GAME NOTES: Women's Hockey Ends Regular Season Feb. 22-23 vs. Northeastern


The Matchup
    The University of New Hampshire concludes the regular season with  a home-and-home series against Northeastern University. The teams face off at NU's Matthews Arena on Saturday, Feb. 22 and UNH's Senior Day at the Whittemore Center on Sunday. Both games begin at 2 p.m.
    The Wildcats will honor the three-member senior class of Nicole Gifford, Jessica Hitchcock and Arielle O'Neill in a pre-game ceremony 10 minutes before opening faceoff.
    UNH has a 78-35-9 lifetime record against Northeastern with a breakdown of 34-13-6 at home and 33-16-1 on the road.  NU has a 7-2-1 edge the past 10 games and that includes a 3-0 win at Matthews Arena earlier this season (Nov. 3). In that game, the Huskies potted second-period goals  85 seconds apart (3:03 and 4:28) to quickly transform a scoreless game into a 2-0 lead; they struck again early in the third period. Chloe Desjardins stopped all 31 shots while UNH's Vilma Vaattovaara made 32 saves.
    In last season's only matchup at Matthews Arena (Dec. 2, 2012), the Wildcats prevailed 3-1 despite being outshot 32-17; special teams made the difference as UNH went 2-for-4 on the power play and was perfect (3 of 3) on the penalty kill.
    Prior to the Huskies' recent success in the series, UNH had a 27-game unbeaten streak that included 26 consecutive wins spanning November 2001 through January 2010.

The State of New Hampshire
    New Hampshire enters the weekend with a 9-20-2 overall record that includes 5-9-1 at home, 4-11-1 on the road and 4-13-2 in Hockey East; those numbers include 3-4-1 in league home games and 1-7-1 in league road games.
    In the national statistics, UNH is ranked No. 23 in offense (2.10 gpg) and No. 25 in defense (2.90 gpg). The Wildcats are 17th in power play (.150) and in the top 10 in penalty kill (10th- .866).
    UNH has scored a power-play goal five of the last seven games and is 5-for-25 (.200) in that span. The Wildcats had not scored a power-play goal the previous nine games (0-for-33).
    UNH has lost eight consecutive games – 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).
    New Hampshire has allowed at least three goals each of the last eight games. In that same span, the 'Cats have scored 3+ goals twice.
    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 two 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 point back.
    Boston College (33 points) and Boston University (28) have secured the top two positions while Northeastern (24) and Vermont (23) are in a battle for the No. 3 seed.
    If the playoffs started today, UNH would play at BU in a March 1 (3 p.m.) quarterfinal game.

Just Shoot
    New Hampshire has registered four of its top five shot totals the past four games with 47 against Vermont (3-2 loss Feb. 15), 39 against both UVM (5-1 loss Feb. 16) and UConn (3-1 loss Feb. 9) and 38 at Boston U. (7-4 loss Feb. 8). The top mark this season of 52 was established in an Oct. 13 home game against Maine (2-2 tie).
    The Wildcats have recorded at least 31 shots each of the last 10 games and had the shot advantage each of those 10 games; the 'Cats are 1-9-0 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 10 games is +16, twice – 47-31 vs. UVM in a 3-2 loss Feb. 15 and 39-23 vs. UConn in a 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 21 of 31 games and has a 6-13-2 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).

'Cat Nips
    Senior forward and captain Nicole Gifford scored a goal both games last weekend against Vermont. It is the third time this season she has scored a goal in consecutive games; the streak did not extend to three games either of the previous two times (Oct. 16-26 & Nov. 7-10). Gifford has scored a goal three of the last four games.
    Freshman forward Cassandra Vilgrain has a point six of the last nine games with a total of seven points (5g, 2a). Overall, Vilgrain is second in goals (nine) and third in points (17).
    Sophomore forward Heather Kashman has tallied a point three of the last five games with two goals and one assist.
    Junior forward Jenna Lascelle  played in her 100th career game Feb. 16 against Vermont. Senior forward and assistant captain Hannah Armstrong attained that milestone Feb. 9 vs. UConn and is currently at 102. Junior forward Kayla Mork enters the weekend with 99 career games played.
    Junior defenseman Caroline Broderick leads the team and is second in Hockey East in blocked shots with 58. 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 split the goaltending duties with each receiving a start each weekend. Until last weekend, that is, when Vaattovaara  got the start in Saturday's game vs. UVM and Marie-Eve Jean was Sunday's starter against the Catamounts.

