February 8, 2011

Game Notes: Women's Hockey Travels to Quinnipiac for Last Non-League Game of Regular Season

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The Matchup

    The University of New Hampshire women's ice hockey team plays a late-season non-conference game against Quinnipiac University on Tuesday, Feb. 8 (7 p.m.); the game at TD Bank Sports Center was scheduled for Jan. 18 but postponed due to inclement weather.
    UNH has a 7-0-0 lifetime record, including last year's 4-0 home win, against Quinnipiac. The 'Cats have played three road games in this series, but this will be their first trip to the TD Bank Sports Center; New Hampshire last visited Quinnipiac in October 2002 (5-3 and 10-0 victories) when both programs were members of the ECAC Eastern Division. Prior to last season, these teams had not faced off since that 2003 season.

Herman Receives Top Defensive Player Award
    Senior goaltender Kayley Herman was feted as WHEA Defensive Player of the Week by Hockey East on Monday. She has received that honor four times in her career (first time in the 2011 season).
    Herman stopped 84 of 88 shots for a .955 save percentage in last weekend's two-game series against third-ranked Boston University. She made a school-record 52 saves, including 19 in the second period and 21 in the third, on Feb. 3 to backbone UNH to a 4-2 road win that ended BU's 13-game winning streak and was the 700th victory in program history; the 21 saves was one less than the program's single-period record.
    Herman then stopped 32 shots (9-13-10) and surrendered two goals in the 3-1 home loss Feb. 5. Of her 84 saves on the weekend, 23 were recorded on a total of 10 BU power-play opportunities and she did not surrender a power-play goal.

UNH records 700th win
    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 700-189-64 for a .768 winning percentage. The Wildcats attained the most recent century milestone Feb. 3, 2011 with a 4-2 road victory against third-ranked Boston University.
    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.
    The Wildcats became the first to reach the milestone of 600 victories in January 2007. Here is a time line for each century mark:
Mark    Date    Opponent    Result    Game #    Record
1st win    12/03/77    Colby    8-4    1    1-0-0
100    02/02/83    at Dartmouth    7-1    103    100-1-2
200    01/15/89    St. Lawrence    5-2    227    200-20-7
300    11/27/94    vs. Providence    5-2    371    300-55-16
400    11/21/98    at Yale    9-2    506    400-80-26
500    02/02/03    Providence    4-1    668    500-131-37
600    01/13/07    Maine    3-1    806    600-155-51
700    02/03/11    at Boston U.    4-2    953    700-189-64

200 Wins at The Whitt
    New Hampshire recorded its 200th victory at the Whittemore Center with a 4-2 victory Jan. 30 against Maine. Since the Whitt opened in the 1995-96 season, the UNH women's ice hockey team has a 200-43-24 home record, which calculates to a .794 winning percentage.

The state of New Hampshire
    New Hampshire has won four of its last six games, including road wins against three nationally-ranked teams – Jan. 15 at Providence (2-1), Jan. 22 at Northeastern (4-3 in overtime) and Feb. 3 at Boston U., and climbed to a .500 winning percentage for the first time since Dec. 1 with that Feb. 3 win at BU (13-13-0 record).
    Including today's game, three of UNH's last five regular-season games are against teams ranked in this week's national polls; the Wildcats are 3-6-0 vs. nationally-ranked teams this season. And four of the five are on the road; the 'Cats have a 6-5-0 road record.
    UNH's penalty kill was perfect (10-for-10) against Boston University's power-play unit that entered last weekend ranked fifth in the nation (22.1%); the kill included two 5-on-3 PKs totaling 1 minute, 48 seconds.
    Despite allowing 89 shots on goal in the two game series vs. BU, the 'Cats also blocked a total of 36 attempted shots; Courtney Birchard led the way with seven blocked shots.
    UNH's three-goal lead (3-0) at BU on Feb. 3 matched the largest of the season previously held against St. Lawrence and Union.

Developing the playoff picture
    With four league games remaining, UNH sits in sixth place in the Hockey East standings (the top six teams qualify for postseason play) with 12 points. The Wildcats trail Northeastern by four points and are two points ahead of both Maine and Vermont. NU and Maine win the head-to-head tiebreaker vs. UNH.

