3-2 mark at home in the series, and that includes 5-2-2 at the Whittemore Center.
    UNH head coach Brian McCloskey has a 3-2-0 record vs. the Bears, who hold a 6-4-0 edge in the last 10 meetings.
    In the 2005-06 season, UNH recorded a 5-1 victory at the Whittemore Center. The Wildcats led 1-0 at the end of one period, 2-0 at the end of two and extended the lead to 5-0 before the Bears scored with 1:51 remaining in the game. New Hampshire recorded a 41-12 shot advantage and went 3-for-7 on the power play.
    Two days later at BU’s Meehan Auditorium, the Bears scored three consecutive goals to build a 3-1 lead and held off the ‘Cats for a 3-2 victory; it was the Wildcats’ first loss of the season and only one of two losses they would have the entire regular season. UNH generated a 14-3 first-period shot advantage and a 1-0 lead, but Brown had the 8-4 edge in shots and tied the game in the second period.
    Melissa Bourdon was in net for UNH in both games, whereas Brown changed its goalies – Stacy Silverman played in Durham and O’Hara Shipe got the call in Providence.
    These programs faced off in the inaugural national championship  game (American Women’s College Hockey Alliance) in 1998 and the Wildcats prevailed 4-1 at the FleetCenter (now TD Banknorth Garden; Boston).
     UNH has won nine times by shutout, but the ‘Cats have not shut out the Bears since the 1992-93 season. All four of Brown’s shutout victories have come since the 1996-97 season.

HOCKEY EAST TOURNAMENT 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. 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.

THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
    New Hampshire enters the weekend with a 5-0-0 record following last weekend’s 4-0 victory at Maine. UNH is 2-0-0 at home and has yet to face off against an ECAC team this season.
    Ten of UNH’s 26 goals have been scored on the power play. The Wildcats have scored multiple power-play goals in four of five games this season; the only exception was an 0-for-11 performance vs. Niagara on Sept. 30. Each of the last three goals vs. Maine was a power-play tally.
    New Hampshire has been dominant in the second period, in which the ‘Cats have parlayed a 72-19 shot advantage into a 9-2 scoring advantage. UNH has outscored the opposition by that same score in the third period.
    UNH’s 4-3 overtime win vs. Niagara on Sept. 30 marked the team’s first win in OT since the ‘Cats defeated Niagara 4-3 on Oct. 16, 2004. Between those wins, UNH went 0-2-7 in overtime.
    The ‘Cats recorded 40+ shots in the first three games of the season and 18 vs. Minnesota, then doubled that at Maine.

A POINT A GAME
    Sam Faber and Sadie Wright-Ward are the two Wildcats who have recorded at least one point in every game this season. Faber leads the team in both goals (six) and points (10), is second in shooting percentage (.375) and third in assists (four); she has a goal in each of the last four games. Wright-Ward has at least one assist in all five games, including two last Saturday at Maine, for a team-leading six; she ranks third in points with seven.
    Including Faber (2.00 ppg) and Wright-Ward (1.40), five ‘Cats are averaging at least one point per game. Martine Garland, who recorded two goals and two assists vs. then-No. 3 Minnesota, has eight points in five games (1.60 ppg). Kacey Bellamy and Jennifer Hitchcock are exactly at 1.00 ppg in five games played.

APPROACHING 600
    UNH is the winningest women’s college hockey program in the United States. The Wildcats became the first to reach 500 victories and they are on the verge of No. 600. Now in their 30th year as a varsity sport at New Hampshire, the ‘Cats enter the weekend with an overall record of 588-153-48 for a .776 winning percentage.

REGULAR SEASON STREAK CONTINUES
    UNH  extended it regular-season unbeaten streak to 31 games (30-0-1) with last weekend’s 4-1 victory at Maine.
    New Hampshire has won 19 straight regular-season games. In fact, the 5-0 win in the season opener marked the fifth consecutive regular-season game won by shutout. Niagara’s tally at 2:53 of the first period of the next game ended UNH’s regular-season shutout streak at 345:12. In the 31-game unbeaten streak, the ‘Cats have recorded 12 shutouts.
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