Clarkson standout goaltender Shea Tiley enjoys seeing a lot of shots during games.
But thanks to a stout Golden Knights defense, she typically didn’t see many of them last season. She was ready in the game where it mattered most, as Tiley saw more than 40 shots in the final of the women’s Frozen Four, helping Clarkson win another national championship.
This season, she’s now honored to be in the conversation for the prestigious Patty Kazmaier Award, presented annually to the top player in NCAA Divison I women’s ice hockey.
“It’s definitely really cool to be mentioned with those types of players,” Tiley said. “It’s a huge honor to be named with a lot of those other girls in our league who are having phenomenal seasons and amazing careers, in addition to past nominees and recipients. [Kazmaier’s] legacy is something to aspire to, and it shows great individual, but also great team accomplishments.”
Those team accomplishments are many for Clarkson, and Tiley was sure to recognize the crucial role her teammates have played in her success.
“It shows your hard work stems from your team’s hard work,” Tiley said. “You can’t get anywhere without your team.”
Tiley served as one of the top goaltenders in the nation last season and led Clarkson to its second national championship in four years.
“I don’t really have words for it,” Tiley said. “To be able to win it in front of quite a few family and friends, and pull it off was pretty amazing and something I’ll never forget, especially with the group of girls we had. It was amazing.”
Tiley, who started 37 of Clarkson’s 41 games last season, ended with a 28-4-5 overall record and faced an average of 21 shots per game.
Tiley saw more than 30 shots twice last season — both against Wisconsin. The first time, a 38-shot effort, was a 3-2 defeat against the Badgers. The second was a 41-save performance during a 3-0 shutout of Wisconsin in the NCAA championship game.
“I think, in my opinion, it’s easier to play when you have a lot of shots because it gets you into the game,” Tiley said. “I enjoy getting a lot of shots, it’s a challenge and it’s a lot of fun to get shots like that. It just gets me into the game and makes me feel really comfortable. There’s just a different approach to the mental side of the game depending on how many shots you get.”
Tiley ended the year with six shutouts, the most important being the 41-save championship effort against Wisconsin and Ann-Renee Desbiens, last season’s Patty Kazmaier Award winner. Tiley, the Most Outstanding Player of the 2017 ECAC Championship, became the first goaltender to ever record consecutive shutouts in the ECAC semifinals and final.
“It was pretty cool, but definitely a team effort because they made my job a lot easier,” Tiley said. “I wouldn’t be able to do it without the other girls and I definitely owe a lot of that to them. I think I tried to play it like it was any other game, and not overthink things, especially in big moments. You just have to pretend it was a regular game, give it your all, out-battle the other goalie and hope your team can put a couple pucks in the net.”
Tiley continues to play as one of the top goaltenders in the nation, ranking among the leaders in wins, goals-against average, save percentage and shutouts. She was named ECAC Hockey Goaltender of the Month in October and December, and NCAA Hockey Commissioners’ Association (HCA) National Division I Player of the Month for December.
“It’s a really big honor because there are so many good girls that come out of the NCAA,” Tiley said. “To be mentioned with them shows my abilities, but we’ve had some really good teams at Clarkson and my teammates help me improve my game, so a lot goes back to them as well.”
Last month, Tiley achieved a milestone when she recorded her 100th career victory during a seven-goal rout at Dartmouth.
“I didn’t really give it too much thought at the time and then [Head Coach Matt Desrosiers] came up to me and was like, ‘That was really cool,’ and then I started thinking about it,” Tiley said. “It was pretty amazing and shows how far our team has come over the years.”
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.