Friendship Series Team Preview: Clarkson Golden Knights

Program Background

The Clarkson University Golden Knights women’s hockey team has one of the most successful teams in women’s hockey. While women’s hockey doesn’t have historical roots like men’s Division I men’s college hockey does, Clarkson still boasts one of the most successful programs since their inception in 2003-04 season.

Since beginning of their Division I program in the 2003-04 season, the Clarkson women’s hockey team has an impressive .627 win percentage across their 15 years of NCAA Division I hockey. Since the 2008-09 season when Matt Desrosiers was named head coach, the Golden Knights have had lots of success. In 10 years he has been at the helm, the Golden Knights have made the NCAA Division I Tournament seven times, won the ECAC Conference title twice, made the NCAA Women’s Frozen Four four times, and have won the National Championship three times, including going back to back in 2017 and 2018.

Clarkson celebrates winning the 2018 Women’s Division I Ice Hockey National Championship.

Players to Watch

Currently, Clarkson has a team with a record of 12-4 that is ranked fifth in the nation. Looking to this year’s team, they are filled with talent. After losing key pieces including four year starting goaltender Shea Tiley and three year team captain Savannah Harmon on defense, the Golden Knights added transfers in goaltender Kassidy Sauvé from Ohio State and forward Taylar Cianfarano from Quinnipiac to help fill those voids. Cianfarano had 110 points in 111 games at Quinnipiac, so expect her to provide some production up front. Sauvé will certainly be back between the pipes this season. Clarkson’s returning a strong team, with 140 of their 158 goals coming back from last season. The trio of Elizabeth Giguère, Loren Gabel and Michaela Pejzlová put up 201 points in 41 games between them last year, so expect them to standout once again. Clarkson are anchored on defense by Ella Shelton and Josiane Pozzebon, who will look to step up and fill the void that Harmon left.

Forward Michaela Pejzlová

When asked about the Friendship Series, ECAC Hockey Commissioner Steve Hagwell said this: “The Friendship Four tournament has been a phenomenal event. Now, we are thrilled to be able to bring women’s hockey to Belfast.” He continued “Anytime we get a chance to grow the game, it’s always a great opportunity. The caliber of play should be tremendous between top five teams.”