GAME NOTES: Women's Hockey Plays Host to Vermont for Two-Game Series (Feb. 15-16)
COMPLETE GAME NOTES (PDF)
The Matchup: Battle of the 'Cats
The University of New Hampshire and University of Vermont women's ice hockey teams face off in a Battle of the 'Cats at the Whittemore Center on Feb. 15-16. Saturday's game is televised on FOX College Sports. Both games begin at 2 p.m.
UNH has a 27-6-1 lifetime record against the University of Vermont and that includes 16-2-0 at home. UVM won the season series each of the last two years with a 2-1-0 mark; the Catamounts are also a combined 2-1-0 at the Whittemore Center the past two seasons and that includes a 4-3 win the most recent game at the Whitt (Oct. 16, 2012).
Earlier this season (Nov. 10 at Gutterson Fieldhouse), the teams skated to the first tie in the Battle of the 'Cats. The Wildcats built a 3-0 lead on goals by Nicole Gifford (14:18-1st), Cassandra Vilgrain (4:54-2nd) and Hannah Armstrong (17:36-2nd) and generated a 24-14 shot advantage through 40 minutes. The Catamounts responded with three quick goals in the third period (19 seconds; 3:54, 4:10) to tie the score. UNH generated a 7-0 shot advantage in overtime but did not break the 3-3 tie.
Vilgrain finished with a goal and two assists and Megan Armstrong tallied two assists; Vilma Vaattovaara made 22 saves. For UVM, Amanda Pelkey recorded multiple points (1g, 1a) and Roxanne Douville stopped 32 shots.
The State of New Hampshire
New Hampshire enters the weekend with a 9-18-2 overall record that includes 5-7-1 at home and 4-11-2 in Hockey East; those numbers include 3-4-1 in league home games.
In the national statistics, UNH is ranked No. 21 in offense (2.14 gpg) and No. 22 in defense (2.83 gpg). The Wildcats are in the middle of the pack in power play (17th- .153) and in the top 10 in penalty kill (eighth- .868).
UNH has scored a power-play goal four of the last five games and is 4-for-16 (.250) in that span. The Wildcats had not scored a power-play goal the previous nine games (0-for-33).
UNH has lost six consecutive game, which matches the longest of the season, and has not won two games in a weekend since sweeping the two-game series at Penn State (Oct. 26-27).
The Wildcats have lost nine straight road games as part of an 11-game winless road stretch (0-10-1); the last road win was Oct. 27 at Penn State (3-1).
The Feb. 1 overtime loss at Maine (3-2) marked UNH's first overtime loss in a regular-season game since Feb. 18, 2012, when the Wildcats were defeated 4-3 by Maine. New Hampshire had skated to a tie six consecutive regular-season overtime games since then.
Developing the Playoff Picture
With four games remaining in the regular season, UNH sits in seventh place in the Hockey East standings with 10 points. The Wildcats can finish no higher than fifth, which means they will hit the road for the quarterfinal. UConn (13 points) and Providence (12) sit ahead of the 'Cats in the standings while Maine (nine) is one back.
UVM is currently fourth in the standings with 19 points behind Boston College (29), Boston University (24) and Northeastern (20).
If the playoffs started today, UNH would play at BU in a quarterfinal game.
New Hampshire recorded its second-highest shot total with 38 last Saturday (Feb. 8) at Boston University, but then exceeded that with 39 vs. UConn (Feb. 9); UNH lost both games (7-4 at BU; 3-1 to UConn). The season high of 52 was established Oct. 13 vs. Maine.
The Wildcats have recorded at least 31 shots each of the last eight games and has recorded the shot advantage each of those eight games; the 'Cats are 1-7-0 in that span with a 3-2 win vs. UConn on a 33-26 shot advantage (Jan. 19).
UNH's largest shot advantage the past eight games is +16 (39-23 vs. UConn; 3-1 loss on Feb. 9). The smallest advantage is +1 (32-31 at BC; 5-3 loss on Jan. 25).
The last opponent to record more shots than the 'Cats was Providence College; the Friars had a 25-16 edge in a 4-1 win at Schneider Arena.
