GAME DAY: Women's Ice Hockey Plays Host to UConn for Two-Game Series (Jan. 13-14)

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The Matchups
    The University of New Hampshire women's ice hockey team plays host to the University of Connecticut for a two game series this weekend. The teams face off Friday the 13th at 7 p.m. and complete the two-game series Jan. 14 (4 p.m.) at the Whittemore Center.
    Friday's game will be broadcast live on the Wildcats Sports Radio Network.
    UNH has a 31-5-4 lifetime record, including 1-2-0 last season, against UConn. The Wildcats have a 16-2-2 home record and had their 16-game home unbeaten streak (14-0-2) vs. the Huskies end November 2010 with a 1-0 loss at the Whittemore Center.
    That loss ended UNH's streak of six consecutive wins in the series as well as a 17-game unbeaten streak (15-0-2) that dated back to the 2005 Hockey East semifinals.
    In last year's three-game series, UNH recorded the shot advantage every game with an overall edge of 82-52. The Wildcats went 0-for-10 on the power play and UConn was 1-for-13 with the skater advantage.

Hockey East 10th-Year Celebration
    The Women's Hockey East Association,whose inagural season was  2002-03, is celebrating 10 years of hockey during the 2011-12 season. In correlation with this benchmark, UNH will honor former players from the past decade at the Feb. 4 game against Boston University.
    There will also be a special Hockey East insert each of the next five home games  – beginning Jan. 13 and culminating with the Feb. 4 game – to recall UNH's top 10 Hockey East moments.

The State of New Hampshire
    New Hampshire has a 6-13-3 overall record that includes 0-7-2 in Hockey East and 3-4-2 at home – 0-2-2 in Hockey East home games. UNH ended a month layoff Jan. 10 with a 4-2 loss at fourth-ranked Boston College; the Wildcats' previous game was Dec. 11, 2011 (8-5 home loss to Dartmouth).
    The 'Cats are winless (0-4-1 with four consecutive losses) since Nov. 29, when they defeated Union College, 3-2 in overtime at the Whittemore Center. New Hampshire has played three games vs. ranked teams (0-2-1) – and also faced off against another team currently in the national rankings – since then.
    UNH closes the regular season with 13 consecutive Hockey East league games; that stretch began Jan. 10 at BC. Seven of the remaining 12 games are at home.
    The Wildcats slipped from No. 10 in the nation in penalty kill to No. 21 after going 1-for-4 against Dartmouth on Dec. 11. UNH was perfect (4 of 4) this past Tuesday at Boston College to climb back to No. 17.
    New Hampshire remained unbeaten in overtime this season with its 3-3 tie against 10th-ranked Northeastern University at the Whittemore Center on Dec. 3. The Wildcats are now 2-0-3 in OT this season. Dating back to last year, the 'Cats are unbeaten in their last nine overtime games (4-0-5). UNH's last overtime loss was Oct. 9, 2010 (1-0 at Colgate).
    UNH's streak of five consecutive games with a power-play goal ended Dec. 11 vs. Dartmouth when the 'Cats were scoreless on three power-play opportunities. New Hampshire went 6-for-23 (21.7%) in the five-game stretch. UNH has scored a power-play goal in 14 of 22 games this season.
    The last time UNH outshot an opponent was Nov. 29, when the Wildcats had a 32-15 edge against Union (3-2 victory at the Whittemore Center). In five games since that one, the opposition has tallied more shots four times – UNH and Northeastern tied at 27 on Dec. 4 – with an aggregate margin of 169-117.

