Clarkson senior Loren Gabel is looking to end her college career on the top, both with her team and on a personal note. The Golden Knights are still in the hunt for their third straight National Championship, and Gabel is one of the Top 3 finalists for the Patty Kazmaier Award for the second year in a row.
The Ice Garden talked to Gabel about her season, her linemates, and her future in women’s hockey.
The Ice Garden: You’ve been a prolific scorer all four years you’ve been at Clarkson, but especially this season I feel like you’ve really broken out. You’ve surpassed your past totals with 40 goals on the season so far. Did something feel different this season or did something change?
Loren Gabel: I don’t think anything necessarily changed. I think like for me I’m still like the same player I was last year. I’ve obviously improved and I’ve improved areas of my game that have helped me succeed. And I think that definitely what has gotten me to where I am today.
TIG: Was there something specific you worked on in the off season or was it just kind of like a natural progression as a player?
Gabel: I think it was just a natural progression. I shot a lot of pucks in the summer which I always do. I don’t think there was any type of skill or thing that I did to help me.
TIG: A lot of people, including myself, would consider your line one of the best lines in college hockey. So what do you enjoy most about playing with Élizabeth Giguère and Michaela Pejzlova?
Gabel: They’re both amazing players and teammates. I think we all see ice very well and move pucks quick. That’s definitely what has helped us succeed thus far, as well as off ice we’re great friends. That obviously translates onto the ice which helps us in a positive way too.
TIG: It’s so clear when you watch you guys, you almost just know where each other is without even looking sometimes. It’s wild to me.
Gabel: Yeah, for sure. We like to run around a bit at practice. We’re all dynamic players and seeing the ice is definitely something within our strong suit.
TIG: Is there one moment in the last four years at Clarkson that you would point out as particularly your favorite or most memorable?
Gabel: Definitely winning back-to-back National Championships. It’s something that obviously not everyone gets to experience in life and winning two times in a row is definitely a dream come true and probably the most indescribable feeling ever.
TIG: Looking a little bit into the future, you made your name your first senior Worlds team in April for Canada and you were drafted for the Buffalo Beauts. It’s safe to say we’ll see you continue playing women’s hockey professionally?
Gabel: Yeah for sure. That’s definitely a goal after I graduate. I’m not really focusing on that— I just want to finish my senior year and hopefully bringing another national championship back to Potsdam. As of right now my senior year is definitely my focus, but I definitely will be playing after I graduate.
TIG: What was it like when you found out you were named to that senior Worlds team for the first time?
Gabel: Amazing feeling. I got a phone call saying that I had made the team and it’s obviously a dream come true. Since I was little I’ve always wanted to play on the national team. Going Four Nations, it was amazing too. It’s not as big of a tournament as this is so I’m really looking forward to it. I can’t wait.
TIG: Is there a player you would name who has had like a really big influence on your career? Someone you’ve played with currently played with in the past or just someone you enjoyed watching growing up that kind of influenced how you play.
Gabel: I have to go with one of my linemates and teammates couple years ago: Cayley Mercer. She’s definitely helped me as an underclassmen, freshman and sophomore year, you know, to gain more skills and knowledge surrounding on and off ice. Just watching her work hard and practice every single day and every shift is definitely helped me improve.