Overall, UNH has had the shot advantage in 19 of 29 games and has a 6-11-2 record. The 'Cats are 3-6-0 when the opposition has recorded more shots and 0-1-0 when the shots are even (21-21 in a 2-0 loss to Ohio State; Nov. 30).
Freshman forward Cassandra Vilgrain has recorded a point each of the last three games, including a goal both games last weekend against Boston U. and UConn. Vilgrain has a point six of the last seven games (5g, 2a). Vilgrain is tied for the lead in goals (nine) and is third in points (17).
Senior forward Jessica Hitchcock matched her career high of two assists last Saturday (Feb. 8) at Boston University. With those two assists, Hitchcock climbed atop UNH's assist leaderboard with 12; she also moved into a tie for first in points (19).
Sophomore forward Sara Carlson matched her personal best of two assists Feb. 8 at BU. The two assists also equalled her career high.
Junior defenseman Caroline Broderick leads the team and is second in Hockey East in blocked shots with 56. Broderick blocked five shots in both of games in the Jan. 25-26 series against seventh-ranked Boston College.
Since Jan. 18, when Vilma Vaattovaara was cleared to return to the lineup, Vaattovaara and Ashley Wilkes have split the goaltending duties with each receiving a start all four weekends.
Junior forward and assistant captain Hannah Armstrong played in her 100th career game last Sunday (Feb. 9) vs. UConn. Junior forward Jenna Lascelle enters the weekend with 98 career games played and classmate Kayla Mork is at 97 games.
It's a Paradox
UNH has recorded a +71 shot advantage (297-226) in the first period but has been outscored 25-12. That shot total is UNH's highest single-period total but is the lowest goal total in comparison to 23 in the second and 27 in the third (on 266 shots).
In 17 Hockey East league games, Cassandra Vilgrain (8g, 5a) leads the UNH Wildcats with 13 points. Nicole Gifford (6g, 5a) and Jessica Hitchcock (4g, 7a) are next on the leaderboard. Vilma Vaattovaara has a 3-5-2 record, 2.64 GAA and .903 save percentage in 10 Hockey East games. Ashley Wilkes is 1-6-0 with a 2.89 GAA and .896 save percentage.
What Just Happened
UNH was defeated 7-4 at Boston University (Feb. 8) and lost 3-1 at home to UConn (Feb. 9) last weekend. The Wildcats fell behind 3-0 at BU before rallying within 3-2 on goals by Cassandra Vilgrain and Arielle O'Neill; the Terriers netted the next three goals to build a 6-2 lead early in the third, but UNH responded with goals by Nicole Gifford and Jenna Lascelle to close within 6-4 with 1:50 remaining in the third period; the 'Cats pulled goaltender Marie-Eve Jean 15 seconds later, but Sarah Lefort potted her fourth goal of the game at 18:40 to secure the victory. Jean stopped 7 of 8 shots she faced in the third period; Vilma Vaattovaara made 12 saves in the opening 40 minutes.
One day later at the Whittemore Center, UNH controlled play in the first period and took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission on Vilgrain's power-play goal. UConn leveled the score early in the second and struck again with 37 seconds left in the stanza to take a 2-1 lead; the Huskies extended the advantage to two goals in the eighth minute of the final frame and Elaine Chuli, who finished with 38 saves, preserved that lead the rest of the way. UNH's Ashley Wilkes stopped 20 shots.
What Happens Next
Following the weekend series against Vermont, the Wildcats conclude the regular season with a home-and-home vs. Northeastern University. The teams face off Feb. 22 at NU's Matthews Arena and UNH's Senior Day is Feb. 23 at the Whittemore Center. Both games begin at 2 p.m.
Race to Three
UNH has a 7-2-1 record when scoring three (or more) goals in a game – the losses were Jan. 25 at No. 7 Boston College, 5-3 and Feb. 8 at BU, 7-4; the Wildcats are 1-15-1 when allowing three-plus goals. On the flip side, the 'Cats are 2-16-1 when scoring less than three goals and have an 8-3-1 mark when holding the opposition to two goals or less.