'Cat Nips
    Senior goaltender Lindsey Minton recorded a career-high 39 saves Tuesday, Jan. 10 at fourth-ranked Boston College; that included a 15-save effort in the scoreless first period. Minton's previous season high of 30 saves also came at BC (Oct. 15, 2011) and her prvious benchmark of 37 was against Boston College (Nov. 28, 2010).
    Minton has played each of the last five games (with three starts – Jan. 10 at BC; Dec.11 vs. Dartmouth; Dec. 4 at Northeastern). She appeared in just three of the first 17 games of the season.
    Junior forward Kristina Lavoie carries a three-game point-scoring streak into the UConn series. She extended the streak to three games with a goal and an assist Tuesday at Boston College. Lavoie has five points (2g, 3a) the past three games and seven points (4g, 3a) in the last six.
    Freshman forward Jenna Lascelle recorded multiple points for the second consecutive game with two points (1g, 1a) at BC. In the previous game, she scored three goals against Dartmouth College (Dec. 11 at the Whittemore Center).
    Junior defenseman Kailey Chappell recorded her first career multiple-point game with two assists Jan. 10 at Boston College.
    In the faceoff circle, Nicole Gifford leads the team in both wins (232) and total faceoffs (427). Arielle O'Neill ranks second in both of those stats with 191 faceoff wins in 300 draws; of the three primary centers, O'Neill has the top winning percentage (.637); she had a particularly impressive game in the faceoff circle against Maine on Nov. 25, when she won 19 of 23 draws; O'Neill also controlled 9 of 11 faceoffs Nov. 29 against Union.

Friday the 13th
    The last time UNH played on Friday the 13th was Feb. 13, 2009. The Wildcats were 3-2 victors at Providence that day. It is the only time in the last five years the 'Cats have played a Friday the 13th game.

Wildcats in the Nation
    Here is how UNH stacks up against UConn in the national statistics (34 teams; through Jan. 10):
                         UNH            UConn
Offense (gpg)    26 (2.14)    32 (1.68)
Defense (gpg)    31 (3.86)    25 (2.91)
PP (%)              12 (.193)    24 (.124)
PK (%)              17 (.844)    5 (.886)

What Just Happened?
    New Hampshire – without the services of defensemen Kristine Horn and Maggie Hunt, forward Hannah Armstrong and goaltender Jenn Gilligan – battled fourth-ranked Boston College on Tuesday, Jan. 10 and despite a career-high 39 saves from senior goaltender Lindsey Minton, UNH was defeated 4-2 at Conte Forum.
    The teams skated to a scoreless tie through the first period, in which the Eagles recorded a 15-6 shot advantage. BC scored goals 1:43 apart – at 15:20 and 17:07 – to quickly build a 2-0 lead. Jenna Lascelle scored with 37 seconds remaining in the second stanza, but the home team struck 24 seconds later to take a 3-1 lead into intermission. UNH once again pulled within one goal, 3-2, on Kristina Lavoie's power-play goal at 10:11 of the third period. Boston College reestablished a two-goal cushion at 14:36, but then was whistled for penalties at 14:53 and 15:14 to give the 'Cats a 5-on-3 power play for 99 seconds. UNH did not record a shot on goal, however, and then was called for a penalty with 2:01 remaining.
    Lascelle, Lavoie and Kailey Chappell accounted for all six points. Lascelle and Lavoie both tallied a goal and an assist, while Chappell finished with two assists.
    BC finished with a 43-21 shot advantage. UNH went 1-for-6 on the power play and was perfect (4 of 4) on the penalty kill.

What's Up Next?
    Following the two-game home series vs. UConn, UNH plays host to Hockey East preseason favorite Boston University on Jan. 19 (7 p.m.), then travel to Boston to face off against Northeastern on Jan. 21 (2 p.m.)

Right at Home
    New Hampshire has scored 3+ goals each of its last four home games spanning Nov. 26–Dec. 11 and is averaging 3.50 goals per game (14 total goals). The Wildcats netted three goals in consecutive games against Princeton, Union and Northeastern, then potted five goals vs. Dartmouth.
    Kristine Horn (4g, 4a), Jenna Lascelle (4g, 3a) and Nicole Gifford (3g, 4a) are the top point producers at the Whittemore Center this season.
    In her home debut of the 2011-12 season, Lindsey Minton stopped 26 of 27 shots in a relief role to backbone UNH to a 3-3 tie in that Dec. 3 game vs. NU. She did not duplicate that success in her only other home game, as Minton made nine first-period saves but allowed four goals and exited the Dec. 11 game vs. Dartmouth with the 'Cats trailing 4-3 at the first intermission.
    In seven games at the Whittemore Center, Jenn Gilligan has a 3-3-1 record with a 2.13 GAA, .896 save percentage and one shutout. In her most recent home game, Gilligan entered the Dec. 11 game vs. Dartmouth at the start of the second period with UNH trailing 4-3. She played the final two periods and made 16 saves, but allowed three goals and was charged with the loss in the 8-5 setback to the Big Green.

