DURHAM, N.H. - The University of New Hampshire women's ice hockey team will be the No. 3 seed in the ECAC Eastern Women's Hockey League Championship Tournament, which begins with quarterfinal action next weekend.
The Wildcats, unbeaten in five games (2-0-3) and 18-11-5 overall, finished third in the league standings with 26 points on an 11-6-4 record. UNH will play host to sixth-seeded Connecticut (16-14-4 overall, 8-10-3 conference) in a March 9 quarterfinal game. Opening faceoff at the Whittemore Center is 2 p.m.
The Huskies, who trailed No. 5 Maine by one point with two regular-season games remaining, remained in sixth place with a tie and loss at home to the Black Bears over the weekend. UConn is winless (0-5-1) since defeating Wayne State on Feb. 9. The last conference win for the Huskies was Jan. 16 against Quinnipiac University.
UNH won the regular-season series vs. Connecticut with a 2-1-0 record, including 1-1-0 at the Whittemore Center. UConn won the first meeting of the year Dec. 1 when Shannon Murphy made 29 saves to lead the Huskies to a 2-0 victory. The Wildcats rebounded the next day with third-period tallies 2:31 apart to record a 3-1 win. In the only game at the UConn Ice Arena (Jan. 25), the teams played to a scoreless tie in regulation but Janine Goulet scored at 1:05 of overtime to give New Hampshire the 1-0 victory. UNH held a 111-55 shot advantage in the three-game series.
The 'Cats entered the final week of the regular season tied for third place with Providence College at 23 points. UNH vaulted ahead of the idle Friars with a win (2-1) and tie (2-2) against Northeastern University. Providence needed to sweep a home-and-home series against Boston College to pass UNH in the standings and the Friars, after defeating the Eagles on Saturday, lost 1-0 on Sunday to remain at 25 points.
The other quarterfinal matchups are:
No. 8 Quinnipiac University (3-26-2, 0-21-0) at No. 1 Niagara University (25-6-1, 19-2-0)
No. 7 Boston College (8-19-4, 4-14-3) at No. 2 Northeastern (25-6-1, 15-5-1)
No. 5 Maine (16-14-4, 8-10-3) at No. 4 Providence (17-13-4, 11-7-3)
UConn is the site of the semifinal and title games, which will be held March 15-16.