GAME NOTES: WOMEN'S HOCKEY HITS THE ROAD FOR GAMES VS. RENSSELAER AND UNION
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The University of New Hampshire women's ice hockey team concludes its season-opening five-game road swing with its second trip to the Empire State in as many weeks when the Wildcats face off against Rensselaer (Oct. 15; 7 p.m.) and Union (Oct. 16; 4 p.m.).
For information on live stats and videostreaming for both games, visit www.unhwildcats.com
UNH and Rensselaer met for the first time just one year ago (Nov. 21, 2009) when the Wildcats overcame a 3-1 deficit to record a 4-3 victory. The score was tied, 2-2, at the end of two, then the 'Cats scored goals 1:48 apart in the third period. RPI pulled goaltender Sonja van der Bliek with 1:20 to play but UNH kept the Engineers out of the offensive zone the rest of the way. van der Bliek finished with 21 saves while New Hampshire's Lindsey Minton stopped 18 shots.
The Wildcats went 2-for-5 on the power play and also scored an extra-skater goal on a delayed penalty. Rensselaer was 0-for-5 with just three shots on the power play.
This weekend's game between UNH and Union will be the first meeting between these programs.
THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
New Hampshire hits the road for the third consecutive weekend with games at Rensselaer and Union. The Wildcats enter those games with a 1-2-0 overall record following last weekend's losses at Syracuse University (4-2) and Colgate University (1-0, overtime).
UNH recorded a shot advantage in both of those losses – 28-27 at Syracuse and 31-23 vs. Colgate.
This marks the first time UNH has a losing record in the nine-year tenure of head coach Brian McCloskey; the last time UNH had a sub-.500 winning percentage was when the 'Cats lost the first game of the 2001-02 season.
New Hampshire has outscored the opposition 2-1 in both the first and third periods but has been outscored 3-0 in the second stanza.
UNH's penalty kill is perfect in 18 shorthanded situations this season. The Wildcats are 6-for-6 in all three games this season.
UNH opened the 2011 season Oct. 2 with a 2-1 win at Hockey East foe UConn. It marked the third consecutive year UNH's opener was against a league opponent and second straight year the 'Cats beat the Huskies.
ON THE ROAD
UNH is opening the 2011 season with five consecutive road games. It is the longest stretch of consecutive road games at the outset of a season in the 34-year history of UNH women's ice hockey. The previous mark was three games (2000-01 season). In the 1997-98 season, however, the 'Cats opened with a pair of neutral-site games followed by three road games for a total of five consecutive games before playing on home ice.
Overall, this will be the Wildcats' longest stretch of consecutive road games since the team played six straight on the road in February 2001.
Freshman forward Arielle O'Neill recorded her first career point with an assist in her collegiate debut, the Oct. 2 season opener at UConn. She followed with two goals in the next game at Syracuse on Oct. 8.
Classmate Hannah Armstrong tallied her first collegiate point with an assist Oct. 8 at Syracuse.
Senior goaltender Kayley Herman stopped 15 of 16 shots at UConn for a .938 save percentage. It marked her 52nd career victory, and that total is tied for fourth on UNH's career leaderboard.
Junior goalie Lindsey Minton turned aside 22 of 23 shots in the 1-0 overtime loss at Colgate.
UNH vs. THE ECAC
New Hampshire had a 4-1-2 record against ECAC teams last season, when the Wildcats faced off against Quinnipiac (4-0), Clarkson (2-6), St. Lawrence (3-3), Harvard (1-1), Rensselaer (4-3) and Dartmouth (4-1) in addition to Colgate (4-0).
In the opening weeks of the 2010-11 season, UNH is 0-1-0 vs. the ECAC with a 1-0 overtime loss at Colgate on Oct. 9.
NORTH OF THE BORDER
Ten of 22 student-athletes on the 2011 UNH women's ice hockey roster hail from Canada. Julie Allen, Hannah Armstrong, Courtney Birchard, Kailey Chappell, Bryanna Farris, Nicole Gifford, Paige Goloubef, Kristina Lavoie and Arielle O'Neill are from Ontario, and Kayley Herman calls Saskatchewan home.
Those players account for 3 of 4 goals (75%) and 3 of 7 assists (42.9%) for 6 of 11 points (54.5%).
COUNTDOWN TO THE 700 CLUB
UNH, now in its 34th year at the varsity level, is the winningest women's college hockey program in the United States with an overall record of 688-178-64 for a .774 winning percentage. In 33 years, the Wildcats have won one national championship (1998; AWCHA), four Hockey East tournament championships, six Hockey East regular-season titles, five ECAC tournament championships and four EAIAW championships. UNH has made five consecutive NCAA tourney appearances (2006-10) with two trips to the Frozen Four in that span.