Wins & Losses
    Here is a statistical comparison of UNH's wins (six games) and losses (13):
                             Win       Loss
Offense (gpg)         3.8        1.4
Defense (gpg)        2.2         5.1
Shots (per game)    28.3      22.7
Opp. shots/game    21.3       32.0
Power play            .300       .167
Penalty kill            .906       .793

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 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. She opened the 2012 calendar year by recorded her first career multiple-point game with two assists at fourth-ranked Boston College on Jan. 10. Chappell tallied her first point of the season with an assist in UNH's 3-2 overtime victory against Union College (Nov. 29 at the Whittemore Center) and recorded her second point of the season with another assist Dec. 11 vs. Dartmouth.
    Brock is also an integral part of the defense and penalty kill. She has one point this season with an assist in the team's 5-4 overtime victory at Dartmouth on Nov. 6.
    Gifford, with seven points (5g, 2a) the past seven games, has climbed to the top of the team leaderboard in goals (eight), power-play goals (four) and points (17); she is also second in assists (nine) and ranks third in both shots (57) and shooting percentage (.140).
    Gifford, who recorded an assist each of the first four games, has tallied a point in 12 of 22 games with four multiple-point efforts. She scored three goals Nov. 26 vs. Princeton University for her first career multiple-goal game, and the three points also marked a personal best. Gifford then matched her personal best of two assists Nov. 29 against Union College. She had previously tallied a career-high two assists at fifth-ranked Boston University (Nov. 12).

Providing "O" From The D
    Kristine Horn opened the season as a forward but has skated as a defenseman each of the last eight games played (began Nov. 19 at second-ranked Minnesota); she missed the Jan. 10 game at BC.
    Overall, the junior is tied for the team lead in points (17) and has a team-best 10 assists. She is third in goals (seven), tied for third in power-play goals (three) and is second in shots (64).
    Horn has recorded a point in five of eight games as a defenseman and carries a three-game point-scoring streak into 2012. She ended 2011 with a goal vs. Dartmouth (Dec. 11); Horn had tallied an assist each of the previous two games at Harvard (Dec. 9) and at Northeastern (Dec. 4). Horn recorded consecutive two-assist performances against Princeton (Nov. 26) and Union (Nov. 29); the two assists match her personal best.
    Horn recorded her 50th career point (19g, 31a) with the second of her two points Nov. 29 against Union College at the Whittemore Center.
    She opened the 2011-12 season with a five-game goal-scoring streak and has recorded a point in 13 of 21 games with four multiple-point efforts, including 1g, 1a against both Niagara (Oct. 1) and fifth-ranked Boston U. (Nov. 12).
    Horn is the team's top scorer in Hockey East league play with five points (2g, 3a) in eight games.

Forward Thinking
    Kristina Lavoie, last year's team leader in both assists and points, is once again one of the team's top point producers. Lavoie is tied atop the leaderboard in goals (eight) and ranks third in points (15), tied for third in assists (seven) and first in shots (70); she has two game-winning goals and three power-play goals.
    Lavoie recorded her fourth two-point game of the season with a goal and an assist Jan. 10 at fourth-ranked Boston College; her previous multiple-point efforts were: Sept. 30 at Niagara; Oct. 7 vs. Colgate; Dec. 9 at Harvard.
    She scored a goal in back-to-back games against Union College (Nov. 29) and 10th-ranked Northeastern University (Dec. 3). Lavoie closed December by matching her career high in assists (two) at Harvard and scoring a goal vs. Dartmouth.
    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 35 goals and 29 assists for 64 points to lead all active players in both goals and points (and rank second in assists).
    Entering Tuesday's game at BC, Arielle O'Neill has eight points on one goal and seven assists, which ranks third on the team. She tallied two helpers in the Sept. 30 season opener at Niagara and matched that personal best of two assists Dec. 11 vs. Dartmouth. O'Neill also tallied 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.
    Minton, who played in just three of the first 17 games of the season, has played each of the last five games and that included a start this past Tuesday (Jan. 10) at fourth-ranked Boston College in which she made a career-high 39 saves. She made double-digit saves all three periods (15-11-13) to surpass her previous season high of 30 (Oct. 15 at BC) and career high of 37 (Nov. 28, 2010 vs. BC).
    Minton received 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 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.
    Minton played five of six periods (plus the overtime session) in a home-and-home series against 10th-ranked Northeastern University. She helped backbone UNH to a 3-3 tie at home against NU on Dec. 3; she played the second, third and overtime periods and stopped 26 of 27 shots. Minton played all three periods of the 5-1 road loss on Dec. 4 in which she made 22 saves and allowed four goals.
    Overall in eight games (six starts), Minton is 1-4-1 with a 4.10 GAA and .871 save percentage. In five Hockey East league games, she is 0-4-1 with a 4.23 GAA and. .878 save percentage.
    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). Her overall numbers include 0-2-0, 5.10 GAA and .861 save percentage in five games (two starts).
    Gilligan, in fact, has more than just challenged for playing time as she has received the starting nod in 14 of 22 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.
    Gilligan's season numbers include a 5-7-2 record, 3.20 GAA, .872 save percentage and one shutout.

