GAME DAY: Women's Ice Hockey Plays Host to Maine and Princeton During Thanksgiving Weekend

GAME NOTES | VIDEO | AUDIO (Nov. 26) | STATS | TICKETS

The Matchups
    The University of New Hampshire women's ice hockey team enters Thanksgiving weekend with a 4-8-2 overall record. The Wildcats begin a four-game homestand Nov. 25 (7 p.m.) against Maine and they face off versus Princeton University on Nov. 26 (2:05 p.m.).
    Saturday's game vs. Princeton will be broadcast live on WBIN-TV(50.2, Comcast 288 Universal Sports, ) as well as on The Wildcat Sports Radio Network. Friday is a White Out the Whitt game.
    New Hampshire has a 34-3-3 lifetime record, including 1-2-0 in last year's season series, against Maine; UNH has a 17-2-1 home record in the overall series (1-1-0 last year).
    The Wildcats' 14-game winning streak and 28-game unbeaten streak (25-0-3) vs. the Black Bears ended Nov. 23, 2010 with a 4-1 loss at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee (Lewiston, Maine). Maine, which had not defeated the 'Cats since January, 2002, was a 3-2 victor in the next meeting (Jan. 29 at the Whittemore Center). UNH avoided the season sweep with a 4-2 home win the next day.
    New Hampshire has a 37-5-2 lifetime record against Princeton, but the Tigers prevailed 2-1 in the most recent meeting (Nov. 11, 2007 at the Whittemore Center). That is the Wildcats' only loss to Princeton in 20 home games (18-1-1 record).
    The only current 'Cat who has skated against the Tigers is senior forward Emma Clark, but that was as a freshman at St. Lawrence University during the 2008-09 season. She did not record a point in two games vs. Princeton (SLU lost both games).

The State of New Hampshire
    New Hampshire has a 4-8-2 overall record that includes 0-4-1 in Hockey East and 1-2-1 at the Whittemore Center, where the Wildcats begin a four-game homestand Friday against Maine.
    UNH enters the weekend on a four-game losing streak following last weekend's sweep at the hands of second-ranked Minnesota (11-0, 6-1) at Ridder Arena.
    The Wildcats went 1-4-0 during their stretch of five consecutive road games spanning Nov. 6-19. Three of the five games were against nationally-ranked teams (Boston University; Minnesota twice).
    New Hampshire scored multiple power-play goals in a game for the first time this season with a 2-for-5 effort Nov. 12 at fifth-ranked Boston University. The Wildcats also surrendered their first shorthanded goal of the season in that game against the Terriers.
    UNH ended a six-game winless streak (0-4-2) with a 5-4 overtime victory at intrastate rival Dartmouth College (Nov. 6). The five-goal output matched the Wildcats' aggregate total of the previous five games. And since then, the 'Cats have scored a total of five goals in four games.
    UNH is averaging 4.25 goals per game in its four wins. The 'Cats are averaging 2.00 goals per game overall.
    New Hampshire remained unbeaten in overtime this season with its 5-4 win at Dartmouth. The Wildcats are now 1-0-2 in OT. Dating back to last season, the 'Cats are unbeaten in their last seven overtime games (3-0-4). UNH's last overtime loss was Oct. 9, 2010 (1-0 at Colgate).
    UNH has scored 16 of its 28 goals in the second period.

'Cat Nips
    Freshman goaltender Jenn Gilligan made 17 saves in the first period against second-ranked Minnesota on Nov. 19. It is her highest single-period total of the season.
    Gilligan made 27 saves (and yielded eight goals) in 40 minutes against those second-ranked Golden Gophers on Nov. 18. That total was one short of her career high of 28.
    Moe Bradley, another freshman goalie, appeared in both of last weekend's games at Minnesota. On Saturday, she made 11 saves in the second period and 18 in the third for a career high of 29.
    In the faceoff circle, Nicole Gifford leads the team in both wins (164) and total faceoffs (305). Arielle O'Neill ranks second in both of those stats with 122 faceoff wins in 200 draws; of the three primary centers, O'Neill has the top winning percentage (.610).
    O'Neill has recorded a point every-other game spanning the last five games with an assist at Dartmouth (Nov 6), a goal at Providence (Nov. 13) and an assist at Minnesota (Nov. 19).
    Heather Kashman has scored a goal in consecutive games twice this season. It happened most recently Nov. 6 (at Dartmouth) and Nov. 12 (at Boston U.). Kashman potted a goal in both games of the season-opening series at Niagara.

