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The University of New Hampshire women’s hockey team, ranked No. 5 both polls, enters the week with an 18-3-4 overall record and in second place in the Hockey East standings with 21 points (10-1-1 record). UNH travels to Boston University (15-8-2, 7-6-1) on Wednesday for a seven o’clock faceoff and plays host to Boston College (18-6-2, 12-4-0) on Saturday at two o’clock.
Live stats for Saturday’s game will be available online at www.unhwildcats.com.
UNH has a 10-0-0 lifetime record, including a 4-0 home win Oct. 29 of this season, against Boston University. The Wildcats have outscored the Terriers 20-1 in the last four meetings (since the Terriers were reinstated as a varsity program last season) and that includes last year’s 5-1 win at Walter Brown Arena.
Seven of UNH’s 10 wins have been by shutout. The Wildcats have blanked the Terriers each of the last two games and enter this week’s matchup with a streak of 161 minutes, 52 holding BU scoreless.
In this season’s earlier matchup, Leah Craig scored a goal in both the first and second periods, then Sam Faber and Jennifer Hitchcock netted power-play goals 1:41 apart in the third period to propel the ‘Cats to a 4-0 win. UNH’s Melissa Bourdon stopped all 13 BU shots while counterpart Allyse Wilcox recorded 35 saves. The goal marked Hitchcock’s 100th career point and the shutout was the fourth of the season and 25th of her career for Bourdon.
UNH has a 35-2-2 lifetime record, including this year’s 1-1-0 mark with both teams winning on home ice, against Boston College. BC has won two of the last five meetings in the series after UNH went undefeated in the first 34 games (32-0-2) vs. the Eagles.
These teams met in last year’s Hockey East championship game as the top two seeds and New Hampshire recorded a 6-0 victory.
BC scored seven goals the last time these teams faced off; in comparison, the Eagles scored a total of six goals in the previous six games against the Wildcats.
Back on Oct. 27, 2006 at the Whittemore Center, BC took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission and held that one-goal advantage through 40 minutes of play despite UNH’s 23-7 shot advantage. The ‘Cats finally pulled even on Hitchcock’s power-play goal at 14:17 of the third period, then took a 2-1 lead when she struck again at 17:47. The Eagles pulled goaltender Molly Schaus in favor of an extra skater with 1:46 remaining but could not even the score. Schaus recorded double digits in saves every period (11-12-10–33) while Bourdon turned aside 15 shots defending UNH’s goal.
In the Nov.. 2 rematch at Conte Forum, BC netted three goals in the last 6:25 of the opening stanza to take a 3-0 lead, then scored 58 seconds into the second period to extend the advantage to four goals. The Wildcats scored two minutes later to close within 4-1 but the Eagles potted goals 45 seconds apart late in the frame to build a 6-2 lead. UNH recorded the shot advantage in all three periods for an overall edge of 40-24. All three of UNH’s goaltenders saw action while Schaus went the distance to record 38 saves.
NO. 1 IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE
UNH senior goaltender Melissa Bourdon ranks No. 1 on the program’s career lists for both victories and shutouts. Bourdon climbed to the top of the wins list January 27 with her 77th career victory, which was a 19-save effort in UNH’s 3-1 road win against Providence College; the previous benchmark of 76 was held by Alicia Roberts (1997-2000).
Bourdon became UNH’s career shutout record holder Jan. 12 vs. Maine with a seven-save effort at the Whittemore Center. It marked her sixth shutout of the season and 27th of her career. She surpassed All-American Jen Huggon’s benchmark of 26.
Bourdon also holds the UNH records for both consecutive shutouts (four) and shutout minutes (341:49).
Bourdon is the NCAA record holder for career shutouts with her mark of 27; Desirae Clark of Mercyhurst College held the previous mark of 24. On the career wins list, Bourdon ranks third in NCAA history; ahead of her on the list are Barrie (78) and Jody Horak (Minnesota; 83).
A three-time Hockey East Goaltending Champion, Bourdon 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; 1.64), saves (3rd; 1,907) and minutes (3rd; 6357:36). Roberts is directly ahead of her in both saves (2,090) and minutes (6526:33).
THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
New Hampshire enters the week at 18-3-4 overall with a 10-1-1 mark in Hockey East, 5-2-1 on the road and 12-1-3 at home. The Wildcats are 5-2-3 in the last 10 games.
UNH has a 2-0-4 record in games decided by overtime this season; dating back to last season, the ‘Cats are unbeaten in the last seven OT games (2-0-5). The program’s record for overtime games in a season is eight, and the mark for ties in a season is six.
UNH’s penalty kill has been successful in 25 of its last 26 chances, which spans five games and calculates to a .962 percentage.
The Wildcats’ streak of 11 consecutive games with 30+ shots came to an end last Saturday at Providence, when they recorded 27 shots in the 3-1 victory. The ‘Cats responded with 42 shots, including 20 on the power play, in Sunday’s 2-2 tie.
Lindsey Caleo (3g, 4a) and Leah Craig (5g, 2a) have been UNH’s top point producers in January with seven points apiece.
LAST TIME OUT
UNH took three of a possible four points in a weekend series against Providence with a 3-1 road win last Saturday and a 2-2 draw Sunday at the Whittemore Center. Micaela Long led the offense with three points (2g, 1a) as she recorded her third multiple-point game of the season Saturday and netted the game-tying goal Sunday; Martine Garland recorded an assist in both games.
In the series opener, UNH goalie Melissa Bourdon recorded 19 saves and PC counterpart Jana Bugden stopped 24 shots. Both teams utilized a different netminder the following day, and UNH’s Lucy Schoedel turned aside 16 shots while Danielle Ciarletta made 40 saves.
STACKING THEM UP
Here is a comparison of how UNH, Boston University and Boston College enter the week in the national statistics (34 teams):
UNH BU BC
Off. (gpg) 7 (3.96) 19 (2.72) 6 (4.04)
Def. (gpg) 4 (1.60) 10 (2.16) 7 (1.81)
PP (%) 5 (.241) 19 (.146) 11 (.209)
PK (%) 6 (.892) 12 (.872) 7 (.891)
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.
HOME SWEET HOME
New Hampshire is unbeaten in its last five home games (3-0-2) and has a 29-1-3 record at the Whittemore Center since the beginning of last season (12-1-2 this season). Since the building opened in November 1995, the Wildcats have compiled a 149-30-16 record for a .805 winning percentage in their home facility.
UNH’s 32-game home unbeaten streak of 28-0-4 came to an end Nov. 25 with a 2-1 loss to Mercyhurst College. The last visiting team to win at the Whitt had been Dartmouth College (Jan. 5, 2005).
The Wildcats went 5-1-1 on their seven-game homestand in November and outscored the opposition by a 30-7 margin with two shutouts.