ECAC Hockey has played the role of both a leader and pioneer for
over three decades that NCAA Division I women's hockey has been in
existence. This became even more evident during the 2013-14 as
Clarkson made hockey history becoming the first team from outside
the Western Collegiate Hockey Association to claim won the NCAA
women’s ice hockey national title.
Home to the premier Division I league in the nation, ECAC Hockey boasts a history that gleams with accomplishments. From individual honors to contributions on the international stage, the league and its players and coaches have set a high standard for excellence in the game. League student-athletes have earned All-America honors nearly 100 times, claimed 37 Olympic Gold Medals, and have won the Patty Kazmaier Award 10 out of the 17 years it has existed as the designation of the nation's top player. Membership in ECAC Hockey has changed to meet the needs of the exploding collegiate sport as 24 teams have called ECAC Hockey home since the first championship was contested in 1984. The league's current roster of teams includes some of the most storied programs in the nation: Brown, Clarkson, Colgate, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, Quinnipiac, Rensselaer, St. Lawrence, Union and Yale.
Brown holds the distinction of being the oldest women's hockey program in the nation and celebrated its 50th anniversary during the 2013-14 campaign. The first Bears squad took to the ice in the fall of 1963 and the program has remained a leader ever since. Brown has produced several Olympians, amassed 468 wins in 50 seasons, and has twice represented the ECAC Hockey in national title games. Most of those victories have been under the watch of coach Digit Murphy, who posted a 318-244-57 record during 22 seasons. The Bears have advanced to the national championship tournament four times, most recently facing Minnesota Duluth in the championship game of the 2002 NCAA Women's Frozen Four. In August of 2011, Amy Bourbeau became the third head coach in Brown's 50-year women's hockey history.
The 2003-04 season was the inaugural year of women's ice hockey at Clarkson. Under the tutelage of head coach Rick Seeley, the Golden Knights earned a spot in the league's playoffs in their ECAC Hockey debut, finishing the regular season slate in eighth place. April 8, 2008, Clarkson University Women's Hockey ushered in a new era with the appointment of Shannon and Matt Desrosiers as the new co-head coaches of the Golden Knights Women’s Hockey team. A short 12 years later the Golden Knights produced a historic season for the school’s program by claiming a national championship. Clarkson set the bar during the 2013-14 campaign amassing a program record with 31 wins behind leading scorer and 2014 Patty Kamaier Award winner Jamie Lee Rattray. Rattray would set the program scoring mark with 181 points (77g, 104a). Last season also saw Golden Knights senior Vanessa Gagnon win the 2014 Sarah Devens Award and the league’s Mandi Schwartz Award.
Colgate joined the Division I league in 2001-02. The Raiders begin the current campaign under head coach Scott Wiley, who was honored as the 2003-04 Coach of the Year in just his second season behind the bench. Wiley resigned from his position as head coach during March, 2012. During his 10 seasons as the head coach of the Raiders Wiley recorded an overall record of 137-174-34, including a 19-14-3 mark during the 2008-09 season, the 19 wins are a program record. Greg Fargo was named the head coach of the Colgate women's ice hockey team on May 14, 2012. In his debut season, Fargo lead the Raiders to their first post season appearance in two years. The Raiders fell to Cornell, the No. 2 ranked team in the country in a best-of-three series, however, they didn't go down without a fight. The Raiders took game one into overtime and then followed that up by leading the Big Red by two in the final period before eventually falling to the ECAC Hockey Champions.
Cornell also boasts a storied history after beginning its program in 1971. Since that time, the Big Red has accumulated 504 victories in 42 seasons. Big Red alum and head coach Doug Derraugh will enter his tenth season behind the bench in the upcoming 2014-15 season. Taking a program that won just four games in the season prior to his arrival, Derraugh guided the Big Red to the national title game in his fifth season and back-to-back-to-back NCAA Frozen Four appearances in 2010, 2011 and 2012, completely turning around the culture of the women’s hockey program at Cornell. Derraugh has a 170-101-21 record in his first nine seasons as the head coach of the Big Red, leading the team to five consecutive 20-win seasons for the first time in program history in 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-2014. Cornell has made the ECAC Hockey Tournament each of the last seven seasons, won the tournament four of the last five years and advanced to the NCAA Tournament each of the last five seasons.
Dartmouth has grown into one of the nation's most consistently impressive programs surpassing the 600-win plateau during the 2013-14 season. Since 1979-80 Dartmouth has failed to reach the 10-win mark just two times. The Big Green has qualified for the ECAC Hockey tournament every year since 1991-92 (22 straight seasons). Dartmouth produced three members of its Class of 2006 which all surpassed the 150 point-mark in their careers: Katie Weatherston (185), Cherie Piper (165) and Gillian Apps (158). In addition the program has produced eight Olympians, who combined for 12 Olympic appearances (nine gold medals and two bronze medals) and five all-americans (six honors). Current head coach Mark Hudak is the the program’s all-time leader in wins with 205.
Harvard has been one of the elite programs in both in the league and nation since its rise to prominence in 1981-82, when the fourth-year varsity program posted a 15-6 record and won its first Beanpot Tournament. Current coach, Katey Stone, began in 1994, and has since guided the Crimson to some of their greatest moments, including a 33-1 record along with ECAC Hockey and AWCHA championship titles in 1999, seven NCAA Tournament appearances, and NCAA Frozen Four appearances in 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2005. In the 2013-14 season, Harvard reach the NCAA tournament for the tenth time in program history. The Crimson won ten ECAC Hockey championship titles with their last coming in 2009. Stone has became the winningest coach in the history of Division I women’s hockey, amassing 402 victories over the course of her storied career. To date, the Harvard program has produced six Patty Kazmaier Award winners, including 2008 recipient Sarah Vaillancourt. Harvard won its 600th all-time game vs. Union on January 24, 2014 and now has 608 all-time wins heading into the 2014-15 season.
