The University of New Hampshire women’s hockey team, which has a 15-2-0 overall record with a 9-0-0 mark in Hockey East, retained its No. 1 ranking in both national polls. The Wildcats travel to play sixth-ranked Mercyhurst College (12-2-2, 4-0-0 CHA) for a two-game series Dec. 7-8 at the Mercyhurst Ice Center.

UNH has a 4-3-1 lifetime record, including last season’s 2-1 loss in the UNH Tournament, against Mercyhurst. In the Wildcats’ only other trip to Mercyhurst Ice Arena (Jan. 11, 2004), they returned home with a 2-2 tie; seniors Martine Garland and Sadie Wright-Ward skated in that game.

In last year’s matchup – a battle of No. 2 UNH vs. No. 3 Mercyhurst – the Lakers netted a goal with 40 seconds remaining in the second period to break a scoreless tie, then Meghan Agosta struck at 6:04 of the third to give the visitors a 2-0 lead. UNH’s Jennifer Hitchcock responded with a power-play tally 41 seconds later, however, to lift the ‘Cats within 2-1. New Hampshire closed with a flurry of shots in the closing minutes – they skated with an extra attacker for the final 53 seconds – but Laura Hosier turned aside all shots and finished with 30 saves. The Wildcats recorded a 31-21 shot advantage and went 1-for-7 on the power play; MC was 1-for-3 on the power play.

    Sam Faber was honored as the TPS Hockey Player of the Month for November by Hockey East and Kayley Herman was honored as Rookie of the Month.

The junior forward recorded six goals, including three game-winning tallies, and eight assists for 14 points as well as a +10 plus/minus rating in nine November games. The 14 points marked a team high in November; Faber tied for the team lead in goals and tied for second in assists, and was second in plus/minus.

She recorded nine points on four goals (two game-winners) and five assists in four Hockey East games as well as seven points (three goals; four assists) in four games against nationally-ranked teams. Faber had four multiple-point games, including a career-high five points against nationally-ranked University of Connecticut in which she tied her career high of two goals. Her honors last month included the TPS Hockey Player of the Week award on Nov. 12.

Herman compiled a 7-1-0 record with a .933 save percentage, 1.04 GAA and one shutout in nine November games (eight starts). November’s highlight included a weekend sweep of then-No. 1 University of Wisconsin in which she stopped 41 of 43 shots for a .953 save percentage and 1.01 GAA against an offense ranked third in the nation. In her only relief appearance (vs. Niagara University on Nov. 24), Herman stopped all 11 shots she faced in the last 40 minutes to preserve UNH’s victory; she stopped 32 of 33 shots that weekend for a .970 save percentage and 0.60 GAA.

In four Hockey East league games, she went 4-0-0 with a 1.00 GAA and .911 save percentage. In four games against nationally-ranked teams – including the two against Wisconsin – Herman was 4-0-0 with a 1.25 GAA and .924 save percentage. Her honors last month included Mission Rookie of the Week on Nov. 19.

    New Hampshire, ranked No. 1 in the nation, enters the weekend with a 15-2-0 overall record that includes 9-0-0 in Hockey East, 2-0-0 vs. the CHA and 5-1-0 on the road. With 17 games played, UNH is midway through its 34-game regular-season schedule.

Last Sunday’s matchup at Northeastern University marked the Wildcats’ first road game since Nov. 3 at the University of Vermont. During the month in between, the ‘Cats went 7-1-0 on an eight-game homestand.

UNH played its first overtime game of the season and defeated BU on Dec. 1. The Wildcats played seven OT games last season and are 3-0-6 in their last nine games decided by overtime.

UNH has scored more goals in the third period (28) than it has surrendered overall (20); the ‘Cats have also scored 20 goals in the first period.

November was a good month for the Wildcats, who went 8-1-0 with a 4-0-0 mark both vs. Hockey East and nationally-ranked teams. UNH averaged 4.78 gpg and yielded 1.22 gpg while going 20-for-50 (.400) on the PP and 44 of 48 (.917) on the PK.

    New Hampshire is second to none when it comes to Hockey East rankings. The Wildcats lead the league in offense, defense, power play, penalty kill and shots.
    In addition, a number of Wildcats are on the league leaderboard. Six of the top eight point scorers, led by Sam Faber at No. 1, wear the UNH Blue and White. Jenn Wakefield is Hockey East’s top rookie point producer. Four of the top seven goal scorers and five of the top seven assist leaders – Kelly Paton and Sam Faber are co-No. 1 – are Wildcats. Furthermore, three of the top four in power-play points (Sadie Wright-Ward leads the way) are ‘Cats and six of the top 10 in plus/minus skate for UNH.

    Tickets for the 6th annual Hockey East Championship Tournament can be purchased by calling the UConn box office at (877) 288-2666. The tournament will be held March 8-9 at the University of Connecticut’s Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum.

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