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A season to remember

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There are many terms that could accurately describe the Clarkson University women’s hockey team: determined, strategic, talented, relentless, cunning, resourceful.

And now after a game Sunday against Minnesota at Quinnipiac University’s High Point Solutions Arena in Hamden, Conn., members of the team can add another phrase to this list: national champions!

The Golden Knights defeated Minnesota 5-4 to bring home the title in the NCAA Division I women’s hockey final.

It is the first women’s hockey crown for Clarkson, and members of the team had their work cut out for them from the beginning. Minnesota was the two-time defending national champion.

It will probably take the Golden Knights some time for the championship experience to sink in. They are entitled to savor every last moment of this tremendous accomplishment.

“It’s unbelievable,” Clarkson senior Jamie Lee Rattray said in a Monday story in the Watertown Daily Times. “It hasn’t really sunk in yet. To play in my last game as a senior and to win the national championship is ridiculous to me. I really can’t believe it.”

The Golden Gophers had no intention of making things easy for Clarkson. They came into Sunday’s game with a record of 38-1-1, compared to Clarkson’s record of 31-5-5. Minnesota had gone 87-1-1 in its previous 89 games.

“Not only had Minnesota won the past two national titles, including a perfect 41-0 record last season, but the only national champions in women’s hockey since the start of the NCAA Tournament in 2001 had been Western College Hockey Association teams Minnesota-Duluth, Wisconsin and the Golden Gophers,” according to Monday’s story.

But the Clarkson players were not intimidated by these statistics. They came to win, and they executed their mission brilliantly.

Most of us are ready to put the winter season behind us, along with any remnants of the cold, snowy and icy conditions we’ve endured for the past several months. But one of the pleasant characteristics of winter is that it brings with it the annual hockey season, and we’ve witnessed some extraordinary hockey this year.

The Clarkson University women’s hockey team has added a very bright spot this time around, and we’ll join members of the team in fondly recalling this championship effort they’ve provided.

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