Part of a graduating class that made championship history, Shannon MacAulay was one of Clarkson’s most magnetic personalities. Having always been an impact player wherever she competed in her career, her legacy with the Golden Knights is without dispute.
Immortalized for scoring the Golden Knights’ Frozen Four championship clinching goal in 2014, it was a symbol of the potential for legendary performances in women’s collegiate sports. When hardcore hockey fans heard her name afterwards, there was always a rooting interest in her career.
Beyond the goal, MacAulay’s career shimmered with examples of greatness. A nominee for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, she would gain ECAC Player of the Month Honors and a spot on the ECAC Third-Team All-Stars in her junior season.
In a senior season where she led the team in power play goals, earning a spot on the ECAC All-Tournament Team, she would make a tremendous impact during the ECAC playoffs, rekindling the postseason heroics of two years ago.
Scoring a pair of power play goals against a highly ambitious Colgate Raiders squad, the Golden Knights would prevail by a 5-2 tally to qualify for the ECAC title game. Although the final goals of MacAulay’s NCAA career were scored in that memorable game, providing her with 47 in her career, the hallmark of such a memorable time may have been the prestige that comes with serving as team captain.
“It was a true honor to lead the team my senior year. Knowing we had so much potential, it gave me something to really focus on throughout the year, I had to be that much more committed to my role on the team. It’s always a special feeling to have your team do well when you’re a captain.”
Having gained renown for her championship game heroics in 2014, it was more than just a seminal moment in MacAulay’s career. Briefly interrupting the Minnesota Golden Gophers dynasty, the game winning goal was one of the most important goals of the decade.
“My Frozen Four goal definitely remains a special moment in my career; there have been a lot of great moments, but for me winning a National Championship Is just unbeatable. The goal itself was special but what made it so great was the team I was able to share the experience with.”
Undoubtedly, MacAulay’s Frozen Four winning goal makes her as important and relevant to Clarkson hockey and ECAC hockey as Paul Henderson or Marie-Philip Poulin in Canadian hockey. Fittingly, MacAulay earned the opportunity to don the Hockey Canada jersey during her glorious Clarkson career.
Named to the Canadian U22/Developmental roster that competed at the 2016 Nations Cup in Fussen, Germany, MacAulay was one of three Clarkson competitors wearing the Maple Leaf. Joining her on the roster was blueliner Erin Ambrose and forward Cayley Mercer. In addition, Clarkson alum Jamie Lee Rattray was part of the team, emerging as the leading scorer.
Coincidentally, goaltender Amanda Leveille, who MacAulay scored against in the Frozen Four, was also part of the roster. All working together towards a golden outcome, it was Rattray that would score the gold medal winning goal in overtime, a 4-3 final. In six games played, MacAulay would register three points.
“It is always very special to have the opportunity to represent your country. Not just putting on the jersey, but also the many great people I have met and the memories I have made through the Hockey Canada program. Playing for Team Canada will certainly be unforgettable and some of the highlights of my career.”
The next chapter in MacAulay’s career remains one that is unfolding. Having been selected in the inaugural NWHL Draft in 2015, MacAulay was the second-ever Canadian player selected by the Boston Pride, taken in the fifth round. Taking into account that the Pride did not have a Canadian player on its roster during their inaugural season, it would be eminently appropriate if MacAulay accomplished that feat for the 2016-17 season.
For now, MacAulay is still absorbing the impact of four fantastic seasons with the Golden Knights, culminating with her recent graduation ceremony. Part of a graduating class that featured Erin Ambrose, Renata Fast and Olivia Howe, who won the team’s Ron Frazer Award, their senior season was one consisting of 30 wins, while accumulating 113 victories in four seasons for a .761 winning percentage. As the program was consistently ranked in the national polls, the efforts of players such as MacAulay were key factors in making such success a reality.
That effort is precisely among one of the elements that MacAulay will miss about playing for the Golden Knights. Regardless of where the players grew up, and the team’s they may have played for in the seasons of their youth, when the green and gold jersey was worn, there was a collective sense of unity and collaboration among all the players in bringing success to the program. This genuine sincerity only added to the feeling of pride that came with being part of such a dedicated group of people, people that shall always hold a special place in MacAulay’s heart.
“I will miss all the hard commitment to the game; you do not realize how much a sport can impact your life until it is over. The many hours put in a day will really be missed, the practices, workouts, team activities, traveling, games and the list goes on. Not to mention how lucky and fortune I was to be treated as a Division I athlete. I will also just miss going to the rink everyday for the company of my teammates. Through my time at Clarkson, my teammates have become some of my best friends.”
“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”
Image obtained from: http://www.clarksonathletics.com/