The University of New Hampshire women’s hockey team, ranked No. 4 in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll and No. 5 in the USCHO.com Poll, enters the week with a 20-3-4 overall record and atop the Hockey East standings by virtue of a 12-1-1 league record. UNH hits the road this weekend for games against Northeastern (3-23-2, 2-13-2) on Saturday and Providence (13-11-4, 10-2-3) on Sunday. Both games begin at 2 p.m.
    UNH has a 66-29-7 lifetime record, including 2-0-0 this season, against Northeastern University. The Wildcats have won 17 consecutive games vs. the Huskies dating back to the 2002-03 season with eight wins by shutout in that span. UNH has won six straight road games in this series and has a 25-15-1 road record vs. NU.
    Earlier this season, the Wildcats swept a two-game set at the Whittemore Center with 7-2 and 5-1 victories. Jennifer Hitchcock and Angela Taylor both finished with three goals and a total of four points, while Sam Faber (five points) and Sadie Wright-Ward (four) recorded all of their points on assists. Melissa Bourdon made 15 saves in the 7-2 win and Brittany Busa stopped seven shots in the 5-1 victory; Sarah Belliveau played both games in net for the Huskies. UNH recorded a 91-25 shot advantage in the two games and went 1-for-5 on the power play as well as 5-for-7 on the penalty kill.
    UNH has a 64-38-11 lifetime record, including 1-0-1 this season, against Providence College. The Wildcats have a 21-18-5 road record in this series and have won two straight at Schneider Arena; the ‘Cats have not won three consecutive road games vs. the Friars since winning five in a row between the 1980–1983 seasons. New Hampshire is unbeaten in the last five games vs. the Friars (4-0-1) and 5-3-2 in the last 10.
    Earlier this season, UNH recorded a 3-1 road win (Jan. 27) and the teams skated to a 2-2 tie the next day in Durham. Hitchcock and Leah Craig netted first-period goals to give the ‘Cats a 2-0 lead at PC; the Friars pulled within one goal midway through the second stanza but UNH’s Micaela Long scored four minutes later to reestablish a two-goal advantage. Bourdon made 19 saves and PC’s Jana Bugden turned aside 24 shots. In the rematch, Providence took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission. Lindsey Caleo netted a second-period tally to tie the score but the Friars regained the lead midway through the stanza before Long once again tied the score in the third period. UNH recorded a 42-18 shot advantage, including 4-0 in OT. Lucy Schoedel was credited with 16 saves while Danielle Ciarletta stopped 40 shots defending PC’s goal.


    Jennifer Hitchcock was named TPS Player of the Week and Kelly Paton was honored as Mission Hockey Rookie of the Week by Hockey East on Monday.
    The pair of Wildcats helped vault UNH to the top of the Hockey East standings with last week’s victories against Boston University (4-1 on Jan. 31) and ninth-ranked Boston College (4-2 on Feb. 3).
    Hitchcock recorded three points with two goals and an assist. Her power-play tally vs. BC gave the Wildcats a 2-1 lead and put them ahead to stay. Hitchcock scored the team’s first goal at BU to pull the ‘Cats into a 1-1 tie early in the second period and she also set up the team’s third-period tally that gave them a 4-1 lead.
    Paton, a freshman forward, recorded three points with a goal and two assists. Against BU, she set up the game-winning goal and then scored 1:51 later to turn a 1-1 tie into a 3-1 lead for the ‘Cats. Paton also assisted on the game-winning goal vs. BC.

    New Hampshire enters the week at 20-3-4 overall with a 12-1-1 mark in Hockey East, 6-2-1 on the road and 5-3-3 vs. nationally-ranked teams. The Wildcats are 6-1-3 in the last 10 games.
    UNH’s penalty kill has been successful in 38 of its last 39 chances, which spans seven games and calculates to a .974 percentage.
    The Wildcats extended their league unbeaten streak to 10 games (9-0-1) with last week’s pair of victories.
    New Hampshire has recorded 20+ victories all five years under head coach Brian McCloskey and 14 times in the 30-year history of the program.
    Nicole Goguen, who entered last weekend scoreless on the season, matched her career highs in both assists and points with a two-assist game vs. Boston College on Feb. 3.
    The Wildcats’ streak of 11 consecutive games with 30+ shots came to an end last Jan. 27 at Providence, when they recorded 27 shots in the 3-1 victory. In three games since then, the ‘Cats recorded 42 shots, including 20 on the power play, in the Jan. 28 2-2 tie vs. PC, 41 at Boston University last Wednesday and 42 last Saturday vs. Boston College.
    Leah Craig (6g, 2a) was UNH’s top point producer in January with  eight points. Lindsey Caleo, Micaela Long and Kelly Paton each recorded four goals and three assists for seven points.

    Here is a comparison of how UNH, Northeastern University and Providence College enter the weekend in the national statistics (34 teams):
                            UNH            NU                  PC
Off. (gpg)       7 (3.96)       28 (2.07)       17 (2.75)
Def. (gpg)      4 (1.59)      31 (4.61)          8 (2.00)
PP (%)           5 (.238)      30 (.102)        17 (1.59)
PK (%)           3 (.901)      26 (.789)          6 (.897)

    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.
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