Shannon MacAulay holds up the trophy after the Clarkson Golden Knights 5-4 victory over Minnesota in an NCAA college hockey game in the finals of the women's Frozen Four in Hamden, Conn., Sunday.
©The Associated Press
It’s been a good year for Mount Herbert’s Shannon MacAulay.
The 20-year-old Clarkson University skater saw her Golden Knights win the NCAA Division 1 women’s hockey championship with a 5-4 win over the Minnesota Gophers in the title game in March.
No mere spectator, MacAulay scored the eventual winning goal on a breakaway with five minutes left in regular time.
The goal (she also had two assists in the championship game) made ESPN’s top 10 plays of the week.
She’s also on the Hockey Canada radar for the national team and attended a national strength and training camp in April. She’s already won a gold medal with the national under-18 team at the 2012 world championship.
More good stuff might come her way, too, when she returns to Clarkson for her junior year, majoring in psychology and gunning for the Potsdam, N.Y., school’s second national title of any kind.
The five-foot-11 forward has 22 goals and 40 points, and a career plus-22 rating in 77 games at Clarkson.
The Guardian caught up with MacAulay, who is home for the summer and training five to six times a week, for a Q&A about hockey, Clarkson and future plans.
The Guardian: Now that Clarkson is a national champion, does the road to repeat get harder? What role do you think will be expected of you this season? Are many players from last year’s team returning this season?
MacAulay: I think the road definitely gets harder. We can’t take anything for granted this year as there is a huge target on our back. We will see every teams very best every game so we need to make sure that we stick to Clarkson’s game and mentality every day, which is the same mentality that drove us to the national championship last season. I think my role definitely falls more into a leadership role, as it will for many of the returners. A little more pressure and higher expectations especially since we now know what it takes and making sure we lead our team in the right direction right away this season will be key. We had seven players graduate so that leaves us with 14, I believe.
The Guardian: What are your personal and team goals for 2014-15?
MacAulay: My personal goals for 2014-15 would be to just get better, have my game improve from last season and have an impact on the team as much as possible by playing my game and sticking to my role on and off the ice. As for our team goals I think we need to pick up where we left off. Set the bar high, and take it each game at a time with the mindset of winning ECAC’s again, and winning another national championship.
The Guardian: How did the Hockey Canada strength camp go this spring and what is next on that front?
MacAulay: The Hockey Canada camp went well. I was happy with my results. I will head to Calgary in August for the on-ice camp where they will evaluate me and choose a roster to play in a series against the United States. From this camp they will continue to watch and evaluate my season at Clarkson in preparation for the Meco Cup in Germany in January 2015.