It's a Paradox
    UNH has recorded a +75 shot advantage (321-246) in the first period but has been outscored 27-13. That shot total is UNH's highest single-period total but is the lowest goal total in comparison to 25 in the second and 27 in the third (on 297 shots).

Conference Call
    In 19 Hockey East league games, Nicole Gifford (8g, 5a) and Cassandra Vilgrain (8g, 5a) lead the UNH Wildcats with 13 points. Jessica Hitchcock (4g, 8a) is next on the leaderboard. Vilma Vaattovaara has a 3-6-2 record, 2.68 GAA and .903 save percentage in 11 Hockey East games. Ashley Wilkes is 1-6-0 with a 2.89 GAA and .896 save percentage in seven league games.

What Just Happened
    UNH was swept by the University of Vermont in last weekend's two-game series at the Whittemore Center. UVM rallied from a 2-0 deficit to prevail 3-2 on Saturday (Feb. 15) and then scored five consecutive goals in Sunday's 5-1 win.
    New Hampshire senior captain Nicole Gifford scored a goal both games.  Vilma Vaattovaara made 28 saves in the one-goal loss and Marie-Eve Jean stopped 18 of 23 shots Sunday. At the other end of the ice, Roxanne Douville turned aside 83 of 86 shots in the two games, including 45 saves in the 3-2 victory.

What Happens Next
    The Hockey East quarterfinal games will be held next weekend. Boston College and Northeastern University will be hosting games on Friday, Feb. 28, then Boston U. and Vermont are host sites on Saturday, March 1.

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 1-17-1 when allowing three-plus goals. On the flip side, the 'Cats are 2-18-1 when scoring less than three goals and have an 8-3-1 mark when holding the opposition to two goals or less.

Shut Out
    Through 31 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 17 of 31 games and had a five-game point streak spanning Dec. 8 to Jan. 19 with six points (2g, 4a). She scored a goal both games last weekend (Feb. 15-16) against Vermont and has a goal three of the last four games.
    Gifford leads the 'Cats in goals (11), power-play goals (four) and points (21). She also ranks third in both assists (10) and shots (109).
    In the faceoff circle, Gifford has taken 703 draws (she has won 373 of them; 53.1%) – the next highest overall total is 365 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.
    Junior forward Hannah Armstrong and sophomore defenseman Alexis Crossley are the assistant captains.
    Armstrong ranks fourth in points (14), fourth in goals (six) and fifth in assists (eight); she has the team's only shorthanded goal of the season and is fourth in shots (88). 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.
    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 three points (Feb. 16 assist vs. UVM; Feb.1 goal at Maine; Jan. 18 goal at UConn) in 16 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 six points (4g, 2a) in 22 games.

Special Teams
    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. 10 with a success rate of .866 (110-for-127). UNH's PK has not yielded a goal in 16 of 31 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%). UNH is currently 19-for-127 (15.0%) to rank 20th.
    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 13 of 31 games.
    Nicole Gifford leads all 'Cats with eight power-play points (4g, 4a). Sara Carlson (6a), Jess Ryan (3g, 3a) and Cassandra Vilgrain (3g, 3a) are the next top point producers.

Senior Sniper
    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 16 of 31 games with a total of 20 points (7g, 13a) – with those stats, she leads the team in assists and is second in points; she is also third in goals. Hitchcock leads the Wildcats in both plus/minus rating (+4) and shots (120), and has tallied at least one point each of the last eight 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.

First Blood
    UNH has scored the game's first goal 12 times in 31 games and is 5-6-1 when taking a 1-0 lead; at home, the Wildcats are 2-5-0 when scoring first. The Wildcats are 4-14-1 when falling behind 1-0.
    New Hampshire has struck first each of the last three games – all at the Whitt – but has lost all three: Feb. 9 vs. UConn (3-1), Feb. 15 (3-2) and Feb. 16 (5-1) to UVM.