Through 29 games, UNH has not shut out an opponent. The Wildcats have recorded at least one shutout each of the program's previous 36 years as a varsity sport.
Captain of the 'Cats
Senior forward Nicole Gifford is captain of the 2013-14 Wildcats. She has tallied a point in 15 of 29 games and had a five-game point streak spanning Dec. 8 to Jan. 19 with six points (2g, 4a).
Gifford is tied for the team lead in goals (nine), power-play goals (three)and points (19). She also ranks third in both assists (10) and shots (99).
In the faceoff circle, Gifford has taken 652 draws (she has won 338 of them; 51.8%) – the next highest overall total is 334 by Heather Kashman.
In the January series vs. UConn, Gifford tallied an assist on the team's only goal at Freitas Ice Forum (Jan. 18) and then scored 14 seconds into the game to help the 'Cats record a 3-2 win at the Whittemore Center (Jan. 19).
In the Jan. 10-11 series vs. Providence College, Gifford tallied three points with a goal and two assists; that included a goal and an assist in the 4-1 win at the Whitt on Jan. 10.
Gifford tallied a career-high three assists Oct. 5 vs. Syracuse, and the three points equaled a personal best. She scored the game-winning goal and recorded an assist to lead UNH to a 3-1 win at (then) second-ranked Boston College. Gifford netted a goal in back-to-back games vs. Providence (Nov. 7) and UVM (Nov. 10).
Junior forward Hannah Armstrong and sophomore defenseman Alexis Crossley are the assistant captains.
Armstrong ranks fourth in points (13), fourth in goals (six) and sixth in assists (seven); she has the team's only shorthanded goal of the season and is fourth in shots (80). In the Feb. 1 game at Maine, her power-play goal in the third period tied the score, 1-1, and sparked UNH to a 2-1 lead.
She scored five goals in a nine-game span (Nov. 7 to Dec. 8) with goals in consecutive games against Providence and UVM as well as Boston U. and Ohio State.
Armstrong matched her personal best of two assists Oct. 26 at Penn State. She recorded an assist in consecutive home games against RIT (Oct. 4) and Syracuse University (Oct. 5).
Crossley was a highly decorated freshman in 2012-13 with Hockey East Second Team All-Star, All-Rookie Team, Rookie of the Month and All-Academic Team included among her accolades.
Crossley missed nine consecutive games (Oct. 26 to Nov. 24) due to injury before returning to the lineup Nov. 30 against Ohio State; she has recorded two points (Feb.1 goal at Maine; Jan. 18 goal at UConn) in 14 games since returning to the lineup.
Crossley recorded her first points of the 2013-14 season with a two-goal effort vs. Syracuse (Oct. 5) to tie her benchmark for goals in a game; both of those goals were scored on the power play. She has a total of five points (4g, 1a) in 20 games.
A pair of special teams streaks ended in the Jan. 25-26 series against seventh-ranked Boston College. UNH ended a stretch of nine consecutive games with nary a power-play goal when the 'Cats scored an extra skater goal in the first period of the Jan. 26 game; that Jess Ryan power-play goal ended an 0-for-36 stretch that dated back to the third period of the Nov. 24 game vs. Boston U.
New Hampshire's streak of successful penalty kills also came to an end when BC netted a power-play goal in the third period of the Jan. 25 game at Conte Forum. The Wildcats' PK had been perfect the previous four games and a total of 16 consecutive shorthanded situations.
The Wildcats have climbed into the top 10 in penalty kill at No. 9 with a success rate of .868 (105-for-121). UNH's PK has not yielded a goal in 15 of 29 games and has allowed multiple power-play goals twice – two by St. Lawrence in the Sept. 27 season opener and two by Penn State on Oct. 26.
New Hampshire entered Thanksgiving weekend ranked No. 6 in the nation on the power play (20.3%). With a 4-for-16 effort the past five games, the Wildcats have climbed back to No. 17 in the nation at 15.3%.
UNH scored on 5 of 8 power plays in the weekend series at Penn State as part of three consecutive games with multiple power-play tallies (2x5 at BC; 3x5 at PSU; 2x3 at PSU).
