The University of New Hampshire women’s ice hockey team, ranked seventh in the national polls with an 11-5-5 overall record, plays host to Maine for a two-game series at the Whittemore Center on Jan. 23 (7 p.m.) and 24 (2 p.m.). Saturday is Youth Day, which is highlighted by a post-game autograph session, and the game will be broadcast live online on Yahoo! Both games are videostreamed online at unhwildcats.tv.
   New Hampshire enters the weekend series with a 28-1-3 lifetime record, including this year’s 7-1 road win, against Maine. UNH has won nine straight vs. the Black Bears, and that is the longest winning streak in the series history. In the last eight meetings, UNH outscored Maine 47-3 and did not yield more than one goal in any single game.
   The Wildcats are 20-0-3 vs. Maine since UM’s lone win – 2-1, Jan. 20, 2002 at the Whittemore Center – and have won 11 times by shutout in that span. The Black Bears have a 1-13-1 record in Durham vs. the ‘Cats.
   In this year’s matchup (Nov. 14), UNH potted power-play goals at 9:21, 10:00 and 10:54 of the first period and scored an even-strength goal at 12:33 to take a 4-0 lead into the first intermission. Both teams struck once in the second stanza and the Wildcats closed the scoring with two tallies in the final frame. The ‘Cats recorded a 33-8 shot advantage and went 4-for-7 on the power play. Maine was 1 of 8 on the PP.

    The third annual “Skating Strides Against Breast Cancer” has grown into a two-weekend event and features eight games between Jan. 29 and Feb. 8 with at least one event on every WHEA campus. UNH will play host to Boston College on Jan. 29 (7 p.m.) as part of the event. A UNH team-signed pink stick will be raffled off and proceeds from the promotional Chuck-a-Puck will be donated to the American Cancer Society. Skating Strides merchandise will also be on sale.

    UNH sophomore forward Jenn Wakefield was named TPS Hockey Player of the Week by Hockey East on Jan. 19. She received the same honor earlier this season on Oct. 13.
    Wakefield tallied career highs in both assists (three) and points (five) to propel UNH to an 8-3 win against (then) seventh-ranked Dartmouth College on Jan. 16; the two goals matched her personal best and she also finished with a +2 rating.
    Wakefield recorded 2-2-4 in the second period, and her power-play goal gave the Wildcats a 4-0 lead and proved to be the game-winning goal. She assisted on the second and third goals, and also potted a goal with 28 seconds remaining in the stanza to put UNH in front 6-2.

   Eleven games remain on the 2009 regular-season schedule, and due to the postponement of the Dec. 12 game at Harvard, there is a rare late-season non-conference game on the slate – Feb. 17 at the Crimson. Five of the 11 games are home, including the Feb. 22 regular-season finale vs. UConn.
   New Hampshire opened the 2009 season with 10 games in 25 days and the Wildcats compiled a 6-1-3 record, including a 1-1-3 mark against nationally-ranked teams. UNH closes the regular season with five games in 10 days (Feb. 13-22).
   Prior to last Friday’s 5-for-7 performance on the power play, the last time UNH scored five PPG in a game was Nov. 21, 1998, when the ‘Cats went 5 of 7 in a 9-2 win at Yale.
   UNH is 10-1-2 when scoring the first goal and 1-4-3 when falling behind 1-0. The Wildcats have a 9-1-2 record when scoring 3+ goals and a 2-4-3 mark when held to less than three goals. Defensively speaking, the ‘Cats are 7-1-3 when allowing less than three goals and 3-4-2 otherwise.

   New Hampshire surrendered a shorthanded goal at 10:22 of the third period to fall behind, 2-1, but the Wildcats scored three goals in the last 5:25 of regulation to rally to a 4-2 victory at Northeastern on Jan. 20.
   Sam Faber pulled the ‘Cats even, 2-2, at 14:35 and then Jenn Wakefield potted the go-ahead goal with 1:57 remaining. Angela Taylor tallied an empty-net goal with 11 seconds to play to secure the win; Taylor had recorded her 50th career point with an assist on Wakefield’s goal.
   Lindsey Minton finished with 19 saves, including 10 in the third period, for her second career victory (second career start). NU netminder Leah Sulyma stopped 38 shots, 16 in the second period.

    The Wildcats are unbeaten (7-0-3) at the Whittemore Center this season and they were very successful at defending home ice last season with a 17-1-1 record. New Hampshire extended its home unbeaten streak  to 23 games (19-0-4) Jan. 16 vs. seventh-ranked Dartmouth with an 8-3 victory.
   UNH is 55-0-9 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), Boston University and Maine.

   New Hampshire has outscored the opposition 26-16 in the second period with a 222-150 shot advantage in that stanza. In comparison, UNH’s scoring advantage is four goals (19-15) in the first period and one (22-21) in final frame.
   UNH has scored a goal in 40 of 63 periods (excluding overtimes) this season, and that includes six games in which the ‘Cats scored at least once in all three periods.
   The five power-play goals and eight goals overall Jan. 16 vs. seventh-ranked Dartmouth are season highs for New Hampshire. The five goals scored in the second stanza is a single-period high as well.
   UNH recorded a 34-2 shot advantage in the third period at Colgate on Nov. 29; Jenn Wakefield tallied 12 shots in that stanza. The ‘Cats finished with a 47-25 shot advantage in the 5-4 loss; they outscored the Raiders 2-1 in that third period.

   A handful of Wildcats are ranked among the individual national leaders. Jenn Wakefield is No. 5 in goals per game (0.95), 10th in points per game (1.58), second in game-winning goals (six), and sixth in both power-play (seven) and shorthanded goals (two). Kacey Bellamy, aided by a four-point outburst vs. the Big Green, has ascended to seventh in defensemen scoring (0.76 ppg).
   Sam Faber is second in shorthanded goals (three), Kelly Paton is 16th in power-play goals (five) and Angela Taylor is 22nd in assists (0.76 apg).

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