Sixth-seeded University of New Hampshire fell to No. 5 University of Connecticut, 4-0, in Saturday’s Hockey East women’s semifinals at Merrimack College’s Lawler Arena.
The Wildcats (18-14-4, 12-13-3 WHEA) lagged behind early after allowing the Huskies to score twice in the opening period. The first came courtesy of Taylor Wabick, who scored off a rebound just four minutes, 11 seconds into the proceedings. Roughly four minutes later, Viki Harness gave UConn a 2-0 lead when she went top-left shelf to beat UNH goalkeeper Ava Boutilier.
Morgan Wabick, Taylor’s twin sister, wasted little time in increasing the Huskies’ lead to three after UConn took its two-goal lead into the first intermission. Three minutes, 57 seconds into the second period she skated and deked her way through the Wildcat defense before sending a back-handed shot through the five-hole of Boutilier that seemed to take the wind out of UNH’s sails.
UConn (19-17-2, 13-12-2 WHEA) put the game away on an empty-net goal off the stick of Morgan Wabick at the 5:10 mark of the third period, clinching a berth in the WHEA finals.
Meghara McManus led UNH with five shots on goal and was responsible for UNH’s best scoring chance, which came on a shorthanded breakaway opportunity for the Wildcats.
Despite the loss, UNH finished the 2019-20 season as the most successful of head coach Hillary Witt’s six-year tenure. It’s the first time the Wildcats have finished with a winning record under Witt (who was hired in April 2014) and the first time since the 2009-10 campaign.