DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire women's hockey team will wrap up the season series against Connecticut on Monday (7 p.m.).
Against the Huskies, the Wildcats are 35-6-4 all time and lead the season series, 2-0. The last season sweep of Connecticut came in the 2009-10 season. New Hampshire recently completely a weekend-road sweep of UConn with a 3-1 win (Jan. 19) in game one and a 2-0 shutout (Jan. 20) in game two.
THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
The Wildcats are coming off a weekend split with the University of Vermont. The Catamounts took the first game, 3-1, but the Wildcats rallied and defeated UVM the following day, 4-2. Arielle O'Neill and Kristina Lavoie each tallied three points on the weekend. O'Neill notched a goal in game one and a goal and an assist in the second game while Lavoie tallied a goal and a pair of assists in game two. Hannah Armstrong scored twice in Saturday's game as Kailey Chappell dished out a pair of assists in the same game.
Lavoie comes into the game with seven goals and a team leading 12 assists for 19 points, also a team high. She has one power play goal and a game winner. Alexis Crossley has 16 points on six goals and 10 assists. Four of her goals have been on power plays. Jessica Hitchcock comes in with a team leading eight goals and adds seven assists for 15 points. She has a pair of power play tallies and game winners. O'Neill splits her 14 points with seven goals and seven assists. She has three power play goals, two game winners and a shorthanded tally. Kristine Horn also has 14 points, stemming from four goals and 10 assists. She has one power play goal and one game-winning goal. Sara Carlson comes into the game having lit the lamp six times and dishing out seven assists for 13 points. She has a trio of power play goals and one game winner.
Hannah Armstrong has found the back of the net seven times on the year and has assisted on four goals for 11 points. Two of her goals have come on power plays. Nicole Gifford also has 11 points from two goals and nine assists. Both of her goals were on power plays. Megan Armstrong has four goals and five assists for nine points with three of her goals coming on the advantage. Senior captain Kailey Chappell has tallied all nine of her points on assists while Brittney Redlick has scored five times for her five points. Katie Brock has dished out four assists for four points while Caroline Broderick has scored once and assisted twice for three points. Jenna Lascelle and Jess Ryan have matching totals of three assists as Haley Breedlove and Lauren Kirwan each have one goal. Kayla Mork rounds out the point totals with one assist.
Jenn Gilligan has seen the most time in net for New Hampshire, starting all 14 games she has played in. She comes in with a record of 7-4-1 and one shutout, along with a goals against average of 2.23 and a save percentage of .911. Vilma Vaattovaara has seen action in 11 games on the year, starting nine of them. She has a record of 3-8-0 with a goals against average of 3.84 and a save percentage of .874.
Rookie goalie Marie-Eve Jean picked up her first collegiate win 4-2 victory over Vermont and comes in with a 1-1-1 record. She has a 2.71 goals against average and a .906 save percentage. Moe Bradley has started both games she has played on the year and has a record of 0-1-0. She has recorded a 3.76 goals against average and a .904 save percentage.
SCOUTING THE HUSKIES
Connecticut comes into the game with an overall record of 3-22-3 and a conference mark of 1-13-1, prior to the game against Northeastern on Feb 9. Sophomore forward Kayla Campero leads the way for Connecticut with 15 points, stemming from seven goals and eight assists. She has one power play goal and a game winner. Michela Cava leads the squad in goals with eight, and adds six assists for 14 points. She has one power play goal, one shorthanded goal and a pair of game winners. Sarah MacDonnell has 13 points on the year from five goals and eight assists. She is tied for the team lead in power play goals (3). Rachel Farrel has six goals and five assists for 11 points while Brittany Berisoff has the same total from five goals and six assists. Farrel has three power play goals while Berisoff has one.
