The University of New Hampshire, ranked fourth in both national polls, faces off against seventh-ranked Northeastern University at NU’s Matthews Arena on Sunday, Nov. 29 (2 p.m.) in a continuation of one of the oldest rivalries in women’s ice hockey.
UNH has a 73-28-7 lifetime record against NU, and the Wildcats have won 24 consecutive meetings in the series dating back to the Huskies’ 2-0 win in an ECAC Eastern League semifinal game in 2002. Last year, the ‘Cats recorded shutout victories at home (2-0 and 3-0) and were 4-2 victors on the road.
New Hampshire has a 29-14-1 road record in this series with 11 consecutive wins at Matthews Arena vs. Northeastern dating back to the 2002 season.
On this date in history –November 29 – UNH won 2-1 at home in 1984 and NU prevailed 6-1 at home in 1988.
The last time UNH faced a nationally-ranked NU team was in that 2002 ECAC Eastern League semifinal game. The Huskies were ranked #5, whereas the Wildcats were unranked.
The most recent time these teams faced off when were both were in the national rankings was Jan. 21, 2001. In that ECAC league matchup, the #8 Northeastern Huskies were 2-1 victors at UNH’s Whittemore Center against the #9 Wildcats.
Taking it one step further, the last time these teams faced off at Matthews Arena when both teams were nationally ranked occurred earlier in that 2001 season – Dec. 2, 2000, when #9 NU won 4-3 against #8 UNH.
PATON, MINTON GARNER WEEKLY HONORS
Kelly Paton and Lindsey Minton were honored as Pure Hockey Player of the Week and Defensive Player of the Week, respectively, by Hockey East on Monday.
Paton recorded her second career hat trick and also matched her career high in points (four) to spearhead the team’s comeback victory against RPI (4-3 on Nov. 21). Her first goal of the game gave the ‘Cats a 1-0 lead and her next goal pulled the team within 3-2 in the second stanza. Paton set up the game-tying goal at 7:49 of the final frame and scored the game-winning goal on an unassisted effort off a faceoff at 9:37.
Minton stopped 45 of 49 shots for a .918 save percentage, 1.92 GAA and 1-0-1 record in two games vs. ECAC opponents. She opened the week with a season-high 27 saves in the 1-1 tie at Harvard in which she held the Crimson scoreless in the final 59:39 of the game. In the game vs. RPI, Minton did not surrender a goal in the final 33:07 of action to backbone UNH’s comeback effort.
TOYS FOR TOTS AT THE WHITTEMORE CENTER
The UNH athletic department has announced its “Toys for Tots” campaign will be held at the Whittemore Center the weekend of Dec. 4-5. Bring along an unwrapped toy and donate to Toys for Tots. The Marines will be in attendance accepting donations at the Dec. 4 men’s game as well as the Dec. 5 women’s game (vs. Providence, 2 p.m.).
THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
New Hampshire has the nation’s longest active unbeaten streak of seven games (4-0-3); last week, the Wildcats skated to a 1-1 tie at Harvard and a 4-3 victory at home vs. Rensselaer. UNH opened the season with a six-game unbeaten streak (5-0-1).
The Wildcats have faced a deficit each of the last four games. Most recently vs. RPI (Nov. 21), UNH fell behind 3-1 before rallying to victory. The ‘Cats previously trailed Harvard (1-0) and Boston University twice (4-3, Nov. 7; and 1-0, Nov. 6).
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.
Twenty-one of the team’s 48 goals have been scored on the power play. The Wildcats’ streak of 10 consecutive games with a power-play goal ended Nov. 18 at Harvard (0-for-3). The ‘Cats have struck on the power play in 12 of 14 games this season and have scored multiple power-play goals seven times.
Eighth-year head coach Brian McCloskey is approaching the 200-win milestone, as he enters the weekend with 198 career victories (198-42-28 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.
Kelly Paton, with 10 goals and 16 assists, has directly factored in 26 of the team’s 48 goals (54.2%).
Micaela Long (6g, 17a) has figured in 23 of 48 goals (47.9) and enters the weekend with 98 career points.
Kelly Cahill has already recorded a single-season high of six goals (exceeding last year’s total of four), and her 11 points are one less than her personal best of 12 she established as a freshman at Ohio State.
ALL GOOD THINGS COME TO AN END
Kelly Paton’s lengthy point-scoring streak came to an end at 21 consecutive games Nov. 18, when she was held off the scoresheet at Harvard University. She tallied a point in each of the last nine games of ‘09 and opened 2010 with a point in 12 straight. Overall, she 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.
WILDCATS IN THE NATION
Senior forward Micaela Long leads the nation in assists per game (1.21) and junior defenseman Courtney Birchard leads the nation in defenseman scoring (1.00 points per game).
Long is also fourth in points per game (1.64) and Birchard is third in power-play goals (five).
Senior forward Kelly Paton is ranked in the top 10 in three statistics – points per game (2nd, 1.86), assists per game (3rd, 1.14) and goals per game (6th, 0.71).
Paton and fellow senior forward Kelly Cahill, as well as freshmen forwards Kristine Horn and Kristina Lavoie, are tied for 11th in power-play goals (three), and Horn is also 13th in rookie scoring at 0.79 points per game and Lavoie is 16th at 0.71 ppg.
Junior goaltender Kayley Herman is 10th in goals-against-average (1.77) and 16th in save percentage (.917) while sophomore goalie Lindsey Minton is 12th in GAA (2.00).