The Wildcats have scored at least one power-play goal in 12 of 29 games and are 18-for-118 overall.
Nicole Gifford leads all 'Cats with seven power-play points (3g, 4a). Sara Carlson (6a), Jess Ryan (3g, 3a) and Cassandra Vilgrain (3g, 3a) are the next top point producers.
Senior forward Jessica Hitchcock is a second-year Wildcat who was also a two-year letterwinner at Niagara University. She scored a goal in her UNH debut and ended the 2012-13 season ranked third in goals (nine) and fifth in points (18). Hitchcock also ranked third in shots.
This season, Hitchcock has tallied a point in 15 of 29 games with a total of 19 points (7g, 12a) – with those stats, she leads the team in assists and is tied for the lead in points; she is also third in goals. Hitchcock leads the Wildcats in both plus/minus rating (+5) and shots (113), and has tallied at least one point each of the last seven weekends the 'Cats have played.
Hitchcock matched her career high of two assists Feb. 8 at Boston U. She recorded a six-game point streak spanning Dec. 8 (vs. Dartmouth) to Jan. 25 (at Boston College) in which she tallied eight points (5g, 3a).
She matched her career highs in both goals (two) and points (three) Jan. 10 in the 4-1 win vs. Providence at the Whittemore Center. Hitchcock finished that two-game series vs. PC with four points (3g, 1a) to garner the Warrior Player of the Week award from Hockey East.
Hitchcock recorded one other multiple-point game this season with two assists Oct. 26 at Penn State.
UNH has scored the game's first goal 10 times in 29 games and is 5-4-1 when taking a 1-0 lead; at home, the Wildcats are 2-3-0 when scoring first. The Wildcats are 4-12-1 when falling behind 1-0 and that includes 3-4-0 at the Whitt.
The team that scored first has been victorious eight of the 10 games in the 2014 calendar year; last Sunday (Feb. 9) was one of the two exceptions, as the Wildcats took a 1-0 lead but lost 3-1 to UConn at home.
UNH took a lead into the first intermission for the first time this season – the sixth game of 2013-14 – when the Wildcats held a 2-1 advantage at Boston College (Oct. 16). The 'Cats have led at the first intermission just eight times in 29 games with a 3-4-1 record; the most recent time New Hampshire led at the end of the first period was Feb. 9 vs. UConn (that 1-0 lead resulted in a 3-1 loss). UNH has trailed at the first intermission 14 times (3-10-1 record).
At the second intermission, New Hampshire has led five times (3-0-2 record) and trailed 13 times (1-12-0); the game has been tied through 40 minutes 11 times (5-6-0 record). The last time UNH led at the second intermission was Jan. 19 vs. UConn, and that 2-0 lead resulted in a 3-2 win at the Whittemore Center.
Color Me Blue
Senior Arielle O'Neill has proven invaluable this season by playing both center and defenseman. She had never skated as a defenseman until taking the blue line Oct. 26 at Penn State. In her debut at the position, O'Neill still contributed offensively with a pair of power-play goals in the third period to propel UNH to an 8-5 victory; the two goals matched her career high. O'Neill also scored the next day in the Wildcats' 3-1 win at PSU. She was honored as Hockey East co-Player of the Week on Oct. 28 for her efforts vs. the Nittany Lions.
And just as injury force the coaching staff to transition O'Neill from forward to defense in October, another UNH injury during the Jan. 26 game vs. Boston College prompted O'Neill's return to forward – she skated as a center the remainder of that game and all four February games.
In 29 games this season (F-10, D-19), she has netted six goals to rank fourth on the team – she scored four of those goals as a defenseman – and has two assists for a total of eight points. O'Neill potted a goal last Saturday (Feb. 8) at Boston University.
O'Neill was atop the leaderboard in shots a majority of the season, but slipped to second following the Jan. 26 game vs. BC; she has 104 shots overall, which still ranks second.
Before making the transition to the blue line, O'Neill was the top 'Cat in the faceoff circle. She won 20 of 25 faceoffs vs. Maine (Oct. 13) and has a .683 faceoff win percentage (123 of 180) this season; last Sunday (Feb. 9) vs. UConn, O'Neill won 13 of 17 faceoffs. Last year, O'Neill led UNH and ranked second in Hockey East with a .645 win percentage.
