The University of New Hampshire women’s ice hockey team, tied for first the nation in the USCHO Poll and second in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll, is 7-0-0 overall with a 1-0-0 record in Hockey East league action. The Wildcats play host to 10th-ranked Boston College (Oct. 27; 7 pm) and Boston University (Oct. 29; 2 pm) this weekend. UNH (first), BC (second) and BU (third) were the top three teams in the 2006 Hockey East preseason coaches’ poll and all three enter the weekend undefeated.
    Friday’s game vs. BC will be broadcast live on the UNH Sports Network. Live stats for both games will be available at www.unhwildcats.com.
    UNH has a 34-1-2 lifetime record, including 3-1-0 last season, vs. Boston College. The Wildcats are 15-0-1 at home in this series, and that includes 12-0-1 at the Whittemore Center; the only blemish on an otherwise perfect home mark occurred Jan. 8, 2005 (2-2 tie). UNH head coach Brian McCloskey has a 13-1-1 ledger vs. BC.
    The ‘Cats have won 14 times by shutout, including twice last season (once in the Hockey East championship game; 6-0). The Eagles’ lone victory in the series was a 3-2 overtime win Nov. 5, 2005 at Conte Forum.
    New Hampshire has a 9-0-0 lifetime record, including 3-0-0 last season, vs. Boston University.  The ‘Cats have won all five home games – two at the Whittemore Center – in this series and coach McCloskey is 3-0-0 vs. the Terriers.
    Six of UNH’s nine victories have been by shutout and that includes two last season, when the Wildcats outscored BU by a 16-1 margin in three games.

    New Hampshire enters the weekend with a 7-0-0 overall record that includes 3-0-0 at the Whittemore Center and 1-0-0 in Hockey East league action.
    UNH has recorded four shutouts in just seven games this season. Senior goaltender Melissa Bourdon has three shutouts this season and has held the opposition scoreless in each of her last two games (Brown, Maine) to carry a shutout streak of 124:27 into this weekend’s action. Bourdon has 24 career shutouts, two less than the school record held by All-American Jen Huggon. Rookie goalie Lucy Schoedel recorded a shutout in her collegiate debut, a 20-save effort vs. Bemidji State.
    UNH has scored 16 of its 32 goals on the power play, and that includes each of the team’s last nine goals (spanning three games). The Wildcats have scored multiple power-play goals in six of seven games this season. The only exception was an 0-for-11 performance Sept. 30 vs. Niagara.

    Here is a comparison of how UNH, Boston College and Boston University stack up in the national statistics (34 teams):
                       UNH               BC                BU
Off. (gpg)      2 (4.57)    10 (3.60)      12 (3.17)
Def. (gpg)     4 (1.29)      5 (1.40)        2 (1.00)
PP (%)          3 (.308)    11 (.171)      13 (.158)
PK (%)          4 (.936)      8 (.897)        2 (.953)

    New Hampshire enters the weekend with one of the top-ranked offenses on the strength of a potent power play. The opposition – Boston College and Boston University – has been stingy on defense with a strong penalty kill.

    UNH  extended it regular-season unbeaten streak to 33 games (32-0-1) with last Sunday’s 4-1 victory at Colgate University.
    New Hampshire has won 21 consecutive 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 33-game unbeaten streak, the ‘Cats have recorded 14 shutouts.

    Dating back to the 2004-05 season, the Wildcats have won 19 straight home games and are unbeaten in the last 25 games at 22-0-3. The last visiting team to win at the Whitt was Dartmouth College (Jan. 5, 2005).
    Since the arena opened in the 1995-96 season, UNH has compiled a 140-29-13 home record, which is a .806 winning percentage.
    UNH won all 17 games at the Whittemore Center in the 2005-06 season. New Hampshire had not gone through a season undefeated at home since a 7-0-1 record at Snively Arena in the 1992 season.

    Four of UNH’s next five games are against nationally-ranked teams. The Wildcats play 10th-ranked Boston College on Friday and travel to play the Eagles on Nov. 2. Third-ranked St. Lawrence University comes to the Whittemore Center for a two-game series Nov. 11-12.
    The only game vs. an unranked opponent in the next five is Sunday’s matchup against Boston University, which is undefeated at 6-0-0.

    A handful of UNH skaters are among the national leaders. Sam Faber and Kacey Bellamy are ranked in three statistics. Both can be found on the goals – Faber (#5; 1.00) and Bellamy (#14; 0.86) – and power-play goals – Bellamy (#1; six) and Faber (#7; three) – lists. Faber is also No. 11 in points per game (1.57) while Bellamy is No. 9 in defensemen scoring at 1.14 ppg.
    Martine Garland ranks No. 6 in defenseman scoring (1.43), Sadie Wright-Ward is No. 8 in assists (1.14 per game) and Melissa Bourdon is No. 9 in goals-against-average (1.57).

    For the second time in three years, the UNH women’s ice hockey team will entertain guests at the Whittemore Center for the Thanksgiving holiday. The 2006 UNH Tournament features two teams from Hockey East – UNH and Boston College – and two from the CHA (Wayne State and Mercyhurst).
    The tourney opens Nov. 24 when BC faces off against Mercyhurst at 4 pm; UNH vs. Wayne State follows at 7 p.m. The second day of action features BC vs. Wayne State (4 pm) and UNH vs. Mercyhurst (7 pm).

    For years now, photos of UNH women’s hockey teams and headshots of current Wildcats have been displayed on the concourse of the Whittemore Center. On December 10, 2006, this display will officially become commemorated as the Russell J. McCurdy Gallery with a dedication ceremony prior to the game vs. intrastate rival Dartmouth College.
    McCurdy guided the Wildcats to a 264-36-10 overall record for an .868 winning percentage in 15 seasons (1978-1992). The program went undefeated in the initial four seasons (1978-81) at 72-0-1.
    UNH won the EAIAW championship all four years of its existence (1980-93) and the ‘Cats won four ECAC titles under McCurdy’s direction.
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