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The University of New Hampshire women’s hockey team, split in this week’s national polls at #3 in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll and #4 in the USCHO.com Poll, is 2-1-0 overall entering the Oct. 21 Hockey East opener against Boston University (0-3-1). UNH has already been victorious in two other openers (season and home) this season. Sunday’s game is the first of seven consecutive league games for the Wildcats.

UNH has won all 12 meetings in the lifetime series against Boston University, and that includes all six games since BU’s women’s ice hockey gained varsity status for the 2006 season. In the last six meetings, the Wildcats have outscored the Terriers 27-4 and shut them out three times (all at the Whittemore Center).

Last year, the Wildcats won twice on the road (3-2, 4-1) and were 4-0 victors here at the Whittemore Center. In the three-game series, UNH recorded a 126-44 shot advantage (UNH’s lowest single-game shot total was 39) and went 2-for-13 on the power play as well as 16 of 17 on the penalty kill.

UNH athletics and Pack Network have partnered together to spawn the creation of UNHwildcats.tv. Women’s ice hockey is part of the “Wildcat All-Access Pass,” which is an annual subscription for $79.95 that provides not only all the live coverage of various UNH home athletic events, but also premium content and archives. Individual games are also available at $6.95 per game. (In addition to women’s hockey, other sports included in the “Wildcat All-Access Pass” are men’s hockey, football, men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball and gymnastics.)

Kacey Bellamy, Martine Garland and Jenn Wakefield will all be competing at the Four Nations Cup in Leksand, Sweden from Nov. 7-11. Bellamy was named to the U.S. Women’s Select Team earlier this week and it was also recently announced that both Garland and Wakefield were named to Canada’s Women’s National Team. It will be the second consecutive Four Nations Cup appearance for Bellamy and the first for both Canadian skaters. Team Canada and Team USA will face off in the round-robin series on Nov. 8.

New Hampshire returns 16 letterwinners – including three All-America selections (Martine Garland, Jennifer Hitchcock and Sadie Wright-Ward), one of whom has also been a Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award Top 10 Finalist (Garland in ‘07) – from a team that compiled a 28-4-5 overall record last season; the Wildcats went 18-1-2 in Hockey East and 15-2-4 at home.

The top seven scorers (including two defensemen) return from the 2007 team. All told, the Wildcats return 79.2% (118/149) of their goals and 80.6% (183/227) of the assists. At the other end of the ice, Lucy Schoedel is the lone returning goaltender; she played in 324:41 of a possible 2249:58 (14.4%).

UNH has won four consecutive Hockey East regular-season crowns as well as each of the last two league tournament titles. The Wildcats were awarded a regional home game as one of the top four seeds in the NCAA Women’s Ice Hockey Championships in both 2006 and 2007.

UNH has outscored the opposition 1-0 in the first period and 4-1 in the third period but has not scored in the middle stanza this season.

Through three games, Sam Faber (2g) and Leah Craig (2a) are the only ‘Cats with multiple points.

UNH improved to 25-5-1 in home openers with last weekend’s win vs. Colgate, and 10 of the 25 victories have been by shutout.

The Wildcats have scored a total of one goal in the last two games. The last time they were limited to that low a two-game total was in the 2003 season.

 Two current ‘Cats enter the weekend as part of UNH’s 37-member Century Club (100 career points) and three others are on the verge of joining that elite list.

Senior forward Jennifer Hitchcock is the active leader in both goals (69) and points (130); on the program’s career leaderboard, Hitchcock is 13th in goals and 19th in points. Sadie Wright-Ward, another senior forward, has amassed 45 goals and 63 assists for 108 points; among active players, Wright-Ward ranks third in goals as well as second in assists and points.

Junior forward Sam Faber has amassed 99 points on 41 goals and 58 assists in 72 games. Senior forward Leah Craig’s 46 goals and 46 assists account for 92 points. Senior defenseman Martine Garland is UNH’s active leader in assists with 67, which is tied for 25th overall (fourth amongst defensemen). She has also tallied 16 goals for a total of 83 points, and that point total is 10th among UNH defensemen. Only four defensemen are currently in the Century Club – Cindy MacKay (108), Kristen Thomas (108), Lauren Apollo (105) and Heather Reinke (103).
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