Four former Wildcats made UNH proud this past weekend by winning the National Women’s Hockey League’s (NWHL) Isobel Cup. Jenna Rheault, Carlee Turner, Meghara McManus, and Taylor Wenczkowski were all part of the 2021 NWHL Champion Boston Pride.
The championship is the second for Boston and the first since the NWHL’s inaugural year in 2016. UNH women’s hockey head coach Hilary Witt was incredibly proud of her former players after the championship.
“They were a program-changing class for us and seeing them succeed makes me so proud,” explained Witt.
Witt said she always saw potential in the four women and wasn’t surprised by their achievements given how hard they work.
Wenczkowski was vital for the Pride in their pursuit of a championship with a team-high nine shots in the postseason. She had the game-winning goal against the Minnesota Whitecaps in the championship game to give Boston the win 4-3.
Coach Witt said it’s great for current players to see what they can accomplish if they work hard. She also noted the sacrifice the players make in the NWHL because of the low funding and benefits for players.
“The passion these players have for the game and how they make sacrifices financially proves the love they have,” said Witt. “A lot of these players aren’t paid enough to make this their full-time job and they work other jobs during the day.”
Witt applauded not only the members of the Pride, but also former UNH captain Tori Howran of the Connecticut Whale. Witt said people should pay more attention to the NWHL and the competitive product they produce.
“Women’s hockey is really fun and even though there’s no checking, it’s still very physical,” Witt noted.
The Isobel Cup win is a sign that UNH is becoming a stronger and more consistent program every year. With coach Witt behind them, the Wildcats will continue to compete for the America East title. As for the Pride, they’ll lean on the former UNH standouts to keep them in contention for the Isobel Cup next season.
Photo courtesy of Mary Schwalm.