Wildcats in the Nation
    Here is how UNH stacks up against Maine and Princeton in the national statistics (34 teams; through Nov. 22):
                        UNH           Maine          Princeton
Offense (gpg)    29 (2.00)    12 (3.31)    22 (2.30)
Defense (gpg)    31 (3.86)    23 (2.88)    15 (2.30)
PP (%)             11 (.200)    19 (.149)    31 (.095)
PK (%)            18 (.836)    33 (.738)    8 (.882)

What Just Happened?
    UNH played a two-game series at second-ranked Minnesota and last weekend was outscored 17-1 with a 101-31 shot differential. The 11 goals scored by the Golden Gophers on Nov. 18 marked the highest total against the Wildcats in a single game in the program's 35-year history.

What's Up Next?
    Following home games on back-to-back days this weekend, the Wildcats continue a stretch of three games in five days when New Hampshire plays host to Union College at the Whittemore Center on Nov. 29 (7 p.m.). UNH's four-game homestand ends Dec. 3 (2 p.m.) against Northeastern and those teams conclude a home-and-home series Dec. 4 (2 p.m.) at Matthews Arena.

Captaining the 'Cats
    Junior defenseman Kailey Chappell is captain of the 2011-12 UNH Wildcats, while junior defenseman Katie Brock and sophomore forward Nicole Gifford will serve as alternate captains. All three were named to the 2011 Hockey East All-Academic Team.
    Chappell logs innumerable minutes as the backbone of the Wildcats' defensive unit and penalty kill.
    Through 14 games this season, Brock is second on the team in plus/minus (even).
    Gifford recorded an assist each of the first four games of the 2011-12 season. She has a team-high seven assists, is tied for the lead in points (10) and is third in shots (32). Gifford carried a three-game point-scoring streak into last weekend's series at second-ranked Minnesota but was held off the scoresheet by the Golden Gophers. Gifford recorded a career-high two assists at fifth-ranked Boston University (Nov. 12) and then scored a goal at Providence College (Nov. 13).

Forward Thinking
    Junior forwards Kristine Horn (5-foot-8) and Kristina Lavoie (5-9), as well as sophomore Arielle O'Neill (5-10), generated 38% of the team's points a year ago as three of the top four point producers.
    Horn opened the 2011-12 season with a five-game goal-scoring streak and she leads the Wildcats in goals (six). She is tied for the team lead in points (10) and has a team-best three power-play goals as well as a team-high 49 shots. Horn's three-game point-scoring streak came to an end last weekend. She tallied a goal and an assist at fifth-ranked Boston U. (Nov. 12) to match her season high of two points and then recorded an assist at Providence (Nov. 13). She is on the verge of recording her 50th career point (46 points; 19g, 27a).
    Through 14 games, Lavoie ranks third in points (eight), is tied for second in goals (four) and tied for third in assists (four), and is second in shots (45); she has two game-winning goals. She has a pair of two-point games (Sept. 30 at Niagara; Oct. 7 vs. Colgate).
    Lavoie recorded her 50th career point with the first of her two points, a second-period assist, Sept. 30 at Niagara. She enters the weekend with 31 goals and 26 assists for 57 points to lead all active players in both goals and points (and rank second in assists).
    Entering this weekend's games, O'Neill has six points on one goal and five assists, which ranks second on the team. She tallied two helpers in the Sept. 30 season opener at Niagara and had an assist Oct. 21 at St. Lawrence as well as an assist in the 5-4 overtime win at Dartmouth College on Nov. 6. O'Neill has a point in two of the last three games with a goal at Providence College (Nov. 13) and assist at second-ranked Minnesota (Nov. 19).