Playing Catchup
    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 31 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 15 times (3-11-1 record).
    At the second intermission, New Hampshire has led five times (3-0-2 record) and trailed 14 times (1-13-0); the game has been tied through 40 minutes 12 times (5-7-0 record). The last time UNH led at the second intermission was Jan. 19 vs. UConn (eight games played since then), 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 six February games.
    In 31 games this season (F-12, D-19), she has netted six goals to rank fourth on the team – she scored four of those goals as a defenseman – and has three assists for a total of nine points. O'Neill tallied an assist last Sunday (Feb. 16) against UVM and potted a goal 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 117 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 .667 faceoff win percentage (136 of 204) this season; 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.

Forward Thinking
    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 30 of 31 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 had 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 breakdown:
 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    3-2 loss

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    3-2 loss
   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 15 games overall (all starts), Vaattovaara is 6-7-2 with a 2.71 GAA and .904 save percentage. In 11 Hockey East games, she is 3-6-2 with a 2.68 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 0-3-0 with a 3.88 GAA and .835 save percentage in five games (three starts) this season. Jean was the starter last Sunday (Feb. 16) against Vermont and stopped 18 shots in a 5-1 loss; it marked her first start since the third game of the season, a 3-2 home loss to RIT on Oct. 4.
    Jean made a season-high 27 saves in the Sept. 27 season opener at SLU (4-2 loss).
    In her two relief appearances, 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). She 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).

D-D-D, D-Fense
    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 31 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).
    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) and leads the team in blocked shots with 58. 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 130 career games, Jessica Hitchcock has tallied 34 goals and 39 assists. The career breakdown for Hannah Armstrong is almost even at 21 goals and 23 assists. Arielle O'Neill (28g, 26a) 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 Feb. 8 at Boston U. when she matched her career high of two assists. Carlson is still No. 2 with 11 assists.
    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).

Kashing In
    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 five goals and six assists for a total of 11 points; she has recorded at least one point each of the last five weekends and that includes a goal last Saturday (Feb. 15) against Vermont. Kashman tallied an assist consecutive games against UConn (Jan. 19) and BC (Jan. 25) and has a point five o f the last nine 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 174 of 365 draws (.477). She has taken the second most faceoffs on the team (behind Nicole Gifford's 703) and No. 3 is Sara Carlson (233).

Quiet Contributor
    Jenna Lascelle has 10 points (3g, 7a) through 31 games and has recorded at least one point each of the last three weekends; 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).

Incoming 'Cats
    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.

Hockey East Preseason Poll
    New Hampshire, which finished fourth in last year's Hockey East standings, was picked fifth in the 2013-14 Women's Hockey East Preseason Coaches' Poll that was released mid-September. Here is a complete look at the complete poll:
Preseason Poll (1st-place votes)
1.    Boston College (7)    56
2.    Boston U. (1)    48
3.     Northeastern    41
4.    Providence    38
5.     New Hampshire    34
6.    Vermont    29
7.    Maine    19
8.    Connecticut    15

Scouting the Huskies
    Northeastern University enters the weekend with a 16-13-2 overall record that includes 11-6-2 in Hockey East. The Huskies are 7-5-0 at home (6-4-0 in league home games) and 8-6-2 on the road (5-2-2 in league road games).
    NU swept last weekend's series vs. UConn with shutout victories of 3-0 and 5-0. The Huskies are 9-1-0 the past 10 games with the only loss at  Boston College in the Beanpot title game (Feb. 11; 3-0).
    Kelly Wallace (17-12-29), Paige Savage (6-21-27) and Katie MacSorley (15-10-25) lead the offense, which is ranked No. 15 in the nation (2.61 gpg). Hayley Scamurra (7-12-19), Brittany Esposito (8-9-17) and Heather Mottau (4-13-17) are three other top point producers.
    The defense, ranked No. 14 (2.39 gpg), is anchored by goaltender Chloe Desjardins. In 30 games (all starts), she is 15-12-2 with a 2.29 GAA, .926 save percentage and three shutouts.
    In other national rankings, the Huskies are 29th in power play (.108) and 22nd in penalty kill (.836).
    Fourteen games have been decided by one goal, and NU is 7-7 in those games. The Huskies have a 13-5-1 record when taking a 1-0 lead.

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