In a decade that has seen the Clarkson Golden Knights rise to prominent status in NCAA women’s hockey, there is no shortage of accomplished athletes whose exemplary performances have helped shape the program’s lore. Among such a group of exceptional athletes, there is a very rare, but unique number of competitors who hold a treasured place in the unfolding legend of Clarkson hockey.
Part of this year’s senior class, joined by the likes of Genevieve Bannon, Jessica Gillham , goaltender McKenzie Johnson and Patty Kazmaier Award finalist Cayley Mercer, blueliner Corie Jacobson holds the special distinction of having played for both of Clarkson’s Frozen Four championship teams.
Among the members of this senor class, there was a highly familiar face throughout Jacobson’s hockey odyssey. Bannon, who was raised in Candiac, Quebec, finished as one of the Golden Knights leading scorers in the aftermath of this magical season.
Prior to the Frozen Four glories that defined their four years at Clarkson, both were teammates on the Canadian U18 national women’s team. Donning the Maple Leaf on their jerseys, the two experienced the jubilation of the gold medal at the 2013 IIHF U18 Worlds. For Jacobsen the chance to share in so many of these glories with Bannon only added to the enjoyment of victory,
“Yes, it was extremely fun to be Gen’s teammate for both of those events. Gen is one of my closest friends and I am so glad I got to share two of my best hockey moments with her.”
Considering that so few athletes get to win the Frozen Four once, let alone make an appearance in a championship game, this amazing brush with history is a happening that Jacobsen does not take for granted. Having won the Frozen Four in her freshman and senior seasons, the championships are a bookend to a proud career for the Clarkson program, based in the village of Potsdam, New York, where Golden Knights sports is a significant aspect of its cultural fabric.
“It has meant a great deal to me to have been apart of both Frozen Four Championship teams in Clarkson history. The first championship in Clarkson history was won in my freshmen year and to be part of that as well as witness the excitement and happiness my teammates as well as staff felt was amazing.”
A stay-at-home blueliner raised in North Bay, Ontario, Jacobsen has built a sterling career on a solid work ethic, while developing an admirable character that allows her team a chance to perpetually contend. Following an injury riddled freshman season, Corie Jacobson became a symbol of durability, competing in 119 games over the course of her last three seasons.
The senior season was certainly one to remember from an individual standpoint as well. Reaching double digits in points for the first time in her career, Jacobson would also surpass the total goals scored in her first three seasons. Adding to such a hallmark is the fact that Jacobson also recorded a pair of game-winning goals. The first would take place on October 22 against the New Hampshire Wildcats, while the second involved conference opponents Quinnipiac in a November 4 tilt.
Starting with the first goal of the season in the September 30 opener against Penn State, with assists credited to Cayley Mercer and Rhyen McGill, it helped set the offensive tone as the Golden Knights logged four unanswered goals in a 4-2 win. Jacobson’s goal also signified a burst of personal momentum. The following day, she would log an assist in another win against Penn State, the first of four performances this season in which she would log a point in back-to-back games.
It would not take long for Jacobson to log another such performance. Scoring against St. Lawrence on October 8 and continuing with an assist in the first of a two-game home series against Wisconsin on October 14. An unforeseen preview of the eventual national championship, Jacobson and Michaela Pejzlova gained the assists on Cayley Mercer’s go-ahead goal in the second period against Ann-Renée Desbiens although the Badgers would force overtime on this day.
Among her finest offensive performance this season involved a peerless four-point playoff effort against conference member Rensselaer in a postseason series that took place on February 24 and 25. Logging a goal and an assist in both games, it represented her finest hour.
Of note, the February 25 contest would represent the last points recorded in Jacobson’s career with the Green and Gold. Scoring on Swedish-born backstop Lovisa Selander with only 14 seconds remaining in the first period, it provided the Green and Gold with a 2-0 lead. As a side note, fellow senior Jessica Gillham would gain one of the assists, joined by Loren Gabel. In the third, Jacobson and McGill would team up, gaining the assist on a goal scored by Pejzlova, as the club eliminated RPI in a 5-2 final, brining Jacobson et al one step closer to the national championship.
That second championship brought with it even more treasured memories for Jacobsen. Although she was part of the roster during the first run to hockey immortality, she was unable to compete in the 2014 championship game against the defending national champion Minnesota Golden Gophers due to concussion woes.
Gaining the opportunity to grace the ice in 2017, taking on the Wisconsin Badgers, another powerhouse from the WCHA, it definitely made the second championship a redeeming experience to savor. Undoubtedly, the second chance to appear in a national championship game signified an unforgettable finish to her Clarkson career.
Displaying great maturity, Jacobsen understands the rare prestige that comes with the opportunity to finish one’s collegiate career on the NCAA’s biggest stage. Having blossomed into a reliable leader on the Green and Gold’s defensive unit, the second championship brought her career full circle,
“I did not get to be dressed for that one as I was suffering with a concussion at the time and so I remember wishing that I could have been on the ice for the final seconds to enjoy the clock ticking down with my teammates. This time around I got to participate in the win and it was absolutely surreal.
As a senior, I knew how hard it was to get back to the final game in the Frozen Four and how fortunate I was to be able to play my last college game on that stage. I could not be more proud of the group we had this year and how hard everyone worked to achieve this goal.”
During her prolific career, Jacobson has also found inspiration in several role models, both on and off the ice. Among the group of individuals that she has enjoyed the privilege of sharing the Green and Gold experience with; there are a pair of coaches who have also helped to positively shape the experience.
Among them are assistant coaches Meghan Duggan and Britni Smith. A former Patty Kazmaier Award winner, Duggan is also the captain of the US national women’s ice hockey team, one of its greatest ambassadors. Having been coached by Duggan in her sophomore and junior seasons, the opportunity to be mentored by such a prominent athlete had an unforgettable influence.
Equally important is the impact of Britni Smith, whose playing experience also involved competing in the North Country. While Smith established herself as an offensive defender in four fantastic seasons with the St. Lawrence Saints, her greatest achievement in hockey may be the fact that she scored the overtime winner in the finals of the 2014 Clarkson Cup. Taking on a coaching role on the staff of Matt Desrosiers, her acumen for the game helped to shape Jacobson into a key contributor.
“Meghan Duggan and Britni Smith have definitely left their mark on me during the time I had the privilege of playing for them. They both have a lot of knowledge and passion for the game which they shared with us every time we got on the ice under their leadership.
They also both had a lot of experience playing at extremely high levels which often aided them in helping us enjoy every moment while keeping our emotions in check.”
In addition to the Frozen Four, there was another event this season that also held a cherished place in Jacobsen’s heart. A tradition that marks the end of every season in collegiate hockey, senior night represents more than just a rite of passage. It is an opportunity to celebrate a group of exceptional athletes whose contributions are worthy of celebration.
Akin to Jacobson’s career, those four seasons spent skating for school pride tends to go by rather quickly. While such a night also signifies a transition to the next chapter, what has been achieved constitutes great character, and remarkable teamwork skills that shall apply in so many other future endeavors. While the feeling of sadness over such a treasured time is obligatory, Jacobson can depart from Clarkson knowing that she helped to forge an incredible legacy, one that shall stand for many years, representing an unforgettable time, and perhaps more important, a group of unforgettable people,
“Senior night was an extremely emotional night for me. Playing for the Clarkson Golden Knights these past four years have been some of the best years of my life. Although I am quite sad to see them be over in what feels like no time at all, I am forever thankful for the experiences I had wearing the green and gold, as well as the lasting friendships I was lucky enough to form as a part of that team.”
“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”
Photo credits: Clarkson Golden Knights athletics