Clarkson Golden Knights women's ice hockey
The Clarkson Golden Knights women's hockey team is an NCAA Division I ice hockey team that represents Clarkson University in rural Potsdam, New York. The Golden Knights have been a member of ECAC Hockey since 2004, and play home games in Cheel Arena on the Clarkson University campus.
While men's ice hockey has existed for a long time at Clarkson University as a NCAA Division I sport, women's ice hockey had only existed at Clarkson as a club sport from 1974–1984. During the club era, the team posted a record of 77–72–3, although, as neither the university nor the NCAA consider that original team continuous with the current one, that record, as well as all of the club team's other stats, do not carry over. In 2003, Clarkson announced that it would, for the first time, field a Division I women's ice hockey team. Under head coach Rick Seeley, the team began play in the 2003–04 season. Playing as an independent, the team was able to post a respectable 16–12–3 despite being composed almost entirely of freshmen. For the 2004–05 season, Clarkson entered the ECAC (at the time known as the ECACHL), where it has played ever since. Despite struggling somewhat in its first year in the league, Clarkson was able to finish in 8th place in the conference and claim the final spot in the conference tournament, where it would be eliminated in the quarterfinals in two games by top-seeded and eventual conference champion Harvard.
Clarkson's true success as a team began in the 2005–06 season. Compiling an overall record of 22–14–1 and a conference record of 12–8–0, Clarkson was able to finish in a tie for 3rd place (5th on tie-breaks) in the ECAC. Highlighting the season was a weekend sweep of conference powerhouses Harvard and Dartmouth and a home victory over then top-ranked St. Lawrence. Only a last-second overtime loss to Harvard in the final game of the regular season prevented Clarkson from clinching both outright 3rd place and home ice for the quarterfinals of the ECAC tournament. Forced to travel for the second season in a row to Harvard for the quarterfinals, the Golden Knights dropped the first game before winning the second game in overtime, only to see their season come to an end with a double overtime loss in game 3.
While the 2006–07 team was not as successful as its predecessor, it was still able to finish with a 10–10–2 conference record (18–15–3 overall), good for 6th place in the conference (7th on tie-breaks) and a third straight bid into the ECAC tournament, where they would again be eliminated in the quarterfinal round, this time in two games by St. Lawrence. The 2007–08 season would see continued success for the Golden Knights, whose 13–6–3 conference record (24–9–5 overall) earned them fourth place in the ECAC, which in turn earned them home ice for the first time ever in the quarterfinals of the ECAC tournament. Despite dropping game 1 against Princeton, a team they had never beaten, Clarkson was able to battle back with two one goal wins to record their first ever playoff series victory two games to one. The Golden Knights would then be eliminated in the single game conference semifinals at Harvard with a 0–3 loss.
The 2007–08 season would mark the end of an era for Clarkson, as head coach Rick Seeley left for the head coaching job at Quinnipiac at the end of the season. Immediately following his departure, Clarkson announced that he would be replaced by assistant coaches Shannon & Matt Desrosiers, who would form the first husband and wife co-head coaching duo in NCAA women's ice hockey.
Under the new coaches, the 2008–09 campaign was less successful for the Golden Knights, although they still enjoyed another winning season and spot in the ECAC tournament. Backed by very strong defense and goaltending, Clarkson finished 16–14–6 overall and 10–8–4 conference record finish 7th in the ECAC. The team would bow out of the conference tournament in two games to St. Lawrence in the quarterfinals to end their season.
The 2009–10 team enjoyed unprecedented success. Featuring a team full of seniors, Clarkson posted a 23–12–5 overall record and a 14–5–3 conference record, just short of their first ECAC regular season championship. Entering the ECAC tournament as the second seed, they won the quarterfinals in three games over rivals St. Lawrence before hosting, and defeating, Harvard University in the semifinals. Advancing to their first ever conference championship game, Clarkson would fall 3–4 in overtime against top-seeded Cornell. Despite being denied their first conference championship, the Golden Knights season was good enough to earn them a bid to their first ever NCAA tournament. Going on the road to face third-seeded Minnesota, a team that had shut out the Golden Knights the two times they had met earlier that year, Clarkson rallied from a 0–2 deficit to force overtime before falling 2–3 in the extra session to close the best Clarkson season up until that time.
