I’ve seen a lot of good goaltenders over the years, especially as a Clarkson hockey fan. The Golden Knights have sent four goaltenders to the pros in Kira Hurley, Lauren Dahm, Erica Howe, and Shea Tiley, and all of them have done well in the post-collegiate careers, even Hurley and Dahm, who graduated when opportunities were few and far between for female hockey players.
But I don’t think I’ve ever seen a player, not just a goaltender, but a player as important to their team as Lovisa Selander has been to RPI over the course of her career. This season’s numbers are just mind-boggling. She has a .946 save percentage and a 1.88 goals against average, both stellar numbers, but when you consider the relative quality of RPI, they’re off the charts.
RPI has scored just 21 goals in 20 games this season for an average of 1.05 goals per game and yet the Engineers are 7-9-4. Holy Cross averages more goals per game at 1.19 and they’re 1-18-2. The Engineers are 4-4-0 in ECAC play even though they’ve only scored eight goals and two of those game in their 5-2 loss to Princeton. Six goals in four games! And they won all of them! (Granted some of the credit goes to Kira Bombay, who filled in when Selander was away on national team duty for Sweden.)
This is probably the worst RPI team Selander has played for and they stand a good chance of finishing in the top eight of the ECAC and making the conference tournament as they currently sit tied for 6th in points, but in 7th behind St. Lawrence on the head to head tiebreaker, and have a three-point lead on ninth. RPI hasn’t won a tournament game with Selander, but they’ve made Quinnipiac and Clarkson sweat.
In Selander’s freshman season, #8 RPI faced #1 Quinnipiac in the ECAC tournament and it took the heavily favored Bobcats three overtimes to dispatch the Engineers in 2 games. Selander made 123 saves in the 3-2 and 2-1 losses as the Engineers were outshot 128-19 total. Clarkson won their series the following year more handily scoring 3 and then 4 non-empty net goals including one on the power play, but Selander still made 62 saves in the series.
In the 113 games in which Selander has recorded a Win, Loss, or Tie (she has one no-decision after coming on as a sub), the Engineers have scored 2 or fewer goals in 89 of them. In the 24 games the Engineers have managed to score 3 or more, Selander is 17-4-3. Selander actually has a winning record in games where RPI scores just 2 goals (13-12-3), which is a bit weird and cherry-picked, but amazing nonetheless.
Selander currently has an all-time record of 33-62-18 which puts her 4th on RPI’s all-time wins list. First place is Sonja van der Bliek with 52, and it’s a shame Selander won’t get there, but with 14 regular season games to go she could make a decent run at second (Rosina Schiff, 40) or third (Julie Vallarelli, 38). Notably, Selander’s teams have given her the least goal support of the four with Vallarelli getting 4.39, Schiff 4.02 (three of their four years overlapped), and van der Bliek 2.16 to Selander’s Engineers’1.60.
Selander currently has 3,482 saves and is within reach of Brianne McLaughlin’s NCAA record of 3,809. With 14 games to play, Selander would need to record an average of 24 saves per game to top McLaughlin, assuming she plays in all of them. This season she is averaging 32 saves per game which would put her on pace for 3,930. If RPI makes the ECAC tournament and earns at least two more games, 4,000 career saves is in play.