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‘Cats hoping for Hockey East run

Staff Writer

Published: Thursday, February 28, 2013

Updated: Thursday, February 28, 2013 22:02

The fourth-seeded University of New Hampshire women’s ice hockey team will host the fifth-seeded Providence College Friars in the Hockey East quarterfinals on Saturday, March 2 at the Whittemore Center at 1 p.m.

The Wildcats and Friars are going at it for the fourth time this season, but this time on a bigger stage and in the 2013 Hockey East quarterfinal round. New Hampshire has won the season series after going 1-0-2 against Providence in three games.

The Wildcats returned to the Hockey East Championship to make their 10th appearance in 11 years. The last time the ‘Cats played in the Hockey East Tournament was last year when they fell on the road 9-1 against Boston University.

New Hampshire still holds the most tournament titles in Hockey East with four.

 UNH comes into the game with an overall record of 11-6 in quarterfinal action, which includes 11-3 at home. The Wildcats have played 30 playoff games at home with a 26-4 record. In the quarterfinals, UNH has registered a record of 11-3.

The last time New Hampshire played Providence in a playoff game, the Wildcats went on to top the Friars in the 2009 conference semifinal round by a score of 3-1 en route to claiming the Hockey East title.

Senior forward Kristina Lavoie leads the ‘Cats with 11 goals and 14 assists for 25 points. She has a pair of power play goals and game winners. Freshman standout Alexis Crossley has found the net seven times and dished out 15 assists for 22 points on the year. Crossley currently leads the squad in power play goals with five.

Jenn Gilligan will look to start for Saturday as she has started all 19 games she has played this year and comes in with a record of 10-4-3 and two shutouts. Gilligan has a goals against average of 2.14 and a save percentage of .913.

Providence comes into the game having lost the last three games with most recently getting swept from a home-and-home series against Northeastern. In the first game at home, the Huskies manhandled the Friars, 5-1. In game two at Northeastern, the Huskies held on to win 4-3.

Leading the Friars in points on the season is Nicole Anderson, who comes into the game with 18 goals and 14 assists for 32 points. Haley Frade and Molly Illikainen follow with 29 points each. Frade has 13 goals and 16 assists, while Illikainen has 11 goals for 18 assists.

The game will hold a lot of tension between two teams who are evenly matched on paper, but only one can extend its season.

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