The Puck Stops Here
    UNH has three goaltenders on its 2011-12 roster, but only senior Lindsey Minton entered the season with collegiate experience. Freshman Jenn Gilligan has immediately challenged Minton for playing time and fellow newcomer Moe Bradley completes the depth chart.
    In fact, Gilligan has more than just challenged for playing time as she has received the starting nod in 11 of 14 games. She made 21 saves in her Sept. 30 collegiate debut, a 6-4 victory at Niagara. In her next start, Gilligan stopped 19 shots to record her first career shutout in a 3-0 win against Colgate on Oct. 7. She made 24 saves to backbone UNH to a 1-1 tie against fifth-ranked Boston College at the Whittemore Center (Oct. 14) and then stopped a season-high 28 shots in the 2-2 tie at St. Lawrence (Oct. 21). Gilligan matched that personal best of 28 saves in a 5-2 loss at fifth-ranked Boston University (Nov. 12).
    Last weekend at second-ranked Minnesota, she started both games and played a total of three periods. In the opener (Nov. 18), Gilligan made 27 saves and surrendered eight goals in 40 minutes. One day later, she made 17 first-period saves and exited the game with UNH trailing 3-0 at the first intermission.
    Minton got the starting nod Oct. 1 at Niagara and stopped 22 of 24 shots to backbone the Wildcats to a 3-2 victory. It marked her 50th career game (48th start). In her second start, Minton made a season-high 30 saves, including 16 in the third period, in a 5-0 loss at fifth-ranked BC. It marked the fifth time in her career that Minton finished with 30+ saves. Most recently, she made 12 saves and yielded four goals in 31:59 to be charged with the loss at Providence College (Nov. 13). In three games, Minton is 1-2-0 with a 4.34 GAA and .853 save percentage.
    Bradley has had a relief stint each of the last three games. She made her collegiate debut Nov. 13 at Providence with a relief stint of 28 minutes, 1 second and finished with 18 saves, including 14 in the third period, and allowed two goals.
    In the two-game series at second-ranked Minnesota, Bradley stopped 11 of 14 third-period shots on Nov. 18, then made a career-high 29 saves with 11 stops in the second period and 18 in the third; she allowed three goals in that game.

No longer freshmen
    Hannah Armstrong and Maggie Hunt are veterans on the 2011-12 squad despite their sophomore status. Armstrong, who has missed each of the last six games, opened the 2011-12 season with a two-point weekend at Niagara University. She scored a goal in the Sept. 30 opener, then tallied an assist Oct. 1. Armstrong tallied her third point of the season Oct. 14 with an assist in the 1-1 tie vs. 5th-ranked Boston College.
    Hunt recorded her first point of the 2011-12 season with an assist on the Wildcats' only goal in a 2-1 loss to Syracuse at the Whittemore Center on Oct. 8. She scored the team's only goal against Vermont on Nov. 3 (4-1 loss at the Whittemore Center) and potted a power-play goal at second-ranked Minnesota on Nov. 19. Hunt quarterbacks the UNH power play from the point and ranks fourth in shots (30).

Immediate Impact
    Six members of the freshman class have skated in all 14 games, while freshman goaltender Jenn Gilligan has seen action in 11 games (all starts). Heather Kashman (4g, 3a) and Jenn Lascelle (2g, 3a) are the top point producers and Kayla Mork (1g, 2a) has contributed three points. Caroline Broderick (1g) and Brynja Bogan have seen significant minutes as part of the defensive unit and Jess Ryan has also patrolled the blue line.
 
A Matter Of Class
    Here is a glance at the class breakdown (excluding goalies) with number of players per class indicated in parenthesis:
    G (%)    A (%)    P (%)
Senior (1)    3 (10%)    1   (3%)    4   (6%)
Junior (6)    10 (36%)    11 (31%)    21 (33%)
Sophomore (5)    7 (25%)    16 (44%)    23 (36%)
Freshman (7)    8 (29%)    8 (22%)    16 (25%)

O, Canada
    Ten of 22 student-athletes on the 2011 UNH women's ice hockey roster hail from Canada. Hannah Armstrong, Kailey Chappell, Bryanna Farris, Nicole Gifford, Paige Goloubef, Jenna Lascelle, Kristina Lavoie and Arielle O'Neill are from Ontario, Jenn Gilligan hails from British Columbia and Heather Kashman is matriculating from Alberta.
    These players account for 15 of the team's 28 goals (53.6%), 26 of 36 assists (72.2%) and 41 of 64 points (64.1%), as well as 71.2% of the minutes in goal.