Kelly Horan and Emily Snodgrass have matching tallies of three goals and seven assists for 10 points. Snodgrass has one power play goal. Casey Knajdek has racked up nine points on a goal and eight assists thus far. Caitlin Hewes has lit the lamp three times and dished out five assists for eight points. Two of her goals have been on power plays. Stephanie Raithby splits her six points on three goals and three assists while Leah Buress has a pair of goals and four assists for the same total. Kiana Nauheim has notched one goal and dished out four assists for five points. Maude Blain has one goal and three assists for four points. Margaret Zimmer has notched three points on one goal and two assists as Alice Hughes rounds out the scoring with an assist.
Elaine Chuli has spent the most time in net for the Huskies, starting all 21 games she has played. She comes in with a record of 1-15-3, a goals against average of 3.71 and a save percentage of .894. Sarah Moses has started seven of the 11 games she has played in this year. She has registered a 2-7-0 record with a 3.82 goals against average and a .902 save percentage.
A LOOK AT CONFERENCE PLAY
With the regular season winding down, the Wildcats are in the crucial stages of conference play. Here is a look at the season series standings between New Hampshire and the rest of the conference:
Boston College - BC, 2-1 (series complete)
Boston University - Tied, 1-1
Connecticut - UNH leads, 2-0
Maine - UNH leads, 1-0
Northeastern - NU, 2-1 (series complete)
Providence - 0-0-1
Vermont - UVM, 2-1 (series complete)
The Wildcats have had success while playing on the road this season, tallying a 8-6-1 record away from the Whittemore Center. The team opened up the season with a pair of road wins, the first being at Syracuse (Oct. 5, 4-3) while game two was at Colgate (Oct. 6, 4-1). The team started 2013 with a 3-0-0 road record before falling to fifth-ranked Boston U. Jan. 27 (3-2).
Saturday's game at Boston University will be the seventh road game of the Wildcat's last eight games. They will finish off the season with four of their five games at the Whittemore Center.
KEEPING THE LEAD
When leading at the end of the first period, the Wildcats are a perfect 6-0-0. When leading after two periods, the 'Cats have a record of 8-1-1. When scoring first, New Hampshire is 8-5-1.
Junior forward Arielle O'Neill has tallied all but one of her seven goals on the road this season. Her one home goal came on a power play in a 4-2 win over Boston University (Nov. 9).
Three different freshmen have been honored by Hockey East this season for multiple awards. Netminder Vilma Vaattovaara was tabbed as the WHEA Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 8 while Alexis Crossley (Oct. 22) and Megan Armstrong (Nov. 12) have each been named the Pro Ambitions Rookie of the Week. Crossley was most recently honored as the Hockey East Rookie of the Month for the month of December.
WHERE THEY RANK NATIONALLY
Individually and as a team, the Wildcats have posted some impressive numbers, securing spots in the top-rankings nationally. Alexis Crossley ranks 29th in defenseman points per game (0.59) and 24th in rookie scoring. Jenn Gilligan is 16th in the nation in winning percentage (.750), 16th in the nation in goals against average (2.07) and 26th in save percentage (.918).
The team as a whole has found great success on the power play, ranking ninth in power play percentage (22.3). On the penalty killing side, they rank 16th with a kill percentage of 83.6. In combined special teams, the 'Cats are ranked 11th nationally at 54.1 percent.
This year's newcomers have accounted for 66 (33g, 33a) of the 158 points the Wildcats have tallied this year. Alexis Crossley has six goals and 10 assists for 16 points while Jessica Hitchcock has 15 points on eight goals and seven assists. Sara Carlson has six goals and seven assists for 13 points as Megan Armstrong has four goals and five assists for nine points. Jonna Curtis has a pair of goals and four assists for six points. Brittney Redlick has lit the lamp five times for her five points while Haley Breedlove and Lauren Kirwan each have one goal.
HERE, THERE, EVERYWHERE!
The Wildcats are a team made up of student-athletes from around the world. In the geographic breakdown, 14 'Cats hail from Canada while 13 are from the United States. The remaining two players hail from Sweden and Finland, respectively.
