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Clarkson women’s hockey team boasts talented recruiting class

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POTSDAM - The hard work and talent from past recruiting classes resulted in the Clarkson University women’s hockey team winning the 2014 NCAA National Championship.

The Golden Knights will now look towards the Class of 2018 to play a key role in the continued success of the program, which enters its 12th season of Division I play in 2014-15.

Seventh-year head coach Matt Desrosiers and assistant coach Matt Kelly have added four forwards – Brielle Bellerive, Katelyn Fournier, Lauren Lefler and Amanda Titus, one defenseman – Savannah Harmon, and one goaltender – Shea Tiley to the talented Green and Gold roster. The six members of the Golden Knights incoming class will add to the depth of a Clarkson squad that graduated seven players - forwards Vanessa Gagnon, Carly Mercer, Shelby Nisbet, Jamie-Lee Rattray and Brittany Styner, defenseman Vanessa Plante and goaltender Erica Howe - from this past year’s team which skated to 31-5-5 overall record, including a first place 16-2-4 ECAC Hockey mark and the University’s first-ever NCAA title.

“We are very excited to be welcoming six incoming student-athletes to the Clarkson family,” stated Desrosiers. “This group of freshmen as a whole brings a wide variety of skills, talents, and characteristics that will fit well with our returning core group of players. This freshman class not only possesses a great deal of experience, but they also bring with them many leadership qualities that will be very valuable moving forward in their Clarkson careers.”

Desrosiers added, “The team dynamics will change a little with the loss of our seven graduated seniors, but with the experience and confidence our returnees gained during our National Championship season last year, it should help our freshman class make the transition to college hockey much easier. With the success and poise our returning players showed, especially during our NCAA tournament run, we are excited about what they will bring this upcoming season. They were able to score some big goals down the stretch and contributed heavily to Clarkson winning its first National Championship.”

Below is an alphabetical list of the Golden Knights recruits with a quote from coach Desrosiers and a quote from each student-athlete on why they chose Clarkson.

Brielle Bellerive – Forward – North Vancouver, British Columbia.

“Brielle brings a lot of experience with her into Clarkson. Having competed at the National level with the Canadian U18 team it has given her a lot more confidence and has prepared her to play in different roles. She is the type of player that can do a lot of things for your team as she has the ability to play in a number of different situations. She is a big, strong player who reads the ice extremely well. She has the ability to make her linemates better as she is an easy player to play with because of her great hockey sense. She comes from a very hard working, athletic family and has that internal desire to get better. We are very excited to welcome Brielle to Clarkson.”

Played for the Okanagan Hockey Academy (JWHL), U18 Team Canada – 2014 World Championships (Gold Medal), U18 Team Canada – 2013 Series vs USA, U18 Team Canada - 2013 May Strength Camp and August Camp, U18 Team BC - 2013 Canadian National Championships, Has been on the Honor Roll since 8th grade and received top academic girl in 10th grade at her academy.

“I chose Clarkson because I was looking for a school with a good hockey program as well as strong academics. Clarkson has both of the things I was mainly looking for and more. Along with those two aspects, Clarkson has a great record of graduates with jobs right out of school. That was another big factor in choosing this program.”

Katelyn Fournier – Forward – Stittsville, Ontario.

“We are really looking forward to the opportunity to work with Katelyn. She has a lot of tools and a ton of potential. She is a big, strong player who skates well, can shoot the puck, and has great hockey sense. Once Katelyn is able to put all her skills and abilities together within our team system, she will make it very difficult on other teams to play against her and be a great contributor to our program.”

Played for the Ottawa Lady Senators (PWHL), 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010 OWHA U-18 Team Ontario selection camp, Involved in and supporter of DIFD Foundation, Volunteer at the Bell Sensplex skating program as assistant instructor, Volunteer at the Stonehaven Manor retirement residence. Honored by the True Sports Foundation as the recipients of the 2011 “Spirit of Sport Story of the Year” Award with the Bantam AA Ottawa Senators Women’s Hockey team.”The Spirit of Sport Story of the Year recognizes and celebrates a Canadian hero who, in the pursuit of sporting excellence, has demonstrated values such a dedication, perseverance, sportsmanship, respect for other, and a true love of sport.”

“When I started searching for universities, I wanted to find one with a great hockey program as well as great academics. I chose Clarkson because it met both of these priorities. I was honored to be offered a spot on the Clarkson hockey team. The coaches immediately made me feel comfortable and I found the campus atmosphere to be what I was looking for. I knew that going to Clarkson, I would be put in an atmosphere of both a hard-working hockey environment and be alongside determined coaches that would help me improve my game. I also felt that the Clarkson business program would provide me with the tools that would help me to excel in my working career later on. I know that the hockey program is one that requires hard work and high focus in order to be the best, and I am prepared to dedicate myself to the lifestyle of a Golden Knight.”

