Hey CWHL, this one’s for you (or whoever’s picking the All-Star rosters).
When the Boston Blades announced that Geneviéve Lacasse, alternatively known as Queen of Saves, would be traded to the Calgary Inferno right before the beginning of the season, you could feel the wave of despair hit Boston.
The rebuilding Blades, led by GM Krista Patronick, had recruited a ton of new talent and was headed into the 2016-17 season with high expectations.
But then their rock in net moved to Calgary, and suddenly the future was uncertain. Surely nobody could replace Lacasse, but it was unclear who would fit in between the pipes for the team. Would they have a tandem who split games? Would there be a starter, and if so, who? Did this spell the end for the Blades?
But the very position that caused so much doubt at the beginning of the season has become one of Boston’s biggest strengths, thanks to Lauren Dahm.
Dahm played four years of hockey at Clarkson (oh hey Golden Knights) where she finished with a .928 save percentage and 1.72 goals against average in 96 total games. She made 2,077 saves in her college career.
Her last year with Clarkson was in 2011, and she thought that was it. She told Women’s Hockey Life that she still played in tournaments in both women’s and men’s league, but they had nowhere near the competition she’s seen in the CWHL, filled with recent college grads, CWHL veterans and Hockey Canada players.
She finally came back to competitive hockey this year and has been tearing it up.
Don’t let her numbers fool you: she deserves to be in the All-Star Game. Her 5.46 goals against average and .890 save percentage are last in the league, but that’s less indicative of her skill level and more indicative of the number of shots she’s facing.
Dahm has played in 12 games, more than anyone else in the CWHL (Montreal’s Charline Labonté is in second with nine games). As a direct result (and also because of the high level of competition she’s facing) she’s faced more than twice as many shots as her nearest competitor; Dahm has faced 519 shots compared to Christina Kessler’s 217. Did we mention she's a rookie? Hi, welcome to the CWHL, you’re going to face 60+ shots a game. Have fun!
But even more impressive than her numbers is the impact she’s had on her team. You'd be hard pressed to find any singular player in the league who impacts her team more. Dahm has become synonymous with the Boston Blades; if you take her out of the equation, it’s hard to know where the Blades would be.
Dahm and the Blades only recently picked up their first win of the season, but it’s easy to see how they’ve improved from last season. If she’s still with the team two or three years down the line, it’s likely that her numbers will improve when she has a stronger defense in front of her.
There’s plenty of excellent goaltenders in the CWHL, all who deserve to go to the All-Star Game. But there are four spots open for goalies in the game, and Lauren Dahm deserves to go more than anyone. Her talent and knack for big saves is undeniable, she’s an integral part of her team, and frankly, she’s been one of the best stories of the league this year and deserves to be recognized.
And what better way to showcase her skills than with the very best players in the CWHL?
So, whoever’s reading this, please help us get Dahm into the ASG. Spread the word! We want #Dahm4ASG to start trending, like, five minutes after this goes live.