November 28, 2011

GAME DAY: Women's Ice Hockey Welcomes Union To The Whitt (Nov. 29; 7 pm)

GAME NOTES | VIDEO | AUDIO | STATS | TICKETS

The Matchup
    The University of New Hampshire women's ice hockey team faces off against ECAC foe Union College on Tuesday, Nov. 29 (7 p.m.) at the Whittemore Center in the third game of a four-game homestand. The game will be broadcast live on The Wildcat Sports Radio Network.
    UNH and Union met for the first time last October and the Wildcats prevailed 4-1 at the Dutchwomen's Messa Rink (Schenectady, N.Y.). Then-freshman Arielle O'Neill recorded career highs in both assists (two) and points (three) while classmate Hannah Armstrong tallied a personal best of two points with a goal and an assist.
    The Wildcats generated a 21-2 shot advantage in the first period to take a 1-0 lead into the first intermission and the 'Cats extended the advantage to 3-0 with a pair of second-period goals. Union spoiled Lindsey Minton's shutout bid with 2:22 remaining in the third period and O'Neill scored an empty-net goal with one second on the clock to close the scoring.
    New Hampshire finished the game with a 41-20 shot advantage, 1-for-6 on the power play and 9 of 9 on the penalty kill.

The State of New Hampshire
    New Hampshire has a 5-9-2 overall record that includes 3-1-0 against ECAC teams and 2-3-1 at the Whittemore Center.
    UNH halted a five-game losing streak with a 3-1 victory Saturday, Nov. 26 against Princeton University. The three goals matched the aggregate total of the previous four games.
    The Wildcats are ranked No. 2 in the nation in combined special teams with a 59.2% success rate. UNH's penalty kill was perfect (12-for-12) in two games last week and that included holding Princeton scoreless on nine power plays.
    New Hampshire 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).
    UNH is averaging 4.00 goals per game in its four wins. The 'Cats are averaging 1.94 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).

On Second Thought
    UNH has scored 18 of its 31 goals in the second period.

'Cat Nips
    Nicole Gifford recorded her first career multiple-goal game with three goals to lead UNH to a 3-0 victory against Princeton University on Nov. 26; it was the first hat trick by a Wildcat since Nov. 21, 2009 (Kelly Paton vs. Rensselaer). The three points also marked a personal best for the sophomore forward and assistant captain.
    Gifford leads the team in goals (six; tied with Kristine Horn), power-play goals (three), assists (seven) and points (13).
    Sophomore defenseman Maggie Hunt recorded career highs in both assists and points with a two-assist effort against Princeton.
    Junior Kristine Horn, who has been transitioned to defenseman the past three games, matched a personal best of two assists vs. Princeton.
    Freshman goaltender Moe Bradley made her first collegiate start (in her fourth overall game) Nov. 25 against Maine. She finished the 3-0 loss with 18 saves.
    Brynja Bogan, a freshman defenseman, recorded her first career point with an assist Nov. 26 against Princeton.
    Jenn Gilligan, another freshman goalie, stopped 24 of 25 shots in the 3-1 win against Princeton.
    In the faceoff circle, Nicole Gifford leads the team in both wins (186) and total faceoffs (340). Arielle O'Neill ranks second in both of those stats with 153 faceoff wins in 242 draws; of the three primary centers, O'Neill has the top winning percentage (.632); she had a particularly impressive game in the faceoff circle against Maine on Nov. 25, when she won 19 of 23 draws.

Wildcats in the Nation
    Here is how UNH stacks up against Union in the national statistics (34 teams; through Nov. 28):
                       UNH           Union
Offense (gpg)    30 (1.94)    28 (2.07)
Defense (gpg)    31 (3.62)    29 (3.36)
PP (%)            15 (.193)    29 (.102)
PK (%)             11 (.859)    19 (.839)

What Just Happened?
    UNH halted its five-game losing streak with a 3-1 victory against Princeton University at the Whittemore Center on Nov. 26. Nicole Gifford led the offense with three goals and Jenn Gilligan stopped 24 of 25 shots (.960 save percentage) to backbone the defensive effort.
    The Wildcats were 9 of 9 on the penalty kill and that included six kills in the third period, when the 'Cats were shorthanded for a total of 10 minutes, 46 seconds. UNH's power play went 2-for-6.        Princeton took a 1-0 lead in the first period, but Gifford scored a power-play goal with 2:31 remaining in the opening stanza and she netted another power-play goal at 9:06 of the second to give the 'Cats a lead they would not relinquish. She completed the hat trick less than three minutes later (at 11:55).

What's Up Next?
    New Hampshire plays a home-and-home series against 10th-ranked Northeastern University on Dec. 3-4. The Wildcats conclude a four-game homestand at the Whittemore Center this Saturday, then the teams face off at NU's Matthews Arena on Sunday. Both games begin at 2 p.m.
    Dec. 3 is part of the annual Wildcat Toy Drive. Bring an unwrapped toy to the Whittemore Center.
Right at Home
    In five games at the Whittemore Center, Jenn Gilligan has a 2-2-1 record with a 1.59 GAA, .922 save percentage and one shutout. She has surrendered more than one goal just once in five home games (2-1 loss to Syracuse on Oct. 8).

