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The huddle

November 7, 2019

NWHL Athlete Shares Recruiting Insight

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Photo by the Ice Garden

Savannah Harmon was a two-year captain of the Clarkson University Division I Women’s Ice Hockey team. Harmon led the team to two National Championship titles in 2017 and 2018. Some of her greatest accomplishments include first-team All-American, Top-10 Finalist for the 2018 Patty Kazmaier award, and ECAC Hockey’s Best Defenseman Award Winner. After four outstanding years as a Golden Knight and graduating in 2018, Harmon hung up the green and gold to start a new chapter in her life. She now continues her hockey career at the professional level with the Buffalo Beauts in the National Women’s Hockey League. As a rookie, Harmon was invited to the NWHL All-Star weekend. We had the opportunity to learn about her college experience and the recruiting process. 

LRT Sports: What is the best piece of advice that you can offer an athlete who is looking to play at the next level?

Savannah: It’s a marathon, not a sprint. It’s about focusing on day to day activities. The biggest things that you can control are your work ethic and your attitude. 

LRT Sports: What was the best piece of advice that a coach offered you, and who was that coach?

Savannah: “When you look in the mirror at the end of the day, can you be happy with how hard you worked?” – My dad

LRT Sports: Did you play multiple sports in high school? If yes, what sports and would you recommend that athletes play multiple sports in high school, and why?

Savannah: In high school, I knew my main focus was on hockey and developing my game; however, my sophomore year, my team’s season had ended pretty early before spring sessions were beginning, and I played soccer for my high school team. I very much enjoyed my experience; it was a different way to stay in shape and made me more excited for hockey to begin again. 

LRT Sports: When a potential recruit starts talking to coaches what should they not talk about? 

Savannah: I would recommend being positive at all times about current/past teammates and coaches. This shows you’re a good teammate.

LRT Sports: Being that LRT Sports is an educational site for athletes as well as a rating site for college coaches, would you have used it as a resource?

Savannah: Yes, this site would have been very useful as it holds lots of information about college coaches and more. That is the kind of information that is hard to come around.

LRT Sports: What was your favorite part about being on a college sports team?

Savannah: My favorite part would definitely be being around my teammates all day every day. We become so close, and we push each other to reach our personal and team goals. 

LRT Sports: How can an athlete get on a coach’s radar?

Savannah: An athlete can get on a coaches’ radar by playing its role to the best of its abilities. Focus on team success, and personal success will come around. On the more technical side, athletes can reach out to coaches/teams of their interests to introduce themselves and initiate conversation. This can go a long way.

Photo by Clarkson Athletics

LRT Sports: Why did you choose Clarkson to play hockey?

Savannah: I chose to play at Clarkson because of the opportunities available both through academics and hockey. The small campus made it feel like home, and the well-known hockey community in the North Country made Cheel the best arena to play in with the best pep band. 

LRT Sports: Did you ever experience a coaching staff change, and if so, how did it go?

Savannah: I actually experienced a coaching staff change this year in Buffalo. The transition was smooth, and the team welcomed the new coaches. Professional hockey is a business, and sometimes things like that happen. Players try to only focus on the things they can control.

LRT Sports: How was the transition from college sports to the NWHL go? Was it difficult or smooth?

Savannah: For the most part, the transition from college sports to the NWHL was smooth. With no school, my focus was fully oriented towards hockey, which made the adaption easy. However, it is different in many ways.

LRT Sports: What was your favorite memory that you had at Clarkson University, aside from winning the National Championship?

Savannah: The lifelong friendships I have made over the years and getting to experience being on the team for four years, and the memories made each year. Especially getting to be a part of the 2018 class and spending four years together with friends that became family.

Fun Questions:

LRT Sports: What is your go-to meal before a game?

Savannah: My go-to pregame meal would have to be chicken with veggies and sweet mashed potatoes.

LRT Sports: What is your favorite part about playing professional hockey?

Savannah: My favorite part about playing professional hockey is able to play with and against some of the best players in the world, as well as continue playing the game I love after college.

LRT Sports: What is the funniest thing that a coach did, either on the ice, during a game or in the locker room?
Savannah: One pregame skate our coach got on the ice with his skate guards still on, and the whole team was on the ice and witnessed it, it was pretty funny because it always happens to one of us each year.

YOUR JOURNEY STARTS HERE