STORRS, Conn. – Twin sisters Morgan and Taylor Wabick do not make it easy on people. They never have. The latest victim is the UConn women’s ice hockey team, both coaches and players, who have yet to master the difference.
When looking at the Wabick sisters – or listening to them – or even getting to know them, it still might be hard for some people to know to whom they are speaking.
Natives of Winnipeg, Manitoba, the sisters have always been together, whether it be in class, on the ice or socially with friends. Traveling in a pair, wherever they go, has always made it difficult to make positive identifications.
“It happens every day,” joked Taylor, a defender, about her teammates struggling with the difference. “They are getting more used to it…one girl on the team, Becca (Lindblad), we mess with her all the time. Everyone else gets it wrong a couple times, but it’s getting better.”
Coming from the Balmoral Hall School in Winnipeg, the sisters had a big learning curve like most freshmen when attending a large university such as UConn. Like most students, however, the Wabicks adapted to their environment.
“The first month (at UConn) was hard, but now it’s better, especially with three other players from Winnipeg on the team,” said Morgan, a UConn forward. “(Cydnee Cook, Justine Fredette and Kayla Mee) helped us transition into the university.”
A plane ride of roughly three to four hours separates Winnipeg from Hartford, Conn., so making the decision to come to UConn was a process – one that started early when head coach Chris MacKenzie began contacting the duo through recruiting.
In that stretch, it was never an option that the sisters would attend different schools. It would be a package deal for the lucky suitor, and UConn was the program that benefitted.
“It was a hard decision, but I think we felt comfortable with the coaches and the environment,” said Morgan. “When we came on our official visit, it felt like home.”
Taylor added, “We were looking for a decent-sized school, but not too big, and we felt a strong connection with the coaching staff – it was a little bit of both.”
Currently Morgan and Taylor are in the UConn ACES program, the Academic Center for Exploratory Students, but have interest in pursuing the sciences as they further their education.
“I feel like we’re pretty similar, but once you get to know us, you might see some differences,” said Taylor.
In their limited time at UConn, both have found ways to make immediate impacts for the Huskies. Morgan is coming off a four-point weekend in a sweep of Union, while Taylor has already accounted for two points this season as a defender.
Prior to attending UConn, the sisters played for the Balmoral Hall Blazers, where Morgan was the leading scorer in the Junior Women’s Hockey League and Taylor was sixth overall. Both played for Team Manitoba in the U-18 Nationals, helping the team to a silver-medal finish in 2015.
“We have always been on the same team, except for one game,” said Taylor. “It was weird…I don’t like playing against her. I prefer being on the same side.”
When asked who would have the advantage in a one-on-one matchup, the mutual decision was neither – it would be even. One more similarity between the two.
When asked about the experience of having a twin, it has become so second nature for the Wabick sisters that it seems impossible to dream up a scenario where it isn’t true.
“Honestly, I can’t imagine going through life without a twin. We do everything together,” said Morgan. “We just help each other. I feel she makes me a better person and player.”
UConn is 3-2-0 in its first five games of the season, with a big matchup looming against No. 3 Boston College on Friday night at the Mark Edward Freitas Ice Forum. The Huskies have big plans for the 2017-18 season.
“I think we have a really good team and we have a good shot of going far,” said Morgan. “For myself, I want to improve academically and on the ice.”
“Well, obviously, I hope to achieve a national championship,” added Taylor. “But just getting to know everyone on the team and making more friends, while improving as a player, would be the goal for me.”
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