'Cat nips
    Since returning from injury Jan. 22, Herman has a 3-1-0 record, including two victories against nationally-ranked teams, with a .940 save percentage (141 saves/150 shots). In addition to last week's 52-save effort, she had a 40-save effort in a 4-3 overtime win at Northeastern University (Jan. 22).
    Freshman forward Sarah Campbell has scored a goal four of the last six games.
    Emma Clark, who has tallied an assist on four of Campbell's five goals, has four assists in the last six games; she had two assists in her first 81 career games.
    Sophomore forward Kristina Lavoie matched her personal best of two assists in consecutive games (Feb. 3 at BU; Jan. 30 vs. Maine). She also had a goal in that game against Maine to equal her career high of three points.
    Freshman defenseman Maggie Hunt scored her first collegiate goal Feb. 3 at third-ranked Boston University when she gave UNH a 1-0 lead late in the first period.
    Campbell and Molly Morrison are the two UNH skaters who have not been whistled for a penalty this season.

UNH vs. THE ECAC
    UNH has a 5-2-0 record against teams from the ECAC. Most recently, the Wildcats upended intrastate rival Dartmouth College, 1-0, on Dec. 11. The 'Cats have also defeated Rensselaer (4-3, Oct. 15) and Union (4-1, Oct. 16) on the road as well as Clarkson (2-1, Oct. 22) and St. Lawrence (5-3, Oct. 23) at home. The losses were to Colgate (1-0 in overtime, Oct. 9) and Harvard (3-1, Dec. 9).

Close calls
    New Hampshire improved to 2-1-0 in overtime games this season with a 4-3 OT win Jan. 22 at ninth-ranked Northeastern. Overall, the Wildcats are 7-4 in games decided by one goal and that includes 3-3 in Hockey East. All three games vs. UConn had a one goal margin (1-2 record).

A history of winning
    In 33 years, UNH has never finished with a losing record. The only non-winning season was 2001, when the 'Cats finished 17-17-0. The record for fewest goals in a season (99) and lowest scoring average (2.96 gpg) was established last season; this year's squad has 51 goals in 26 games for an average of 1.96 gpg.

Wildcats in the nation
    Here is how UNH stacks up against Quinnipiac in the national statistics (35 teams; through Feb. 4):
    UNH    QU
Offense (gpg)    25 (1.93)    12 (2.93)
Defense (gpg)    15 (2.22)    6 (1.79)
PP (%)    28 (.101)    7 (.209)
PK (%)    5 (.904)    8 (.891)

What just happened?
    UNH split a home-and-home series against third-ranked Boston University last weekend in which the road teams prevailed; the Wildcats were 4-2 victors on Feb. 3 (despite being outshot 54-16), then the Terriers won by a score of 3-1, including an empty-net goal with six seconds remaining, Feb. 5 at the Whittemore Center.

What's up next?
    Following Tuesday's non-conference matchup at Quinnipiac University, the Wildcats travel to the Burlington, Vermont for a two-game series against the University of Vermont at Gutterson Fieldhouse (Feb. 11-12).

Home / Road Splits
    UNH has a sub-.500 record at home (7-8-0) and has been outscored 29-24 in 15 games at the Whittemore Center. After opening with five consecutive home wins, the Wildcats are 2-8-0 in the last 10 games in Durham. Kristina Lavoie (5g, 5a in 15 games) and Courtney Birchard (3g, 5a in 12 games) are the top point producers at the Whittemore Center. Lindsey Minton is 6-7-0 with a 1.78 GAA, .931 save percentage and four shutouts. Kayley Herman has a 1-1-0 mark with a 2.02 GAA and .925 save percentage.
    The Wildcats have a 6-5-0 road record that includes 4-3-0 in Hockey East. Arielle O'Neill (6g, 4a) and Kristine Horn (2g, 5a) are the top point producers in road venues. Minton has a 2-3-0 record with a 2.00 GAA and .912 save percentage in five games while Kayley Herman is 4-2-0 with a 2.84 GAA and .915 save percentage in six games.
    UNH is averaging slightly more shots per game on the road (25.6) than at home (23.1). The power play, due to a 3-for-9 effort at home against Maine the last weekend of January, is slightly better at home (6-for-47) than on the road (4-for-45).

Scoring Breakdown
    New Hampshire has been outscored 26-15 in the third period (including 22-7 in 17 Hockey East league games), but the Wildcats have a slight edge in the and second (18-16) period; the goals are even, 17-17, in the first period.
    UNH has scored four goals three of the last five games after going a stretch of 15 consecutive games with less than three goal. Prior to that Jan. 22 overtime victory (4-3) at Northeastern, the Wildcats had not scored more than two goals in a game since defeating St. Lawrence University by a score of 5-3 on Oct. 23.
    The Wildcats have won all six games in which they have scored at least three goals, and they are 3-10-0 when surrendering three or more goals.

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