The loss of the 2009–10 seniors to graduation caused Clarkson to suffer a slow start to the 2010–11 season, which ultimately cost the team its streak of 5 consecutive winning seasons, as the team would finish 14–17–6. The team did eventually recover down the stretch, and they were able to finish 10–8–4 in ECAC play, which was good enough for 6th place, which improved them to 7 for 7 in making ECAC tournaments. Despite an encouraging 4–1 victory in game 1 at Dartmouth, Clarkson would be eliminated in the quarterfinals of the ECAC tournament, dropping game 2 and game 3, the latter being a 3–4 loss in overtime. This team was notable for featuring freshmen Jamie Lee Rattray, Carly Mercer, and goaltender Erica Howe, all of whom would play a major role for Clarkson over the next three seasons.
The 2011–12 season would offer a glimpse of what would come over the next couple seasons for the Golden Knights, finishing 22–10–5 overall. In conference play, Clarkson totaled their greatest number of wins and points at the time with a 15–5–2 record, which landed them in third place. The team's postseason troubles from previous years, however, finally came to a head as they crashed out at home in three games in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament against sixth-seeded Quinnipiac. This loss not only ended their hopes for a conference title, but also ensured that the team would miss the NCAA tournament.
The 2012–13 season continued to build on the success from the previous year and set team records for wins, conference wins, and conference points with overall and conference records of 28–10–0 and 18–4–0 respectively. The conference record helped Clarkson finish in a tie for second in the ECAC, only missing first by one point. In the conference quarterfinals, the team completed its first ever sweep of an opponent, as it defeated Rensselaer in two games at home, before losing in Ithaca, NY (starting with the 2012 tournament, the top-seeded team has hosted the semifinals and finals of the ECAC tournament) to the Harvard Crimson 2–4. The impressive season was good enough to earn Clarkson an at large-bid to the NCAA tournament, where they visited third-seeded, and eventual runners-up, Boston University in the quarterfinals. They lost 3–5, closing out what was, at the time, arguably the best season in team history.
The 2013–14 season was certainly the best in team history and arguably the best season for any team in any sport in the history of Clarkson University. In a season that saw two players, Rattray and defenseman Erin Ambrose, a sophomore, be named All-Americans, Clarkson, backed by a strong group of seniors that had begun to play together in the 2010–11 season, Clarkson set team records in overall number of games played wins, and wins percentage win percentage with an overall record of 31–5–5, as well as winning their first ever ECAC regular season title, with a conference record of 16–2–4. The title, which was clinched on the last day of the regular season with a 2–1 overtime win over heavy underdogs Union, gave Clarkson the top-seed in the ECAC playoffs which gave Clarkson, after sweeping Dartmouth in the tournament quarterfinals, the right to host both the semifinals and the finals of the ECAC tournament. In a result that was not surprising but a score that was, Clarkson defeated nationally ranked and NCAA tournament hopeful Quinnipiac 6–0 in the semifinal game, giving Clarkson a chance to play in its second ever ECAC Championship game. The victory, however, came at a cost as Ambrose was lost late in the game for the remainder of the season. Clarkson's hopes for its first ECAC tournament championship were ended by Cornell in the championship game by a score of 0–1. Despite the loss, Clarkson's season was strong enough not only to ensure that would the team make the NCAA tournament, but also to ensure that the team would be seeded in the tournament for the first time. Entering the tournament as the three-seed, Clarkson hosted its first NCAA tournament game against Boston College, which they won 3–1, earning their first trip to the Frozen Four which was held in Hamden, CT. In the semifinal game, they faced Mercyhurst, where, despite falling behind 0–1 early, Clarkson was able to win 5–1 and advance to face two-time defending national champion and top-seeded Minnesota. On the day before the national championship game, Rattray made team history by winning the Patty Kazmaier Award, women's collegiate ice hockey's top award. In a closely fought national championship game, Clarkson was able to prevail 5–4 to win the program's as well as the university's first national championship. In the process, the team also became the first team from outside the WCHA to win the women's National Collegiate national championship.
On April 21, 2014, almost a month after the national championship victory, it was announced that Shannon Desrosiers would step down as co-head coach, leaving her husband Matt in full control of the team. The decision was made in order for Shannon to spend more time raising the couple's daughter and soon-to-be-born second child. Despite this loss, the loss of an assistant coach, and the loss of arguably the most talented class in program history, Clarkson was still able to muster a respectable season in 2014–15, finishing 24–11–3 overall. A win over Harvard in the last game of the regular season gave the Golden Knights a conference record of 16–4–2, earning them a split of the regular season conference championship with the Crimson and a number one seed in the conference tournament. While they were able to sweep Dartmouth for the second year in a row in the conference quarterfinals, the Golden Knights ultimately fell in the conference semifinals to Cornell 1–3. Despite the loss, the Golden Knights still earned their third straight at-large bid into the NCAA tournament, where they fell in the quarterfinals against second-seeded Boston College 1–5.