Immediate Impact
    Three members of the freshman class have skated in all 22 games, while others have skated in 21, 20 and 19 games. Freshman goaltender Jenn Gilligan has seen action in 15 games (14 starts) and Moe Bradley has played in five games (two starts). Jenna Lascelle (6g, 5a) and Heather Kashman (5g, 3a) are the top point producers – Lascelle ranks fourth on the team in both goals and points – and Kayla Mork (1g, 4a) has contributed five points. Caroline Broderick (1g) and Brynja Bogan (1g, 1a) have seen significant minutes as part of the defensive unit and Jess Ryan has also patrolled the blue line. Ryan skated as a forward the last six games of the 2011 calendar year before returning to D in the first game of 2012. Broderick also made the transition to forward three consecutive games before missing the Nov. 29 game against Union; she continued on the front line upon returning to action for the Dec. 3-4 home-and-home series against Northeastern University. Like Ryan, however, Broderick returned to the D when the calendar turned to January.

Five A's For The D
    The defensive corps combined to record all five of the team's assists in the 3-1 victory against Princeton (Nov. 26). Kristine Horn and Maggie Hunt tallied two assists apiece and Brynja Bogan had one helper.
    The Wildcats' D tallied four of the team's nine points against Union (Nov. 29) with a goal and three assists. Horn once again recorded two goals while Hunt scored the game-winning goal in overtime and Kailey Chappell had an assist.
    At least one blueliner factored in nine consecutive goals spanning Nov. 13 –Dec. 3.

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   (6%)     4   (6%)      7   (6%)
Junior (6)           16 (34%)     26 (39%)    42 (37%)
Sophomore (5)    14 (30%)    23 (35%)    37 (33%)
Freshman (7)      14 (30%)    13 (20%)    27 (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 30 of the team's 47 goals (63.8%), 41 of 66 assists (62.1%) and 71 of 113 points (62.8%), as well as 58.8% 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 (3-2 win, OT)
  Dec. 11 vs. Dartmouth (8-5 loss)
  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.

Scouting the Huskies
    The University of Connecticut (Storrs, Conn.) enters the weekend with a 3-13-6 overall record following Tuesday's 2-2 tie against Union. The Huskies are 0-1-4 in the last five games with three 2-2 ties in that span; they also skated to a 1-1 tie vs Brown (Jan. 7) and lost 8-1 to Harvard (Jan. 3).
    UConn opened the season with a seven-game winless streak (0-5-2) and also lost six consecutive games spanning Oct. 28 to Nov. 19. The Huskies are 2-2-4 in the last eight games, but they are winless in eight road games (0-5-3). They have been shut out five times this season.
    The top point producers are Emily Snodgrass (6g, 7a), Kayla Campero (6g, 4a), Sami Evelyn (4g, 6a), Jocelyn Slattery (4g, 6a) and Maggie Walsh (1g, 8a).
    The goaltending duties have been split by senior Alexandra Garcia and sophomore Nicole Paniccia. Garcia has 11 starts (12 overall games played) with a 0-6-4 record, 2.87 GAA and .915 save percentage. Paniccia is 3-7-2 with a 2.43 GAA, .927 save percentage and two shutouts in 12 games (11 starts).
    UConn is winless when: falling behind 1-0 (0-11-1), trailing at the end of one period (0-7-0); and trailing at the second intermission (0-9-1). Connecticut is also winless in games decided by one goal (0-4).

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