Last season was undoubtedly special for Clarkson University standout defenseman Savannah Harmon.
It ended with a national championship for the Golden Knights, the second in school history. And Harmon had the best season of her career, one that got her nominated for the Patty Kazmaier Award, presented annually to the top player in NCAA Division I women’s ice hockey.
She’s in the conversation again this year as a senior while trying to lead Clarkson to a repeat.
“I think it’s just a true test to the work I’ve put in,” Harmon said. “There are no words to describe [Patty Kazmaier’s] legacy, all that she stood for and all that she is remembered for. Every year with the list of all the phenomenal athletes, people being recognized and the award winner, it’s just awesome and an unbelievable honor to be considered.”
Harmon said that honor she feels for being considered isn’t any less meaningful the second time around.
“This is all possible because of my teammates and the success of Clarkson hockey,” Harmon said. “It’s awesome to be able to represent them and to be considered.”
Harmon shared a bond with former teammate Cayley Mercer, who was named one of three finalists for the award last season. An even tighter bond formed in the locker room when the two served as co-captains and led Clarkson to the school’s second national championship in four years.
“It was awesome to be co-captain with [Mercer] and see her success not just last year, but her four years at Clarkson,” Harmon said. “It was unbelievable to be part of the team and so awesome to be able to lead with her. It’s definitely an experience I’ll never forget.”
Harmon called Clarkson’s most recent national championship the highlight of her hockey career. It was memorable for Harmon for more reasons than one.
“There are no words to describe,” Harmon said. “It definitely was special because my family was able to make it.”
Last year’s national championship game took place at the Family Arena in St. Charles, Missouri. That’s a mere four-hour drive for Harmon’s family, as opposed to the 12-hour drive to Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York. Harmon had a chance to spend time with her supporters the night before the game.
“There was so much support,” Harmon said. “They filled a whole section and there was a bunch of green and gold. I have a nice picture with them and the trophy on the ice.”
Another memorable moment came during the game itself.
Wisconsin goaltender Ann-Renee Desbiens, who won the 2017 Patty Kazmaier Award, was out of position when Harmon scored on the power play from behind the goal line with a seemingly impossible angle. It proved to be the game-winning goal.
“That was another experience I’ll never forget,” Harmon said. “I can remember the shift like yesterday. Even though it was the game-winner, I’m pretty sure the puck touched everybody before it came to me. I just happened to be in the right place to put it in on the power play.”
The surge of confidence from scoring the game-winning goal and winning the national championship has carried Harmon into her senior year. The No. 6 overall pick by the Buffalo Beauts in the 2017 NWHL Draft continues to perform among the best 200-foot players in the country and she became the second defenseman in Clarkson history to amass 100 career points.
“There’s a lot that goes into that,” Harmon said. “My teammates and coaches have gotten me to this point. I couldn’t be more thankful for them.”
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.