Through the first 20 games of the season, nine were against teams nationally ranked in the top-10 at the time of the contest. The Wildcats wrapped up 2012 with a string of six in a row. Here are the results:
10/20 - No. 4 Boston College --W, 4-3
10/21 - No. 4 Boston College -- L, 2-5
11/09 - No. 5 Boston University -- W, 4-2
11/24 - No. 1 Minnesota -- L, 2-10
11/25 - No. 1 Minnesota -- L, 0-4
12/01 - No. 9 Northeastern -- L, 1-8
12/02 - No. 9 Northeastern -- W, 3-1
12/05 - No. 6 Boston College -- L, 1-4
12/08 - No. 4 Harvard -- TOT, 2-2
On The Airwaves
A total of five UNH women's ice hockey regular-season games will 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. 16 vs. Vermont and concludes on Feb. 17 vs. Providence.
Here is the schedule of games (listed time is start of broadcast):
Oct. 16 vs. Vermont (6:55 p.m.)
Nov. 9 vs. Boston U. (6:55 p.m.)
Nov. 20 vs. Quinnipiac (6:55 p.m.)
Feb. 10 vs. UConn (11:55 a.m.)
Feb. 17 vs. Providence (1:55 p.m.)
'Cats on TV
New Hampshire will have two of its home games aired on the Live Well TV network. The games include Dec. 8 vs. Harvard (2 p.m.) and Feb. 10 vs. UConn (12 p.m.).
UNH records 700th win
UNH, now in its 36th year at the varsity level, is the winningest women's college hockey program in the United States with an overall record of 722-228-71 for a .742 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.
Hockey East Preseason Poll
New Hampshire, which finished first or second in the Hockey East regular-season standings each of the initial eight years of the league's existence before finishing tied for sixth in 2010-11, was picked seventh in the 2011-12 WHEA Preseason Coaches Poll.
Here is a complete look at 2012-13 poll:
Preseason Poll (1st-place votes)
1. Boston College (5) 54
2. Boston U. (3) 51
3. Northeastern 44
4. Providence 37
5. Maine 30
6. New Hampshire 28
7. Vermont 22
8. Connecticut 14
The McCloskey File
Brian McCloskey (Dartmouth '77), who recorded his 200th career victory Dec. 8, 2009 at Boston College (4-0 win), is in his 11th year at the helm of the Wildcats. He is a four-time Hockey East Coach of the Year recipient (2003, 2005, 2006, 2009) and was runner-up in both the 2003 and 2006 national Coach of the Year balloting. He has directed UNH to the NCAA Women's Ice Hockey Championship five consecutive years (2006-10) with four consecutive Hockey East tournament titles (2006-09) and six straight league regular-season crowns (2004-09). The 'Cats advanced to the Frozen Four in '06 and '08.
A Wildcat was honored as Player of the Year each of the first four years of Hockey East's existence. In addition, the ITECH Goaltending Champion award was presented to a UNH goalie each of the first six years and the Scoring Champion has five times been a Wildcat.
McCloskey has compiled a 243-102-36 overall record, including a 147-51-20 mark in Hockey East, with 20+ wins each of the initial seven seasons.
In his first year (2003) as head coach of the program, he led the 'Cats to a 27-7-2 record, which is now the fifth-best single-season win mark behind those established in 2006 & 2008 (33), 1998 (31) and 2007 (28).
Under his tutelage, five players have received a total of six All-America honors and five have been honored as a Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award Top 10 Finalist.
Here's a look at some notable wins:
1st win– Oct. 11, 2002 (4-0 vs. Vermont)
1st Hockey East win– Nov. 2, 2002 (5-1 vs. Maine)
50th win– March 20, 2004 (5-0 vs. Northeastern)
100th win– Feb. 25, 2006 (5-0 vs. Vermont)
150th win– Jan. 5, 2008 (3-1 at Brown)
200th win– Dec. 8, 2009 (4-0 at Boston College)
Coach McCloskey's predecessors at UNH also exceeded 200 victories. Russ McCurdy compiled a 264-36-10 record from 1978-92 and Karen Kay went 215-90-25 from 1993-2002.