Game Notes: Women's Hockey Travels to Vermont for Two-Game Series

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The Matchup

    The University of New Hampshire women's ice hockey team plays a two-game series against the University of Vermont at UVM's Gutterson Fieldhouse on Feb. 11-12.
    UNH has a 24-1-0 lifetime record, including this year's 2-0 victory at the Whittemore Center, against Vermont. The Wildcats have won three consecutive games in this series dating back to UVM's 2-1 victory on Feb. 3, 2010 at Gutterson Fieldhouse. In the previous 25 meetings, New Hampshire outscored Vermont 151-15 with 16 victories by shutout.
    In this season's previous matchup, Kristina Lavoie (1g, 1a), Arielle O'Neill (1g, 1a) and Bryanna Farris (2a) accounted for all the point production and Lindsey Minton made 21 saves to record her third consecutive shutout and extend UNH's winning streak to seven games. Lavoie opened the scoring at 11:32 of the first period and O'Neill extended the advantage to 2-0 at 5:18 of the second stanza. UVM goalie Roxanne Douville finished with 24 saves.
    In UNH's most recent trip to Burlington (February 2010), the Wildcats (ranked #4 in the nation) returned home with a 2-1 loss when Erin Wente broke a 1-1 tie with 2:28 remaining in the third period. UNH recorded a 23-16 shot advantage, was 1-for-5 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill.  Kristina Lavoie extended her goal-scoring streak to nine in that game.

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 700-189-65 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 is 4-2-1 spanning the last seven games and that includes 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).
    UNH is unbeaten (3-0-1) in its last four road games and is 6-5-1 on the road this season that includes 4-3-0 in Hockey East action.
    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. The PK continued its success Tuesday at Quinnipiac as the 'Cats were 4-for-4 against the seventh-ranked Bobcats' power play.
    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, Kayley Herman has a 3-1-1 record, including two victories against nationally-ranked teams, with a .943 save percentage (165 saves/175 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). Herman stopped 24 of 25 shots in Tuesday's 1-1 tie at Quinnipiac University.
    Arielle O'Neill has six points (2g, 4a) in the last six games and that includes an assist on UNH's lone goal Tuesday at Quinnipiac.
    Freshman forward Sarah Campbell has scored a goal four of the last seven games.
    Emma Clark, who has tallied an assist on four of Campbell's five goals, has four assists in the last seven 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.

Close Calls
    New Hampshire has a 7-4 record in games decided by one goal and that includes 3-3 in Hockey East as well as 2-1 in overtime. 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 lowest single-season win total of 14 was in the 1994 season (14-10-3 record).

Wildcats in the Nation
    Here is how UNH stacks up against Vermont in the national statistics (35 teams; through Feb. 10):
    UNH    UVM
Offense (gpg)    27 (1.89)    32 (1.28)
Defense (gpg)    15 (2.18)    13 (2.21)
PP (%)    29 (.099)    30 (.097)
PK (%)    4 (.906)    17 (.855)

What Just Happened?
    UNH skated to a 1-1 tie against Quinnipiac University at the TD Bank Sports Center on Tuesday, Feb. 8 (the game was initially scheduled for Jan. 18 but was postponed due to inclement weather).
    Following a scoreless first period, the Bobcats took a 1-0 lead at 8:06 of the second stanza. They held that one-goal advantage until Courtney Birchard, with the assistance of Arielle O'Neill and Kailey Chappell, struck at 12:45 of the third period. UNH carried the play the rest of the way, including a 5-2 shot advantage in overtime.
    Kayley Herman stopped 24 of 25 shots, as did QU goalie Victoria Vigilanti.

What's Up Next?
    Following the weekend series at Vermont, UNH closes the regular season with a home-and-home series against Boston College. The teams face off at Conte Forum on Feb. 19 and UNH's Senior Day is Feb. 20. Both games begin at two o'clock.

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 6-5-1 road record that includes 4-3-0 in Hockey East. Arielle O'Neill (6g, 5a) and Kristine Horn (2g, 5a) are the top point producers in road venues. Herman is 4-2-1 with a 2.55 GAA and .920 save percentage in seven games while Minton has a 2-3-0 record with a 2.00 GAA and .912 save percentage in five 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-47).

Scoring Breakdown
    New Hampshire has been outscored 26-16 in the third period (including 22-7 in 17 Hockey East league games), but the Wildcats have a slight edge in the and second (18-17) period; the goals are even, 17-17, in the first period.
    UNH has scored four goals three of the last six games after going a stretch of 15 consecutive games with less than three goals. 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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