The fifth-ranked University of New Hampshire women’s ice hockey team begins its 33rd season of varsity play Oct. 3 at home against Hockey East rival University of Connecticut. The Wildcats also play host to Quinnipiac University at the Whittemore Center on Oct. 4. Both games begin at two o’clock.
UNH has a 27-3-4 lifetime record, including 2-0-1 last season, against UConn. The Wildcats are 14-1-2 at home and that includes a 4-2 victory against the Huskies in the most recent meeting (Feb. 22, 2009; New Hampshire’s Senior Day) between these teams.
New Hampshire is unbeaten (11-0-2) in the last 13 meetings of this series. The last time UConn prevailed (5-4 in overtime) was in the 2005 Hockey East semifinals at Walter Brown Arena. The Huskies’ only win (2-0) at the Whittemore Center occurred Dec. 1, 2001.
Last year, the Wildcats erased two-goal road deficits in both the 3-3 tie Oct. 15 (UConn won the league shootout) and 4-3 victory Feb. 21.In addition to outscoring the Huskies 11-8 in the three games, UNH recorded a 77-51 shot advantage; in special teams, the ‘Cats were 4-for-13 on the power play while UConn was 2 of 10.
New Hampshire has won all six games
– three at the Whittemore Center – in its history
against Quinnipiac. The brief series history began in the 2001-02
season when both schools were members of the ECAC Eastern League.
UNH outscored the Bobcats 27-0 that season and 22-4 in the three
games of the 2002-03 season, including 7-1 in the most recent
meeting (Feb. 25).
THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
New Hampshire returns 12 players from the 2009 team that won a sixth straight Hockey East regular-season crown, a fourth consecutive league tournament title and advanced to the NCAA tourney for the fourth time in as many years en route to a 24-6-5 overall record. The breakdown is six forwards, four defensemen and two goaltenders.
The Wildcats lost four of its top five point producers from the 2009 squad, but can build this year’s offense around the nucleus of senior captain Kelly Paton and classmate Micaela Long. Paton ranked second on the team in goals, assists and points, whereas Long has recorded double digits in both goals and assists all three years as a Wildcat.
Eighth-year head coach Brian
McCloskey is approaching the 200-win milestone, as he enters the
weekend with 189 career victories (189-41-24 overall record). There
are currently nine active Division I coaches with 200+ wins.
McCloskey’s predecessors at UNH also exceeded 200 victories.
Russ McCurdy compiled a 264-36-10 record from 1978-92 and Karen Kay
went 215-90-25 from 1993-2002.
FROZEN FENWAY: A FIRST IN WOMEN'S ICE HOCKEY
UNH and Northeastern will make history Jan. 8 at Fenway Park – home of the Boston Red Sox – when the teams face off in the first women’s hockey outdoor game as part of a Hockey East doubleheader. Tickets for the game went on sale Sept. 17 and are already sold out.
The Wildcats were part of another
women’s ice hockey first that occurred in Boston when they
won the inaugural national championship (American Women’s
College Hockey Alliance) in 1998 against Brown University at the
FleetCenter (now TD Garden).
SEASON TICKETS ON SALE
Season tickets for the women’s hockey team are on sale now. At $30 for 17 games, that’s a cost of $1.76 per game. The Wildcats open the 2009-10 season with six consecutive home games in October. Click here to purchase tickets.