Princeton has sponsored women's hockey since 1979, and in that time the Tigers have participated in the ECAC Hockey tournament 15 times. The program's best finish came in 2006, when the Tigers won a school-record 21 games and advanced to the league semifinals. The longest tenured women’s hockey coach at Princeton Jeff Kampersal has spent 17 seasons at the helm leading it to an additional two top-three ECAC Hockey finishes and three 20-win seasons. The Orange and Black have also had a pair of top-10 candidates for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, which was named after the 1986 Princeton graduate who died of a rare blood disease in 1990.
During the 2013-14 season Quinnipiac completed its tenth year of competition in ECAC Hockey. The Bobcats are led by head coach Rick Seeley, who has helped establish Quinnipiac as an up-and-coming program on the Division I map. In just six years, Seeley has transformed a team that, in his first season, won just three games, into an ECAC Hockey powerhouse prepared to annually compete for league and national championships. With Seeley at the helm, the Bobcats have always finished in the Top Five in the nation for fewest penalty minutes per game, including four straight years (2009-13) in which Quinnipiac committed the fewest penalties of any team in the nation. Recent graduate Kelly Babstock re-wrote the program’s record books by finishing her storied career as the all-time leader in points (203), goals (95), assists (108) and games played (147). The Bobcats play their their home games in a state-of-the-art facility -- Highpoint Solutions Arena - within the the TD Bank Sports Center, which played host to the 2014 Women’s Frozen Four.
Rensselaer enters its ninth season as a full-fledged member of ECAC Hockey. The Engineers are led by head coach John Burke, who has accumulated a record of 147-142-35 in Troy, N.Y. Burke led Rensselaer to its most successful Division I season in 2008-09 as the Engineers finished as the conference’s runner-up at the league tournament after defeating Princeton in the quarterfinals and beating Harvard in the semifinals with a 3-2 overtime victory to advance to their first championship appearance. RPI has competed in the ECAC Hockey postseason tournament four of the last seven years.
St. Lawrence has had intercollegiate hockey since 1979. From 1979 through 1992, the Saints competed at the Division III level, garnering three conference championship titles in the early 1990s. In 1993-94, the Saints joined the Division I women's league and made the playoffs in 1995. Three seasons later, 1997-98, the Saints officially became a Division I program. In 2001, St. Lawrence recorded the first win in the first NCAA Women's Frozen Four, and advanced to the national championship game. The Saints repeated their visit to the NCAAs in 2004, 2005, 2006 and again in 2007, earning regional wins the past two seasons in the expanded bracket. In 2012 head coach Chris Wells guided the Saints to a 24-10-4 overall record, the program's first ECAC Hockey tournament title and a bid into the NCAA Tournament. The Saints went on an 18-2-1 stretch from December 1 to March 3, which culminated in a 3-1 win over No. 3 Cornell and the ECAC Hockey title. Through five seasons behind the Saints' bench, Wells has compiled a record of 93-72-18 and two NCAA appearances.
The 2014-15 season will be Union’s 11th as a member of the league under head coach Claudia Asano Barcomb. Barcomb, who was named Head Coach on April 23, 2007, served as an assistant coach at Harvard University for five seasons before she was named the third head coach in Union Women’s Ice Hockey history. Barcomb is coming off her best season while at Union. She guided the Dutchwomen to a program best nine wins in 2013-14, just a year after setting the program record for seven wins. Barcomb also passed Fred Quistgard for the most career wins in program history with her 31st career victory on January 10. She finished the season with 32 career wins. Barcomb also led the Dutchwomen to their best power-play production in team history. Their 25 power-play goals left them in the top ten in the nation. Since she arrived on Union’s campus, she has coached former goalie Lundy Day to become the program’s All-Time Saves Leader. Day was also selected Third Team All-ECAC Hockey, as well as nominated for the prestigious Patty Kazmaier Award in 2009. This was the first nomination in Barcomb’s tenure and in school history, as well. Barcomb’s teams have steadily improved their Special Teams skills.
Yale welcomed a new era into women’s hockey on July 28, 2010, as Joakim Flygh, who had been to the NCAA Tournament in five of the previous six seasons as an assistant coach at Harvard and Minnesota-Duluth, was named head women’s ice hockey coach. In 2013-14, he led the Bulldogs to their best winning percentage in conference games (.432) since 2007-08. In addition to making their first ECAC Hockey Championship playoff appearance since 2008, they earned their first postseason win since 2005 with a 3-2 double overtime win at then-No. 5 Harvard Feb. 28 in game one of the quarterfinals. The Bulldogs eventually lost the series two games to one (including a double overtime loss in game two), falling one goal shy of the program's second appearance at the ECAC Hockey semifinals. In 2012 Bulldogs senior Aleca Hughes, whose efforts to help save lives have been inspired by her teammate Mandi Schwartz '10 (1988-2011), was named the winner of the Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup, Sarah Devens Award, and BNY Mellon Wealth Management Hockey Humanitarian Award. Off the ice the Bulldogs spearheaded six blood marrow drives at Yale so far have adding more than 4,500 potential donors to the Be The Match Registry for patients with life-threatening illnesses, and located at least six genetic matches who made marrow donations. Hughes also started the team's annual "White Out for Mandi" fundraiser game. This past year's "White Out" raised more than $29,000 for the Mandi Schwartz Foundation, the charity that Hughes started in 2012.