Junior forward Kayla Mork is fourth on the team in assists (nine) and tied for fifth in points (12) – both those numbers are personal single-season highs. Mork recently tallied a point in three consecutive games with an assist Jan. 25 at Boston College, a goal Jan. 26 at the Whittemore Center vs. BC and an assist Feb. 1 at Maine. She has skated in 28 of 29 games; she was not in the lineup Jan. 11 game at Providence.
Mork recorded a career-high three points with one goal and two assists Oct. 26 at Penn State; the two assists matched a personal best. Mork also finished with multiple points (1g, 1a) in the Nov. 7 win against Providence.
Lights. Camera. Action!
The UNH women's ice hockey team will have four home games broadcast on television – two on the Live Well Network (sister station of WBIN-TV) and two on Fox College Sports. Here is the schedule:
Sat. Oct. 5 Syracuse Live Well Network 3-2 win
Sun. Dec. 1 Ohio State Live Well Network 2-0 loss
Sun. Feb. 9 UConn Fox College Sports 3-1 loss
Sat. Feb. 15 Vermont Fox College Sports 2 pm
On The Air
A total of nine games will be broadcast on the Wildcats Sports Radio Network – Fox Sports WPKX-AM 930 (Dover-Portsmouth-Rochester) and WGIR-AM 610 (Manchester). Here is that schedule:
Sun. Oct. 13 Maine 2-2 tie
Thur. Nov. 7 Providence 4-2 win
Sun. Dec. 1 Ohio State 2-0 loss
Sun. Dec. 8 Dartmouth 2-1 win
Fri. Jan. 10 Providence 4-1 win
Sun. Jan. 19 UConn 3-2 win
Sun. Feb. 9 UConn 3-1 loss
Sat. Feb. 15 Vermont 1:45 pm
Sun. Feb. 23 Northeastern 1:45 pm
The Puck Stops Here
The Wildcats have three goaltenders on the 2013-14 roster with two returning netminders (both sophomores) and one freshman.
Vilma Vaattovaara had a strong start to her sophomore season with a 4-0-1 record, 2.16 GAA and .928 save percentage through October. In two Hockey East league games, she went 2-0-0 with a 1.44 GAA and .946 save percentage.
Vaattovaara returned to action Jan. 19 vs. UConn with a 24-save effort that backboned the Wildcats to a 3-2 victory; she was sidelined nine games by injury and had not seen game action since Nov. 15 at Princeton.
Jan. 26 versus seventh-ranked Boston College, Vaattovaara made 20 saves in a 3-2 loss at the Whittemore Center.
In 14 games overall (all starts), Vaattovaara is 6-6-2 with a 2.68 GAA and .904 save percentage. In 10 Hockey East games, she is 3-5-2 with a 2.64 GAA and .903 save percentage.
Vaattovaara was honored as Hockey East co-Player of the Week following her career-high 41-save effort in a 2-1 win at St. Lawrence (Sept. 28). She made 36 saves to lead UNH to a 3-1 victory at second-ranked BC (Oct. 16) and was honored as Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week.
Ashley Wilkes started nine consecutive games spanning Nov. 16 (at Quinnipiac) through Jan. 18 (at UConn). She recorded a personal-best 27 saves in back-to-back games vs. BU (Nov. 24) and Quinnipiac (Nov. 16) – both were 2-1 losses for the 'Cats.
Wilkes also finished with 27 saves, including a single-period high of 13 in the third period, Jan. 18 at UConn (3-2 loss). Also of note, she recorded 26 saves Jan. 25 at Boston College (5-3 loss) and she stopped 22 of 23 shots in UNH's 4-1 win against Providence College on Jan. 10.
In 13 games (all starts), Wilkes is 3-10-0 with a 2.65 GAA and .899 save percentage. In seven league games, she is 1-6-0 with a 2.89 GAA and .896 save percentage.
