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The University of New Hampshire women’s ice hockey team, ranked third in both national polls, closes out the 2009 calendar year with road games against Boston College (Dec. 8) and Dartmouth (Dec. 12). Both games are at 7 p.m.
UNH has a 42-2-3 lifetime record, including last year’s three-game series sweep, against BC. The Wildcats are unbeaten in eight straight games in the series (7-0-1) and that includes 3-0-0 on the road. UNH has a 21-2-1 overall road record vs. the Eagles.
New Hampshire is 31-12-4 against Dartmouth and has won each of the last two games in the series – an 8-3 win at the Whittemore Center last January and a 3-1 win at Thompson Arena in January 2008. The Big Green’s most recent victory vs. the Wildcats was January 2007 in Hanover (4-2 score). UNH has a 4-1-1 edge in the last six meetings, but DC had a 9-2-1 advantage spanning the 1999-2005 seasons.
Head coach Brian McCloskey has 199 career victories with a 199-42-28 overall record. Here’s a look at some notable wins:
1st win– Oct. 11, 2002 (4-0 vs. Vermont)
1st Hockey East win– Nov. 2, 2002 (5-1 vs. Maine)
50th win– March 20, 2004 (5-0 vs. Northeastern)
100th win– Feb. 25, 2006 (5-0 vs. Vermont)
150th win– Jan. 5, 2008 (3-1 at Brown)
THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
New Hampshire entered last week’s action with the nation’s longest active unbeaten streak of eight games (5-0-3), but that ended with a 4-1 home loss to Providence College on Dec. 5. It was the first home loss of the season for the Wildcats, who are now 8-1-2 at the Whittemore Center.
In the eight-year history of Hockey East, UNH has lost a total of 14 games to league opponents –11 in the regular season and three in postseason play. Of those 14 losses, nine have been to Providence (seven in the regular season; two in postseason). Tuesday’s opponent, Boston College, has defeated the Wildcats twice in Hockey East regular-season action.
New Hampshire’s eight-year league record is now 120-11-15 (.873 winning percentage), and the ‘Cats are 10-3 in the Hockey East tourney.
In head coach Brian McCloskey’s eight-year tenure, UNH has a 15-7-4 record (.654) winning percentage in the month of December. That mark was 8-1-4 (.769) in the 2006-09 seasons.
The last two times UNH has recorded the shot advantage but lost the game were vs. Providence College. On Dec. 5, 2009, the Wildcats had a 23-21 edge in shots but lost 4-1. On Jan. 10, 2009, UNH lost 5-0 despite a 43-36 shot advantage.
Micaela Long has 14 points (3g, 11a) during her current nine-game point-scoring streak. She recorded her 100th career point Dec. 5 with a goal vs. Providence.
Courtney Birchard has a point in five of the last six games and in 11 of 16 overall this season; that includes five multiple-point efforts.
Kristine Horn has a point in 10 of 16 games. She leads all UNH rookies in goals (five), assists (seven) and points (12).
VERMONT GAME MAKE-UP DATE ANNOUNCED
The UNH at Vermont game initially scheduled for Nov. 14 will be played Wednesday, February 3 at UVM’s Gutterson Fieldhouse. Game time is 7 p.m.
WE'RE HIGHLY HONORED
A UNH Wildcat has garnered four of the last six Hockey East Player of the Week awards – UNH did not play a game one of those other two weeks – and five consecutive Player of the Month awards.
Kelly Paton was the recipient of back-to-back Player of the Week awards (Nov. 23 & 30) and she also received the honor Nov. 2. Courtney Birchard was selected as Player of the week Nov. 9.
Paton was named Player of the Month for both October and November this year. She was also feted for January 2009 while Jenn Wakefield received the honor in both December 2008 and February 2009.
UNH AT FULL STRENGTH
UNH’s penalty kill has been so effective this season that it may appear as if the Wildcats are still at full strength. Both of UNH’s goals in the 2-1 victory at seventh-ranked Northeastern (Nov. 29) were shorthanded tallies, and that tied the school record for shorthanded goals in a game (established Feb. 1999 and matched Nov. 1999, both vs. Yale). In that game vs. NU, the Wildcats’ penalty kill recorded a 5-4 shot advantage while the Huskies were on the power play.
New Hampshire’s penalty kill went a perfect 14-for-14 with three shorthanded goals in a three-game span from Nov. 18-29.
UNH’s PK is 35-for-38 (.921) in Hockey East league action.
WILDCATS IN THE NATION
Junior defenseman Courtney Birchard leads the nation in defenseman scoring (1.00 points per game) and is also fifth in power-play goals (five) as well as sixth in game-winning goals (three).
Senior forward Kelly Paton is ranked in the top 10 in three statistics – points per game (4th, 1.75), assists per game (4th, 1.06) and goals per game (10th, 0.69). She is also sixth in game-winning goals (three).
Micaela Long, another senior forward, is #3 in assists (1.12 apg) and #6 in points (1.56).
Kristine Horn ranks 12th in rookie scoring at 0.75 points per game and Kristina Lavoie is 21st at 0.62 ppg.
Junior goaltender Kayley Herman is 11th in goals-against-average (1.77) while sophomore goalie Lindsey Minton is 18th in that statistic (2.10).
GAME DAY: #3 WOMEN'S HOCKEY ENDS DECEMBER ON THE ROAD VS. BC, DARTMOUTH
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