|1st||7:05||CON||1-0||PP||Morgan Wabick (5)||Leah Lum/18, Natalie Snodgrass/14|
|2nd||0:26||CON||2-0||PP||Leah Lum (9)||Morgan Wabick/10, Briana Colangelo/14|
|2nd||7:09||MER||1-2||EV||Mikyla Grant-Mentis (14)||Emily Volpe/5, Katelyn Rae/10|
|2nd||13:12||CON||3-1||EV GW||Morgan Wabick (6)||Natalie Snodgrass/15, Tristyn Svetek/5|
|3rd||5:49||MER||2-3||EV||Mikyla Grant-Mentis (15)||Dominique Kremer/7|
|3rd||19:33||CON||4-2||EV EN||Theresa Knutson (10)||Jaime Fox/11|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||SOG|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|Samantha Ridgewell (L, 8-12-1)||58:16||3||11||11||13||35|
|Annie Belanger (W, 9-9-6)||60:00||2||10||12||6||28|
STORRS, Conn. - Winners of five of its last seven games, the UConn women's ice hockey team clinched a spot in the Hockey East playoffs with a 4-2 win over Merrimack on Friday night at the Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum.
Freshman forward Morgan Wabick scored two goals and added an assist for the Huskies (12-12-9, 6-11-6 WHEA), who earned the final position in the league's postseason tournament with the victory. Senior goalie Annie Belanger made 28 saves against the Warriors.
Six different players recorded points for UConn, including senior forward Leah Lum and her two points on a goal and assist. She creeps closer to the 100-point mark for her career, now sitting at 99 after Friday night's contest.
"Getting two points was the objective tonight. We were able to do that and I am thrilled for the team," said head coach Chris MacKenzie. "We're excited to be in the playoffs, but we have another game tomorrow we need to focus on first."
Special teams continued to be the story for the Huskies, as they went 2-for-2 on power play opportunities, while earning three penalty kills in shorthanded situations. UConn held a 39-30 shots advantage in the game, 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," said MacKenzie.
Wabick gave the Huskies an early lead at 7:05 in the first period, scoring at the right post off passes from Lum and freshman forward Natalie Snodgrass - following a hooking call on Merrimack's Dominique Kremer.
Early in the second, Lum scored one of her own just 26 seconds into the period after an early penalty on Merrimack led to a UConn advantage. Wabick and sophomore forward Briana Colangelo set up Lum for the strike, her ninth of the season.
After Merrimack cut the lead to 2-1 at 7:09, Wabick netted her second of the game on a backhanded shot after the puck was put in front of the net by Snodgrass. It was the first multi-goal game of the season for Wabick, with a high-scoring second period ending in a 3-1 UConn lead.
Belanger made 13 saves in the second period, but proved more significant in the final period after Merrimack once again trimmed the lead to one. The Huskies led 3-2 just 5:49 into the third period, but Belanger held down the Warriors the rest of the way.
UConn's defense came up clutch in the final period, as a pair of penalty kills (Jaime Fox for slashing, Rebecca Lindblad for checking) in the last 11 minutes of regulation helped the Huskies maintain their lead.
Senior forward Theresa Knutson tossed in an empty-net goal at 19:33, cementing the win and sealing UConn's place in the Hockey East Tournament next weekend. It was the 10th of the season for Knutson.
Saturday's game against Merrimack is at 2 p.m. in Freitas, as UConn's eight senior players will be honored for their contributions to the program. The Huskies have their playoff spot, but not playoff position; a win could move them to a higher seed in the Hockey East Tournament.