Wilkes made her collegiate debut with the Oct. 28 start at Penn State University and earned her first career win, 3-1, with a 17-save effort. She blanked the Nittany Lions in both the first and third periods with five and 10 saves, respectively. The only goal allowed was on a PSU two-skater advantage.
Wilkes was honored as Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week on Nov. 18 following a 27-save effort against seventh-ranked Quinnipiac University. She held the Bobcats scoreless in the first period (six saves) and followed that with 10 saves in the second and 11 in the third.
Marie-Eve Jean is 0-2-0 with a 3.45 GAA and .855 save percentage in four games (two starts) this season. She made a season-high 27 saves in the Sept. 27 season opener at SLU (4-2 loss). In her most recent action, Jean entered the Feb. 8 game at Boston U. at the start of the third period (UNH trailing 5-2) and stopped 7 of 8 shots (7-4 loss).
Jean entered the Jan. 11 game at Providence at the start of the third period and stopped three of the four shots she faced; that appearance ended a stretch of 17 consecutive games in which she did not play (dating back to Oct. 4 vs. RIT).
Juniors Caroline Broderick and Jess Ryan as well as sophomore Megan Armstrong are logging a lot of minutes for UNH's defense, which has been hit by injury to Alexis Crossley and Kate Haslett. Crossley missed nine consecutive games before returning to the ice Nov. 30, while Haslett has been sidelined since the third game of the season.
Ryan, who didn't record a point as a freshman and tallied three points last year, has 11 points (4g, 7a) in 29 games this season to lead UNH defensemen in points. She tallied a point three consecutive games spanning Jan. 19-26 with three points (1g, 2a). Ryan also recorded an assist three consecutive games vs. Quinnipiac (Nov. 16), BU (Nov. 24) and Ohio State (Nov. 30). She leads all defensemen and is fourth overall in plus/minus at E (even).
Ryan scored her first career goal and finished the game with two goals – both on the power play – to lift UNH to 3-1 win at Penn State (Oct. 27). She opened the game scoring and then struck again to give the 'Cats a 2-0 lead. Ryan also netted the game-winning goal against Providence (Nov. 7) when she gave the 'Cats a 3-2 lead in the 4-2 victory.
Broderick has contributed nine points (2g, 7a) – she has five assists the past 11 games – and leads the team in blocked shots with 56. She recorded her first career multiple-point game with a goal and an assist Oct. 26 at Penn State.
Armstrong has five points, all on assists. She recorded three of her points the Nov. 7-10 weekend against Providence (1a) and Vermont (2a). The two assists against the Catamounts matched her personal best.
One For Me, One For You
A handful of Wildcats have almost even career totals in goals and assists. In 128 career games, Jessica Hitchcock has tallied 34 goals and 38 assists. The career breakdown for Hannah Armstrong is almost even at 21 goals and 22 assists. Arielle O'Neill (28g, 25a) isn't far off from an even split. Freshman Cassandra Vilgrain has been almost equal finisher and distributor with nine goals and eight assists.
Setting The Table
Sara Carlson, who was equal finisher, equal playmaker last year as a freshman with seven goals and seven assists for 14 points, ascended to second on UNH's assist leaderboard last Saturday (Feb. 8) when she matched her career high of two assists to increase her season total to 11.
Carlson also has one goal for a total of 12 points, which is tied for fifth on the team. Carlson recorded one assist each of the three weekends in January, including a tally on the game-winning goal vs. UConn on Jan. 19.
Carlson recorded a career-high two assists in the 3-1 win at (then) No. 2 Boston College (Oct. 16).
Heather Kashman returns from a redshirt season in 2012-13. Injury sidelined Kashman last year after recording 10 points (7g, 3a) as a freshman in 2011-12.
Kashman has four goals and six assists for a total of 10 points; she tallied an assist consecutive games against UConn (Jan. 19) and BC (Jan. 25) and has a point four of the last seven games. The forward has matched her career high of two points twice this season, most recently with a goal and an assist at Penn State on Oct. 26. Kashman also finished with 1g, 1a against Maine (Oct. 13).
In the faceoff circle, Kashman has won 157 of 334 draws (.470). She has taken the second most faceoffs on the team (behind Nicole Gifford's 652) and No. 3 is Sara Carlson (230).
