The University of New Hampshire women’s hockey team, ranked No. 4 in this week’s national poll, enters the final week of the regular season as 2007 Hockey East regular-season champions with a 15-1-2 league record as part of an overall mark of 23-3-5. UNH wraps up the regular season with a road trip to Boston University (Feb. 21; 7 pm) and a two-game series at Vermont (Feb. 24-25; 2 pm).
    UNH has a perfect record of 11-0-0, including two wins this season, against Boston University. Back in late October, the Wildcats recorded a 4-0 victory at the Whittemore Center on the strength of two goals and a 39-13 shot advantage. Three weeks ago, UNH traveled to Walter Brown Arena and returned home with a 4-1 victory with a 41-16 edge in shots; BU held a 1-0 lead at the first intermission but the Wildcats responded with three tallies in the middle stanza.
    The Wildcats have shut out the Terriers all three games in Durham since BU returned to varsity status last season; BU has scored one goal in both home games vs. the ‘Cats.
    UNH has a perfect record of 13-0-0, including a 5-0 home win Dec. 2, against Vermont. The Wildcats are 4-0-0 on the road vs. the Catamounts, and that includes a 4-1 win in their most recent trip to Gutterson Fieldhouse. New Hampshire has outscored UVM 100-7 in 13 games with nine wins by shutout, including each of the last three. The Wildcats have held the Catamounts scoreless for a stretch of 183 minutes, 19 seconds.


    Junior defenseman and captain Martine Garland was named a Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award Top 10 Finalist by The USA Hockey Foundation on Monday.
    An award of The USA Hockey Foundation, the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award recognizes the accomplishments of the most outstanding player in NCAA Division I women’s ice hockey each season. Other selection criteria include outstanding individual and team skills, sportsmanship, performance in the clutch, personal character, competitiveness and a love of hockey. Consideration is also given to academic achievement and civic involvement.
    Garland, a 2006 RBK Hockey All-America First Team selection, has 29 points on six goals and 23 assists in 31 games this season to tie for the team lead in assists and tie for third in points. Those numbers rank No. 10 in the nation in defenseman scoring (0.94 ppg) and No. 18 in assists (0.74 apg).
    Garland is UNH’s seventh top 10 finalist in the 10-year history of the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award. Brandy Fisher was the inaugural recipient in 1998 and other top 10 finalists were Nicki Luongo (1999), Carisa Zaban (1999, 2000), Michelle Thornton (2001), Kira Misikowetz (2002) and Nicole Hekle (2006).
    The three finalists for this year’s award will be announced March 5 and the award will be presented March 17 in conjunction with the NCAA Women’s Frozen Four in Lake Placid, N.Y.

    New Hampshire enters Wednesday’s game at 23-3-5 overall with a 15-1-2 mark in Hockey East and 9-2-1 on the road. The Wildcats are unbeaten in eight games (6-0-2) and 8-1-1 in the last 10 games. In addition, UNH is unbeaten in its last 14 Hockey East games (12-0-2) and have won five consecutive road games by an aggregate score of 25-3.
    The ‘Cats won the Hockey East regular-season title for the fourth time in as many years by virtue of last Friday’s 2-1 win at Connecticut. UNH shared the title with Providence College in 2005 and won it outright each of the last two years and in 2004.
    UNH’s penalty kill has been successful in 48 of its last 50 chances, which spans 11 games and calculates to a .960 percentage. The Wildcats’ streak of 32 consecutive successful penalty kills ended with last Sunday’s third-period power-play goal by UConn.
    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.
    The Wildcats have recorded 30+ shots in 27 of 31 games this season, and that includes 15 times in which they have 40+ shots.
    UNH is in the midst of closing the regular season with five games in 10 days and will travel a total of approximately 800 miles to play at UConn (Feb. 16), at Boston University (Feb. 21) and at Vermont (Feb. 24-25). The Wildcats also have a home game vs. UConn on Feb. 18 as part of the five-game stretch.
    The Wildcats recently (Jan. 27–Feb. 3) had a stretch in which they played four games in eight days and went 3-0-1 while traveling a total of 575 miles to play road games vs. Providence (3-1 W) and Boston University (4-1 W); they also played at home vs. PC (2-2 tie) and Boston College (4-2 W).
•    UNH’s crowd of 1,209 Sunday vs. UConn marked the second time this season that the Wildcats eclipsed 1,000 and the largest crowd since Jan. 2003.
    UNH was outscored 2-0 in the third period of the home-and-home series vs. UConn despite generating a 38-9 shot advantage in that frame.
    UNH did not score a power-play goal in consecutive times for the first time this season with an 0-for-2 and 0-for-3 in last weekend’s home-and-home series vs. UConn.

    Here is a comparison of how UNH, Boston University and Vermont enter the week in the national statistics (34 teams):
                                  UNH             BU            UVM
Off. (gpg)               7 (4.10)     19 (2.66)   34 (1.00)
Def. (gpg)              4 (1.48)     14 (2.34)   31 (4.47)
PP (%)                   5 (.240)     24 (.140)   34 (.041)
PK (%)                   4 (.902)     11 (.871)   33 (.747)

    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.

    New Hampshire enters today’s game with 23 wins and can quickly climb up the list of the program’s list of single-season superlatives. The fifth-best mark of 23 wins was established in 1995 and matched in 1997, 1999, 2004 and again this season; No. 4 on the list is 24 (1996).
    The top three are: 33 (2006), 31 (1998) and 27 (2003).

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