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 16 games this season, Brock is second on the team in plus/minus. She is also an integral part of the defense and penalty kill.
    Gifford recorded an assist each of the first four games of the 2011-12 season. She leads the team in assists (seven) and points (13) and is tied for the lead in both goals (six) and power-play goals (three); she ranks third in shots (44) and shooting percentage (.136).
    Gifford has tallied a point in nine of 16 games with three multiple-point efforts. She scored three goals Nov. 26 vs. Princeton for her first career multiple-goal game, and the three points also marked a personal best. Gifford tallied a career-high two assists at fifth-ranked Boston University (Nov. 12). She opened the season with an assist in four consecutive games.

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 is tied for the team lead in goals (six). She is also tied for the lead in power-play goals (three), has a team-high 54 shots and is ranked second in both assists (six) and points (12).
    Horn has recorded a point in nine of 16 games with three multiple-point efforts. She matched her career high of two assists against Princeton (Nov. 26) and had a two-point game (1g, 1a) Nov. 12 at fifth-ranked Boston University. She is on the verge of recording her 50th career point (48 points; 19g, 29a).
    Through 16 games, Lavoie ranks third in points (eight), is tied for third in goals (four) and tied for fourth in assists (four), and is second in shots (51); she has two game-winning goals. Lavoie 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 Tuesday's game, O'Neill has six points on one goal and five assists, which ranks third 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.

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 immediately challenged Minton for playing time and fellow newcomer Moe Bradley completes the depth chart.
    Gilligan, in fact, has more than just challenged for playing time as she has received the starting nod in 12 of 16 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).
    In the two-game series at second-ranked Minnesota (Nov. 18-19), she started both games and played a total of three periods. In the opener, 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.
    Bradley made a relief appearance three consecutive games spanning Nov. 13-19 prior to making her first career start Nov. 25 against Maine. 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.
    Bradley made 18 saves in her start against Maine (3-0 loss).
    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.

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 eight 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 has emerged as one of the team's top point producers in recent weeks with four points (1g, 3a) in six games. She recorded personal bests in both assists and points with a two-assist effort Nov. 26 against Princeton. Hunt scored a goal Nov. 19 at second-ranked Minnesota and tallied an assists Nov. 13 at Providence College.
    Hunt is UNH's top-scoring defenseman with six points (2g, 4a) in 16 games; she tallied 2-2-4 in 30 games last year as a freshman. She quarterbacks the power play and ranks fourth on the team in both assists and shots (38).
    She 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).

Immediate Impact
    Six members of the freshman class have skated in all 16 games, while freshman goaltender Jenn Gilligan has seen action in 12 games (all starts) and Moe Bradley has played in each of the last four games (one start). Heather Kashman (4g, 3a) and Jenna Lascelle (2g, 3a) are the top point producers and Kayla Mork (1g, 2a) has contributed three points. Caroline Broderick (1g) and Brynja Bogan (1a) have seen significant minutes as part of the defensive unit and Jess Ryan has also patrolled the blue line. In the last three games, both Bogan and Ryan have skated as forwards.
 
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   (2%)    4   (6%)
Junior (6)            10 (32%)    13 (32%)    23 (32%)
Sophomore (5)    10 (32%)    18 (44%)    28 (39%)
Freshman (7)       8 (26%)    9 (22%)    17 (24%)

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 18 of the team's 31 goals (58.1%), 26 of 41 assists (63.4%) and 44 of 72 points (61.1%), as well as 68.5% 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 (3-1 win)
  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 706-200-68 for a .760 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 202-47-25 home record, which calculates to a .783 winning percentage.

Scouting the Dutchwomen
    Union College (Schenectady, N.Y.) enters Tuesday's game with a 3-10-1 overall record that includes 1-4-1 in the ECAC, 0-3-0 against Hockey East teams and 1-6-0 on the road.
    The Dutchwomen have lost three consecutive games following a 5-0 loss Sunday at home to Providence College. Union is winless in four games and is 1-6-1 in the last eight.
    Bryanne Panchuk lead the team in both assists (four) and points (seven), and she is tied for second in goals (three). Emilie Arseneault has a team-high four goals and she is tied with eight other skaters for second in points (five).
    Shenae Lundberg, Alana Marcinko and Kate Gallagher have split the goaltending duties. Lundberg (seven games, all starts) is 1-6-0 with a 3.97 GAA and .871 save percentage. Marcinko (six games, four starts) is 1-3-0 with a 3.17 GAA and .903 save percentage. Gallagher (four games, three starts) is 1-1-1 with a 1.76 GAA and .948 save percentage.

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