Year by year
|Year||Coach||Total Wins||Total Losses||Total Ties||Conference||Conference Wins||Conference Losses||Conference Ties||Points||Conference Rank||Conference Tournament||NCAA Tournament|
|2004–05||Rick Seeley||13||17||6||ECAC||7||12||1||15||8th||Lost Quarterfinals vs. Harvard (0–5, 1–3)||—|
|2005–06||Rick Seeley||22||14||1||ECAC||12||8||0||24||Tied 3rd||Lost Quarterfinals vs. Harvard (0–1, 2–1 OT, 1–2 2OT)||—|
|2006–07||Rick Seeley||18||15||3||ECAC||10||10||2||22||Tied 6th||Lost Quarterfinals vs. St. Lawrence (2–3, 1–3)||—|
|2007–08||Rick Seeley||24||9||5||ECAC||13||6||3||29||4th|| Won Quarterfinals vs. Princeton (0–1, 3–2 OT, 2–1)
Lost Semifinals vs. Harvard (0–3)
|2008–09||Shannon & Matt Desrosiers||16||14||6||ECAC||10||8||4||24||7th||Lost Quarterfinals vs. St. Lawrence (3–4 OT, 1–2)||—|
|2009–10||Shannon & Matt Desrosiers||23||12||5||ECAC||14||5||3||31||2nd|| Won Quarterfinals vs. St. Lawrence (5–0, 1–2, 4–1)
Won Semifinals vs. Harvard (3–2)
Lost Championship vs. Cornell (3–4 OT)
|Lost Quarterfinals vs. Minnesota (2–3 OT)|
|2010–11||Shannon & Matt Desrosiers||14||17||6||ECAC||10||8||4||24||6th||Lost Quarterfinals vs. Dartmouth (4–1, 2–4, 3–4 OT)||—|
|2011–12||Shannon & Matt Desrosiers||22||10||5||ECAC||15||5||2||32||3rd||Lost Quarterfinals vs. Quinnipiac (1–4, 2–1, 0–2)||—|
|2012–13||Shannon & Matt Desrosiers||28||10||0||ECAC||18||4||0||36||Tied 2nd|| Won Quarterfinals vs. Rensselaer (3–2 OT, 5–2)
Lost Semifinals vs. Harvard (2–4)
|Lost Quarterfinals vs. Boston University (3–5)|
|2013–14||Shannon & Matt Desrosiers||31||5||5||ECAC||16||2||4||36||1st|| Won Quarterfinals vs. Dartmouth (2–0, 2–0)
Won Semifinals vs. Quinnipiac (6–0)
Lost Championship vs. Cornell (0–1)
| Won Quarterfinals vs. Boston College (3–1) |
Won Semifinals vs. Mercyhurst (5–1)
Won Championship vs. Minnesota (5–4)
|2014–15||Matt Desrosiers||24||11||3||ECAC||16||4||2||34||Tied 1st|| Won Quarterfinals vs. Dartmouth (6–0, 4–1)
Lost Semifinals vs. Cornell (1–3)
|Lost Quarterfinals vs. Boston College (1–5)|
- K. Allgood: 2003–04
- L. Williams: 2004–07
- K. Morrison: 2007–08
- K. McKenney: 2008–09
- B. Selina: 2009–10
- C. Olsen: 2010–11
- K. Ptolemy: 2011–12
- C. Mercer: 2012–14
- S. MacAulay: 2014–
As of end of 2013–14 season.
|Jamie Lee Rattray||147||77||104||181|
Awards and honors
- Erin Ambrose – 2014 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award Top 10, 2014 First Team CCM All-American, 2014 First Team All-USCHO.com
- Erica Howe – 2014 Second Team All-USCHO.com
- Vanessa Gagnon – 2014 Sarah Devens Award
- Kira Hurley – 2006 Second Team AHCA All-American, 2006 Second Team All-USCHO.com
- Jamie Lee Rattray – 2014 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award winner, 2014 First Team CCM All-American, 2014 First Team All-USCHO.com
- Lindsay Williams – 2007 Sarah Devens Award
- Gary Mikel (September 2013). "2013-14 Clarkson Women's Hockey Guide". issuu.com. issuu. Retrieved March 29, 2014.
- "Seeley Named Head Coach For Quinnpiac Women". USCHO.com. USCHO. April 8, 2008. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
- "Clarkson Names Shannon and Matt Desrosiers Co-Head Coaches". USCHO.com. USCHO. April 8, 2008. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
- "Shannon Desrosiers to Step Down as Clarkson Women's Hockey Co-Head Coach". ClarksonAthletics.com. Clarkson Athletics. April 21, 2014. Retrieved April 23, 2014.