The University of New Hampshire women’s ice hockey team, ranked fourth in both national polls, faces off against ECAC foes Harvard University and Rensselaer this week. The Wildcats travel to play Harvard on Nov. 18 (7 p.m.), then play host to Rensselaer on Nov. 21 (5 p.m.).
Live stats and videostreaming are available for both games.
UNH has a 28-12-3 lifetime record, including 1-0-1 last year, against Harvard. New Hampshire is unbeaten in the last eight meetings (6-0-2), and that includes 2-0-1 in the last three road games. Before this streak, however, Harvard won 12 consecutive games in the series.
The Wildcats a have a 10-5-2 mark at the Bright Hockey Center in Cambridge (Mass.). Last year, the ‘Cats recorded a 3-2 win in overtime when Courtney Birchard scored a power-play goal with 39 seconds remaining in the extra session. UNH goaltender Lindsey Minton recorded a career-high 33 saves, including 17 in the third period, as the Crimson recorded a 35-31 shot advantage. The ‘Cats went 1-for-5 on the power play while Harvard was 0-for-3 and surrendered a shorthanded goal.
In the Dec. 5, 2008 matchup at the Whittemore Center, UNH broke a scoreless tie midway through the game but Harvard tied the score, 1-1, with a power-play tally late in the second period. Neither team would score again as the teams skated to a tie despite the Crimson’s 37-13 shot advantage.
Saturday’s matchup will be the first between the UNH and Rensselaer women’s ice hockey programs.
USA HOCKEY AT THE WHITTEMORE CENTTER
The U.S. Women’s National Team will play a Nov. 22 exhibition game at the Whittemore Center against the Hockey East All-Stars as part of Team USA’s Qwest Tour in preparation for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Game time is one o’clock.
Current UNH Wildcats Kelly Paton, Micaela Long and Courtney Birchard will skate as Hockey East All-Stars against UNH alum Kacey Bellamy, who makes her return to Durham with the U.S. squad.
Members of the U.S. team will be at the Nov. 21 game vs. Rensselaer to sign autographs during the first intermission.
New Hampshire’s Whittemore Center was also the site of a WHEA All-Stars vs. U.S. Women’s National Team exhibition game in Dec. 2005, when the U.S. team was preparing for the 2006 Olympic Winter Games. Bellamy, then a freshman for the Wildcats, skated on the WHEA All-Stars team that led 2-0 at the first intermission. Team USA rallied to tie the score in the second period and netted three goals in the final frame for the 5-2 final in front of 2,786 fans.
THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
New Hampshire extended its unbeaten streak to five games (3-0-2) last weekend with a 4-3 road win and 4-4 tie at home against eighth-ranked Boston University.
UNH has a Hockey East regular-season unbeaten streak of 16 games (15-0-1) dating back to last season. The Wildcats ended the 2009 league schedule with 11 consecutive wins and they are 4-0-1 in league play this season.
UNH scored a goal in 10 consecutive periods (spanning four games) until its scoreless second period vs. BU on Nov. 7; the Wildcats netted a total of 14 goals in those 10 periods.
Nineteen of the team’s 43 goals have been scored on the power play. The ‘Cats have scored a power-play goal in 10 consecutive games and in 11 of 12 this season.
New Hampshire is 7-0-2 at the Whittemore Center this season and has outscored the opposition 34-12 in those nine games.
UNH has not lost a regular-season game at the Whittemore Center since Nov. 11, 2007 (2-1 to Princeton). Since that game, the ‘Cats are 28-0-6 in regular-season home games.
Eighth-year head coach Brian McCloskey is approaching the 200-win milestone, as he enters the weekend with 197 career victories (197-42-27 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.
Dating back to last season, Kelly Paton has recorded a point in 21 consecutive games. She tallied a point in each of the last nine games of ‘09 and has opened 2010 with a point in 12 straight. Overall, she has amassed 13 goals and 36 assists for 49 points (2.33 points per game) during the streak.
The last time a UNH Wildcat recorded a point-scoring streak of 20+ games was nearly 20 years ago, spanning the 1990-91 seasons. That’s when Karyn Bye opened the 1991 season with a point in 19 consecutive games after ending ‘90 with a four-game point-scoring streak for a total of 23 consecutive games with a point.
Senior forward Micaela Long has already tied her single-season high of 16 assists in just 12 games this season. She has two assists each of the last four games.
Junior defenseman Courtney Birchard has scored five of her seven goals on the power play.
Freshman forward Kristina Lavoie tallied three points with a goal and two assists in the two-game series vs. eighth-ranked Boston University; she also had a +2 rating for the week. In the series opener at BU, she helped ignite UNH’s comeback by setting up the team’s first goal of the game that leveled the score, 1-1, with 37 seconds remaining in the first period. She then gave the ‘Cats a 2-1 lead with a power-play goal at 5:26 of the second period. In the next game, Lavoie once again set up UNH’s first goal, but this time it gave the Wildcats a 1-0 lead just 1:10 after the opening faceoff.
GAME DAY: #4 WOMEN'S HOCKEY TRAVELS TO HARVARD, PLAYS HOST TO RENSSELAER