On The Airwaves
    A total of eight UNH women's ice hockey games will be broadcast live on The Wildcat Sports Radio Network, which consists of WGIR-AM 610 (Manchester), WQSO-FM 96.7 (Portsmouth), WGIN-AM 930 (Rochester), WNTK-FM 99.7 (New London) and WASR-AM 1420 (Wolfeboro), WSMN-AM 1590 (Nashua).
    It begins with the home opener Oct. 7 vs. Colgate and concludes with the final regular-season home game Feb. 12 against Providence.
    Here is the schedule of games (listed time is start of broadcast):
  Oct. 7 vs. Colgate (3-0 win)
  Nov. 3 vs. Vermont (4-1 loss)
  Nov. 26 vs. Princeton, 1:55 pm
  Nov. 29 vs. Union, 6:55 pm
  Dec. 11 vs. Dartmouth, 1:55 pm
  Jan. 13 vs. UConn, 6:55 pm
  Feb. 4 vs. Boston U., 1:55 pm
  Feb. 12 vs. Providence, 1:55 pm

'Cats on TV
    New Hampshire will have two of its home games broadcast live on WBIN-TV. You can catch the 'Cats on the tube Nov. 26 against Princeton as well as Jan. 28 against Vermont.

UNH Records 700th Win
    UNH, now in its 35th year at the varsity level, is the winningest women's college hockey program in the United States with an overall record of 705-199-68 for a .762 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 34 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 made five consecutive NCAA tourney appearances (2006-10) with two trips to the Frozen Four in that span.
    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, 2011 against Maine. Since the Whitt opened in the 1995-96 season, the UNH women's ice hockey team has a 201-46-25 home record, which calculates to a .787 winning percentage.

Scouting the Black Bears
    The University of Maine (Orono, Maine) enters the week with a 7-5-4 overall record that includes 2-3-1 in Hockey East and 4-2-1 on the road. The Black Bears play Wednesday at Vermont before traveling to UNH for Friday's matchup.
    Last weekend, Maine skated to a pair of ties (4-4 on Nov. 18; 0-0 on Nov. 19) at home against Brown to extend its unbeaten streak to four games (1-0-3). The Black Bears are 2-1-4 in the last seven games.
    Myriam Croussette and Brittany Dougherty are tied for the team lead in goals (nine). Croussette is also tied for the lead in assists (eight) with Daneille Ward and Dawn Sullivan. Croussette has a team-high 17 points and is followed by Dougherty (16), Ward (15) and Sullivan (11). Ward has 108 career points in 100 games.
    Brittany Ott is the team's top goaltender. In 14 games (11 starts), Ott is 4-4-2 with a 2.88 GAA, .893 save percentage and one shutout. Kylie Smith is 2-1-2 with a 2.69 GAA, .870 save percentage and one shutout in six games (four starts).
    Maine is 5-2-1 when scoring the first goal and 3-2 in games decided by one goal, including 1-1 in overtime.

Scouting the Tigers
    Princeton University (Princeton, N.J.) enters the weekend with a 4-5-1 overall record and faces off against Boston College before coming to the Whittemore Center to battle UNH. The Tigers are 3-4-1 in the ECAC and 1-2-1 on the road, as well as 1-0-0 against Hockey East teams (5-3 season-opening win vs. Northeastern).
    The Tigers have lost four consecutive games following last weekend's 3-1 loss to Cornell and 6-4 loss to Colgate.
    Sally Butler (5g, 6a) and Denna Laing (4g, 6a) are the two players who have reached double digits in points. Olivia Mucha (4g, 5a), Ali Pankowski (1g, 6a) and Paula Romanchuk (1g, 5a) are three of the other top point producers.
    Rachel Weber has started all 10 games in goal and her numbers include a 2.10 GAA, .926 save percentage and one shutout.
    Princeton is winless when falling behind 1-0 (0-3-0), trailing at the first intermission (0-2-0) and trailing at the second intermission (0-4-0). The Tigers have outscored the opposition 10-3 in the first period.

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