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The University of New Hampshire women’s hockey team, ranked No. 5 in the USCHO.com poll and No. 6 in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll, has a 5-1-2 overall record that includes 1-1-1 in Hockey East. The Wildcats play host to eighth-ranked Boston University (5-2-1, 2-0-0) on Oct. 30 (7 p.m.) and to the University of Vermont (2-4-0, 0-2-0) on Nov. 1 (5 p.m.).
Thursday’s game vs. the Terriers will be broadcast live on the UNH Sports Network in addition to unhwildcats.tv.
Fans are encouraged to bring non-perishable items for donation at Saturday’s game vs. UVM in support of UNH’s weekend-long Food Drive.
UNH has a 16-1-0 lifetime record, including last week’s 3-2 road loss, against Boston University. Since the 2006 season, when the Terriers were elevated to varsity status, the Wildcats are 10-1-0 with five wins (in five games) at the Whittemore Center. In the most recent meeting (Dec. 1) at the Whitt, the ‘Cats prevailed 3-2 with three seconds remaining in overtime.
UNH has won all 18 lifetime meetings in this series vs. Vermont. Thirteen of those wins have been by shutout, including all three last season. UNH’s three goals in the most recent meeting (Feb. 17, 2008) marked the lowest goal output by the Wildcats in the series.
THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
New Hampshire opened the 2009 season with six games in 12 days and compiled a 4-0-2 record that included 1-0-2 vs. nationally-ranked teams. The Wildcats made a road trip to Niagara University (550 travel miles Friday with games Saturday and Sunday afternoon followed by 550 more miles Sunday) and another road trip to UConn on Wednesday (300 miles round-trip).
UNH went undefeated through the initial six games of a season for the fourth time in seven years of head coach Brian McCloskey’s tenure. The longest unbeaten streak at the outset of a season during McCloskey’s reign is nine (9-0-0) in 2007.
Two Wildcats have recorded a point every game this season. Kelly Paton has a team-high six assists and five goals for 11 points; she has tallied an assist in six of eight games overall. Jenn Wakefield has potted a goal in seven straight games as part of her eight-game point streak; she has a team-high 12 points. The seven-game goal streak is the longest by a ‘Cat since Jennifer Hitchcock potted a goal in seven straight games in Oct-Nov 2006; Hitchcock also had a seven-game goal streak in Feb-March ‘06, and Sam Faber had an eight-game streak in Jan-Feb ‘06.
UNH has trailed in the third period in each of its first three Hockey East games this season. They rallied to tie both BC and UConn but lost to BU. UNH has not faced a third-period deficit in any of its five non-league games.
The five goals scored Saturday vs. Yale matched the team’s highest goal output of the season. New Hampshire also potted five goals in both games against Niagara (Oct. 11-12).
The three goals scored in the third period against Yale also matched the team’s highest single-period total through eight games. UNH netted three second-period goals vs. Niagara on Oct. 12.
Yale struck three times in the third period. UNH had not yielded three goals in any period since the 2007 NCAA quarterfinal loss to St. Lawrence on March 10, 2007 (first period).
CONSECUTIVE LOSSES A RARITY FOR WILDCATS
In the history of Hockey East (2003 season-present), UNH has never lost consecutive Hockey East regular-season games, and the Wildcats have never lost consecutive regular-season games to any single Hockey East team. Both streaks are on the line Thursday against Boston University, which defeated UNH 3-2 in the Wildcats’ most recent league game.
The last team to win consecutive meetings in a series vs. New Hampshire was Mercyhurst in the 2007 and 2008 seasons.
In general, back-to-back losses aren’t very commonplace for the Wildcats. Following the loss to BU, UNH responded to defeat Yale. The ‘Cats have not lost consecutive games since the 2005 season, when they fell to Mercyhurst (Nov. 28, 2004) and Dartmouth (Dec. 1)
DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN
For the third time in as many weeks, UNH played a weekday matchup against a Hockey East team ranked No. 10 in the nation. The Wildcats opened the season Wednesday, Oct. 8 against 10th-ranked Boston College (2-2 tie; UNH wins shootout 1-0). One week later on the 15th, the ‘Cats skated to a 3-3 tie draw at 10th-ranked UConn (Huskies won the shootout 1-0). Both shootouts ended in Round 5.
This past Thursday, the 23rd, UNH traveled to play 10th-ranked Boston University and returned home with a 3-2 loss.
The ‘Cats play another nationally-ranked league team – once again BU – on Thursday, this time on home ice at the Whittemore Center.
WHEN YOU CAN'T MAKE IT TO THE WHITT
There may be times this season when you can’t make it to the Whittemore Center to support the UNH Wildcats. We’ve got you covered with videostreaming at unhwildcats.tv and live stats at www.unhwildcats.com.
HOME ICE ADVANTAGE
UNH is 53-0-8 in home league regular-season games since the inception of Hockey East in the 2003 season. The ‘Cats are also 2-0 in postseason Hockey East home games. The Hockey East teams that have skated to a tie against New Hampshire at the Whittemore Center are Providence (three), UConn (two), Boston College (two) and Maine.