Savannah Harmon – Defense – Downers Grove, Illinois.

“We are extremely excited to add Savannah to our team as she will add a lot to our defensive core. She has the ability to add to the offense from the back end. She is a great skater with exceptional puck-handling skills who has a knack for finding lanes in the offensive zone. She is also great on the breakout as she possesses the ability to either skate the puck herself or make a good first pass out of our zone. She is a great person who will work hard to reach her full potential.”

Played for the Boston Shamrocks (JWHL), Attended the USA Hockey National Player Development Camp in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014 First Team JWHL All-Star, 2013 Second Team JWHL All-Star, Served as an assistant captain for the Boston Shamrocks, Honor Roll 2011.

“I chose Clarkson because I was impressed not only by the coaches and their commitment to help me reach my hockey goals and how they have grown the program, but also by the caliber of talent of the girls on the team. Then after touring the campus it felt like a place to call home. I also really liked the variety of options Clarkson has to offer academically.”

Lauren Lefler – Forward – Windsor, Ontario.

“Lauren is a very focused and hard-working person who strives to be the best she can in all situations. She will add a little grit to our lineup as she is very strong and tough along the boards and in the corners, making her a difficult player to play against. She knows what it takes to be a leader and will work hard both on and off the ice. We look forward to having Lauren within our program and are excited to watch her mature as a player and person here at Clarkson.”

Played for the Bluewater Junior Hawks (PWHL), U18 Team Ontario Blue - 2013 Canadian National Championships (Silver Medal), Was named Player of the Game against Team Atlantic at 2013 Canadian National Championships, Served as the captain for the Bluewater Hawks and wore a letter in three of her four years in the PWHL, Honor Roll all 4 years of high school, Also played basketball, track and field, baseball, soccer, and hockey in high school.

“I chose Clarkson for the opportunity to play on a winning team. I think their hockey program and coaches are the right fit for me. Clarkson is a small, friendly iniversity with great academic possibilities.”

Shea Tiley – Goaltender – Owen Sound, Ontario.

“Shea brings with her some great experience at the National Level having helped lead the Canadian U18 team to a Gold Medal. She has proven she can play and excel in big situations and give her team a chance to win every night. She moves extremely well in the net for a tall goaltender and is very athletic which helps her make tough saves look easy. She comes from a great family and is a very good student in the classroom. We are very excited to have Shea joining our program and look for her to excel here at Clarkson.”

Played for the KW Rangers (PWHL), U18 Team Canada – 2014 World Championships (Gold Medal), U18 Team Canada – 2013 Series vs USA, U18 Team Canada - 2013 May Strength Camp, Goalie Camp, and August Camp, U18 Team Ontario Blue - 2013 Canadian National Championships (Silver Medal), Honor Roll last 3 years, GBHS Science award 2012/13, Top 10 percentile in grade 11 2012/13, Volunteer’s at her father’s gym and hockey camp.

“I chose Clarkson because it was the best fit for me academically and athletically and made me feel at home. I just had a feeling about the school when I visited campus and I knew it was the one for me.”

Amanda Titus – Forward – Stittsville, Ontario

“Amanda is an extremely smart and versatile player who has great hockey sense. She is someone that should develop into the type of player you can use in a lot of different situations which brings a lot of value to a program. She also has some experience at the National level which will help make the transition to college hockey easier. Amanda will be a great addition to our program here at Clarkson.”

Played for the Ottawa Lady Senators (PWHL). Attended the 2013 Canadian Women’s U18 National Team Strength and Conditioning Camp, Attended the 2013 Canadian Women’s U18 National Team Selection Camp, U18 Team Ontario Red - 2013 Canadian National Championships (Gold Medal), Served as an assistant captain for her club team, Honor Roll 2010, 2011, 2012, Involved in and supporter of DIFD Foundation.

Honored by the True Sports Foundation as the recipients of the 2011 “Spirit of Sport Story of the Year” Award with the Bantam AA Ottawa Senators Women’s Hockey team. “The Spirit of Sport Story of the Year recognizes and celebrates a Canadian hero who, in the pursuit of sporting excellence, has demonstrated values such a dedication, perseverance, sportsmanship, respect for other, and a true love of sport.”

“I chose Clarkson because it provided me with the best combination of a strong hockey program, great coaches and a school that is well recognized for its academics. I feel that the coaches, as well as the program, will be able to give me the best opportunity to develop as a hockey player and reach my full potential. I am excited to be attending Clarkson and can’t wait to be wearing the green and gold.”

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