POTSDAM, N.Y. (WWNY) - When you think of dominating women’s college hockey teams, the Clarkson Lady Golden Knights are on a very short list.
In it’s 17 year history, the Lady Golden Knights have become the benchmark for excellence, putting the university and Potsdam on the map in Women’s Division 1 College Hockey.
In 2008, husband and wife Matt and Shannon Desrosiers took over the Clarkson Lady Golden Knights hockey team, a program that only 5 years earlier began playing D-1 Hockey.
In the 12 years since, the Lady Golden Knights have become one of the most dominant teams in women’s college hockey, winning 3 national championships and making 9 NCAA Tournment appearances.
Matt Desrosiers says the recent success was built on a foundation from his early teams.
“It didn’t start just from the last 6 years, like those national championships were built when we first took over this program about 12-13 years ago. You know, those players played a huge role in getting us to where we needed to be in order to, you know, start getting some of those better recruits and really putting our program on the map,” said Coach Matt Desrosiers.
That has been evident with 3 of the last 7 Patty Kazmaier award winners (recognizing the nation’s top women’s college hockey players) coming from Clarkson with Jamie Lee Rattray winning in 2014, Loren Gabel winning in 2019 and Elizabeth Giguere taking home the award this season.
“It just goes to show the type of players that we’ve been able to kinda bring into our program. And I kinda eluded to it, it’s not just an individual award. A lot of these awards come down to, you know, who those players are surrounded by as well. So, it’s a really good tip of the cap to the other players on our team as well,” said Coach Matt Desrosiers.
In the 19 year history of the Women’s Division 1 Hockey Championships, only 4 teams have won the title. And Clarkson’s 3 titles, including the back to back championships in 2017 and 2018, are the only titles any Women’s Division 1 Hockey program east of the Mississippi have won.
“To win back to back, extremely exciting but also very difficult to do. You know, just to win one national championship is quite a feat, but to do it the year after and the back to back fashion when everyone’s kinda gunning for you, just shows the type of team and the type of character that you need,” said Desrosiers.
Desrosiers ranks 6th in NCAA history in all time winning percentage, with 177 wins, 38 losses and 22 ties for a .793% winning percentage.
So what's the key to his success on the ice?
“We’ve done a pretty good job, my assistant coaches doing a great job bringing in just quality individuals that wanna buy into what we’re trying to do here at Clarkson. And that’s something that’s really special to us is just building that culture where you know everyone wants to work hard towards a common goal,” said Desrosiers.
With that mindset, look for the Lady Golden Knights to make their 9th straight NCAA Tournament appearance next season and make another run at an ECAC and NCAA Title.