Women's Hockey: UConn heading to playoffs

The Huskies celebrate a goal in their home finale against Merrimack over the weekend (Jon Sammis/The Daily Campus)

The UConn women’s hockey team swept Merrimack this past weekend to clinch a Hockey East playoff position and close out the regular season with a bang.

UConn ended the regular season 13-12-9 and 7-11-6 in WHEA.

On Friday, the Huskies beat Merrimack 4-2, which allowed them a spot in the Hockey East playoffs. UConn needed at least two points to qualify for the playoffs.

Earlier in the season, Merrimack beat UConn 2-1.

In Friday’s game freshman forward Morgan Wabick scored two goals and an assist. Senior goaltender Annie Belanger had 28 saves in the game while senior Leah Lum added a goal and an assist. Senior Theresa Knutson scored an empty net goal at the end of the third period.

After the game, UConn head coach Chris MacKenzie talked about what it felt like to head to the playoffs.

“Getting two points was the objective tonight,” MacKenzie said. “We were able to do that and I am thrilled for the team. We’re excited to be in the playoffs, but we have another game tomorrow we need to focus on first.”

UConn went 2 for 2 on power plays and showed a 39-30 shots advantage including 14-7 in the final period.

“From where we have been this year and what we have gone through, I’m just really happy for the team and I’m proud to be their coach,” MacKenzie said.

Saturday’s game for the Huskies also doubled as Senior Day. The eight seniors from the squad were honored in a pregame ceremony.

The Huskies defeated Merrimack 3-1. Lum scored her 100th point on a third period goal. Lum is the third player in program history to hit that mark.

Knutson and sophomore forward Catherine Crawley each scored one goal and one assist in the contest.

Belanger recorded 32 saves.

“We’re finding ways to win games and we weren’t doing that earlier this season,” MacKenzie said. “Our willingness to compete was always there, it was just a bounce here and there. With some experience and confidence, we’re finding ways to get it done.”

The Huskies finished the season winning six of their last eight games.

Next up, the Huskies will compete in the Hockey East playoffs

We were able to do that and I am thrilled for the team. We’re excited to be in the playoffs, but we have another game tomorrow we need to focus on first
— Head Coach Chris MacKenzie

Mariana Dominguez is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at mariana.dominguez@uconn.edu.