Jenna Lascelle has nine points (3g, 6a) through 29 games; she finished with seven points last season. In the series at Penn State, Lascelle matched her career highs in both goals (two) and points (three) in the 8-5 win on Oct. 26; her second goal of the game broke a 5-5 tie with 3:39 remaining in regulation. She ended a 13-game pointless streak with an assist on the game-winning goal of the 3-2 victory Jan. 19 vs. UConn and tallied a point in consecutive road games against Maine (Feb. 2; assist) and Boston U. (Feb. 8; goal).
UNH's stretch of six consecutive ties in regular-season overtime games ended Feb. 1 with a 3-2 loss at Maine. Both of the Wildcats' previous OT games this season – Oct. 13 vs. Maine and Nov. 10 at Vermont – ended in a tie. The 'Cats were defeated in OT of the 2013 Hockey East quarterfinal (5-4 at home by Providence College) after all four regular-season overtime games that season were ties.
Prior to Feb. 1, 2014, the most recent UNH win or loss in a regular-season OT game was a 4-3 loss at Maine (Feb. 18, 2012). Earlier that season, the 'Cats prevailed 3-2 in overtime against Union College on Nov. 29, 2011.
UNH welcomed three incoming student-athletes – all freshmen – with one new forward, defenseman and goaltender – at the start of the season and junior Brenna Boulanger joined the team as a walk-on in mid-December.
Cassandra Vilgrain. She led the Edge School for Athletes to a gold medal at the World Sport School Challenge, where she was named the tournament's top forward, and to the JWHL championship game.
Kate Haslett comes to UNH from Brooks School, where she captained the team as a senior defenseman and was named ISL All-League and All-New England Second Team.
Ashley Wilkes played between the pipes at North American Hockey Academy in 2012-13, when she had a 19-0-1 record with a 1.09 GAA and .942 save percentage to garner JWHL First Team All-Star recognition and backbone NAHA to the league title.
As a senior at St. Thomas Aquinas (Dover, N.H.), Boulanger captained the girls ice hockey team and was a 2011 New Hampshire Scholar Athlete. Boulanger has been in the UNH lineup the past five games.
Scouting the Catamounts
The University of Vermont (Burlington, Vt.) enters the weekend with a 13-13-4 overall record that includes 9-7-1 in Hockey East and 8-7-2 on the road (4-4-0 in league road games). UVM has won two straight following last Saturday's 2-1 win vs. Maine; the Catamounts are 4-1-0 the past five games and that includes a two-game sweep of Boston U. (Jan. 24-25).
A quartet of Catamounts have eclipsed 20 points with Amanda Pelkey leading the way at 31 points; she leads the team in goals (17) and ranks second in assists (14). Brittany Zuback has a team-high 19 assists and is second in points (28). Dayna Colang (9-13-22) and Victoria Andreakos (9-12-21) are the other top point producers.
Roxanne Douville has a 9-9-3 record with a 2.19 GAA, .920 save percentage and two shutouts in 23 games (22 starts). In 15 Hockey East games, Douville is 8-5-1 with a 1.97 GAA, .932 save percentage and one shutout. Also in net, Madison Litchfield is 4-4-1 with a 3.50 GAA, .870 save percentage and one shutout in 10 games (eight starts).
In the national rankings, UVM is No. 14 in offense (2.53 gpg) and No. 19 in defense (2.63 gpg) as well as 10th in power play (.183) and 15th in penalty kill (.857).
Vermont has been outscored 25-19 in the first period despite a 301-234 (+67) shot advantage. The Catamounts had a 33-27 scoring edge (295-276 shots) in the third period.
UVM has a 2-0-4 record in overtime (0-0-1 in Hockey East; that tie was against New Hampshire by a score of 3-3 on Nov. 10).
Vermont has been a strong front-runner with a 9-3-2 record when scoring first, 4-1-1 mark when leading after one period and 9-0-2 ledger when taking a lead into the third period. On the flip side, the Catamounts are 4-10-2 when falling behind 1-0, 2-10-1 when trailing at the first intermission and 0-13-1 when trailing through 40 minutes.